I was born in Palos Verdes, California, in 1945. I grew up riding Thoroughbreds off the track and training them as hunter/jumpers. Linda Tellington, who owned Lothar, Darecho, and Bint Gulida, introduced me to the Desert Arabian. Linda was my trainer and I rode and showed for her as well as helping her condition and compete Gulida in her endurance campaigns.
My family moved to Washington, DC, when my Dad was invited to head the Bio Life Division of NASA in the late fifties. At that point I started doing catch riding for hunter and jumper shows.
In the early sixties we moved to Dallas, Texas, where I reconnected with my Arabian heritage by working for Margaret Kuykendal, who owned Serrim and several other Desert Arabians. Mark Mayo was her brother and I also rode and showed with him. I purchased a baby from Margaret and trained him to be a champion in 16 performance categories. I started giving riding lessons when I wasn’t teaching school, and Susar Farm was born. At various times I have had between thirty and forty horses, as many students, and we hold monthly horse shows on our farm. Since 1977 folks have come to Susar Farm to learn to show, get experience in the ring, and enjoy their horses.
My current stallion bank consists of Masada El Rabdan “Tucky” (*Tuhotmos x Masada Dahmah), a 1985 Sheykh Obeyd Foundation (SOF) non-Nazeer stallion who is a proven dressage, jumping, western, trail, and hunter winner, and also the sire of numerous Class A and Regional winners. My junior stallion is Susar El Khamor (Masada El Rabdan x Om Khamsa), a 1996 SOF non-Nazeer stallion who is winning in dressage and in-hand on the regional level. Mah Sabbah Bedu, a 2001 straight Babson Egyptian (Ibn Sabbah Bedu x Bint Roulett) is a wonderful stallion that I co-own with Keith Kosel. Sabbah is winning in dressage, has started jumping, and is being bred to Tucky’s daughters.
We have two foundation mare groups: one is Saqlawi strain and non-Nazeer (Susar Jasaada, Masada Fa Khedena) and the other is Hadban Inzahi with one slim line to Nazeer (matriarch AK Maslaha). Susar Jasaada “Sadie”, a 1990 mare (Masada El Rabdan x BDF Jamala Basara), is a regional dressage winner and a wonderful producer of lovely foals. Walter Schimanski sent Masada Fa Khedena, a 1987 mare (Fabo x Om Khamsa), to us in 2000 and she has become a wonderful riding mare as well as continuing to produce typey foals. When Khedena arrived, she had Masada Susar “Sada” (Fa Asar x Masada Fa Khedena) by her side, and Sada has grown up to be a lovely mare that is just starting her show career for coowner Elizabeth Powell. Khedena also produced Susar Fa Khedena “KD” in 2004 by Masada El Rabdan. KD is co-owned by Michele and John Helfrich, and is going to be a dressage horse as well as a broodmare.
Our Hadban Inzahi bloodline stems from the *Tuhotmos daughter AK Maslaha. Susar Sareela “Corky” (a 1996 mare by Masada El Rabdan) is a multi regional winner for her owner Keith Kosel. J Jodena (AK El Hassan x AK Maslaha) is a 1988 mare who is a dressage and teaching horse. Susar Sareela is a 1993 mare by Masada El Rabdan x J Jodena. Wartie, as she is known to her friends, is a multi regional champion and shows dressage and inhand, as well as jumping.
We have a core of students who are being taught to train and show their own horses and who are quite successful on the local, class A, and regional levels. Our goal is to produce beautiful athletes with great trainability and the ability to go forward both in performance and as breeding horses. All of our stock is performance proven and ridden and used constantly. Hopefully our students and our horses will go forward to help ensure that the Desert Arabian flourishes into future generations.
Mayo describes her relationship with Sadie: “Sadie had an ovary removed by full abdominal surgery at age 5. After a full show career – including many class A and Regional wins – and being bred for the first time at age 14, Sadie had a uterine torsion requiring emergency surgery. Afterward, tearing adhesions from the old ovary surgery necessitated another surgical procedure 30 days prior to foaling. She delivered a wonderful colt and is now back in show training. Sadie has the spirit and fire of a true Desert Arabian and she is the love of my life.”