How Davenport named his desert imports

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 5th, 2010 in General

*Haleb: As the flagship of the importation, *Haleb was bestowed the honor of being named after Aleppo (in Arabic, Halab), the city where Davenport’s quest began, and around which his desert trip was organized.

*Reshan: Oddly enough, the grey Kuhaylah Hayfiyah whose tail female is the most predominant in Davenport breeding today bears a male horse’s name. She was apparently named after a stallion of the Rishan (hence, Reshan) Shar’abi strain, to which she was bred when Davenport first saw her in Aleppo. Reshan’s hujjah mentions her being bred to that horse. One may picture a conversation going on in Arabic around the mare, in Davenport’s presence, where her breeding to that stallion was being discussed. One can imagine Davenport trying to pick up some words from the conversation, and the word “Rishan” sticking in his mind.

*Hamrah: this young colt has a female’s name, as hamrah means bay in the feminine, in Arabic; he was probably referred to as ‘the son of the bay mare’ during the trip, ‘ibn al-faras al-hamrah’, and the word hamrah stuck in Davenport’s head.

*Muson, *Hadba, *El Bulad, *Simri, *Enzahi and *Abeyah: They were was named after their strain, Kuhaylan al-Musinn, Hadban (Enzahi), Jilfan Sattam Al-Bulad, Hamdani Simri, (Hadban) Enzahi, and Ubayyah Sharrak, respectively; so was *Abbeian, if he was indeed ‘Thompson’s Grey’, as is most probably (but not definitely) the case.

*Jedah: She was named after her marbat: Hamdaniyah Simriyah of Ibn Jad’ah (hence, Jedah) of the Fad’aan tribe, but originally from Ibn Ghurab of Shammar;

*Euphrates: He was named after the river of same name in English (in Arabic, al-Furat); not sure why, though;

*Werdi: Her name means flower (wardah) in the Syrian dialect of Arabic.

*Mowarda: He was named after his color, azrak mawardi, rosewater grey, which is grey with pink shades. His photo is below

*Gomusa: He was called after the tribe he came from.

*Urfah: She was apparently named after the city of Urfah, then a Syrian city in the Ottoman governorate of Aleppo, but now in Turkey and known as Sanli-Urfa. Not sure why the mare was named after this city, which is in the far north of the area Davenport and his party were touring in search of their horses. It would be interesting to know the circumstances behind her getting such a name.

*Antar: Just a popular name for a colt, in the Middle East, in reference to Antarah ibn Shaddad, also known as Antar, the hero of one of the Middle East’s most famous folkstories; *Masoud is another common name for a colt.

*Kusof: His name means ‘eclipse’ in Arabic (kusuf), apparently because of a marking on his body reminiscent of the shape of a partial solar eclipse.

*Haffia: even though she was *Abeyah’s daughter, and hence Ubayyah by strain, she seems to have received the name of a mare of a Kuhaylan Hayfi strain. I wonder why. The name can also mean ‘bare-foot’, in Arabic.

*Deyr: He was named after the city of same name on the Euphrates river. Did he come from there? I need to check this…

*Houran: This Kuhaylan Tamri stallion came from the Sba’ah Bedouin tribe, whose nomadic migration pattern ends in the vicinity of the city of Hama in Central Syria, was curiously named after a region in Southern Syrian, the Hauran plains, which is very far for the usual pasturelands of the Sba’ah tribe. I do know why Davenport chose this name for him. One clue might be found in that a group from Davenport’s party was sent to tour Southern Syria, around Damascus in search of horses to buy, while the main group remained in the North around Aleppo. They brought back *Muson, *Simri, and I think *Masoud (not sure). Of these Muson seems to have come from an area mid-way between Damascus and the Hauran in the South, so it is possible that this smaller party may have visited the Hauran as well, and reported back to Davenport. As far as I remember, the colt *Houran was not part of the batch of horses that came back from this southern trip within the trip, but I may be mistaken.

*Wadduda, which means ‘friendly’ in Arabic, and *Farha, which means ‘happy’ are both common names for Arabian mares. It seems however that these were the original names of these two mares, before Davenport acquired them.

*Moharra: probably named after the lunar month of Muharram, the first month of the year in the Muslim calendar.

*Azra: I don’t have a clue about what his name means, and why he was so named. I will need to re-read the passage in which he is mentioned in Davenport’s book “My Quest of the Arabian Horse”.

4 Responses to “How Davenport named his desert imports”

  1. The Davenport friend who brought “Muson”was Khalil Haik or Hayek (from the famed Lebanese family) .Could he be related to the late Nicolas Hayek the founder of “Swatch watches” born in 1928 in Beirut?
    C’est de la tres petite histoire!!!

  2. you will need to ask nayla hayek who breeds egyptians in switzerland

  3. Re *Azra: one translation of his hujja gives his color as azraq. Knowing that, I always thought maybe *Azra be an incomplete rendering of the Arabic word for his color.

  4. I think it would be fascinating if the Hayek family name is the same for the Davenport friend as well as for the watches.

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