Arabian Stallion! Sannoon! Who???
Okay, all you horse history buffs out there! I hope you find this "nugget" as interesting as I have!
I scanned the picture shown above from an original copy of a publication called "The Horseman". The issue is December 25, 1890. "The Horseman" was a weekly "newspaper" published by The Chicago Horsemen Newspaper Company with D. J. Campau being listed as the President and Treasurer.
We found 4 copies of The Horseman (from the early 1890's) at one of our favorite antique shops and snapped them up! I haven't been able to locate more issues since then. Most of the articles and information in The Horseman are devoted to racing, trotting and draft horses. In this era, horses were very much still a part of everyday life. While some were still "luxury" or "recreational" animals, the vast majority were still getting humans where they needed to go. Just like today, how fast you could get from one place to another was important...hence the focus on "trotters". They were the "passenger cars" of the day. And of course, the heavy draft horses were still the backbone of agriculture and commerce!
It's not surprising that my 4 issues of The Horseman have many articles and ads for trotters, thoroughbreds and draft horses and many advertisements for the equine care and tack products of the day. Great reference material that I plan on scanning and sharing in the future.
But what totally "grabbed" my interest was the one and only ad that featured an actual photograph of a horse, and wouldn't you know...it was an Arabian stallion!
In checking datasource, I immediately determined that no stallion named Sannoon was ever included in "The Registry". However, as this ad states, this horse was imported by A. Rogy (and yes, that is a "g" in Rogy and I have determined that the "A" stands for "August") in 1886 and the Registry wasn't formed until 1908. Most early importers and breeders (both in England and America) of this time were importing Arabians to use on improving the local horse population. This is true of Kentucky horse breeder A. Keene Richards who imported Arabians in the 1853 and 1856 as well as Randolph Huntington who was using Arabians in the 1890's to improve the stamina in his Standardbreds. So it is very possible that Sannoon never bred an Arabian mare and was used to improve the local horse population in Seward Nebraska!
But...I wondered, what other Arabian horses might have been on Mr. Rogy's "Pacific Farm" in Seward Nebraska? It appears that Sannoon may have been his only Arabian import. Mr. August Rogy, was well traveled, having addresses in Paris, Jersey City, NJ, Illinois and Nebraska. And while he may have had a fancy for this particular Arabian stallion, his "bread and butter' was the importation of Percherons, or "Normandy" horses as they were called.
Rogy was a very early member of the earliest organizations having to do with the Percheron and most internet references to 'A. Rogy and horses' lead you to the history of the Percheron! At first I thought it a bit of an anomaly-a major player in the Percheron world acquiring an Arabian stallion- however, my research has taught me a lot about Percheron's that I didn't know. In 1820, two gray Arab stallions were imported into the Le Perche area and used extensively on the existing stock, and it is from these two stallions that the present day Percherons acquired the gene for their gray color. This 1820 infusion of Arabian DNA into the horses of that area was not the first!
But as to the story of Sannoon, as yet, I haven't been able to find much more. Why Sannoon? Did Rogy acquire him in France? The advertisement mentions that Sannoon "holds two prizes from the French War Stud Department". As Mr. Rogy acquired him as a 2 year old, I wonder what those prizes were? I wonder what the "satisfactory evidence of his identity" would have been? One things for certain- Mr. Rogy led a very interesting life.
Fortunately, Mr. A. Rogy believed in the power of advertising! If not, there would have been no record of Sannoon at all.I'm sure there's more out there and it will be fun to find out. For all you lovers of all things equine and historical, I'll include scans of the various ads I did find for Mr. Rogy of Nebraska!
Above is (so far) one of the few publications (aside from the Percheron registries) that mention A. Rogy. This line is included in W.W. Cox History of Seward County, Nebraska. Perhaps Sannoon was one of the horses contributing to the improvement of the horses in the county!