This feature from June 2008 reproduced with the
kind permission of The Arabian Magazine and the author, Alicia Quispe-Flores
This is a tribute to the late Silvern
Sceptre and the impact that his short life has had, particularly through
those he left behind.
Silvern Sceptre, born in 1989 at the Rutland Stud, was bred by The Duchess
of Rutland. Situated in the grounds of Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire,
Sceptre was born into grand surroundings. Sceptre was by the late Silvern
Idyll (Masjid x Silvern Dream), an impressive straight Crabbet stallion
bred by Rosemary Archer of the Worth Stud.
Silvern Idyll had arrived at the Rutland Stud as a foal at foot with his
dam Silvern Dream and had made such an impression that he simply never
left. A filly producer, Sceptre was one of the few colts that Silvern
Idyll sired in his lifetime and has been noted since as Idyll's most influential
son. Silvern Sceptre's dam, the Duchess's grey, refined Bright Crown daughter
Silver Circlet, was an ethereal mare of extreme beauty: a perfect wife
for Idyll both in pedigree and potential. With Sceptre's pedigree full
of potential, he certainly didn't disappoint once he was born.
Sceptre provided so many qualities that breeders strive for: he possessed
wonderful, elevated, flamboyant movement, was sound of structure with
great conformation, was robust yet refined and he oozed type and quality.
Sceptre started off life almost liver chestnut in colour, but he later
matured into a striking dapple steel grey, which only emphasised his imposing
presence and, in particular, his stunning head and neck. He certainly
never forgot how to turn on the charm for a crowd and throughout his life,
he carried himself in such high esteem that everyone that saw him fell
under his spell.
Sceptre's success started early and he claimed his first title as a foal,
being crowned Reserve Champion Foal at the British National Championships
in 1989. Shortly after that, Dave and Jean Peck of Paslow Hall Arabians
first laid eyes on him. Sceptre was 100% Old English and holding so many
great assets, he appealed to Dave and Jean as the perfect foundation sire
for their stud in Ongar, Essex. Sceptre turned out to be everything that
they had hoped for, continuing his winning ways and being a gentleman
to live with.
Although his purchase had been made with the purpose of breeding on his
fabulous bloodlines in mind, Sceptre was also a "doing" horse
and throughout his limited life he was ridden and achieved many accolades
both at halter and under saddle.
At the age of two, Sceptre was given his first opportunities to pass on
the legacy that had been instilled in him through bloodlines that he carried
and he covered five mares.
The following year, in 1993, Sceptre produced his first foals: two fillies
and three colts. Three of these resulting foals were born to outside breeders,
an incredible vote of confidence for such a young colt. Pat Childs bred
the colt Myfreve Silvern Statesman (ex Kesia Bint Kesia). Geoff Plaister's
Imperial Stud was gifted with a filly, Imperial Neretta from the Hanif
daughter Niffah and the last outside foal was Sue Rose's Silvern Masjic,
from her mare Southern Masjic.
For Paslow Hall Arabians, Sceptre produced two strapping colts, the first
being PHA Silvern Magic from the Indian Magic granddaughter Magic Heart,
on lease from the Imperial Stud. Magic Heart had been leased in foal to
Silver Fahd (by Silver Sheen), producing the elegant, straight Crabbet
mare PHA Silver Heart ("Cilla"), who was sold to Mary O'Rourke
and later bred twice to Sceptre, in partnership with the Pecks, producing
two beautiful fillies. The first filly was the surprise chestnut Silvern
Starlight followed by the grey Silvern Moonlight, who won the large Crabbet
class at HoCoN on her only outing last year.
"Cilla" is now on lease to Gadebrook and in foal to their young
stallion Binley Prince Salim for a 100% Crabbet foal in 2009.
The other colt Sceptre sired that year was PHA Silvern Scepris (out of
Rislina), who was retained by the Pecks and shown successfully in hand,
consistently being placed the highest-placed British-bred colt. "Andre",
as he is known at home, is now owned by Elizabeth Palmer and she has been
quick to realise his potential. Last year saw a return to the show-ring
for Andre, where he won the Crabbet Class at the Norfolk and Suffolk Group's
Summer Show and was first in his novice ridden class and Reserve Novice
Ridden Champion as well as In-hand Gelding Champion at the 2007 Crabbet
After producing such a stunning foal, Rislina (St John x Palmyra) was
rebred to Sceptre and in 1994, she produced the highly-renowned PHA Silvern
Risalm, the first of the Sceptre colts to be listed for that year and
he sired no fillies until 1996. From the off, Risalm showed great promise
and held the same air of importance as his sire with whom he lived at
Gadebrook for two years.
