My top ten

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on April 2nd, 2008 in Arabia, France, Saudi, Syria, USA

It tends to change every other day. For what it’s worth, here is today’s top ten:

1. Reem al-Oud, (Ubayyan Suhayli x Ubayyah Suhayliyah) desert bred from the Shammar tribe, born ca. 1980

2. Reema, (Ma’anaghi Sbayli x Hamdaniyah Simriyah) desert bred from the Aqaydat , born ca. 1975

3.  Jauza, (Dahman Shawan x Kuhaylat al-Krush) desert bred from Mutayr, born ca. 1910, imported by Lady Anne Blunt to her Sheykh Obeyd farm in Egypt

4. Bismilah (Besbes x Berthe), a Jilfat al-Dhawi, bred by the French government at the Pompadour stud, born ca. 1985

5.  Sahmet (Hadban Enzahi x Jatta), from the strain of Murana, bred by the German government at the Marbach stud, born ca. 1960

6. *Turfa, (Ubayyan al-Hamrah x Kuhaylat al-Khorma), bred by Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud at the Al-Khorma stud, imported to the USA by Henri Babson, born ca. 1930

 7. *Bint Maisa al-Saghirah (Nazeer x Maisa) , a Dahmah Shahwaniyah, bred by the Egyptian government (the Egyptian Agricultural Organization) at the al-Zahraa stud, born ca. 1950

8. Sayfia, desert bred from the Fad’aan tribe (Ma’naghi Sbayli x Ma’anaghiyah Sbayliyah), born ca. 1985

9. LD Rubic (Plantagenet x Tarrla), a Kuhaylah, bred by Carol Lyons, born ca. 1980 

10. Ceres (Aramis x Dharebah), a Kuhaylah Hayfiayh, bred by Charles Craver, born ca. 1965

Now I am under pressure to justify my choices, and share at least some pictures. Here is a picture I took of my #2, Reema, back in 1990, where she looks like a Ancient Greek marble statue. 

 Reema, a desert bred Hamdaniyah Simriyah tracing to the horses of Ibn Ghurab of the Shammar tribe

9 Responses to “My top ten”

  1. Must say, I adore the pic of Reema. She looks so very classically “Arabian”. Lovely dry head, balanced everything. She could come live with me anytime!

  2. She is a real lady for sure. And an excellent pedigree. Too bad she never produced a filly to replace her. Only stallions, one of which Hassan, which left many offspring. Both Reema and Hassan are now gone.

    I would take her anytime too. But wait till you see the picture of my #1.

  3. Dear Edouard
    There is some mistake in your #4 choice “Bismilah” is by “Irmak x Belle de Jour” the only products of “Berthe” by “Besbes” are “Bucolique”1981 and “Best” 1982.
    Source: Haras Nationaux and Dr Mary Bancroft’s BSc ,PhD book “French Racing 1989-1993

    Anyway as per the definition of “Asil” horses, as far as I know, no French horses coming from Algerian origin “Haras de Tiaret” can be eligible; which is the case of “Bassala” the dam of “Berthe” and “Belle de Jour”;as there si suspicious that they were somwhere mixed with Barbs,which is also,according to Hansi Mielnyck book “the Pindex” the case of the Sidi Thabet stud in neighbouring Tunisia ,both Studs ,where on that time under French administration.

  4. Joe,

    Thanks for your comment. I would like to address it at length in a specific post, and clarify some misrepresentations it may contain.

    Just a couple remarks for now: the claim about some of the Tunisian Arabian horses of the stud of Sidi Thabet being mixed with Barb horses is baseless. I will explain why in a subsequent post. I have had numerous occasions to discuss it with Hansi, and I believe she agrees with me.

    On the Algerian horses, and in the spirit of a constructive discussion, you will need to substantiate you claim that they are also mixed with Barbs. What is your source, written or oral?

    I believe that Algerian and Tunisian horses are in fact among the most Asil of Arabians. I have seen hujaj, official breeding records, photos of old horses, and actual horses. Pity that there is not more Asil Arabians of Algerian bloodlines alive today.

    Stay tuned!

  5. Reema is absolutely beautiful! Is her son Hassan by chance the stallion pictured by Joe Ferriss in his Khamsat article on his journey through the Middle East? Joe called Hassan a “dream” horse, and he is magnificent.

    Wonderful blog, Edouard! I especially look forward to your post on the French Asils.

  6. Sorry Edouard I was applying your rules,I quote:
    Here are the rules of the game:

    1. The mares need to be Asil. A working definition of Asil for the purposes of this game is: Al Khamsa eligible if the mares are from bloodlines imported to North America, Asil Club eligible if the mares are from bloodlines imported to Europe, and tracing exclusively to Bedouin-bred horses if the mares are in Arab countries.

    Until now the Algerian and Tunisian horses as far as the Asil club and Al Khamsa are concerned are not eligible;
    The Westerners not reading Arabic are sometimes confused with documents ,for instance Charles Craver under the photo of a Bedouin wrote the following legend:Khalil Sarkis director of the “hamidie society” while Khalil,who was my great grand father on my mother side was completly another person;Take the case of “Nibrass” who was refused for years as asil on raswan assertion on a mixed horse with the same name he saw on the Egyptians race tracks,Joe Feriss asked me to advocate for the “Bisharat” horses ,knowing very well Wassef and Hani Bisharat I stated that the Bisharat grand father was in need to close a huge contract with King Faruk ,who THE MAN in the middle east at that time and the Bisharat’s could not in any case send him “ringers” as a present.
    I agree that the North African Arabs are neglected but as far that they were under French juridiction ,allow me to doubt on some origins ,remember Manganate and some other horses specially racing mares I saw!this not mean that some arab stud books are “snow white” remember Amer and Sharkasi on whom i had a polemic with WAHO

  7. Hi Jenny (Krieg), good to hear from you. Indeed, Hassan is the horse Joe Ferriss pictured in the Khamsat article on his travels in the Middle East. Magnificent horse, now dead.

    The young gret stallion pictured in Reema’s picture is actually him.

  8. Reema is exquisite and does indeed resemble a marble Greek statue, almost eerily so.

    I have read many times on this blog the word “dry” to describe (usually) the faces of certain horses (though on another site the word referred to the horse’s legs). At risk of exposing just how very little I know, could someone please tell me what “dry” means?

    Thank you.

  9. Hi Elena:

    When people refer to “dry”, people are referring to a horse whose facial bone structure has become more prominent, more clearly evident, more clearly obvious. When a horse is “dry”, it is as if the skin was pulled off the horse, thrown in the washing machine, shrunken a few sizes and now is a very tight fit on the horse’s face. Gone is the fatty tissue that hides the chiseled bone features of the horse’s face. Gone is the meatiness, the blubber…as if it melted away. Now, when the horse is dry, the horse resembles a chiseled piece of art, as if chiseled out of the finest marble stone.

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