Nuhra, 1936 Wadhnah mare from Bahrain to the UK

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 14th, 2014 in Bahrain

Nuhra was a 1936 bay mare presented by the ruler of Bahrain to the British Earl of Athlone during his and wife’s visit to Bahrain in 1939. She was by a Kuhaylan Jellabi stallion out of a Wadhnah Khursaniyah mare.

In light of the habit of Arab Sheykh’s of maintaining only a handful of stallions for breeding, especially at that time of pre-oil discovery when resources were scarce, I wonder whether that Kuhaylan Jellabi stallion is the same as “Old Speckled Jellabi I” presented in old age to Crown Prince Saud in 1937″, as per the table of Bahraini stallions here. Dates certainly match. Unless they maintained two Jellabi stallions at the same time, which is probable.

Nuhra 1936 Wadhna

10 Responses to “Nuhra, 1936 Wadhnah mare from Bahrain to the UK”

  1. The only Wadhna mare to ever leave the desert ?

  2. Some went to Egypt in the time of Abbas Pasha and Ali Pasha Sharif, including a black Wadhna of Bandar Ibn Saadun of the Muntefiq

  3. Does this strain still survive in Egyptian breeding, in tail female ?
    Thank you

  4. No, only in the middle of the pedigree, and in the USA not in Egypt, through this mare:

    follow the pedigree and you will get to Ribal and Nasik, which have Asil descendants in the USA.

  5. Need more diversity in western breeding !

  6. Just to say this strain with its substrains is well known and highly respected in Iran. This is from the writings of the late Mary Gharagozlou:
    “Concerning the Wadnan Khersan:
    The Wadne Khersani mare, particularly those of the Mir tribe, are venerated above all other strains. The Mir have had them according to themselves and others “since the beginning”. How long that means is not defined, but, considering the length of middle eastern history, it is quite long enough. Surrounding this strain are many superstitions. To own a Wadne Khersani Mir is to safeguard your future, for you will never lack. You may be brought exalted position and wealth, and you will pass your days in health and happiness. Woe and misfortune will be the lot of those who mistreat their Wadne Khersani, be it cruelty or inattention to its needs. If an owner of a Wadne Khersani should give her to someone else who then mistreats her, the vengeance will be for both the owners.
    Maybe this is the basic reason why the Mir never part with their mares. Sale, is of course out of the question, as it is among all respectable Arabs, but the Wadne is never given in partnerships, wedding presents, to form friendships, in short, under no condition. The Mir say that if we should be the cause of the misery of one of our mares, we would then suffer as she has, losing the respect of others and will “be seated on black earth” (become poverty stricken).

  7. more from Mary Gharagozlou about the Iranian traditional story of the origin of this strain name:
    Wadne Khersani Narrative 1
    In the days when the Arab Moslems had differences, forty true believers of the Prophet were on their way across the desert to join his followers. The distance they had to travel was long. They knew where to find water on their journey, but, in their haste to leave, took no provisions, depending on finding and shooting some sort of game. Four days pass, and they had seen nothing. They were all faint from hunger. They discuss among themselves what they should do, for they cannot continue this way. They come to the conclusion that the only solution is to slaughter and eat one of the horses. Horses are not considered “unclean” in accordance with Islamic law, but “makrouh“ (only to be used to eat in dire circumstances). The group concluded that their plight justified the sacrifice of one of their mounts. However, when it came to choosing which horse was to be killed there was violent argument, no one being prepared to offer his mare. Finally they decided to race them, the loser to be slaughtered. They chose a short distance, not to tire already fatigued animals.
    They took off in a cloud of dust. A mare of the Koheilan lost. Without further argument the owner removed her trappings, and, with the help of the others threw her, tying her forelegs and hindlegs together so that he would be able to cut her throat in accordance with Moslem custom. Just as they were tugging at her to face her towards Mecca, (correct position for slaughter) there was a shout of “Gazelle! Gazelle!” and the men helping him let go of the mare. Everyone rushed to mount and give chase. As fast as he could, with the knife he had intended to cut her throat, he cut the ropes tied to her pasterns, helped her in her struggle to rise, put on her saddle and jumped on her back. By this time the riders and gazelle were in a distant cloud of dust. Gradually he caught up. One by one he passed mares that were faltering, and could no longer continue the pace. Surprisingly, he found himself alone, ahead of all the horses, and the distance between himself and the gazelle decreasing. At last he was close enough to throw his spear, downing the first gazelle. One by one he shot four. For the fifth, a few of the riders whose horses had recovered, helped. As they skinned and ate the half cooked meat, they praised the Koheile, puzzled as to why she had lost the race, only to surpass all their mounts in several times the distance.
    The explanation that was offered, was, that she was so noble she was willing to be sacrificed in place of the others. It was after this, it is said that she gained the name of Wadne Khersani. According to Layard in his book “Ninevah” meaning ‘worth her weight in gold’. According to the Khuzestan version: the “dumb one”. Too modest and unassuming to show her supremacy until necessary. Ever since, the Khersani has often shown herself in similar situations, gaining a reputation as the horse for emergencies.
    The truth probably lies in the fact that like all Koheilans, the Wadne Khersani has great stamina, not good for short sprints, but a champion for long distance.

  8. Thanks for this, Kina. This is part of what makes this blog such a wonderful archive!

  9. Thank you, Kina. That was very interesting and gave me goosebumps because of how loyal these horses are.

  10. Has Mrs Mary Gharagozlou written a book, or anything, that you guys can please direct me to. What I have read about her in the past, and these pieces, is really interesting and I would love to know more.
    Thank you

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