40 years of  Ansata - A Chronicle of Success

Ibn Halima, Bint Mabrouka & Bint Zaafarana  Photo: Forbis

Ansata Ibn Halima, Ansata Bint Mabrouka and Ansata Bint Zaafarana


1958, Cairo/Egypt: Two fillies and one colt are born in the hot sands of the desert: Bint Mabrouka (Nazeer x Mabrouka), Bint Zaafarana (Nazeer x Zaafarana) and Ibn Halima (Nazeer x Halima). Three siblings, three extreme beauties, three horses who will go down in history. But nobody even has a presentiment of that yet.

The foals stand in the shadows of their dams in the sandy paddocks and enjoy their lives. But soon nothing will be as it used to be – for the "Ansata era" has begun.

1959: Two young Americans – Don and Judith Forbis – travel the orient, looking for a dream: the classic Arabian horse. Both comlement one another: She is artistic, intuitive, spiritual and well-read. Nevertheless she has a sharp analytic judgement. He is absolutely "down-to-the-earth" and realistic. And yet he has preserved his childhood dreams. Together they are an unbeatable team. The destination of their journey is Egypt. Here their dreams come true. They face the horses they had been looking for. Three of them are bought and shipped to America. There they are registered with the prefix "Ansata" in front of their names.

The crux Ansata or "the key of life" is a frequent motive in Egyptian reliefs; it symbolizes the propagation of creatures of the same species. A symbol for the eternal continuance of life and for immortality. It’ll prove to be the right choice...

Ansata Bint Mabrouka      Photo: Sparagowski

Ansata Bint Mabrouka

1964, Chickasha, Oklahoma/USA: On the 27th of May the first "Ansata" foal is born. It is a colt who – in honour of the famous Egyptian breeder – is named Ansata Ali Pasha. The sire: Ansata Ibn Halima, the dam: Ansata Bint Zaafarana. A beginning is made, and what a beginning! Four years later Ali Pasha becomes a "Canadian Top Ten Stallion". Ansata Bint Mabrouka isn’t inferior to her sister at all. She is giving birth to a colt as well, who is named after an breeding icon: Ansata Abbas Pasha. Almost twenty years later he is the first Ansata-bred stallion in Germany and the sire of the 1985 World Champion Stallion Sherif Pasha.

Ansata Bint Mabrouka will still give birth to two colts and one filly and then never be in foal again. Her daughter dies as a foal, but her sons Ansata Ibn Sudan (by Ansata Ibn Halima) and Ansata Shah Zaman (by her full brother Morafic) will be the most important stallions of Ansata until the eighties.

Bint Bukra & Bint Mabrouka   Photo: Knoll

Ansata bint Mabrouka and Ansata Bint Bukra 

1965, El Zahraa, Cairo/Egypt: "Looking into the eyes of the beautiful Bukra is like seeing the soul of Egypt." How often did Judith Forbis dream of Bukra? And of her unique offspring? Ghazal enchants Germany, Yeslam breaks all records at Egypt’s race tracks and in the Yemen his snow-white full brother Ghazal I bewitches the king. Heavenly creatures, but the gods take early whomever the love: The three od them die when still young. But Judith Forbis gets a present from her father she’ll always be thankful for: the daughter of Bukra and Nazeer, the great Hosnia. As charming as her brothers, equally valuable for breeding and the most important part of the Ansata breeding programme. Her daughters, granddaughters and great granddaughters will produce the stallions of world-wide attention and admiration – from Ansata Halim Shah to Ansata Imperial and Ansata El Salaam to the young stars Ansata Sinan, Ansata Iemhotep, Ansata Sokar and Ansata Hejazi. All are descended directly from Hosnia – or "Ansata Bint Bukra", how Judith Forbis called her after her importation in the summer of 1965.

Ibn Halima & Judith Forbis     Photo: Sparagowski

Ansata Ibn Halima and Judith Forbis

1969: Ansata Ibn Halima goes down in American show history: He and his son Ansata Ibn Sudan are among the "Top Ten" at the U.S. National Champioships! Father and son together among the ten best stallions of the country – this hadn’t ever happened before. The enthusiasm can hardly be described.

