Krush Halba a.k.a. Baba Kurus, 1921 asil Kuhaylan Krush stallion

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on December 8th, 2011 in Lebanon, Syria, Turkey

Teymur sent me this photo of the phenomenal 1921 grey asil Kuhaylan Krush stallion known in Lebanon as Krush Halba, and in Turkey as Baba Kurus.  He was the foundation stallions for both countries asil Arabian horse breeding programs, even his line does not survive in Lebanon anymore, and is holding on by a thread in neighboring Syria. Teymur can tell you more about this horse’s performance in Turkey.

Meanwhile, here is an excerpt from the diary of Dr. Ahmed Mabrouk’s of the Egyptian Royal Agricultural Society on this horse:

“At Beirut I found a Krush, a nice grey horse who won 17 races.  This horse out of El Nowagia by Krush belongs to Saad el Din Shatila Pasha.  The sire of the Krush horse which I bought was sold a few years ago to the Turkish government …it is worth mentioning that in the only 3 stables I visited in Beirut, I saw about 30 offspring of the famous stallion Krush ….”. 

The Kuhaylan Nawwaq stallion named Kroush, who was imported by the same Dr. Mabrouk to Egypt for the RAS and sired a number of horses for the RAS, including the mare Bushra and the stallion Tamie’, was a son of Krush Halba/Baba Kurus. In the USA, a number of the 1947 Hearst imports trace directly to him, including *Bint Rajwa.

Now here is the hujjah of Krush Halba/Baba Kurus, as excerpted from the WAHO website:

We the undersigned witness that the grey horse that was purchased by the Turkish Committee from his owner, so called Abdul Hameed Al Yosef, from the people of Halba village, centre of Akkar province, is Kehailan Krush who was brought to Homs previously by his owner (breeder), so called Ibn Swaileh from the Arabs of Al Sibaa clan and sold by him to Mr Mohammad Tawfic Al Quadi for the sum of one hundred Ottoman Lira when he was a yearling.  And the above mentioned sold him to Solaiman Ojel from the people of Homs at the sum of one hundred and twenty Ottoman Lira and Solaiman Ojel sold him to his owner that is purchased from now, Abdul Hameed Al Yosef Al Halbawi, the above mentioned.  His owner (breeder) Ibn Suaileh the above mentioned also brought his mother (dam) to Homs and sold her to the Sheikh of the Al Naim clan, so called Mohammed Al Sheyokh, at the price of one hundred lira (mathani – he will take two fillies from her or from her and from her daughter in the future). 

His father (sire of the Krush) is the golden chestnut horse with blaze and markings on the left legs, he is the Saglawi Shaifi of the breeding of Ibn Ghobosh from the Al Fidaan tribe, that was purchased by Solaiman Ojel from the Fidaan and sold by him to the famous Ahmad Afandi Ebesh at the price of one hundred and sixty Ottoman Lira.  The above mentioned sold him to Egypt at the price of five hundred English Lira and after that he won two races.  His mother (dam) is the Saglawieh Shaifieh, the dark bay with a star who was purchased by Ibn Ghoboosh from the Imarat.  His father (sire) is the bay Ma’anagi Sbeli, the large horse with a star, from the breeding of Ibn Hathal from the Arab clan of Al Imarat.

And the mother (dam) of the Krush Horse is the Keheilet Al Krush bred by the Al Fidaan.  Her father (sire) is the Ma’anagi Sbeli that is also the breeding of the Al Fidaan.

We also witness that the mentioned Krush horse has sired the horses that are present in Syria and Egypt now and the degree of first class such as Ghazwan, Kohailan, and Mosheer.  The mentioned horse is from the best sires that exist in Syria and for verification this was written on 29 December 1934.

Witnessed and Signed by: Khalil Al Barazi, Khalid Abu Shehab, Mohammed Mahmoud, Ibrahim Al Naasan [al-Barazi], Ahmad Ajlouk, Rakaan Al Hamid Al Terkawi, Hasan Al Harbeshi, Ahmad Al Shihab, Abdul Ali Al Hasan Al Terkawi, and others.


20 Responses to “Krush Halba a.k.a. Baba Kurus, 1921 asil Kuhaylan Krush stallion”

  1. Thank you for posting this! I had wondered what this stallion was like. I note the name of Ahmad Afandi Ebesh, who turns up quite a bit as well. Can we trace his sire to Egypt?

  2. Well, because his sire was a Saqlawi and was racing in Egypt with Ibish, I long thought that he was Aiglon, but I was apparently wrong.

    Note also Ibrahim al-Naasan, the landowner from Hama, among the hujjah signatories, he is in my Tahawi hujaj too.

