I love books and history. I love old magazines. Deciding which ones in my boxes would make the cut when we moved to New York was pretty traumatizing. I love nothing more than discovering REALLY old equine advertising and I discovered something really special here in Ithaca, NY when I found an ad from 1863 for Sannoon. I thought that would be the earliest ad for an Arabian stallion I'd ever see! But recently, while researching another article, I caught sight of an image that intrigued me. I just followed that trail, and I'm glad I did! Look what I discovered!
For lovers of Arabian horses and their history in the United States, the 1893 Chicago Worlds fair tends to be something of a starting point. This is in large part because it is generally documented as the first time a large group of desert horses came to the shores of North America. It's a fact that these were the horses that inspired journalist Homer Davenport and ignited the spark that led to his trip the desert to bring back more. His book about the trip, My Quest for the Arabian Horse, resulted in this being so well documented that it’s left the impression that the Chicago World’s fair horses were the first Arabian horses on our shores. The ad I found of Sannoon, from 1863 fascinated me because it was a mystery, one that I've yet to follow further. But the story of this horse, Young Bagdad, is different! Different because his story hasn't been lost! Thanks to Antiques Roadshow, and a family that still had this original advertisement, Young Bagdad joins the narrative of Arabian horse history in America. We'll probably never know the number of mares that he bred. The Civil War comes between the date of this broadside advertisement (1831) and the subsequent Chicago Worlds Fair. The history and legacy of many, many horse breeding programs were completely lost. Their progeny may have survived, but the records did not. But I like to think that the DNA of Young Bagdad still continues in horses we ride today. Even if we don't know it!