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In 1976 the Rochester family purchased their first Arabian Horse at auction. It did not take long for Richard and Sarah Rochester's love of the Arabian horse and its legacy to take on a larger role in their life. Fascinated with the history of the Arabian horse and specifically the stallion Azraff the Rochester's founded Pajarito Arabians, Inc. the same year. Mentored by Duane and Laurie Leach of Barnstable Arabians in Texas, Richard and Sarah purchased two more mares to start their Azraff/Ferzon based breeding program. Both of these mares were granddaughters of the great stallion Azraff.

Azraff was born June 4, 1949. During his breeding career, Azraff sired 500 foals, which consisted of 55% fillies, 10% geldings, and 35% that remained stallions.
Azraff was the son of *Raffles by *Skowronek out of the Polish mare *Azja IV, by the desert-bred stallion, Landsknecht, who was of the Koheilan strain that traces directly to the desert. *Azja IV was out of Asra of the Dyra 1878 family, which originated in Yugoslavia. Unfortunately this entire mare line was wiped out when the German Army invaded Poland in 1939. Fortunately, *Azja IV was exported to the United States in 1938 by Henry Babson and thus *Azja IV bloodlines continue.
The ironic twist in bloodlines is the term "Polish-bred" horses such as *Bask and *Witez II being termed as Polish. Azraff can also fit this term, as his pedigree goes directly to the Polish stud of Count Joseph of Poland and to the desert.

The goal of every breeder is to produce a horse that will improve and upgrade the next generation, and Azraff does both. He had the typey *Raffles Arabian head but was in proportion to being a larger horse in size. He had a longer length of neck, short back, and a smooth level hip and top line. He also had more length of leg, was well mannered, and thus was a well-balanced stallion. Azraff had a nice top line and clean, sound, straight legs -- traits he passed to his progeny.

They outcrossed these mares with the Ferzon son, Sir Ferzon and the resulting foals became foundational components of their breeding program.

Ferzon was bred by Frank McCoy and later sold to Daniel Gainey. Ferzon was by Ferneyn by Ferseyn, who was by the imported stallion *Raseyn. His dam, Fersara, was by the same stallion Ferseyn, and thus, Ferzon, as well as Azraff, were both inbred and direct Crabbet bred.

After Ferzon's fourth breeding season, Gainey realized what Ferzon was capable of producing. He began many discussions with Jimmy Dean, and the term "The Golden Cross" was begun. Gainey's ideal was a horse that had dry, fine bones, a small dry head with small ears, a big eye, and overall extreme refinement. He also wanted a good walk, smooth trot, and a soft gallop. He crossed the Ferzon daughters to Azraff, and the results were a good body, good legs, and a good mover. By crossing Ferzon to the Azraff daughters, the results were excellent hip and hind quarters, straight, sound legs, and a level top line.

After line breeding their mares, Pajarito Arabians, Inc. then began outcrossing. They then used the offspring to breed back to their own stallions again. The outcross produced animals of 75% Azraff/Ferzon blood and 25% outcross, thus adding strength and size, without losing type.

Richard and Sarah Rochester and Pajarito Arabians, Inc. have bred numerous horses over the years and continue to breed today holding true to their original breeding principles.

The Rochester Family
After graduating from Willamette University in 1993, Mark began his professional equestrian career by founding Rochester Show Horses, LLC. Originally, Mark predominantly showed halter horses. Not until his youth program began to grow did he make a shift to the performance division. Today, Mark's focus is almost 100% in the performance division. Competing internationally in the Western Pleasure, Hunter Pleasure and Reining divisions Mark and his amateur riders have won numerous National Titles.

In 1997 Mark married his wife Monique who at the time showed Paints and Quarter Horses. "Monique is the epitome of a horse lover", says Mark. When Mark first met Monique she was perhaps the most widely decorated amateur he had ever met. Monique had over 20 World Champion titles under her belt. She competed predominantly in the western pleasure, english pleasure as well as working hunter divisions.

Mark and Monique expanded the already successful breeding program of Pajarito Arabians to include Half-Arabians. Monique has numerous World Champion stock horses as well as warmblood mares that have been thoughtfully crossed with Arabians stallions.

Today, Monique shows exclusively in the Arabian and Half-Arabian industry. Although, all of her horses she has become the consummate fan of the Arabian and Half-Arabian horse.

Monique and Mark's Son, Chase also rides and shows successfully. However playing hockey and tennis tend to consume most of his time.

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Copyright 2012 Pajarito Arabians, Inc.
243 Camino De Rincon
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87506