Sharkasi — looking again

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 30th, 2015 in General

Last week I visited Mrs. Barbary at her Shams El Asil Farm outside Cairo. It was a lovely moment, and I enjoyed seeing her and her horses; I was especially struck by the stallions from the Bilal (Morafic x Mona) sire line, who have a very desert look about them, and are very correct and well built. The grey 1998 stallion SEA Halawat Zaman (SEA Shams El Asil by Sabah El Noor by Bilal, out of SEA Set El Hosn by Lokman/Ibn Adaweya) stood out, and so did his bay son and otherwise lookalike, SEA Zay El Kamar.

That said, one interesting part of the conversation was about the stallion Sharkasi; Mrs. Barbary is the custodian of the most credible story about him, a story apparently obtained first hand from one of the protagonists. I recall reading a short version of this story in an investigative report WAHO commissioned in 1976.

In essence, Mrs. Barbary told me that there was a sandy open area near the present location of the El Zahraa farm, where horse merchants from al-Sham (Syria, I asked if traders from other areas like Najd came there too, but no, these were apparently only horse traders from Syria) used to bring horses for sale to the Cairo racetracks. One of these horses was young Sharkasi, then a weanling; these same merchants used to take their horses to Alexandria in the summer, when the racing season at the Samooha racetrack was flourishing; Farghalli Pasha, a race horse enthusiast and the wealthiest cotton trader of Egypt at the time, went near the Samooha racetrack to buy future racehorses; his secretary, and his secretary’s wife (a Mrs. Nagdawi) were there too; apparently, the wife, who had nothing to do with horses or racing, was so taken with the cute little weanling that Farghalli Pasha bought him and offered him to her; she kept him at his racing stables in Cairo, but raced him in her name; he turned out to be an outstanding race horse; when Farghalli Pasha died, the horse, who was by then famous, was sold. TGB Trouncer, the Scotsman, acquired him.

I must say I found the story compelling, and more detailed than the information in the 1976 WAHO report; the addition of the information on Farghalli Pasha explains how a lady with no prior experience in racing or horses was able to enter Sharkasi in the races, and how she was able to sustain the horses’ career for several years; the addition of the information on the sandy open area in the middle of the Nile cultivation, where the Syrian horse merchant exposed their horses for sale, helps explain how this lady acquired a horse “from a desert source” (as per WAHO report), and the connection with the desert.

By the way, the story on the horse coming from Upper Egypt does not match the part in the WAHO report about acquiring the horse from a desert source. Upper Egypt is not the desert. It’s Upper Egypt (al-Saeed). When the desert is mentioned in horse milieus in Egypt, they mean the Arabian desert.

I now need to look up that Ferghalli Pasha.

 

Farghalli Pasha

 

 

King Ibn Saud visit to Egypt in 1946

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 20th, 2015 in General

A photo of Saudi Arabian King Abd al-Aziz Ibn Saud with King Faruk during the former’s official visit to Egypt in 1946. Taken on board of the train from Suez to Cairo (King Ibn Saud had come to Egypt by sea from Jeddah to Suez). The year before, several Saudi desert mares had been presented to King Faruk.

In my opinion, the best Egyptian mare of the 1970s

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 19th, 2015 in Egypt

This is Kalthoom (Farazdac x Nahed by Sid Abouhom x Zaafarana by Balance), tail female to Ghazieh through Radia, a mare born in 1974 at the EAO. Talk about a racing pedigree, and an athletic conformation that reflects it. Not a flattering photo, as she sticks her tongue out, but what a mare! I specifically love the black skin from the eyes all the way down to the muzzle. It is a mark of asalah/authenticity, for the Bedouins at least.

Dandashi photos: 3

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 18th, 2015 in General

Courtesy of Mukarram al-Dandashi

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Arabian horse preservation 1,400 years ago

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 17th, 2015 in General

A verse from pre-islamic [Bedouin] Arabian poet Tufail b. ‘Awf al-Ghanawi (died ca. 610), know as Tufail al-Khail [Tufail of the horses] for the emphasis on horses in his poetry, from Abu Ubaida’s “Book of Horses” [translation mine]:

Horses the likes of wolves, so well-protected, for they are the pick of what’s left of [the bloodlines] of al-Ghurab and Mudh-hab

Al-Ghurab and Mudh-had are two famous steeds from these ancient times. Their offspring had become rare, at least within Tufail’s tribe, and they were treasured and well-guarded for that reason. 

