Kuhaylan Abu ‘Aqrub in Saudi Arabia today

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on April 9th, 2011 in Saudi

A few days ago, I began a thread on the early story of strain of Kuhaylan Abu ‘Arqub, as it was mentioned in the ‘Abbas Pasha Manuscript. The information is reconciled from two slightly different sources: first, my notes from the English translation of the Manuscript (a copy of the book is in my father’s library in Beirut); second, from the book “Usul al-Khayl” by Hamad al-Jasir, which contains excerpts of the original Manuscript in Arabic (and a xeroxed copy of which was given to me by my friend Hazaim Alwair).

The story of Kuhaylan Abu ‘Arqub involves central Arabian tribes such as the Qahtan, the Bani Khalid and the Mutayr, as well as the House of Saud, who were major breeders of the strain in the 1850s. The Manuscript’s account of the strain stops around this time.

There are conflicting accounts of what happened to the strain after that, but what is clear is that the strain reappears in areas of the desert further to the north, with the “northern” tribes of the Bani Sakhr in today’s Jordan and the Hadideen in today’s central Syria.

More recently, and according to author Khalid Bakr Kamal in his book “the Arab Horses” (p.133), King Faysal ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Aal Saud received two Kuhaylat Abu ‘Arqub mares from Jordanian leader Bassam Ismai’l al-Majali of the small Majali tribe in 1971.  The two mares, whom Khalid Bakr Kamal says were Bassma and Baseema, are the matriarchs of the modern Abu ‘Arqub horses in Saudi Arabia today, of which the stallion Al Hazim Al Thani is a handsome representative (check his pedigree here). The quote from Khalid Bakr Kamal is also from Hamad al-Jasir’s “Usul al-Khayl”.

Not sure whether the Majali still breed the strain in asil form today. It would be fantastic if they still did.

2 Responses to “Kuhaylan Abu ‘Aqrub in Saudi Arabia today”

  1. Interesting, a powerful looking horse there!!
    BTW Edouard,is the book still on track for June??

  2. Always admired the picture of his sire in one of the Asil Club books, one of the most gorgeous body shots I remember

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