  3. The legendary Baba Kurush a Kuheylan Kurush, whose blood is found today in most Arab Turkish racehorses.

    Nevertheless, it was said in all twenty-six races where he started: Baba Kurush first, and the rest nowhere !!!

    He won, wherever he went, with almost unbelievable superiority.

    The descendants of Baba Kurush’s won in the last twenty-five years of the 20st century, almost half of all races.

    As a breeding stallion, he founded the Kurush-Sire-line, which dominated until the beginning of the 21st century, the classic race in Turkey.

    But then faded the performance of this branch.

    Almost hundred years later, it was only one twentieth.

    The highly refined Baba Kurush inherited a weakness: his children were suffering from nosebleeds.

    Her delicate blood vessels was not considered, the enormous burden in the race.

    He also showed an irascible character and a serious investment in a serious physical defect, the larynx pipes due to a narrow trachea.

    Nevertheless, he is my favorite Stallion and I would like to continue to breed his Sire-line.

  4. A few minor things Teymur in comparison with his matchless frame- skeletal structure. His bone appears to be enormous- his coupling is among the best i’ve ever seen- and his neck is set on very high. I’d be willing to bet that in the shorter distance races he was in he came on to win but didn’t lead from wire to wire. Horses with lower set necks have an advantage in short distance sprints because its easier for them to simply clamp their necks and run like blazes, but tensed up muscles quickly lose their ability to contract at top speed due to lactic acid buildup, and it is then that the properly ridden relaxed horse ( like seabiscuit) comes from off the pace and still has reserves of speed to use in his closing stretch run. In his body he is earily reminescent of some Davenports.
    Best wishes
    bruce Peek

  5. Again, Bruce, you the nail in the head. He and *Werdi trace to the same marbat. No wonder he looks like Asara.

  6. As Bruce says he appears a very structurally sound horse.
    Teymur I would be very interested if you have any more information on his respiratory issues, which I would not consider ‘a minor thing’ but equally I am a bit puzzled as to what they were as he was obviously a supreme athlete.
    Pulmonary bleeds are, as you know, a relatively common problem in racehorses (Arab and tb). What I would like to know more about is the ‘narrow trachea’ are you refering to the trachea itself being narrow (a very unusual diagnosis)or deformed or collapsed or are we talking about the larynx? ‘Recurrent laryngeal neuropathy’ is the cause of paralysis of the left vocal cord which causes restriction of the airflow into the trachea, and often the classic ‘roaring’or ‘whistling’, this is associated usually with a long neck (the anatomy of this nerve is a bit weird and a lot longer on the left than right)and thus is generally a problem of larger horses, it is very rare in hoses under 15hh and very rare in Arabs, though I am told seen more in French bred race Arabs (yes I know….).
    It is a heritable problem.
    I am asking because it seems unlikey that the horse was suffering any degree of respiratory compromise at the time he was racing as he was clearly a racehorse of the highest calibre. An elite racehorse with a ‘narrow trachea’sounds a bit unlikely.
    Laryngeal paralysis does worsen over time and tracheal collapse can develop ( though again not an ‘Arab’ condition , it is usually associated with miniatures and Shetties).
    Any more information?
    Eg was the horse himself known to ‘make a noise’ as we say ie was he a whistler or roarer?
    Did his own performance fade due to respiratory problems or did he race sound and well until retired?
    Are we sure that the issues seen in later generations certainly trace to this sire, it would require careful pedigree analysis to be sure of this.


  7. Sorry I just saw that Edouard said that he won every race that he started so his performance clearly did not fade.

  8. I translated this article from the Turkish into English.
    I got this information about the stallion Baba Kurush by the Turkish Jockey Club.
    I have quite a few pictures of his offspring.
    Also an image of an own daughter of Him.
    I’ll ask again, because each horse has a mother.
    Thus, these deficits are inherited from the mares, and not only from Him.
    His grave is maintained together with that of another sire, namely Baba Saad on a specially decorated cemetery.
    I send pictures to Edouard so he uploads it here in the blog.

  9. lisa…I written too, that he won every Race…

  10. Yes Teymur you did say that he won wherever he went, I was just checking that this form was maintained all his career as this may help to give an idea of what (if any) problem he had.
    Sorry I was reading and writing and eating my porridge all at the same time this morning.
    You are right about the influence of the mares obviously.
    I am just finding it hard to understand what (again,if any) this clearly amazing horse’s limitations were in terms of respiratory function. Given his incredible performance in life and the fact that his line was a dominant force in racing for 25 years I find it very hard to believe that he suffered or carried any significant respiratory defect.
    Why would it take 25 years before the problem became manifest, ie several racing generations of top class horses
    then a decline, I think the pedigees need a bit of looking at before the blame is laid at his door, or have more recent imports outclassed this line in terms of speed?
    I am only whittling on about this because a strongly conformed, Asil horse of proven performance sounds like a line worth preserving. However any significant wind defect would, for good reason, preclude the issuing of a stallion license in any breed that I know which licenses it’s stallions (tbs of course don’t but rely absolutely on proven performance and subsequent market forces, not necessarily a good thing when you look at their feet etc but…)
    Arabs , as a breed are notably free from wind defects, long may it remain so.

