Khaleel Dirab, asil Kuhaylan Abu ‘Urqub stallion from Saudi Arabia

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on February 7th, 2011 in Saudi

Matthias is back from Saudi Arabia from a horse tour organized by Europe’s Asil Club, and he and his wife brought back pictures of Arabians of the desert-bred lines, including one he sent me, below, of the stallion Khaleel Dirab, a Kuhaylan Abu ‘Urqub by by Rezaiq out of Khuzamah, bred and owned by the Dirab government stud. Rezaiq was featured here before.

Not sure why the Dirab folks insist on mimicking the West by putting this stupid makeup on their desert-horses; it makes sick to see this proud asil steed, this son of the desert, this Kuhaylan (he who has beautiful eyes [naturally] with black around them, as if it was kohl), Kuhaylan by strain and by soul, so painted like a vulgar show horse. 

More soon on the background of the Kuhaylan Abu ‘Urqub horses of the Dirab Stud, and on that strain in general.

11 Responses to “Khaleel Dirab, asil Kuhaylan Abu ‘Urqub stallion from Saudi Arabia”

  1. It makes me sick too Edouard.

  2. I don’t like show make-up either but he looks like a very spectacular stallion that could make a stand in the showring. If desertsbreds can compete in the showring, with or without make-up, it is excellent publicity for asil Arabians in general.

    Is he completely of desertbred bloodlines?

    If I recall well, Dirab bought a decade ago one or more straight Egyptian stallions to be used on desertbred mares? There was at least one bay stallion by The Minstril (or grandson of The Minstril) – not BJ Thee Mustafa but one of straight Egyptian lines.

  3. Yes he is all DB.

  4. Btw, more pictures of Rezaiq are here

  5. I have just seen the other photos you are right Patrick,Khaleel Dirab and Rezaiq are absolutely lovely horses :), make up or no.
    In fact, the eyes have not just had make up applied but the hair around the eyes has been shaved, the ugly line can be seen. Still the producers can’t hide the grace and strength and harmony of these beautiful horses,(though they are making a good attempt by the ridiculous pose in the last picture of each!).
    Do you really think that promoting Asil horses in the show ring is a good idea? Showing today is a celebration of fashion victimhood, in my view it is a painfully limited way to judge a horse, especially an Arab horse.
    The result is selection for a few obvious charateristics ie head and topline(often exaggerated out of all recognition by make up, ‘training (neck sweats etc) and posing) ,while leg faults are often ignored, THE Arab pace, the canter, is not even judged nor are all athletic and moral qualities of the horse. I will never believe that anyone can TRULY judge an Arab horse unless they have ridden him, it is then that his true qualities can be appreciated. SE Asils may do well in hand but standing where we are wrt the current tide of fashion, it seems to me that horses such as Davenports and some of the wonderful Syrian horses Edouard has shown on here are unlikely to find favour…and this would not be to their discredit at all, but may be seen as such.
    Having said that, if Asil horses were shown in a dignified and respectful way as Crabbet horses are here, and judged by an actual horseman who can recognise the functional aspects of conformation, then it may be a good shop window I suppose.
    Maybe better to prove themselves in open ridden competition eg as Jenny Lees has with her Bahraini Asils…well that’s my view anyway 🙂

  6. The DBs had their own classes at the Al Kahlediah festival (show). In comparison to the “show Arabians” the DBs had stronger bones and most of them had excellent conformation. The topline was not different, due to the same conditioning done with them. Their movement have been very strong with good hock action from behind. They were shown the same way as the show horses in the other classes. Most of them had wide chests but we also saw some rather highlegged stallions with narrow chests. The main diffence was the head. DBs have straight profiles, even sometimes a Roman nose (especially the narrow horses).Their eyes aren´t that big as in some Western lines or Egyptians. Even so the best of them did really thrill us as they had beauty on top of beeing excellent horses. Not to forget that the Saudis got really excited with the DB classes! I will give You more examples and also pictures of horses without the ugly make up.

  7. “Their movement have been very strong with good hock action from behind.” Matthias, I’ll bet thats because the recent anscestors of those Saudi DBs were not bred for WAHO halter classes. Consequently they are still built to be a riding horse.
    Can’t wait to see more examples.
    Best Wishes
    Bruce Peek

  8. Interesting Matthias I too look forward to seeing more. I am Glad to hear that the Saudis were enthusiastic about these horses.
    I agree with you , of course, Bruce re the importance of engagement,and with the implication that some of today’s show horses are a travesty.However there is no reason that Asils many generations from the desert and indeed WAHO horses should not still, and forever, be bred with riding qualities as an absolute essential , to be fair, some people are doing this very seriously and specifically (including many WAHO breeders) without compromising at all on beauty or ”type” (ugh horrible word, and for me anyway riding quality is integral to type, but you know what I mean).
    I am not disagreeing with you it’s just that db or not, horses are not used today for their original purpose and that is why, to me , real testing under saddle is so essential to preserve the integrity of the breed, we can’t rely on ever more distant previous generations.
    Re ‘powerful’ hindlimb action, (and I know Bruce and Matthias that you know exactly what you are talking about,proper engagement of powerful hocks to allow free light movement in front) but it amazes me how often I hear in hand show people raving about a hores’s hock action…the hocks are certainly moving a lot … that horrible, going nowhere bicycling action with zero engagement… yet another reason that I think riding the horses and judging them as riding horses is important.

    Re my comments about competing in open competition, as an example most serious endurance riders in this country will be familiar with the word ‘krayan’, whether or not they have any interest in bloodlines or indeed Arabs at all. That is because Bahraini horses are out there competing and siring endurance horses in this country… when a person is ready to buy their next horse or cover a mare this word will be in their mind and they may investigate further and who knows where that might lead… that is good promotion of Asil horses for good reason.

  9. Oh Sorry, having had a day off yesterday, riding for most of it, I seem to have spent the moments in between ranting about riding on here!
    One last comment…. there was an article in the winter Arab Horse Society News about Asil Arab horses in Iran, it commented that the rise in showing was resulting in a rapid change in the sort of horse being bred in Iran, whereas ‘Nejebat’ was always the defining feature which seems to translate into the description of the generous, gentle nobility that is so characteristic of Arabs, dished refined heads are now more sought after. It was also noted that the newer horses being imported and shown displayed less manners in the ring.
    Right I am going to work now and will leave you all alone!

  10. ” the hocks are certainly moving a lot- that horrible going nowhere bycycling action with zero engagement” Yes precisely what must be bred away from. Have noticed that rotation of the hock BEHIND the hindquarters seems quite common in certain saddle seat specialty breeds, to the degree that people now seem to think thats desireable. The problem with out behind movement is that it often causes unsoundness
    because it’s a pushing rather than weight carrying type of movement. Out behind does not lend itself to the horse carying its own and riders weight equally on all 4 legs. For purposes of clarity think of the hock bending underneath the body mass rather than out behind as self carriage- really the beginning of collection.
    Best wishes
    Bruce Peek

  11. Exactly Bruce… trailing hocks, hollowed back … ugly, ungainly and inefficient, the antithesis of good true Arab movement which, due to natural engagement, is light free and exhibits a balance and agility that is breathtaking to watch and a joy to ride (and may well have saved your life in a Ghazu) (:

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