“The name “Al-Marah” means “the oasis,” a pretty, green, bountiful place. Mother’s farm started in Tucson, Arizona,” Mark tells me, mentioning that the farm was named by Carl Raswan, who visited the irrigated farm in the middle of the desert and claimed “This is a real Al-Marah.”
It’s immediately clear that Mark’s mother, Ruth “Bazy” Tankersley, shared her passion for preserving the integrity of the herd of Arabian horses with her son. When I ask Mark what sparked his mother’s interest in breeding Arabian horses, Mark’s eyes light up, as he begins a fantastic tale of the trail ride that started it all. “Mother liked wide open spaces,” he tells me, so it wasn’t out-of-the-ordinary when she took off on a 50-mile trail ride on her thoroughbred, with a guide who was riding a pony.