  11. lisa

    Have received this information from the Turkish Jockey Club…

    Kurush Baba had no problems of this kind
    Neither epistaxis nor Vertebrate trachea narrowing.
    His race performance did not diminish.

    Only horses that have been inbred to him, appeared at the health problems that led to the reduction of racing performance.

    That’s why his sire line stands on a narrow path.

  12. Thanks Teymur for finding that out :), it does make more sense, so the bit about him having a serious defect of larynx/narrow trachea was incorrect?
    The irascible character bit cannot be judged in my view because racehorses can have stressful and very unnatural lives so I wouldn’t think it fair to judge him in this light.

  13. Argh!! I am so sorry Teymur, re-reading your post, I think that I may in fact have misunderstood you all along, when you said ”he also showed an irascible character and a serious investment in a serious physical defect, the larynx pipes due to a narrow trachea” were you refering to the stallion, as I, and I think Bruce, assumed or inbred horses of his line in more recent times??

  14. lisa, In Turkey, almost every Arab horse is inbred, more or less on him.
    Every Arab horse, has Baba Kurush as an ancestor in its pedigree.
    The Turkish stud manager made ??mistakes, they wanted to enhance the performance of inbreeding on Baba Kurush.
    Similarly, the private breeders.
    In Turkey, counted and still counts the racing performance.
    It grows only in this one direction.

    I must say … Turks are not Europeans.
    Turks have a different view of the Arabian horse as a Bedouin.
    Turkish men are macho, horse racing is an exclusively male affair.
    A man rides a stallion!. It goes without saying.

    No jockey would voluntarily put on the back of a mare.
    Mares are less than stallions.
    Thus mares are also rare in the races.
    Geldings are not permitted at the race.
    In Turkey, stallions are castrated unwillingly.
    This tradition of geldings are not known.
    Thus there is also the fault of John as a sire of this weakness to be.
    They drew comparisons to other stallion lines, their offspring are inbred as strong on these sires.
    Baba Saad eg. Whose sire line is the most numerous and among his descendants were not against these things.

  15. John? sorry i mean Baba Kurush…:)

  16. Baba Kuru? is a stallion originating from the Damascus-Helbe village of Syria that has played an important role in the breeding of Pure-blood Arab horses. During the years Baba Kuru? lived between 1921 and 1945, in the 11 years that he lived in the stud farm, 141 colts were obtained from his line. As our horse breeding sector owed Baba Kuru? a lot, it showed the value given to this horse by building a memorial grave for it.

  17. The famous stallion Baba Kurush, imported to Karacabey, Turkey, from the City of Halbe in Libanon at the beginning of the 30s last century, was a carrier of the rare, autosomal recessive hereditary disease Epitheliogenesis imperfecta neonatorum equinuum (imperfect skin formation in newborn horses), which was expressed after his sons had been mated with there half sisters.

  18. I was tabulating Syrian sire lines a little while ago, and thereby came across this blog entry. I’m not particularly familiar with Syrian horses, and had not heard of this very nice stallion before. Are any of his male descendants registered in a WAHO studbook?

  19. Sure…His Tail Male linie is in Turkey now, in Asil Form and the Turkish Studbook is WAHO accepted.

    Turkey is a Member of WAHO

    I continue was Dr.Mabrouk have start it.

    The Baba Kurush Sire line cover with an SE Mare.
    My foundation Mare will be a SE of the N-Line from Marbach…
    So my Turkish-Egyptian=Cross is Asil and I call them: Majestic Cross

  20. Kroush (Baba Kurush & Koheila Nowakiyah) gr
    RAS Volume 1

    Acquired by Royal Agricultural Society, Egypt, in 1936 from Saad El Dine Pasha Shatila, who raced his horses in Lebanon and Egypt, and maintained a stable near the racetrack in the latter. Won seventeen races in Beirut, Lebanon, and raced successfully in Egypt. His sire was sold to the Turkish government, and became their most famous foundation Arab stallion. Kroush died in 1940, and left no descendants from the three foals that he sired at the R.A.S. …Today only in Turkey you can find the Sire line of the famous Baba Kurus/Krush OA, also known as Krush Halba, the Sire of Kroush (picture below), I want to start a Re-breeding of Dr. Ahmet Mabrouk, with an Arabian stallion of the Baba Kurush Sire line of Turkey, breeding them with a SE Mare of the El Dahma and/or Venus Tail female line.

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