A Life with Horses. A Life of Passion.
An obsession that began as a young girl paved the way for a rich, layered lifetime with the Arabian horse.
When asked how it began, Shawn Crews will likely tell you the story of the worn pages in the H (for “Horse”) book of her childhood Encyclopedia Britanica set. She devoured the images and descriptions under the section devoted to horses… especially those with the color bay.
As fate would have it, Shawn’s father worked for a printing company, Word Inc., in Waco, Texas. It just happened to be owned by longtime breeder, Jarrell McCracken, on the backside of his Arabian horse farm, Bentwood Farm. The first time Shawn met *Ibn Moniet El Nefous on one of her visits with her father, Shawn was hooked, and wheels were set in motion that would later define her life’s unique path.
An employment transfer took Shawn and her family to Southern California where Shawn finished high school. Shortly thereafter, she returned to work full time at Bentwood under the mentorship of David Gardner, the farm’s larger-than-life manager. Housing four hundred horses or more at any given time, Bentwood had now become the largest Arabian horse breeding program in the world, and was positioned as an important leader in the industry. To many, it was considered an indomitable force due to Jarrell’s passion, David’s brilliance, and the sheer numbers of the powerful program.
Shawn was dazzled by three mares in particular: *Magidaa, *Deenaa and *Nabilahhh. At Bentwood, her life changed forever. To have a mentor the likes of David Gardner in this business was a gift. Shawn sponged off his knowledge continuously. In fact, she has remained close to David and his wife, Marion, since 1977.
After her influential chapter at Bentwood came the one that would most largely define her legacy: Arabians Ltd for owners Jim and Judy Sirbasku. Over the course of several decades – even amidst of the industry’s evolving up’s and down’s – Arabians Ltd remained one of the most innovative and successful outreach programs in the history of the Arabian breed.
With the closing of her chapter with Arabians Ltd, Shawn finds herself reflective, abounding in gratitude and a desire to give back. Having traveled to nearly every corner of the earth looking at Arabian horses, she is realizing that the people and the horses have somehow melded as one.
This next life chapter is perhaps the most exciting one yet, as it is fueled by the desire to honor the people who have honored her; to show up for people in the same way others have shown up for her; to guide people in what is needed for the goal to be reached. Along the way, she will market a few horses, and continue her role as a consultant. But mostly, the chapter is guided by trust – a blind faith sourced in giving back and paying forward, just as she has enjoyed thus far.
… Because the journey is about leaving the world better than you found it.
And that’s what Shawn intends to do.