But the Peck's prolonged stay in the US saw them offer Risalm for sale
and he was purchased as a mature colt by Tiffani McCarthy. Tiffani has
given Risalm every opportunity to show off his great talents and it is
tribute to her that Risalm is not only the most successful of Sceptre's
offspring, but also the most consistently successful ridden Arabian that
the UK has seen.
Partnered throughout his ridden career by his hugely talented rider and
friend Darren Crowe, Risalm has dominated the UK ridden scene for several
years. Together, they have achieved numerous titles including the UK's
first WAHO Trophy recipient in 2005. Risalm has won his class at the coveted
Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) on three occasions, been twice Reserve Ridden
Arab Horse of the Year and in 2007, he finally gained the one title that
had cruelly eluded him and he was rightly crowned Champion Ridden Arab
Horse of the Year. Risalm added this title to his many national, international
and European titles and the stage is now set for his own children to come
to the fore.
Risalm's very first foal was Crystal Silvern Aphrodite, owned and bred
by Samantha Mattocks out of her beautiful Donax daughter, Crystal Belladonna
(by Bright Crystal). Born in 2004, "Lucy" is now an elegant
and refined four-year-old mare. Risalm now has nine foals in total including
Justin Harrison's stunning chestnut colt Silvern Sameer, out of the rare-blooded
mare Shemona (ex Diamond Star) as well as the 2007 winning yearling filly
at the Crabbet Show, Jane Kadri's homebred Durdana, who is out of the
superbly-bred Dancing Queen daughter Dahisha (by Imad). Durdana carries
more then one fabulous legacy in her blood and it will be exciting to
see how she matures.
Risalm has crossed well with different bloodlines, with his latest foal,
a filly, being out of a Polish mare, reinforcing just how versatile these
In 1993, Paslow Hall Arabians entered into a partnership with Iona Bowring
(now McVean). Iona was disbanding the last of her treasured collection
at Chedglow Stud in Wiltshire and after realising that Dave and Jean were
all set to continue the fabulous breeding programme that Iona and her
late husband had contributed to over the years, a firm partnership was
formed. This partnership was an important step forward for Dave and Jean
and although preservation breeding with regards to the Old English and
Crabbet bloodlines was never foremost in their minds, they greatly appreciated
the qualities that these lines held and treasured their partnership and
subsequent firm friendship with Iona, who was, in turn, a fabulous mentor
for Dave and Jean's fledgling stud.
The newly formed partnership saw the arrival at Paslow Hall of British
National Champion Silver Aura, the breathtakingly beautiful daughter of
Crabbet Park-bred mare Silver Sheen and the leased US import Ben Rabba.
Her maternal half-sister, the regal Crystal Sheen by the highly successful
ridden stallion Crystal Magician also went to Paslow Hall, accompanied
by her Zircon Nazeer* daughter, Crystal Nazeera.
In 1994, both Crystal Nazeera and Silver Aura produced their first Sceptre
foals, Silvern Enchanter and Silvern Aurab. Silvern Enchanter was sold
to the Lake family and like his father, became an eye-catching steel grey.
Enchanter was later gelded and he achieved numerous wins and championships,
including Reserve British National Champion Gelding and, on the ridden
circuit, winning the Ridden Arabian Horse of the Year championship when
he was just seven years old.
Silvern Aurab was born a flashy, refined chestnut with bold, white markings,
including some superb stockings. His cheeky nature and show-off attitude
made him Jean's firm favourite and Paslow Hall enjoyed showing him as
a youngster with great success. The cross of Silvern Sceptre with Silver
Aura was to be repeated another four times.
Jean and Dave's reluctant move back the US in the 1990s saw them seeking
the best possible home for their successful young stud and Anne Brown
of Gadebrook Arabians near Peterborough was able to take on the majority
of the Pecks' horses. Having seen what a good match Aura and Sceptre made,
Anne bred three more full siblings to join Silvern Aurab and the pretty
grey filly Silvern Aurena, bred by Dave and Jean before they returned
to the States.
The first sibling at Gadebrook was the elegant grey Silver
Aria (1997), a filly that was stunning and feminine from the very beginning
and has grown into a beautiful mare and is now competing successfully
under saddle. The second foal was Bright Sceptre, who has grown into an
impresssive 15.3hh ridden horse in the hands of his new owner Sarah Hare.
