Michael J. Rentfro with Dream a Prisciption

Mr. Michael J. Rentfro met Morafic

Michael J. RentfroIn front of us drove a jeep with the description on the back
At home we had a look at the homepage and were electrified reading that Mr. Michael J. Rentfro had gained experience with Straight Egyptian horses at Gleannloch Farm! I remembered that Predrag/Shams from our forum had told us about a man who had known Morafic personally. Immediately I realized that Mr J. Rentfro might be interesting for our forum because of his background regarding the Gleannloch Farm and his knowledge of riding SE-Asil-Arabians. Born in Texas he came 2000 to Germany because of his beloved wife and here he works as a freelancer: Besides starting young horses and further educating western horses another key aspect of my work is giving riding lessons. Mr. Michael J. Rentfro allowed us to interview him, which Ralf did:

How did it come that you had your first contact to horses and what brought you to the Gleannloch Farm?
I went to high school with the son of Mr. McNair, the trainer of Morafic. I could join the son to Gleannloch
Farm. Off and on I worked
Michael J. Rentfroat Gleannloch Farm between 1969 and 1977 as a groom.

How was the life on Gleannloch Farm for you and what was your experience or what did you get to know about the trading with the Straight Egyptians as diamonds?
First of all a horse is worth the price a butcher pays. It is the job of the owner to convince the prospect about a higher value. 1975 was probably the best year for Straight Egyptians at the U.S. Nationals Horse Show. A weanling of Morafic was sold for 45,000 Dollar and Morafic was insured for 2 million Dollars. And remember a Dollar was worth 3 DM at that time. The biggest event is the U.S. National Championship every year. In 1975 at the U.S. Nationals Morafic had 3 of his daughters entered in the 3 year old Mare Halter Futurity.
Shafeekah out of Magidaa 1st Tom McNair
Doriah out of Dawlat 2nd Rita McNair
Shahira out of Shiaa 3rd Michael J. Rentfro
I think no other horse breeder reached this result.

Tom McNair with Morafic - photographer unknownMorafic (Nazeer x Mabrouka), a gorgeous Saklawi Jedran stallion, was so dominant that he intimidated the jockeys in Egypt on the race track (Forbis). As Morafic came to Gleannloch Farm as the stud horse he was seen on shows. Only the trainer Tom McNair was able to teach the horse better manners. Did you see Tom McNair and Morafic together?
Only because nobody could work with Morafic MR. Marshall, the owner of Gleannloch Farm could buy him. Otherwise the EAO wouldn’t have sold him. When Morafic was taken from his box he stood on his back legs – and only on these – screaming the complete length of the barn. Morafic was that extreme to handle that in desperation to tame him they took a very very long rope and tied it around a post. On his back legs he ran and when the rope was at his end he made a somersault. They stopped this act of desperation after the third time knowing that Morafic would rather break his neck than to back down. Morafic was manageable and although extreme aggressive to mare he bred. Morafic was regal like royalty. I have never seen another horse wild or domestic that had so much presence. He knew how special he was! Morafic died at the age of 18 because of Colitis Disease and was buried in front of the bureau of the Gleannloch Farm.

Which offspring from Morafic did you prefer and were his progeny that strong and intimidating as him?
None of Morafics foals ever equaled him. The biggest star at Gleannloch Farm wasn’t a direct progeny
from Morafic but his grandson Sakr. No one was more successful than him. Already with his first foal
Nabiel he
Michael J. Rentfro with Dream a Prisciptionbecame immortal.

Which Straight Egyptian did you like most on Gleannloch Farm?
That was Faleh (Alaa el Din x Farasha) who was imported by Mr. Mashall from El Zahraa too. He was very smart but was little used for breeding. Outside Gleannloch Farm I liked Fadjur (Fadheilan x Bint Sahara) most. He had good manners. If he was bred to a mare she was brought into his box. Fadjur stood on his paddock and had a look into his box. He watched the mare and if she didn't give him a signal that she was ready to be bred by him he turned around.

What is the basis of your work with the horses?
Establish space! Allow the horse it’s space and define your space to the horse. Only by invitation should the horse enter your space. Example: The lead mare of any herd will educate the rest of the herd where her space is!

Michael J. RentfroOwner of Straight Egyptian horses often have the problem to find a trainer to break in their horse. What do you think why?
Lack of time! You need too much time to find the key to the Straight Egyptians. It only works if you find the key and you have to trick them.

You have to convince them don’t you?
No, you have to trick them. They must be sure it was their idea. You too don’t have to forget the flight instinct of these horses. The have it high gear. Further you must recognize that most of them are alpha animals.

Michael J. Rentfro and Ralf (with Gay Bar Katy)What’s the domain of the Straight Egyptians and what about riding western style?
They are able to do everything a little. They are not built for high class western riding. They come from the desert, they are able to run. Their strength is long distance.

What should the owner of a Straight Egyptian consider looking for a trainer?
Watch the reaction of the horse to the trainer.

Thank you very much Michael for spending your time for this interview.
March 2012