It’s that time of the year, my favorite time horse-wise, when you get to make breeding decisions, despite promises to yourself and others to cut down, and sometimes you even get to implement them.
So yesterday Wednesday April 20, 2017, Wadd covered Thalia CF who is 25, a good cover. She had come into heat on Monday, and that was already very good news. I am going to put her on Regumate (progesterone) so she can hold the pregnancy. So here’s to a foal, hopefully a colt this time, Thalia being such an outstanding mare that I don’t mind a colt at all, and would keep him as a stallion.
The 2014 son of my DA Ginger Moon (“Ginger”), gone to endurance rider Chris Yost (photo), is now training for the Tevis Cup 100 miles ride, and has turned into a magnificent black stallion. I had named him Kanz Al Arab, but he is now registered as DA El Moubarak BLY (“Mou”).
DA El Moubarak BLY, black 2014 stallion, Saqlawi Ibn Dirri, by Serr Serabaar out of DA Ginger Moon. Bred by Sheila Harmon, foaled by Carly Cranmore. Born a few weeks after I acquired Ginger.
My friend and former colleague Frauke Wiprich went on a trip to Syria in 2009. In Palmyra, her guide told her his cousin owned a stud of Arabian horses near Homs, and arrange for her to visit it. There, by pure coincidence, she was shown my beautiful Halima (registered as Al Tuwayssa in the Lebanese Studbook), and took these pictures. I am blessed to have them.
She was the last Lebanese Arabian mare of authentic bloodline. A daughter of Malek, out of a daughter of Radwan, out a chestnut Tuwayssah mare from the Syrian desert, most probably from a ‘Anazah tribe.
Haykal is my 2015 Ma’naqi Sbayli colt, by Monologue CF out of CSA Baroness Lady, which has one of the breed’s rarest tail female in Asil form, back to Lady Anne Blunt’s Ferida. Both parents went to preservation homes last year, but I regret letting Monologue go so early without leaving more offspring behind, in light of what he has produced.
Haykal is for sale, because I need to bring numbers down, keep the fillies (which will have more colts!), and focus on the old American lines. Of the six horses I have bred to so far in this country, he is the one with the best action and disposition. His head and tail carriage and his flying, aerial trot stood out since he was a foal, as has his joy of being alive. He was the one born prematurely, could not stand up on his own, and just as I was ready to give up on him, Sue raised him every two hours for the first three days of his life so he could nurse. Since then he has grown by leaps and bounds, and never ceased to want to remind everyone that he was present.
He would make a good riding horse, and in another era when folks were not so fixated on these disfigured faces dished in the extreme, a good show horse, too.
This video was taken last year, when was a yearling. Forgive the music, it’s just my attempt at hiding the background noises.
A Syrian friend of mine is doing painstaking, courageous and tireless under-the-radar work tracking the remaining Syrian Arabian horses, identifying them, reconciling their registration markings and imprints with the video or photo evidence, and keeping count of what’s in the hands of thugs and militia groups of all kinds and what remains in their rightful owners’ hands. He operates from a Turkish town near the Syrian border, and spends his days on social media liaising with a broader network of informants in the Jazirah (Upper Mesopotamia part of Syria), the area around Aleppo, and the the Euphrates valley.
Sometimes I am tempted to write about the details of what he does, and how he does it, because I am just so proud of him, but I won’t, for his sake and for the horses’. I will however work so he and his network of friends get the recognition they deserve. If there was a Nobel Peace prize for horses, he’d deserve it.
Many have died from starvation and neglect, some have been killed, but all hope is not lost. Some lines remain, at least for now. Some of those stolen from the farms and the studs and the backyards have survived.
Don’t you love that strong, powerful neck and broad chest. Shueyman Redjem exudes power, and is reminiscent of his sire Murad Dahman (Ahshwan x Murad Hadiya by Ourki x Hamada) whom I rode across the fields and trails of Burgundy in the summer of 2010, with Jean-Claude Rajot. I also rode his dam Shueymah Sabbah (Mokhtar x Murad Haouda by Cherif x Hamada).