1999 saw the arrival of Aurran, a tall and elegant chestnut gelding, now
owned by Robyn Haspinaell who has ventured into the ridden ring this year,
winning on their very first outing.
It is interesting to note that the fillies from the Silvern Sceptre/Silver
Aura cross took on an incredible likeness to the closely linebred Silver
lines whereas the colts were bright chestnut with flashy white markings
and certainly took their colour and type from their maternal grandsire,
In 1996, Sceptre had a bumper foal crop, with 10 registered foals in total.
For Paslow Hall, perseverance and patience had paid off and they were
gifted with their first foal from Crystal Sheen, the grey filly Silvern
Sheena, who was retained by Dave and Jean. Having been used to Sceptre's
beautiful babies, the tall, plain and slightly awkward-looking Sheena
raised more then a few eyebrows, but Jean recalls Iona's conviction that
Sheena was a typical Silver mare and so would take time.
Sheena was part of the Paslow group that went to Gadebrook as a foal at
foot, along with Silvern Aurena who was born the same year. But when Sheena
later made the journey back to Essex with Aurena she proved to be a difficult
filly to settle. Jean and Dave looked for a new home for Sheena and Alicia
Quispe-Flores collected her as a two year old. Sheena has taken some 10
years to mature into the ethereal and exquisite mare that she is today
and she has proved to be the most successful Sceptre daughter to date.
Ridden and produced by Emily Cooper, Sheena has successfully competed
under saddle for the past two years, qualifying and being placed at the
Horse of the Year Show in her novice year.
Alongside Risalm, Sheena gave a foot perfect display of dressage to music
at last year's Crabbet Show, as well as going on to win her class, take
the Reserve Senior Female In-hand title and as well as the reserve Overall
In-hand Championships. Sheena has already qualified for HOYS this year.
Sheena has produced one foal to date, Silvern Risheen by Brede Gitano,
a very capable grey gelding reminiscent of his dam. He resides on the
outskirts of the Dartmoor National Park and is just starting his eventing
career with owner Caroline Brimblecombe.
More foals from the 1996 crops include Mary O'Rourke's grey colt Silvern
Chancellor (ex Dezehra) and the chestnut colt Samdarrah (ex Samirah),
who sadly died. Pat Levett's bay Silver Flame daughter Mahrussa produced
the filly Mil Gracias, who inherited the beauty and exceptional movement
of both her parents, but took her bay colouring from her Polish great-grandsire
Mil Gracias has been extremely successful in-hand and is now ridden at
home. Mil Gracias' part owner, the late Jackie Howe, had won a nomination
to Imad and when the filly was mature enough, the breeding took place.
The resulting colt was exceptional with a winning personality, but was
tragically lost at just three months old with a broken leg from a kick.
It is hoped that Mil Gracias will be rebred in the future to continue
her treasured lines.
A granddaughter of King Cotton Gold, Getana (by General Gold) had been
acquired by Iona and Paslow Hall and produced the grey colt Silvern Warrior.
Sadly Getana was later lost after severe laminitis and another General
Gold daughter acquired by the partnership was Silver Sylph, who produced
possibly Sceptre's most look-alike son in respect of early colour and
flamboyance: Silvern Spirit, who was purchased by Gina Hunt and became
the foundation and namesake for her stud, Spirit Arabians. Silvern Spirit
was very successful in-hand and was always highly placed while Silver
Sylph went to Gadebrook Stud and in 1997, gifted Anne with the chestnut
filly Golden Sylph ("Poppy").
The chestnut colt Silvern Simba was produced from the straight Crabbet
mare Shadowed Gold (St John x Magic's Moonshadow) and the mare was later
leased to Gina and bred to Silvern Spirit. Before the arrival of what
was to become his only foal, Silvern Spirit was lost following a horrific
road accident on the way to a show and his son, Ibn Spirit the posthumous
legacy of this wonderful Sceptre son.
Templars Arabian Stud bred their Achim's Silver Magic daughter, Templars
Magic Pearl, to Sceptre, producing for them the exuberant chestnut filly
Templars Cultured Pearl. She has been retained by them to be backed and
bred from in their Crabbet/Old English breeding programme.