Ibn Sudan & Abu Sudan   Photo: Sparagowski

Ansata Ibn Sudan and his son, Ansata Abu Sudan

1971, Oklahoma City, USA: In November the Nationals become a triumph of straight Egyptian horses. Dr. Marsafi, the successor of General von Szandntner at the EAO, has come to America to convince himself of the quality of "his" horses. Morafic, Sameh and Ansata Ibn Halima are the sires of success at this year’s show. The absolute climax is the stallions‘ class. 83 rivals have lined up to compete in front of the audience and the judges. Who’ll get the title? It is soon decided: Ansata Ibn Sudan succeeds! It is him, the son of Ansata Ibn Halima and Ansata Bint Mabrouka, who beats them all! A high point for the breeders and owners Don and Judith Forbis!

1980: In the US there is applause for the Ansata Ibn Halima daughter Fa Halima, who is chosen National Champion mare. Laurels for Ansata Ibn Halima: he is the only Egyptian stallion who sired a National Champion son AND National Champion daughter!

1981: In September the Ansata stud moves to Mena/Arkansas. Ansata Ibn Halima, Ansata Bint Bukra and Ansata Bint Nazeer are the last Nazeer-offspring who accompany Don and Judith Forbis. Ansata Bint Mabrouka died in Chickasha, Ansata Bint Zaafarana and Ansata Bint Misuna in Lufkin. But not even Ibn Halima is immortal: On the 17th of September, one day after his 23rd birthday, he returns to his mother’s side in the warm sunshine of Egypt.

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Ansata Halim Shah

1983, Albuquerque, USA: In October the young Ansata Halim Shah (Ansata Ibn Halima x Ansata Rosetta by Ansata Shah Zaman x Ansata Bint Bukra) is chosen by the judges as a U.S. National Top Ten Futurity Colt. Judith Forbis calls the premature three-year-old "very promising" and the future head sire of their stud. "After Sudan he’ll be the greatest star we have ever bred!" Does she have a crystall ball?

Paris, France: In December Mizan Taj Halim, a son of Ansata Ibn Halima, wins the title as World Champion Stallion. Ansata Halim Shah, though in Europe still unknown, but of first-class type, becomes Reserve Junior Worl Champion Stallion. Afterwards he travels to Germany. He breeds some selected mares of Dr. Nagel’s "Katharinenhof" stud. Marbach and Babolna/Hungary send him their best mares. And carefully chosen outside mares are accepted. All that happens relatively quietly. The public hardly takes notice.

Jamilll/Jamil    Photo: Sparagowski


Mena, Arkansas/USA: A transporter arrives at Ansata. Valuable freight from Germany is on board. The new head stallion Jamilll (Madkour I x Hanan by Alaa El Din) and two of his offspring have arrived. But America’s welcome isn’t warm. For some breeders Jamilll is ranked as a serious rival. And some want to eliminate him. At the quarantine station he makes a narrow escape from an attempt. The breeding of Arabians is a tough business – a cold wind blows towards Jamilll. But he simply surpasses his rivals. Despite plotting and scheming he starts at the Nationals – literally in the last minute – and reaches the "Top Ten".

1985, Germany: The bombshell bursts – Ansata Halim Shah’s foals are born. The breeders look at them and are astonished. They look at them a second time and beginto have a presentiment. They look at them for a long time and realise what they have in their stalls. The foundation-stone is laid. Today we know: the influence of Halim Shah in Europe is beyond comparison with any other Egyptian stallion in modern times.

Sherif Pasha    Photo: Escher

Sherif Pasha

Paris/France: A German stallion wins the World Championships. And for the first time in history a straight Egyptian! It is Sherif Pasha, a son of the leased stallion Ansata Abbas Pasha. An incredible success. Every one is talking about "Ansata".

Ansata, USA: Jamilll’s foals are romping around of Ansata’s pastures. And not only there. For innumerable outside mares come to him. The distinguishing marks of his foals: incredibly big round "apple eyes", clearly defined small muzzles and fantastic movements. Judith Forbis breathes again: Jamilll was the right decision, he’ll lead the stud into the next decade.

 Imperial Imdal    Photo: van Lent


1986, Paris, France: In December Ansata Imperial (Ansata Ibn Sudan x Ansata Delilah) and his offspring conquer the Seine metropolis: his son Imperial Imdal becomes World Champion Stallion, another son, Imperial Im Tarib, wins the International Championships and his lovely daughter Imperial Phanilah wins the title of Reserve World Chamion Filly. Ansata at the top!

1988, Mena, Arkansas/USA: On the 7th of January a rival of Halim Shah arrives. The grey stallion Prince Fa Moniet (The Egyptian Prince by Morafic x Fa Moniet by Ibn Moniet El Nefous by Morafic) moves in. Judith Forbis expects more line and seize with him. Does it work out? Yes, for some of the most successful Ansata horses of the nineties will have him as their sire.

