More about Basil, the Asil Kuhaylan al-Mimrah

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 22nd, 2008 in Arabia, Syria

Basil, the masculine grey stallion pictured in Joe’s entry below was one of the first acquisitions Syrian Government Stud as it began operating in the mid 1990s.  Basil, born in 1985 at the stud of Mustapha al-Jabri in Aleppo, was not  Bedouin-bred, but both his sire and dam were.

He was by Mahrous, a ‘Ubayyan Suhayli from the Shammar, then Mustapha’s head stallion, out of Hallah, a chestnut Kuhaylah Mimrahiyah also from the Shammar. Basil’s dam Hallah, pictured below at al-Jabri’s farm in 1996, was arguably the best of Mustapha’s herd, which consisted of 100-plus mares; Mustapha owned her dam and her sister as well.  Basil joined his sire as a herd stallion for Mustpaha before he was gifted to the Government.  

Abdul-Qadir Hammami, a veteran horse-merchant and one of the sharpest experts on desert horses I have come to meet, picked Hallah, her dam and her sister for Mustapha’s stud. 

Next week’s “Strain of the Week” series will be about Kuhaylan al-Mimrah. It will discuss Hallah’s family, among other families belonging to this ancient strain.

  Hallah, a desert-bred Kuhaylah Mimrahiyah from Syria, at al-Jabri’s farm

3 Responses to “More about Basil, the Asil Kuhaylan al-Mimrah”

  1. Thank you Edouard for posting this picture of Basil’s dam. I am pleased to see it. What an exceptional mare. While there are many good points of her overall form, it is interesting to note some similarities in the skull and head shape to your mystery mare and to my comments about Bint Bint Turfara and Du Fadl in a previous post. Note the enormous diameter around the upper head while the lower head shape is completed by soft, oval nostrils and low cut mouth. I think similar traits are found in the head photo of the Davenport import *Abeyah. Likewise refer to Lady Anne Blunt’s sketch of Sherifa (pg. 425 in THE BEDOUIN TRIBES OF THE EUPHRATES, by Lady Anne Blunt 1879).

  2. This is one of the most beautiful mares I have ever seen (judging by the photograph). I wish I could breed horses like this. Thank you for posting this, it has made my day. Karen

  3. Hallah’s head always reminded me of that of the Blunt desert import Sherifa. It is interesting that you should make the same observation.

    I find triangle-shaped heads particularly attractive in Asil Arabians. It is a shame that such a defining feature of the breed is getting rarer and rarer, even in desert-bred horses.

    Once in a while, an individual surfaces that has an extemely deep upper head and an extremely fine lower head, but the characteristic is rarely passed on to the next generation. For example, Hallah has it, but her son Basil does not. He had a rectangular head, with a deep jowl but thicker nostrils, which he inherited from his sire, Mahrous.

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