In 1997, Anne had leased the exceptional Bint Ludoet daughter Crystal
Lazuli (by Crystal Magician) from Eileen Maes-Jones. She was bred to Sceptre
and produced the dramatic liver chestnut colt Crystal Magic. Following
the loss of Silvern Spirit, Gina was quick to acquire this refined and
striking colt from Anne and he has been hugely successful for Gina, claiming
many Crabbet class wins around the UK as well as being placed in the top
three two years running at the UKIAHS in the liberty class, as well as
being a Silver Medal winner in his halter class; no mean feat for a 100%
Old English stallion in this day and age.
Although with relatively few foals on the ground at present, Crystal Magic
looks set to be one of the few Sceptre offspring with the opportunity
to breed on in high numbers. He currently has six foals, the majority
of which are high percentage Crabbet, but is yet to be bred to a 100%
Old English mare. His first foal was bred from Anne Brown's Persimmon
daughter, Kumasha. The result was a free moving and elegant bay filly,
Kalish (born 2004), who herself now has a colt by Anne's multi race-winning
In 2005, Crystal Magic produced for Gina a grey colt, SA Crystal Spirit
(ex Rossiah by Mustaphah), who was purchased by Robyn Haspineall, owner
of Aurran. Now gelded, he has been lightly, yet successfully shown, and
the intention is for him to become a future ridden horse. Rossiah was
again covered by Crystal Magic, producing a colt, SA Sacred Spirit, in
2006. He has been retained by Gina and her partner Alan and is set to
stand alongside his sire in the future. Deep bay in colour, he has taken
on a lot of his sire's likeness. Rossiah is due again this year to Crystal
Magic, with the newly-acquired Zayyaanah (Saamer x AK Zayaadah) also due
to Crystal Magic.
In 2007 SA Eternal Spirit, a chestnut colt with attitude to burn, was
born out of the Hejaz daughter, Nahema. As a yearling, he was first and
Reserve Junior Male Champion on his only outing to date and it is likely
that he will also be retained by Gina. This pairing of Crystal Magic and
Nahema has been repeated and it is hoped that Nahema will produce a full
sibling in 2009.
Silvern Sceptre himself resided with Anne from late 1996 so that he could
breed on. It was already known that Sceptre had a cancerous tumour, which
had earlier been misdiagnosed as a dental cyst. The tumour was located
between Sceptre's eye and ear and even as the tumour grew and threatened
to overshadow his extraordinarily beautiful face, it never claimed this
amazing stallion's stunning looks or temperament.
In 1999, the only other foal born apart from Aurran was Silver Spectre,
out of Anne's mare, G Spot On by the World Champion, Ibn Estopa. Spectre
was a fitting tribute to his father: grey, flashy and flamboyant, he was
named so closely to his sire being the most look-alike Sceptre son that
Anne had bred to date.
In the same year, Sceptre sadly started to show signs of his illness and
so only covered one mare, Gina's Aswan* granddaughter, Nazima. A wonderful
blend of old-fashioned English and Russian lines, it was admirable that
Silvern Sceptre got the then 19-year-old maiden mare in foal. The filly
Graceful Spirit would become Nazima's first and Sceptre's last foal; she
now resides with Kerry Lloyd in Wales.
With Sceptre entrusted to Anne, it was she who had to
make the heart-wrenching decision in late 1999 that Sceptre's quality
of life was affected and so this magnificent, kind and genuine stallion
was laid to rest before he began to suffer greatly. At just 10 years old,
Sceptre passed away from our world surrounded by those that loved and
admired him. He had been lucky enough to be cherished throughout his lifetime
and treated as a true king. He lays at rest in the green fields at Gadebrook,
hopefully still doing what he loved best - watching the mares and overseeing
the young foals as they play and frolic in the fields.
In his short lifetime Silvern Sceptre sired 31 progeny over eight years.
One died at birth and of the 30 that survived, 13 were fillies and 18
were colts. Silvern Sceptre left a huge hole in the lives of those that
loved him and he is still sorely missed. He has left a legacy that should
have been realised in his own lifetime had he not departed at such a young
age. It is now through his offspring and their offspring in turn that
Silvern Sceptre will continue to leave his unique mark on the Arabian
Our life with Silvern Sceptre
By Dave and Jean Peck
We first saw Silvern Sceptre when we visited the Rutland Stud on a springtime
visit with the Norfolk and Suffolk Regional Group in 1989. He had already
been Reserve Champion Foal at the British Nationals and had grown into
the most gorgeous yearling colt with a beautiful head, correct conformation
and a stunning, light, elevated trot. We also saw his magnificent sire,
Silvern Idyll, and his lovely dam Silver Circlet, whom he closely resembled.
