A ray of hope for the Turfa horses

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on May 22nd, 2011 in General

Wendy Clark has taken up the torch on the preservation of the American asil Arabian horses that trace in tail female to the outstanding *Turfa, a Kuhaylat al-‘Ajuz from the stables of Saudi Arabia’s King ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Aal Saud, and imported to the USA in 1941 by Henri Babson.These tail female *Turfa’s and other precious asil Arabians with lines to this mare are now critically endangered, after having been very popular with many breeders up to the 1980s.

Recently, Wendy obtained the 1995 mare Bint Ibn Hilweh (Ibn Muhandis x Alah Al Abayyah), a tail female *Turfa, and added her to her *Turfa preservation breeding program. The mare seems to have been neglected by her previous owners, and is now recovering slowly at Wendy’s. The photo below is from before that time, when she was still with her breeder Susan Whitman. I first saw this photo on Susan’s website ten years ago, and this was one of two of my favorite mares.


13 Responses to “A ray of hope for the Turfa horses”

  1. Good luck, Wendy! This mare reminds me of the Babson/Turfa horses of Dr. Olms in Germany in the 1980s.

  2. Where are these horses now,Mathias?
    I rememember, there was a stud in Germany called Leuthhauser, where the late Ghalion -6 sired more foals from these mares.
    But where are they now?


  3. All right, Wendy!! Wishing you much success with these excellent lines.

  4. The more you push the rare lines, the greater the interest!

    A constant reminder creates interest. As a banker am sure you realize the need for interest.

    Any way great thanks for your interest.

  5. Thanks for the advice Jackson! We’ll all keep pushing together!

  6. Hello Laszlo,

    most of those lines may survive with small breeders or owners. There is one farm in the Saarland with Mrs Klein, El Kadir Arabians, breeding and riding the old
    lines of Dr. Olms, as he has only Straight Egyptians left and not many.
    For Leuthäusers horses I do not know anything.
    Her breeding has ended more than 15 years ago, I believe. Maybe some readers from Grmany can answer Your question?
    best regards

  7. Thank you all. I am grateful for the knowledge provided to me allowing me to be part of such an amazing history of passion ofr these wonderful horses. I am truly enamored by the horses I have seen, met, and by the truly precious documents and stories I have heard, not only, from George and others, but also from this site. I would be proud to carry the torch and pass it to my daughter for future generations to know and enjoy these very special gifts of horses. I am pleased to offer some contribution and it will become my life’s work until I no longer am here on this earth. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.” These horses have done just that everytime I have the pleasure of looking upon one and into one’s eyes.

  8. Sorry I missed this thread. I had the great pleasure of providing transportation for these horses back to Susan Whitman and brought Hilweh to The Weyr so Wendy could pick her up.

    Additionally I have my own Babson/Turfa program. My foundation herd now consists of NAHR Serr Faraad (28/1% *Turfa), Falala PW (7.8% *Turfa), Khayla GCA (10.9% *Turfa and half-sister to Falala), and DV Sweetie Pie (2.3% *Turfa). Anne and Bernie Ness very generously have given me Faraad in order to breed on their lines, Janet Wetter sent me Sweetie and her full sister, WLF Khabara to be returned in foal to Faraad. Falala is on lease from her owner for at least the next two to three years and is already in foal to BW Ibn Fadl for a 2012 spring foal. Khayla is in foal to Ibby for a late fall foal this year.

    Wendy very kindly facilitated Faraad’s journey to The Weyr by bringing him to PA so we could meet, thereby saving me a long trip to Minnesota.

    Pamela Klein
    The Weyr

  9. This is a very ignorant question on my part…however, I will ask it anyway…Why wasn’t Turfa considered a Babson horse? I LOVE the Babson and have long wanted to add some Turfa to my Babson/Davenports…Pamela is now helping me do that! I’m trying to learn more about Turfa.

  10. It’s a very legitimate question Jannelle, on the contrary.

    Babsons are Egyptians, they are the horses who descend from the 6 Arabians Babson imported from Egypt in 1932. Turfa came from Saudi Arabia to England to Canada and finally to the USA. She did not come through Egypt, as such she is not Egyptian, and they did not consider her a Babson Egyptian (Babson for short) even though she was owned by Babson.

  11. I can’t wait to see those foals Pam! As you know Faraad won my heart and he will add his substance and gentle personality to his get. I am happy to report that Hilweh is actively and regularly showing her desire to be bred LOL! She isn’t gaining as quickly as I would like but she is gaining. She appears healthy and happy and should be bred in the coming month. She already looks like a different horse. Her foal will be spectacular as planned by George. I am thrilled about what she will contribute to the program.

  12. Thank you E. Was Turfa actually imported from the desert by Babson? Obviously I have some research to do! Of course, I have to assume that “in the day”, all the horses were simply Arabians:) Labels help us ID the horses but I so often find our labels limiting.

  13. No, Babson bought her from the British, who got her from Ibn Saud as a gift.

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