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By Steve Tillotson, 1996

It was quite by chance that I happened upon Marahue Kennels. I can't quite recall what caught my eye, possibly the foundation bitch's name "Sheba Of Rebel Hill" as only a few from this kennel appear in USA pedigree history. Or it may have been that I came across the kennel when exploring Turkuman Nissims Laurel. In any event, once I had discovered Marahue, I was absorbed for several days and traced the kennel through to its expiry and beyond. The first thing that caught my eye was the breeders convention of starting the first litter with the letter A then naming all subsequent litters in alphabetic order. Further, it soon become apparent that the breeding program involved mating one generation back to the previous, eg the C litter being the product of A and B litter parents. Further, this breeding system extended some 17 years, thus a closed gene pool existing for an extended period.

The name of the breeder is Mary Alice Beaston. I have no further details but believe the kennel was located on the west coast side of the USA, and towards the end of the Marahue era there were breeding connections with a Tajmir (Bhijupiter) kennel, also Belden Afghans and Shirley Ter Veen of Ter Veen Afghans. I traced the lines into the mid 1970's via Durani Afghans etc where they eventually became diluted.

Marahue Afghans started in 1950 when Mary Beaston mated her Sheba of Rebel Hill to Oakvardon Charon to produce the "A" litter. This is an interesting pedigree because the sire side is very short (only 5 generations etc), and involves the imported Umberto (India) lines as well as the Oakvardon lines which are based on UK imports and the original US foundation lines. The dam lines are longer, going back over 10 generations, but are extremely complimentary. Here's the pedigree of the first Marahue ("A") litter:

Parents Grandparents Great-Grandparents Great-Great-Grandparents
Am Ch Oakvardon Charon Am Ch Umberto Amanullah Parent Not Recorded
Parent Not Recorded
Sheila Beg Khan Baber
Dakkas Delight
Sita of Oakvardon Am Ch Garrymhor Kishtwar Tash Garift of Pushtikuh
Roshanara El Kabul
Morgiana of Kanadhar Am Ch Tufan of Ainsdart
Isis of Kandahar
Sheba of Rebel Hill Am Ch Simba of Chaman of Penn Ivy Ch Int Garrymhor Faiz-Bu-Hassid Ardmor Anthony
Ch Garrymhor Souriya
Manda of Chaman (late Keschang of Pushtikuh) Parent Not Recorded
Rasti of Istalif
Jata of Arken Am Ch Rajah of Arken Am Ch Garrymhor Zaberdast of Arken
Ku Mari Khyaam of Arken
Jisnah of Arken Am Ch Garrymhor Zaberdast of Arken
Babil of Kandahar

Even before we get into the Maharue pedigree my eyes are taken to Ainsdart Afghans. As you know, the Ainsdart litter brothers Badshah and Tufan were both exported from the UK to the US, Badshah going to the Prides Hill kennel on the East Coast and Tufan going to Kandahar Kennels in Santa Fe, New Mexico - worlds apart in the early 1930's. Look at Morgiana of Kandahar in the sire side of the above pedigree - a mating of a Badshah daughter (Isis) to Badshah's brother (Tufan). In the next generation - Sita of Oakvardon, third generation you will find Rani of Ainsdart (who remained in UK). Thus in this very early US pedigree two litter brothrs and litter siters from Ainsdart! A quick glance at the dam side of the pedigree soon reveals how complimentary these lines are to the sires side of the pedigree. In one sense its inevitable because there were so few Afghans and lines to breed from, but historically, for many years, kennels in the east bred to Badshah/Westmill Omar/Asra of Ghazni interplayed lines, whereas the west bred to Tufan and imports from India. Thats another story, lets get back on track.

The next pedigree tells the entire story of Marahue kennels from start to finish and spaning the period 1950 to 1967. A significant event was the "B" litter as this involved a mating of the exciting UK import and Westminster winner - Am Ch Turkuman Nissim's Laurel with Arabella of Marahue. This looks to be an "inspired" breeding on the part of Mary Beaston because Nissims lines are so complimentary to the three foundation US imports as above. Lets look at this final pedigree and then discuss if further:

Parents Grandparents Great-Grandparents Great-Great-Grandparents
Quester of Marahue Jhupiter Chloris of Marahue Am Ch Tajmir Bhijupiter Am Ch Karli Ben Ghazi
Am Ch Crown Crest Khittiku
Chloris of Marahue Ahmed of Marahue
Bibi Khanum of Marahue
Flora of Marahue Charon of Marahue Ahmed of Marahue
Bibi Khanum of Marahue
Bobolina of Marahue Am Ch Turkuman Nissim's Laurel
Arabella of Marahue
Scheherezade of Marahue Laurel of Marahue Bahatur Ibn Laurel of Marahue Am Ch Turkuman Nissim's Laurel
Arabella of Marahue
Fazia of Marahue Charon of Marahue
Bobolina of Marahue
Mahratta of Marahue Jason of Marahue Charon of Marahue
Endymion of Marahue
Flora of Marahue Charon of Marahue
Bobolina of Marahue

Recalling that the litters were registered in alphabetic sequence, its easy to follow the breeding sequence. B = Nissim/A Litter, C = A/B, D = A/B, E = A/B (three repeat matings), F = C/B, G and H litters I have no information, I = A/B (another repeat of C/D/E litters). I think by now we can conclude that Turkuman Nissims Laurel was a favourite line/type for Mary Beaston. J = C/E (sire/dam different litters but still a brother/sister mating, highly inbred line now), K I have no information, L = B/F (reduction in inbreeding level, but still high), M = J/F (breeding back up very high, equivalent to brother/sister), N litter, (not in this pedigree, return to this later), O and P litters no information to hand, Q litter the one and only outcross, but even then the level of inbreeding is equivalent to good linebreeding levels. The Q litter is sired by a dog carrying the Marahue affix but in fact the sire (Jhupiter Chloris of Marahue) was bred by Shirley Ter Veen and owned by Mary Beaston of Marahue. R litter I have no information on, S = L/M, back up to high inbreeding levels again, and finally T litter out of Q/S, whelped in December 1967, and despite the outcross mentioned above, is as highly inbred on Marahue lines as the S litter.

Its very interesting to note that after 20 litters, the penultimate breeding (S litter), traces back on a closed stud basis to the foundation mating of Oakvardon Charon x Sheba Of Rebel Hill and the pivotal breeding with Turkuman Nissim's Laurel. I would love to see some photographs of these Marahue Afghans if anybody out there has photographs.

After the final litter of December 1967 I find no further records of Mary Beaston and Marahue breeding. Interestingly, Belden Advance was mated with three different Marahue Afghans (Ino, Narriman, Mahratta) in 1965,6,7 respectively. I have further traced the (now diluting) lines via Ter Veens and Durani kennels into the mid 1970's.

I have found a few other kennels of this period with similarly close breeding programs. Thus far, Marahue is perhaps one of the closest, but further research is required. Today the majority of USA pedigrees contain Shirkhan Of Grandeur who was born in 1954 and was at stud for ten years or so between 1957-1967. With some irony, perhaps, whilst majoring on the important Grandeur stud dog - Turkuman Nissims Laurel, Marahue remained mainly devoid of Shirkhan of Grandeur blood, and this is quite uncommon. I'm sure there's a story out there about Mary Alice Beaston and the Marahue Afghans - if you know anything kindly let us know.

Steve Tillotson 1996

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