Manak and *Turfa on Ralph’s blog

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on December 7th, 2010 in Saudi

Did you read the blog entries on *Turfa and the desert-bred Hamdani stallion Manak on Ralph Suarez’ blog?

Also, have you ever thought of comparing Manak, a Hamdani of Ibn Ghiam (which by the way is the same marbat as Mrs. Danah Al-Khalifa’s desert-bred foundation mare Seetah), to *Munifan, the desert-bred Kuhaylan stallion bred by the same Crown Prince Saud to George O’Brien and imported to the USA in 1947 (photo below).

9 Responses to “Manak and *Turfa on Ralph’s blog”

  1. Just look at the legs on Manak Is there an Arabian anywhere in the world with legs as good as his? I mean in substance, proportion and length. His thigh is slightly longer than his gaskin. His back is just the right length. His neck is set on at just the right height.This is the kind of horse that could save, and I do mean save the present day elegant weeds of the show system from the folly of their breeders.
    Best wishes
    Bruce Peek

  2. I agree he looks perfect. I cannot believe how they could send away a horse such as this one, instead of keeping him as a stallion..

  3. They seem both equals … guess that explains why they could sent away such horses, they seem to have had more than one stallion of that quality.

  4. Edouard, I was hoping you would add the photo of Munifan. The moment I first saw the image of Manak years ago, I thought of the images I had already of Munifan. They are similar. The one with Munifan under saddle even shows more his quality.

    I find it remarkable that these two stallions (who are about a decade apart but from the same general time frame of Turfa to the Inshass Saudi horses) are such good horses and then in about the same period Dr. Mabrouk in his report on his search for more outcrosses for the RAS claims that he could not find anything good.

    That whole period in Saudi Arabia from mid 1930s to mid 1950s seems to be a time when good horses of good provenance could still be obtained, yet Dr. Mabrouk’s report seems quite disparaging.

    I have already expressed my disagreements elsewhere on this blog about the Mabrouk report but it does cause one to wonder “what if” things had been different, and Dr. Mabrouk came back with horses like Manak or *Munifan, or even mares like *Al Hamdaniah, or *Subaiha, or *Hamra Johara.

    I ask the question of readers here why do you think that Dr. Mabrouk did not see these horses as we see them?

  5. Perhaps he was attending more parties than searching for the famous Nejdi Koheilans while abroad 🙂

  6. funny. I was going to write that he must have spent his horse-buying funding allocation on other stuff and had to justify why he came back with just one horse (Kroush), so he said there were no good horses… just kidding.

  7. Well, perhaps he was sincere in his efforts but when I read Dr. Mabrouk’s book, I find myself trying to read between the lines. Perhaps in some cases he offended certain people offering horses or perhaps some of the horses presented they did not want to part with so withheld information about their provenance? What was his “standard” for which he was selecting? Was it for a more “modern” kind of horse and perhaps he felt the tribal type was a horse of the past? His photographs do nothing to bring understanding compared to the pictures of excellent Saudi contemporaries elsewhere, such as Manak.

    The reason why I bring this up is that in my travels in Syria I sensed a kind of “suspicious” attitude about the Egyptian horses. They told me that they were referred to as “Al Masry” horses [of Egypt] and the tone of discussion was that they are those “other” horses. In being a new traveler at the time, I did not want to offend by prying further but now looking back after what I have discovered over the years from my research and reviewing my audio tapes, there seems to be a sense among some in the cradle countries, that “Al Masri” horses are different and something from the “outside”. This is similar to my travels in Alaska years ago where native locals saw the rest of the world as the “outside”, a world that has changed from the raw natural life that they valued.

    Could this attitude have also been true in the reverse for Dr. Mabrouk? Did he travel with a built in skepticism about what he expected to find that influenced his report? Was this skepticism shared in Egypt by others during his time?

    The main reason why I revisit this discussion about Dr. Mabrouk’s report is because I feel that it had a very large ripple effect on the Western attitude towards tribal and desert bred horses existing elsewhere outside of what was going on at the RAS in Egypt or the kind of Arabians being bred outside of Arabia.

    This is because Dr. Mabrouk’s report has been reprinted in excerpt form or quoted a number of times by people making a case for the degeneration of the Arabian in the cradle countries. While to some extant changing conditions in Arabia challenged the maintenance of tribal horses, the truth is that good Arabian breeding did continue there and we know better now.

    The general negative attitude of the west towards tribal type horses has lingered to this day, unnecessarily so, if blogs like this one and other venues can put the tribal type horses in their truthful and rightful perspective in today’s world of Arabian horses.

  8. Yes but in many cases it is the tribal horses that most often still show the best conformational characteristics that arabians are most admired for- strong couplings, and substantial bone. And these were traits for which arabians were used by the worlds stud farms to save the kind of remount horses( for one example) they produced. Sure the breeding systems got lots and lots of remount horses but they also bred themselves into a corner with taller faster Thoroughbred crosses, which also gradually showed diminishing soundness. The most effective way to restore good using qualities was to add in tribal stock. Far from looking down at the Tribal horses, we in the West should be embracing such horses and also be grateful to the people who produced, and to a degree continue to produce the tribal horses today.
    Best wishes
    Bruce Peek

  9. Thanks to the kindness and generosity of Samantha Mattocks, the publisher of the new quarterly magazine, The Arabian Breeder’s Magazine, this blog article will appear in the next issue, to debut at the Menton show in France. The *Turfa article, rewritten and 6 pages long now, will also appear in the same issue. If only one person is inspired by what I have written and becomes interested in these bloodlines, only then will the article have been successful. I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Joe Ferriss, Edouard, RJ Cadranell and the Institute for the Desert Arabian Horse. You need to know how grateful I am to each of you, for all you do on behalf of the Arabian horse.

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