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AHA Registers 600,000th Purebred Arabian

The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) of Aurora, Colo. celebrated a milestone when it assigned purebred Arabian registration number 600000 in May of this year. One of the oldest breed registries in the United States, it registered the first purebred Arabian in 1908. Registry number 600000 went to Bambi Forsyth's 2002 filly, Lady Marina (Marine+/ x Fayek Gai Lady). A small Michigan breeder, Forsyth calls Lady Marina her "miracle foal."

Forsyth carefully planned for her 2002 filly, researching the perfect stallion to breed to her mare, Fayek Gai Lady. "I really wanted a grey foal with a performance pedigree. My mare was a grey and I was looking for a grey stallion with an English or western background. When I attended the 2001 Scottsdale Arabian Show, I stopped at the Salem Children's Home stallion auction. One of the stallions offered was Marine+/. After looking at his performance record, I thought he would be a good match for my mare," says Forsyth.

Forsyth awaited Fayek Gai Lady's first foal; unfortunately problems started shortly after her mare was checked in foal. The mare soon developed gestational laminitis, a painful condition that caused the structure of her hooves to deteriorate. "We treated the mare to make her more comfortable but as the pregnancy wore on we could see she was getting worse. The laminitis also caused the foal to go into stasis, which meant that the foal essentially stopped growing. Twelve months into the pregnancy, the vet estimated she still had two more weeks to go," says Forsyth.

Right at 12 months, Fayek Gai Lady gave birth to a 6 to 8 week premature grey filly on June 26, 2002. The filly was very tiny - only 27 or 30 inches tall and so weak, she had to be lifted up in order to nurse from the mare for the first few days. Even though the filly was having a hard time nursing, it was decided that she should stay on the mare to avoid dependency on bottle feedings.

Since the mare was not recovering from the laminitis, Forsyth opted to start the filly on feed as soon as possible and began gradually introducing the filly to her five other Arabians. The strategy proved helpful as Fayek Gai Lady had to be euthanized when Lady Marina was only four months old.

"Putting my mare down was one of the worst things I've ever had to do, and I hope I never have to do it again," recalls Forsyth. "I felt fortunate that I was able to keep my mare until the filly was 4 months old. After she died, Lady Marina was adopted by the rest of the herd. She formed a special bond with my 18-year-old gelding, Tabasko Tu."

Almost a year later, Lady Marina has overcome the obstacles she faced early in life and is an important part of Forsyth's equine family. "Lady Marina has an innate need to be with people and bonded with us right away. She has truly blessed our lives."

AHA is a 40,000 member equine association that registers and maintains a database of more then one million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses. It administers more than $4 million in annual prize money, produces national events, maintains official event records, recognizes more than 400 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides activities and programs that promote breeding and ownership. For information about Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses, call 303-696-4500, e-mail or visit


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