Anyone knows a good pedigree software or app?

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 16th, 2015 in General

I am looking for a template with placeholders for the names of the parents, the grandparents, the great-grandparents, etc. which can be printed later. I am tired of doing all that stuff by hand.

Dandashi photos: 2

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 16th, 2015 in General

Another beautiful photo from the Dandashi landlords of Tall Kalakh, those master breeders of Asil Arabian horses; they were the equivalent of the Tahawis in Syria, really. Photo courtesy of Mukarram Abd al-Karim Othman al-Dandashi.

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Ahl Misr Zamaan

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 16th, 2015 in Egypt

If you are on Facebook, I really recommend this page of wonderful old photos of Egypt in the XIXth and early century.

https://www.facebook.com/Ahl.Misr.Zamaaan?fref=nf

Mamluk bit

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 16th, 2015 in General

A specimen from the collection of Muhammad Saoud al-Tahawi, who is looking for a catalog of Mamluk bits, if you know which Museum has published one.

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Lady Anne Blunt’s purchasing criteria

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 3rd, 2015 in General

You get a window into Lady Anne Blunt’s selection criteria when purchasing new horses when reading this passage of her Journals, March 15, 1887:

“He [Zeyd, who was sent on a purchasing trip in the desert] is to be very particular about plenty of bone, height of wither, length, of course everything else perfect and origin mazbut.

Everything else perfect, but three points stand out in this concise statement. Where is the bone, and where are the high withers today? Check the withers of DA Ginger Moon, my Saqlawiyah Jadraniyah (back to Basilisk) of overwhelmingly Blunt/Crabbet lines.

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Dandashi photos 1

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 2nd, 2015 in General

Mukarram al-Dandashi, grandson of Abd al-Karim Osman al-Dandashi, one of most prominent leaders of the Dandashi clan of Tell Kalakh — the breeders of the best horses in Syria and Lebanon historically — sent a number of historical photos of his family on horses, which I will publish in his name. A whole book could be written about the Dandashis and Arabian horses. Barazi barely scratched the surface in his book.

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Sharing Matthias Oster’s message of peace to Muslims

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 2nd, 2015 in General

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Mysterious Dahma Shahwan mares in Lady Anne’s Journals

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on February 26th, 2015 in General

February 8, 1882:

“I had a visit from Zeyd of Kasim. He was riding a fleabitten Dahmeh Shahwan, a fine mare with good hocks. He said she belonged to a certain Aga, she came from Ali Pasha Sherif from Abbas Pasha’s horses, is six years old. The Aga is afraid to ride her, she jumps and shies and he asked Zeyd to ride and teach her — break her in, in fact. Her head is remarkably good and she seems good tempered. I like her looks.”

Who could that 1876 mare be? Certainly not the dam of *Shahwan, who was apparently still with Ali Pasha Sherif when Shahwan was bred (so in 1886).

What about this other one, born in 1881? March 14, 1892, at Ahmed Pasha’s:

“There is a little white Dahmeh Shahwanieh, 11 years old which they say has never had a foal and I should like to try getting her… Yanko said there had been no luck with the Pasha with that strain”.

 

Goodbye Jadiba

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on February 23rd, 2015 in General

So my beloved old Jadiba (Dib x Jabinta by Jadib) went to her retirement home on Christmas Eve 2014, thanks to Monica Respet’s help and friendship. She was the Christmas gift for a family with small children. I wish her well. My only regret is not to have been able to breed a replacement daughter. I will always regret that September 2011 failed AI breeding attempt to a stallion born in 1979. The semen was dead when it reached the mare, and she never cycled after that.

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Wadd growing

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on February 23rd, 2015 in General

A photo of my 2011 Wadd Al Arab (Triermain CF x Wisteria CF) from about a year ago. I like the way he is turning out, especially the broad forehead, the small pricked ears, the small muzzle, the good shoulder, the distinct withers, the short back, and the balance in general. I hope to breed him this year or next. Earlier photos at 3.5 months here.

Wadd and Nancy March 22, 2014

Kazmeen photo at Cairo Agriculture Museum

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on February 22nd, 2015 in Egypt

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RAS Mare at Cario Agriculture Museum

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on February 22nd, 2015 in Egypt

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Unidentified early RAS stallion at Cairo Museum of Agriculture

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on February 22nd, 2015 in Egypt

This framed photo from the Cairo Museum of Agricultural Museum was not labeled, and was hanging too high on the wall. I could not identify it.

