Another asil line from South Africa: Rosina, a Kuhaylat Rodan

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on September 10th, 2009 in Arabia, Egypt, South Africa

Some time last year, this blog featured the precious asil Kuhaylan al-Mimrah line to the mare Baraka (Ibn Manial x Gamalat) which has been flourishing in South Africa. The series of postings on Baraka and her descendents attracted a lot of attention from South Africa and Namibia, and is by far the most popular thread on this blog.

Now is the time to feature another asil line that has survived in South Africa, and which carries crosses to desert-bred lines that are extinct almost everywhere else around the globe.

That’s the line of the mare Rosina (Saoud x Ruth II by Bendigo), a 1950 Kuhaylat al-Rodan exported by H. V. Musgrave Clark to South Africa in 1953. The line is a tail female to Rodania, an 1869 desert-bred Kuhaylat Rodan imported by Lady Anne Blunt in 1881, and one of the most influential mares in Arabian (and asil) horse breeding. What’s so special about this line, will you ask? Kuhaylan al-Rodan asil horses are all over the place.

Well, first of all, the absolute majority of Rodania tail female horses are within what is known as “Straight Egyptian” breeding, a sub-set of asil breeding which has branched out into a category – and a type – of its own. Actually, “Straight Egpytian” breeding has almost completely taken over asil breeding, to the point that last year, fewer than 50 non-“Straight Egyptian” asil horses were born in the USA.

There is only a handful of asil Kuhaylan al-Rodan lines in the world that do not trace through Straight Egyptian breeding, and I will review these one at time. Rosina’s line in South Africa is one of these. Rosina’s line is all the more precious in that it traces to Rodania through Rodania’s daughter Rosemary by Jeroboam. There is only one other asil line tracing to Rodania through Rosemary, it is in the USA and it is hanging by a thread. More on this line later.

Rosemary (Jeroboam x Rodania)

Rosemary (Jeroboam x Rodania)

Now what makes Rosina’s line really interesting is that it carries crosses to two of the Courthouse desert-bred stallions: Nimr, and Atesh.

What is Courthouse? It’s the stud of H.V.Musgrave Clark, an early breeder of Arabian horses in the UK. Clark is otherwise known for being the man who sold Skowronek to Lady Wentworth, but he also bred at least three lines that he obtained from Crabbet: Belka (Rijm x Bereyda), who traces to the Blunt desert-bred import Basilisk, a Saqlawiyah Jadraniyah; Safarjal (Berk x Somra), who traces to the Blunt’s Sobha, a Hamdaniyah Simriyah of Abbas Pasha stock; and Rangha (Berk x Rabla), who traces to Rodania through Rosemary. H.V.M. Clark mainly bred these mares to three desert-bred stallions he obtained through his own connections: Fedaan, Nimr, and Atesh. How he managed to get three well-authenticated, well-bred stallions from irreprochable bloodlines and excellent marabet still boggles my mind.

Fedaan, a Saqlawi Jadran of the marbat of Ibn Zubayni, imported to the UK by HVM Clark

Fedaan, a Saqlawi Jadran of the marbat of Ibn Zubayni, imported to the UK by HVM Clark

Atesh was a desert-bred chestnut Ma’anaghi Sbayli, bred by the Gumussah section of the Sba’ah Bedouin tribe (so just like the Davenport imports *Haleb and *Gomussa, and the desert stallion Funaytil featured in an earlier post). He avoided a career as a desert war horse, only to become the charger of General Enver Pasha, the Ottoman’s Empire de facto ruler during World War I. Enver Pasha used Atesh on the Caucasus front, one of the war’s most violent (that was no small-time ghazu skirmish, really). Somehow Atesh ended up in the ownership of H.V.M Clark after the war, and sired a number of foals at Courthouse.

The trajectory of Nimr, a bay Saqlawi Jadran and Rosina’s grand-sire, was slightly less glorious, since he was only the personal horse of Mohieldin, son of the Sherif of Medina (not the Sherif of Mecca, but the two families are related). Nimr’s dam Yaz [correction, his sire, thank RJ. Edouard revision Sept 11, 2009] is somehow connected to the horses of the Imperial Ottoman stables, but I don’t remember how, and will need to re-research that. He also was acquired by Musgrave Clark, and used at Courthouse.