We both thought that Sceptre would be the perfect start for our fledgling
stud. Sceptre went on to win at many of the big shows in 1990, including
his yearling class at the British Nationals and he then came to us at
Paslow Hall after the UKIAHS at Towerlands.
Sceptre was always a kind and gentle colt and he quickly settled into
the relaxed way of life at Paslow Hall. Turned out in his own leafy paddock
every day and living happily in the internal stabling we had, he was always
relaxed and contented and was easily handled by the young girls who helped
out. He continued his winning ways in the show-ring with me at the end
of the lead and we also proceeded to lightly work him in preparation for
a future ridden career.
Our treasured friendship and partnership with Iona and her Chedglow Stud
and her decision to lease us three treasured mares, Silver Aura, Crystal
Sheen and Crystal Nazeera proved to be a catalyst for us. Dave and I will
always be indebted to Iona for her love, trust and all of her help, support
and advice over the years. Her valuable breeding mares were a major part
of the success story of Sceptre's remarkable, if short, breeding career.
While Sceptre was busy breeding all these fabulous babies, we were also
riding him and showing him successfully in-hand and under saddle; it is
a testament to his wonderful disposition that he could be bred and shown
at the same time. The stable girls rode Sceptre straight after we'd bred
him and it was a joke in the village that I would ride him to our mare
field up the road, tease the mares, hop over the gate and, with one of
the girls holding the mare, unsaddle Sceptre and cover the mare before
saddling him up and riding home again. All I can say is that Sceptre always
did the most spectacular extended trot all the way there and then came
home like a snail, but with a smile on his face!
It was so hard for us to return to the US when Sceptre's breeding career
was just taking off and now back in the UK, we are in the process of trying
to breed Sceptre's stunning daughter Silvern Moonlight to our stallion
Dervatiw Gwyddion. We both feel that it would be nice to continue the
breeding programme we started over 15 years ago and we love the bloodlines
as much as ever.
We are sure Silvern Sceptre is smiling down on us and is hoping for a
new and exciting grandchild to continue his wonderful legacy as much as
Pedigree Notes: Silvern Sceptre
By Alexia Ross
Silvern Sceptre was bred by Frances, Duchess of Rutland
and has proved one of the most influential results of her addition of
the Rosemary Archer-bred stallion Silvern Idyll to her programme. Sceptre's
pedigree was very high percentage Crabbet of 100% GSB sources and boasted
some tried and tested bloodline combinations.
Silvern Sceptre was from Crabbet's prolific "R" line, tracing
in tail female line to the original Bedouin mare Rodania Or.Ar. via the
important brood matron Razina. This makes Sceptre a Kehailan Rodan by
strain. Despite his grey colour and clear inheritance from the exquisitely
beautiful mares of Silver Fire descent, this Razina connection remains
an important part of his genetic legacy. Combinations of the double Razina
stallion Bright Shadow and mares of "Silver" type have produced
many outstanding individuals of which Silvern Sceptre is only one.
It is no accident that both Silvern Idyll and Bright Crown, sire and maternal
grandsire of Sceptre respectively, were the result of the Bright Shadow
male line crossed on mares with close up connections to Silver Fire.
The glorious 100% Crabbet stallion Silvern Idyll was by
the Bright Shadow son Masjid and out of the tall and beautiful Silvern
Dream, a mare that traced twice over to Silver Fire through the stallions
Silvadoris and Silver Vanity. Bright Crown was a direct son of Bright
Shadow while his dam traced back to the fabulous Silver Fire daughter
Silver Gilt. Silvern Dream's other influential son was by Bright Crown
- Silver Gleam, who went to South Africa.
The Bright Shadow line provides balanced, well-made bodies with good limbs,
a lovely eye and exceptional temperament. The "Silver" inheritance
passes on an unusual dry quality, the features of beauty and often the
grey colour gene. In the case of Silvern Idyll, strong lines to Indian
Gold and Oran provide extra height, scope and elegance. Both Bright Crown
and Sceptre's granddam, Argenta, supply important lines to the style and
movement of the Rissla line stallions - Mikeno, Irex and Rissalix.
We are often told there is much luck in breeding, and so there is, but
it is also true that good breeders strike lucky more often. Silvern Sceptre
was no flash in the pan. He was the result of an informed breeding programme,
combining tried and tested elements. It is no accident that he had the
genetic consistency to pass this legacy on with considerable consistency.