Edna Frances Draper
Edna Draper has been awarded the first posthumous Equus Award for her introduction and promotion of the Arabian breed in Sonoma County and across the United States.
Edna had the typical young girl's love for horses. Due to an early injury to her back, Edna never actually rode, but she was an expert handler. She competed in halter classes, and knew champions when she saw them. Edna's horses were so well trained that her stallions could be led by just their manes wrapped around their necks.
Edna lived in Northern California for sixty-five years, and in Sonoma County for thirty-three years. Edna and her husband Jim imported the first purebred Arabian horses from Spain in 1932, which were the foundation for the famous Jedel Arabian Horse Ranch. The first horses arrived in California by boat. Because Edna and Jim did not have a horse trailer, they led the horses by hand outside their station wagon to the ranch. Over the years, Edna developed a pure and high performing line of true desert-breed Arabian horse. At one time, she had the largest Arabian horse ranch in California. Edna's Arabians produced many champions including the first National Champion Stallion, Mujahid, and the first National Champion Mare, Surita. Edna won eleven Legion of Merits. To this day, winning Arabians in both the US and Canada trace their lines to Draper breeding. Edna's horses have been used in films such as "Beau Guest," and "Suez." Wayne Newton's purchased his first Arabian, SuraJoy, from Edna.
In 1982, a large gathering of Arabian breeders honored Edna's contribution to the Arabian line, and President Reagan sent a telegram to the celebration congratulating Edna on her success.
Edna Draper passed away in 1996, in Windsor, Ca at the age of eighty-nine. She is survived by her sons Ted, Jim, and EJ, and daughter, Edna Lee, who all live in northern California.