In South Africa, Rosina produced a daughter, Sahibi Yakouta, by Gordonville Ziyadan (Zahir x Baraka), a son of the lovely Kuhaylat al-Mimrah from Egypt, thereby bringing in South Africa’s other asil line. There seems to have some very early awareness of the asil status of these two horses. Sahibi Yakouta in turn produced Charmante Yasmina by Anchor Hill Omar, and Yasmina was bred to another Egyptian stallion (of the showring type), WD Majesty, and also produced a filly.  There seems to be further progeny, associated with more showring bloodlines. What matters is that the tail female goes on, and as Joe Ferriss, Karsten Scherling and I were discussing in Rick Synoswski’s barn, these showring lines have enough prepotency to be bred back into Bedouin type (ie, war-horse type) within one or two generations.

12 Responses to “Another asil line from South Africa: Rosina, a Kuhaylat Rodan

  1. To expand on Edouard’s last comment here about our chats in Oregon: I believe that the Asil bloodlines are very flexible and forgiving in that they can be bred for generations in one narrow direction (i.e. show ring, or non-Bedouin riding disciplines), outside the influence of the originating culture, and then they can also be returned to the type of the kinds of horses found among the originating culture as long as the breeder maintains a good understanding of what that culture values in the horse, its purposes for the horse, and keeps an open mind to the broadest possible choices. One example is modern combined source breeding in Al Khamsa, which I feel represents a great deal of liberation from bloodline constraints. I am optimistic that there are still lots of possibilities for breeders. We need to preserve all the ingredients of the ideal recipe for the Arabian horse, and by example long time breeders have done a fine job of it. But perhaps now is a good time for some of us to free ourselves from the temptation for compartmentalized thinking about asil bloodlines with the aim of producing more Waddudas, or Sindidahs or Old Speckled Jellabis.

  2. Joe, this is eloquently yet simply stated, and we ought to post it as a blog entry. Combined source is the best way we currently have at our disposal to produce a horse that is as close as possible to the original desert-bred imports.

  3. I can’t look at a photo of Rosemary now without thinking about how she was stolen and never traced.

  4. What’s that story? Tell me more!

  5. Lady Anne selected Rosemary for her half of the Crabbet Stud when she and her husband divided the horses in 1906. Rosemary produced her last foal in 1908 (chestnut filly Rueyda, by Daoud), then was barren in 1909 and 1910. In 1910, when Rosemary was 24, she was given away and then stolen by a man representing himself as a groom. She was never traced.

  6. Sahibi Yakouta had another daughter by Anchor Hill Omar, Whitehouse Bint Yakouta, who has been bred to the EAO stallion Mefdal a few times.
    Charmante Yasmina was bred to her sire Anchor Hill Omar twice to produce the filly Whitehouse Stefani, and the colt Whitehouse Yamar.
    Whitehouse Stefani has been bred to the straight Egyptian stallion Sahibi El Hasni a few times.
    The remains of Sahibi Yakouta lay buried in my garden and I still have Whitehouse Stefani and her daughter El Adal Yasmet (by Sahibi El Hasni).
    As I have previously posted, I believe that Sahibi Yakouta’s sire, Gordonville Ziyadan, was the last living horse tracing exclusively to the Al Khamsa Egypt 1 ancestral element.

  7. Chris, you have a treasure in your hands. You are just so lucky to have these horses. If you have pictures that would like to share, please send them to me:
    Thank you.

  8. Good day to you all, this blog gave me goose bumps. And I wonder how many people know these facts. Thank you Edouard for your much appreciated input.
    I too am fortunate to own this dam line in Waseem Gita, she is the offspring of the WD Majesty daughter by Sharmante Yasmina (Anchor Hill Omar x Sabiby Yakouta); her Sire – Thee Cyclone (SE) – deceased, is n multiple champion stallion and his full brother Botswana being one of the best Straight Egyptian Stallion in the USA in the modern era they claim. I bred her twice to Shari Silic Exotica SE (Omar El Shaker x Nabilah Nabilah-Sha). She has given me a colt (3 years) and filly (10 months) of which I am very excited about. Kromar Xorina will be used to continue the legacy in the dam line.
    It was not easy to get reach of this precious bloodline and the aim is to preserve this precious tail female line

  9. Correction on spelling of Sharmante Yasmina (Anchor Hill Omar x Sahiby Yakouta)

  10. There is another mare bred out of Sahibi Yakouta, Whitehouse bint Yakouta sire Anchorhill Omar. She was a lovely dark bay mare with with wonderful type not over refined, high tail carriage and striking movement. Her owner Mel Motafis imported a stallion from Egypt called Mefdal and he bred Yakouta to Mefdal. I am not to sure how many offspring followed. I have a picture of Mefdal if someone is interested. Will try and find a picture of Bint Yakouta.

  11. I just had a conversation with Mel Motafis and he told me that Whitehouse Bint Yakouta is still alive and well at 31 years and bred quite a few foals.


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