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The Legend of Alibar: A Star is Born

March 11, 2009

Thirty years ago...

Alibhai’s Alibar was foaled in New Jersey on March 28, 1979. Alibar was liver chestnut with a big blaze and two hind stockings, a left front sock, and a white right pastern. His milky chin and knife-point stockings are signs of sabino genetics at work, and his raccoon tail and speckled flanks indicated rabicano markings as well. His foal coat was reddish but as he matured, his coat became a rich, chocolatey color that had a purplish cast in some light. Although he was genetically a chestnut, his mane, tail and back were so dark with countershading that some people mistakenly called him a bay.

Although Alibar was registered with the Appaloosa Horse Club and was the son of a Quarter Horse dam, the largest percentage of blood in his pedigree was Thoroughbred. Alibar’s sire was a tall, leggy Appaloosa stallion named Golden Alibhai. Golden Alibhai was sired by a Thoroughbred named Peakablu and was out of an Appaloosa mare of Canadian lines named Golden Candy. Peakablu had the blood of champions in his veins; his grandsire Bull Lea was the king of Calumet Farm and sire of Triple Crown winner Citation and his broodmare sire Alibhai was highly influential to the breed and was grandsire of the immortal Kelso. Blue hen broodmares such as Blue Delight and Teresina are also found in Peakablu’s pedigree. All of these ancestors could not make Peakablu run any faster, and he had an unsuccessful career in California and went on to sire horses of other breeds. Not much is known of the Appaloosa side of Golden Alibhai’s pedigree. I found a few photos and made MANY phone calls to breed registries but the roots of the bloodlines are lost to the Canadian winds.

Golden Alibhai was very athletic and temperamental. He was a very talented jumper and sired some successful show jumpers, but his personality kept him from having success in the show ring. Alibar’s breeder told me that Golden Alibhai made a habit of walking on his hind legs with a rider in the saddle. I found this photo in an old issue of Appaloosa Journal. Such a big fellow and very different in appearance from the modern Appaloosa.

Golden Alibhai

Alibar’s dam was a small, stout, black Quarter Horse mare named Treva Bar. She was bred 4×4 to influential sire Three Bars. She came from mostly racing and cutting lines. Alibar’s breeder said that she had a nasty disposition and killed one of her foals. A few years ago, I corresponded with the family of Treva Bar’s breeder. This is what they had to say about Treva Bar and her sire, Reddi Go Bars:

When I started training her as a 2 yr old, she was a bundle of energy. Everything was pretty typical at first but once I got her out of the round corral and started riding her in larger areas, once we moved from the walk into a trot or canter she would never come back down to a walk; she would just jig. I worked her in deep sand in a dry river bed doing figure 8’s around the trees trying to wear her down. She never wore down. One good thing I remember was that she felt very solid and secure doing figure 8’s in the deep sand, never felt she was struggling in the deep sand. She was stout and very muscular. It was just very tiring to ride her because she wouldn’t walk. We were working on a ranch in eastern Colorado at the time and my husband took her to ride a couple of times. The first time he had been out moving and checking cattle all day and coming home Treva Bar was still jigging. The second time he took her for the day, he roped a 2yr old bull off of her. He said she handled it just fine, but still with all the work she wouldn’t walk. She would always stop when we ask, but just not walk.

Reddi was always pretty good to handle and ride. Treva Bar looked a lot like him. They used Reddi to breed their own mares and showed him at halter. Reddi’s colts always looked like him and black was the dominant color.

Treva Bar

Alibar was turned out with a few other Appaloosa weanlings in the summertime. According to his breeder, the weanlings were so difficult to catch that they had to leave short lead ropes attached to them. On the notes for these photos, she titled them “The Three Musketeers”.

Three Little Appaloosas

Alibhai's Alibar- foaled 3/28/1979

After Alibar was weaned, my mom’s friend Diane purchased him. And you’ll learn more of her adventures in Chapter Two :^)

And so begins The Legend of Alibar. Thank you for reading about my special horse and I look forward to sharing more of the Legend soon.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2009 8:45 am

    this is such an involved and interesting story. and these pictures are incredibly poignant, and sweet – interesting that his mother would not walk.

  2. March 11, 2009 3:58 pm

    I love this, and can’t wait for the next chapter.

  3. oregonsunshine permalink
    March 11, 2009 5:04 pm

    What a cutie! I can’t wait for more!

  4. anita permalink
    March 11, 2009 9:15 pm

    I’ve been thinking a lot about Alibar. Especially since losing Attila. This last year hit you, erin and myself pretty hard with the loss of our special guys.

    Thank YOU for sharing this. It means a lot, Sarah.

  5. March 13, 2009 3:16 pm

    This is fantastic, I cant wait for Chapter 2 either! I don’t have any photos of my matched-age gelding when he was a tot, so I am living vicariously through your story 🙂

  6. March 17, 2009 11:26 am

    Thank you so much to my readers for following the story of my special horse. I can’t wait to share more. So many photos and stories and now is the time to share them.

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