The Selby Stud was a founding giant for the Arabian horse in America , providing pure Crabbet blood that would have a profound influence on breeding and show programs across this country. The dependability and potency of this select imported stock to preserve and perpetuate classic characteristics saw it become the most enduring bloodline in America.

Over the years, British aristocrats Lady Anne and Wilfred Blunt had taken many trips deep into the desert of Arabia, immersing themselves in the language and culture in order to gain the trust of their hosts. As they learned the best bloodlines, along with their daughter Lady Wentworth, they purchased Bedouin horses of highest quality, adopting the tribesmen’s passion for purity of type and pedigree, and recognizing the many traits that made these horses special including beauty, intelligence, stamina, and loyalty. Crabbet Park later passed from the Blunts to Wentworth, who until her death continued that tradition and Crabbet became known worldwide.

“I name the Horse,
I establish thee as one of
The glories of the Earth…
I give thee flight without wings.”

Arab Proverb - translated by Lady Anne and Wilfred Blunt

Roger Selby loved beauty as reflected in his collection of art and exotic plants, and his compassion for animals was evident in the array of geese, ducks, turkeys, guineas, pheasants, sheep, pigs, cows, dogs, cats and other “friends” that made a home along the banks of the Ohio River, sharing the broad rich acres of pasture and cropland flanked by wooded hillsides. He was a businessman whose talent and energy took the Selby brand around the world, synonymous with the finest women’s shoes. While in London on business, he chanced across Crabbet Park and found there the satisfaction of his passion for beauty, history, and function, and Lady Wentworth saw in him the proper placement for the preservation and development of Crabbet blood in America. He imported a core group of her best individuals, and Selby Stud became a base for breeders to select young stock that would jump start their programs with a genetic purity, classic conformation, strength of build and compatible temperament that has impacted pedigrees throughout these subsequent generations.

“The air of heaven is that which blows between the ears of a horse”
- Arab Proverb

The mares proved why they were treasured by Bedouin tribes as they became the core for many different lines. They bred true. Rifala, exquisitely feminine and correct, a champion both in Europe and America, daughter of the famed Skowronek and dam of Raffles. Indaia and Kareyma, ideal mares in type and substance, supreme producers who founded breeding programs with their progeny. Rose of France, Nisa, Selmnab - - all welcome in any pedigree.

And the stallions - - pure white desert-bred Mirage, elegant and graceful, regal but gentle, favored by a king with a true native heritage even to the saber scar on his jaw - - a beautiful example of form and function. He produced daughters that crossed so well with Raffles that they created a name line of their own.

And yes, Raffles - - the one name that dominated the national stage. A smaller copy of his famed sire Skowronek, prepotent beyond the norm, he marked his kids with that same beauty, correctness, and performance versatility. His influence to this day is still an important part of breeding programs for those who seek to preserve the integrity of the classic Arabian that Crabbet represented.


As a 2nd generation breeder I built on the strength of that imported blood with a broad-based program to intensify the gene pool for a consistency that would solidify those qualities of type and ability. I now see my “grandkids” (those 4-legged ones) continuing to prove our PHP motto,

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