2020 was a banner year for the Azraff sire line, one less commonly found in the breed in the twenty first century. Two Azraff sire line horses, both with extensive linebreeding to Azraff's sire *Raffles, set records at two National shows in North America.

Azraff (*Raffles x *Azja IV)

At the 2020 Midsummer Nationals, the oldest purebred to compete was 24 years old, and she won more titles than any other mare at the show in her first time being shown at the National level. She ranked second in number of titles to two geldings, Lesleis Heir++++// and Motivation I+++//, both seasoned National competitors who have shown at this level of competition for a number of years.

This remarkable senior lady is Xanadus Whimsical+++/. She has had two registered offspring, one 18 years ago and one 17 years ago. Her second foal is a U.S. Top Ten Reining Futurity winner named Xanadus Grand Passion, sired by the Wizjon son Tiercel.

Xanadus Whimsical with Jennifer Henderson

Xanadus Whimsical+++/ could not produce again after her National winning daughter was born, so she began a moderately successful show career that included Class A championships in western pleasure, native costume and sport horse under saddle and regional titles in sport horse in hand and hunt pleasure. After her purchase by trainer Lorie Henderson in 2013, her show career began to soar. Lorie had her riding students show her to multiple regional championships in sport horse in hand, main ring halter JTH, and sport horse under saddle, and regional titles in training level dressage.

Her appearance at the Midsummer Nationals earned her six National titles (won by defeating former National Champions in most classes): Reserve National Champion Sport Horse Mare JTH, Top Ten Sport Horse Mare, Sport Horse Mare ATH, Sport Horse Under Saddle, Training Level Dressage and Training Level Dressage ATR. She was shown by Lorie's daughter Jennifer to all of her titles except Sport Horse Mare JTH, for which she was shown by Tabitha Taylor. These wins would have been noteworthy for a mare of any age, but to achieve them at her first National competition at age 24 is truly extraordinary.

Xanadus Whimsical dressage

Xanadus Whimsical walking

Xanadus Whimsical with Tabby Taylor

Xanadus Whimsical+++/'s heritage reads like a Who's Who of historic great horses. Her sire, Princeofroses R-F, is by National Champion sire Azrael, a son of Azraff and grandson of National Champion sire Sotep, both by *Raffles. He is also linebred to National Champion sires Indraff and Rifage. Both his sire and dam trace in tail female to Ragala, a maternal sister to *Raffles. He has 5 lines to *Raffles and 9 to *Raffles' dam *Rifala. On the distaff side, her dam Shurwin has 8 lines to *Raffles and 10 to *Rifala, giving Whimsical a total of 13 lines to *Raffles and 19 to his dam! Shurwin is by Legion of Merit winner, National winner sire and grandsire Winraff++, an accomplished dressage horse. Winraff++ is by National winner sire Orbit out of a daughter of National winner sire Garaff. Shurwin's dam, halter and western pleasure champion Llano Grande Scherri, is a double granddaughter of *Raffles. She is the daughter of 2 National winner producers, Raffi and Scheraffa, and is a full sister to National winner sire Llano Grande Conquistador. *Raffles horses are known for their longevity and soundness, and Xanadus Whimsical+++/ certainly represents her heritage well!

Our second Azraff sire line horse has achieved what no other sport horse stallion ever has-he was named National Champion in all four classes for stallions in hand at Sport Horse Nationals (dressage type, dressage type ATH, hunter type and hunter type ATH). As the icing on the cake he was named UNANIMOUS Supreme Champion Sport Horse over all of the other National Champions in hand, a title often won by a Half-Arabian. And, he is the 2020 Sport Horse Nationals Reserve National Champion Dressage Type Sport Horse Under Saddle (a very large class). He is Jubilee WGR++++//, who has six lines to Azraff and five to National Champion sire Ferzon (three of them through his son Gai Parada++++/, U.S. National Champion Stallion and Pleasure Driving). Jubilee WGR++++// has 46 lines to *Raffles! He now has a total of 13 National titles including 2020 U.S. Midsummer Nationals National Champion Sport Horse Stallion and Reserve National Champion Sport Horse Show Hack and 2018 U.S. National Champion Dressage Type Stallion and Reserve National Champion Second Level Dressage. He has also won championships in hand and in dressage in open competition against warmbloods! He was bred by Elayne Loria and is owned by Lisa Pembleton-Del Mundo who has shown him to all of his titles.

Jubilee WGR conformation

An examination of Jubilee WGR++++//'s heritage explains his success. He is linebred to his sire Whitegates Raffi as his dam Timeless WGR is by the Whitegates Raffi son Bahr Exquisite. Whitegates Raffi is a double Azraff grandson. His sire El Azraff also sired multiple Top Ten Working Cow Horse El Mundo II. El Azraff is a 3/4 brother to U.S. National Champion Stallion Galizon, sire of U.S. National Champion Mare Jon San Judizon. Whitegates Raffi's dam Comar Azramira is also the paternal granddam of Top Ten Hunt Pleasure Silver Run Abkar. Comar Azramira is a full sister to three times Top Ten Pleasure Driving Comar Garnet (dam of Canadian Reserve National Champion Mare SH Opalesque); to twice Top Ten English Pleasure and Pleasure Driving Comar Dorrah (dam of multiple National Champion Prix St George Dressage Comardron+//); and to Comar Ibn Azraff (sire of twice Top Ten Halter Deynazraff).

Whitegates Raffi

Jubilee WGR++++//'s dam Timeless WGR is by halter champion and most classic winner Bahr Exquisite, a son of Whitegates Raffi and Bahr Saarinade. Bahr Saarinade's sire Whitegates Sarada is a paternal grandson of Gai Parada+++/ and has two lines to Azraff. Her dam La Daama is by the straight Babson Egyptian stallion Ahmed Pasha (Babson horses are known for their dressage talent) out of a daughter of Raffdaan, sire of a Top Ten Mare and a National Champion in reining and trail.

Timeless WGR with breeder Elayne Loria, who also bred Jubilee WGR

Timeless WGR's dam Ms Ohara was bred by Pete McNeil, whose horses are known for their extreme beauty. Pete sold most of his horses to people who didn't show so there are many wonderful horses of his breeding but few with show records. His breeding program focused on combining the blood of Alice Payne's inbred *Raffles stock with Ferzon and occasional outcrosses to Polish blood. Ms Ohara is a double granddaughter of the Gai Parada++++/ son Gai Danizon, a regional western pleasure winner and a National winner sire. Gai Danizon descendants have also won National titles in hunt pleasure and western pleasure. She also traces to Cal-O-Bask, sire of U.S. National Champion Mare Bask Calonett, of a Reserve National Champion Jumper, and National winners in park, english pleasure and country pleasure. Jubilee WGR++++//'s success in the ring should be matched with success in the breeding barn as his linebred heritage is noted for its consistency.

Gai Danizon as a yearling

It delighted me so much to see some of my favorite older bloodlines competing so successfully against more fashionable ones at these recent National shows. Never discount the value of the linebred *Raffles horses!











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