Ansata El Salaam     Photo: Escher

Ansata El Salaam

1989, Ludwigsburg/Germany: Again an Ansata-import reaches Europe. The yearling Ansata El Salaam, son of the really beautiful Ansata Ibn Shah who unfortunately died prematurely and the "star" mare Ansata Samantha, promises well. A bold, furry young man with elastically swinging movements and an enchantingly beautiful, short face. Ansata El Salaam has become one of the most demanded stallions of the past years. He wins at shows, his get is convincing. Up to this day. A success? Yes, and indeed a special one!

Ansata Nile Pasha    Photo: Huemer

Ansata Nile Pasha

1991, Towerlands/England: The flea-bitten grey Ansata Nile Pasha (Jamilll x Ansata Nile Dream) is gliding into the ring and into the heart of the judge, Ferdinand Huemer. Small, but absolutely classical, noble, expressive and beaming with beauty he becomes the Champion Stallion. The audience expresses its respect, Huemer is buying him. His triumphant advance in Europe begins and culminates one year later with the title of the Reserve Champion Stallion at the "Platinum Cup" at Baden-Baden.

Ansata Halim Shah in Qatar       Photo: van Lent

Ansata Halim Shah

1994: Ansata Halim Shah returns to the origin of the Arabian horse. Judith forbis sells him and a considerable harem of selected mares to the Crown Prince of Qatar. But he hasn’t much time to rejoice in his "crown jewel": five months later the stallion dies. What a loss for the Arabian horse world!

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Ansata Sinan

1995: A prince arrives in Europe and is pretender to the throne! Ansata Sinan, son of Prince Fa Moniet and the wonderful Ansata Nefara (Halim Shah x Sudarra) is imported by Vera and Peter Stoessel-Vocka into Switzerland. His nobility is fascinating. A vision of Halim Shah, who isn’t his sire but his grandsire. A great success! Ansata Sinan takes his legitimate place: European Champion Stallion and World Reserve Champion Stallion still in the same year.

Kentucky Horse Park/USA: Ansata Hejazi (Halim Shah x Sudarra) raises the attention at the Egyptian Event: he wins the title of Reserve Supreme Champion Stallion. For Judith Forbis Hejazi is the "official" successor of his sire.

Ansata Iemhotep      Photo: Stuart

Ansata Iemhotep

1996, USA: After a long time Ansata sends again an entrant to the Nationals. The grey Ansata Iemhotep, the younger full brother to Ansata Sinan, is supposed to compete with rivals from all over the country. Does it make sense at all? In the US the "show Arabian" is in demand: The neck has to be long and narrow, the croup even and short, the withers musn’t be seen, the movements don’t matter in the least. And the often quoted "type" is an issue of interpretation. But it is impossible to disregard "Hotep". With the presence of his great great grandsire Ansata Ibn Sudan he performs and captivates the judges. It doesn’t suffice for the win, he is too premature for his age, but the leap into the top ten is easy.

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Ansata Majesta

1997, Qatar: The "festival of horses" in Doha, the capital of Qatar, becomes an Ansata festival. Junior Champion Mare: Ansata Marha (Ansata Manasseh x Ansata Meryta). Senior Champion Mare: Ansata Majesta (Ansata Halim Shah x Ansata Malika by Jamilll). Reserve Senior Champion Mare: Aisha (by Ansata Halim Shah). Junior Champion Stallion: the Ansata Halim Shah son Al Adeed. And finally: the class win for Ansata Shalim (Ansata Halim Shah x Ansata Nefertari). What a success!

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Judith Forbis

1998: Retrospect, reflection, looking forward. 40 years of Ansata. The aim is close, yet never reached: breeding the "perfect" Arabian. Ansata Ibn Sudan came as close to this ideal as hardly a second one, but he was surpassed by Ansata Halim Shah. Each generation produces new stars, each generation brings Don and Judith Forbis nearer to their aim. Resting on one’s laurels means stagnation. And regress. Criticism concerning the own horses and unconditional honesty cause progress. The new generation of stallions provides new blood for the herd: Ansata Sokar, son of the "German" Imperial Madheen and the Ansata Ibn Halima daughter Ansata Samantha, is expecting his first foals. He himself resembles very much his half brother Ansata El Salaam. Will his foals succeed? There is a lot of tension. Ansata Hejazi and Ansata Iemhotep have established themselves as sires. The sons and daughters of both have been exported to Argentina, Qatar, Belgium, Holland and Mexico. Proof, that Ansata has nothing lost of ist world-wide importance!

Oliver Wibihal


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