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Muhammad Sadyk Pasha, owner of *Shahwan

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on February 19th, 2015 in Egypt

The splendid Arabian stallion Shahwan, purchased by Lady Anne and Wilfrid Blunt in 1892, was foaled in the possession of Muhammad Sadyk Pasha, who was given his dam in foal by Ali Pasha Sharif. He is the maternal grandsire of Ibn Yashmak, through whom he finds his way into modern Egyptian pedigrees.

I found the trace of Muhammad Sadyk Pasha (1832-1902). He was a senior military official — a Lewa, just like Ibrahim Khairi Pasha, owner of Badaouia –, a geographer, an explorer, and a military engineer, graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique of Paris, as well as the president of the Egyptian Geopraphic Society in his later days. He undertook four journeys to Hijaz and Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, which he described in great detail in a book, “al-Rahalat al-Hijaziyah”, translated as “Journeys to Hijaz”. He was reportedly the first person to take photos of the two holy cities, which appeared in Oriental and Western publications. Muhammad Sadyk Pasha was the treasurer of the Pilgrimage (Hajj) caravan on two journeys. Click on this superb Biritish Museum link for a more complete bio, a photo of him, and a selection of his wonderful photographs. Saudi Aramco also has an article about him.

Ibn Rabdan from Agriculture Museum

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on February 11th, 2015 in Egypt

Another photo from the same source, this one has already been published before. [Update: it was published in Lady Wentworth’s Authentic Arabia Horse, courtesy of the Egypt RAS]

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Bint Radia photo

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on February 9th, 2015 in Egypt

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This is Bint Radia (Mabrouk Manial x Radia), also from the Agriculture Museum. This photo I have seen in a book before, just don’t ask me where.

 

 

Rare photo of RAS stallion Kheir

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on February 8th, 2015 in Egypt

Photo of Khair (Ibn Samhan x Badaouia) also from the Agricultural Museum. Has anyone seen this one before? Is it in RAS Volume 1?

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Rare photo of RAS stallion Mansour

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on February 8th, 2015 in Egypt

Last spring, my wife, who by now knows Cairo’s cultural gems well, took us to the Agriculture Museum, housed in the palace of Fatma, daughter of the Khedive Ismail, in the Doqqi neighborhood. You can click on the links to learn more about the museum and its treasures; here my objective is to share with you this wonderful photo of the RAS stallion Mansour (Gamil Manial x Nafaa Al Saghira), the sire of Nazeer, Sheikh el Arab, Bint Farida, Roda and others, hanging on the wall of a museum room entirely dedicated to RAS photos.I may be wrong but I don’t think this photo (my photo of the framed photo) has been ever published before.

You can see the Prince Mohamed Ali blood in the photo (especially Dalal, Mansour’s grand-dam), and you can see why Nazeer and *Roda looked the way they did.

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Terina, 1911 Hadbat Enzahi of Davenport lines

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on February 5th, 2015 in General

What a balanced, well-built, harmonious desert-looking mare. You can see the influence of both *Hamrah and *Haleb on her. She was by *Hamrah out of *Meleky (*Haleb x *Hadba). Does anyone know where this look can be found in today’s Davenports?

Terina

My Ma’naqiyah

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on February 5th, 2015 in General

That’s a recent shot Darlene Summers took of my CSA Baroness Lady (Sab El Dine x Takelma Rosanna by Prince Charmming), a 1999 Ma’naqiyah Sbayliyah of overwhelmingly Egyptian lines, with 6 generations of Egyptian sires on top of the old Crabbet female line. She is in foal to Monologue CF, a stallion of Davenport lines, due in August 2015.

She is one of six asil younger (17 years old and less) mares of that Ma’naqi Sbaili line in existence in North America. Her sister and a maternal cousin of hers are with Jacquie Glasscoe Choate in Texas, and three other mares, all daughters and grand-daughters of this mare, can be last traced to Janice Park’s South Springs (SS) program, which line-breeds to El Reata Juan (Julyan X Mist Aana by Hallany Mistanny), and produces mostly blacks.

She will need to go to a good preservation home, to make space for the new foals coming in the summer. If you know someone who is interested, let me know.

CSA Baroness Lady (2)