This morning I received my copy of Judi Forbi’s latest book “Ansata Hejazi: Born to Rule” in the mail. It is a tribute to one of the best stallions she ever bred, Ansata Hejazi, a Dahman Shahwan. His owner Mohammad al-Marzouq showed him to me at his stud in Kuwait in 2012, along with more than a dozen of his daughters.
I wrote an article in this book upon Judi’s request, about the historical origins of the Dahman Shahwan strain. I showed how it was – by far – the oldest attested Arabian horse strain, and I traced it back to north eastern Yemen in the XIIIth century AD. I also found that Shahwan was an historical figure, a Bedouin leader from the ‘Abidah tribe who played a prominent role in supporting the military conquests of the Rasulid dynasty of Yemen between 1270 and 1290 AD.
It is original research based on evidence from three types of sources: a set of four Yemeni chronicles from Rasulid times; analyses of oral Bedouin epic folk tales, consisting of various versions of the “the epic of the Dayaghim” as recorded by Alison Lerrick in Central Arabia and Nino Van Reisen in Jordan in the 1980s, and in Lady Anne Blunt’s Journals from 1880; and historical accounts by Bedouin descendants of Shahwan and breeders of the Dahman strain as collected in the Abbas Pasha Manuscript ca. 1853.
The article, which is in Chapter VII of the book, also features my new translations of poetry attributed to Shahwan and some portions of the legend of ‘Arar ibn Shahwan from the Epic of the Dayaghim that appear in the Abbas Pasha manuscripts (an audio recording was recently made of this latter piece, look for it here).
March 28 2017 update: he has found a home. More later.
Reposting from Aug 2016:
I am putting Wadd, my 5 year old Davenport stallion, up for sale. He is the youngest offspring of the grand Triermain CF, out of Wisteria CF, one of the prettiest Triermain daughters and a favorite of Charles Craver.
He is a Kuhaylan Haifi by strain, bred within the strain for four generations. His sire was the main Kuhaylan Haifi stallion at Craver Farms in the last period of its activity, as was the sire of his sire before him.
He would be best used to perpetuate his breed, preferably within the asil group of horses, including the Davenports, Saud, straight Syrians, North African, Bahraini, Sharps, and other Arabian horses lines that came directly from the Arabian and Syrian deserts. He sired one offspring for me, a filly now two months old, and is an easy breeder. He has a curious and playful disposition. He leads easily but is not broken to ride.
For readers from the Arab world where these things matter, almost every one of his ancestors came from the desert with a certificate of authenticity (hujjah) from its Bedouin breeder or owner. He is from the best blood of the Northern Arabian desert.
He is bred very tightly within a closed group for the past 110 years, tracing exclusively to famous horses directly imported from the Arabian desert in 1906. For instance, he has 243 crosses to *Urfah, the war mare of al-Awaji, a senior sheykh of the ‘Anazah Bedouins; 140 crosses to *Wadduda, the war mare of Ibn Mhayd, one of the leaders of the Anazah Bedouins; and 59 crosses to *Abeyah, the war mare of Mit’ab al-Hadb, the Shammar military commander at the time.
I saw this stallion last summer at the farm of Dawn Woods in Parker, CO. He was bred by Mary Gills from horses tracing to the program of Fred Mimmack. Fred was asking me about this horse, and at the time I did not appreciate enough the combination of power and refinement he exudes. The muzzle is small, the eye placement low, and the eye big and expressive.
This blog is maintained by Edouard al-Dahdah, a breeder and lover of Desert Arabian Horses, and otherwise a Senior Economist at the World Bank in Washington, DC, and as of June 2013, in Cairo, Egypt. It seeks to share a passion, of course, but also to raise awareness about desert Arabian horses, their homeland and their heritage. Keep reading and I will keep posting.