On Kuhaylan Jellabi

By Joe Ferriss

Posted on April 17th, 2008 in Egypt, USA

The Kuhaylan Jallabi strain as an extant female line in Egyptian bloodlines will forever be something of a curiosity. Modern evidence of MtDNA work on this line combined with interpreting Lady Anne Blunt’s notations should make people feel comfortable in choosing the Saqlawi Jidran strain for this line though it is not officially recorded as such. To be fair to Judi Forbis, in her 2003 book Authentic Arabian Bloodstock II, in the section on Kuhaylan Jellabi, she gives a five page presentation of most of the known information over time on this strain including citing Prince Mohamed Ali, Travelers Rest, Abbas Pasha Manuscript etc. She implies that people need to make their own choice on this. She chose to follow the name of traditional record as certified on the pedigrees of the imports. The Pyramid Society also footnotes this in their reference handbook pedigrees. How that traditional record became certified as Kuhaylan Jellabi is a mystery but it must have its origins somewhere yet to be discovered. Judi does make the point that no matter what the strain, the authenticity of the line is without question.

When I first heard of the MtDNA, it was no surprise to me having come from the seminar with the elders of the Shammar tribe. At that seminar, which I have audio tape of, it was said that one of their Rabda female lines originates from a Muniqi Sbaili mare with a feather like marking on her forehead, who was a great war mare. What this demonstrated to me was that the name of the strain may be subject to modification or revision throughout history depending on various circumstances. There are other examples of strain names changing over time. As for all western logic, it points to a comfortable conclusion that the Bint Yamamas are Saqlawi Jidran, but the mystery remains as to how this particular line became associated with the legend of the Jallabiah.

As for the look of this family, it varies greatly as with any strain and I am not sure that any strain is a type. Carolyn Colett’s experience with her particular group can never escape the continuous introduction of *Bint Saada and *Bint Serra, both very phenotypically influential for refinement in certain combinations. Other groups where all the Bint Yamama’s are concentrated together such as Babson/Brown and Babson/Brown/Sirecho often resemble *Fadl, *Aziza, and *Maaroufa more than any influence from *Bint Serra or *Bint Saada. I think this is what Judi Forbis was trying to say in her Jallabi introduction. She was well aware of these horses early on and one example, Maard, a double Fay El Dine grandson but tail female *Maaroufa was a compact, rounded, muscular type, a description that aptly fits two mares I saw, Bint Maaroufa (Fay El Dine x *Maaroufa) and Fada (Faddan x AAroufa out of *Maaroufa).

6 Responses to “On Kuhaylan Jellabi”

  1. You remind me of the photo illustration that Judi Forbis shared regarding the phenotype of three “KJ” stallions: Fadl Dan, Mohummed Sadden and Prince Fa Moniet. They bear no physical similarity to each other!!! With Fadl Dan as the stereotype for KJ conformation and Prince Fa Moniet on the other end of the spectrum with stereotypical Saqlawi conformation. Mohummed Sadden fell in between, with the conformation that is often attributed to the Dahman, a blend of the Saqlawi and Kuhaylan strains.

    You make a very valid point, which I greatly enjoyed, regarding the Babson horses. For example, Fadl Starr (like Serr Maariner) is an Ibn Fa-Serr son. Ibn Fa Serr traces to *Bint Serra through the both sire and dam. Bah Roufa, Fadl Starr’s dam is out of Serroufa, a Fa Serr daughter. So, for just this one horse, look at how many additional sources of Saqlawi blood. When combined with the Serr Maariner daughter, Princeton Maaroufa, we have 5 additional sources of *Bint Serra blood, in addition to the *Bint Saada lines you mentioned.

    So, what is really a pure-in-the-strain horse really??? In terms of phenotype? These are the mysteries of this great breed, as we try to comprehend them and catalogue them with these labels. It is like the comment “Fabah-free” which I often laugh about. How can any horse be “Fabah free” when they carry the blood of *Fadl and *Bint Bint Sabbah, through their other offspring.

    Thanks for your post. I think I will enjoy it even more, the second time around.


  2. There is at least one place where the tail-female line from Bint Yemama is officially recorded as Seglawi Jedran. When Khafifan was sold from Egpyt to Poland and registered in the first edition of Polish Arabian Stud Book (PASB) volume I, he was recorded in that book as a Seglawi Jedran.

  3. Good point RJ. It does add to the mystery as to where these various certifications originate. There is not space to go into its detail here, but the well known authority of the past in Poland on Arabians, Dr. Edward Skorkowski, in his “How to Breed Arabian Horses” gives a description for the Saqlawi type as being essentially like what Raswan described for the Kuhaylan, in this instance a description that fits Khafifan.

    AKA II notes that “the certified pedigrees for the Babson and Brown imports [to the US] from the Manial Stud of Prince Mohamed Ali show Bint Yamama as by ‘Saklawi El Kebir out of Yamama, of the Jallabi strain of Ali Pasha Sherif, from Waziria, from Abbas Pasha’s stud.'” Also the RAS history draws a female line of connection to Jellabiet Feysul for Bint Yamama. Yet the logical details of this path seem doubtful to researchers now. I am not claiming they must be Kuhaylan Jellabi because of these records but you can see that some place reliance on these certifications for these particular horses imported to the US. Because no clear or officially corrected records are employed now, it leaves people to make their own choices. Personally I think science and logic points in favor of Bint Yamama being of the Ghazieh female line. How it became Jellabi who knows?

    Now I do not encourage strains as types, but many of the Yamama line when concentrated do tend to have their own particular look, apart from others of the Ghazieh line. Further, I have a photo from Danah Al Khalifa of a Bahrani Jellabi stallion which to my surprise greatly resembles the pictures of *Fadl, and a Bahrani mare who resembles mares like El Maar and Fay Negma, perhaps adding to the mystique of this issue for some.

  4. Many valid and interesting points have been made so far! When I first read Lady Anne Blunt’s comments many years ago, it was as if a light had been switched on and somehow the legendary beauty of Prince Mohammed Ali’s horses seemed to be more real and tangible than before. Though of course nothing except Yemama’s antecedents had changed. I was not the least bit surprised when the MTDNA results supported Lady Anne’s writings.

    As a general rule, I don’t think that you can associate strain with phenotype (even though I find myself doing so quite frequently – its such a beguiling notion!). What I can easily believe though, is that when selected or bred by someone with a good and consistent eye then a definite phenotype will emerge which is easily spotted by any visitor. I have myself had visitors assume that two very similar looking and similarly natured horses just had to be siblings even though they had unrelated sires and dams. One doesn’t have to look hard to spot consistency within the herds of some of today’s breeders. This is I think at least in part what seperates the wheat from the chaff!

    My own continuing preoccupation with the Ghaziahs dates back exactly to the first week in December 1985 when I was fortunate enough to meet two truly spectacular examples. Thinking back .. I still get goosebumps….


  5. In South Africa there is the Stallion Zahir(Ibn Fayda IV x Zahra – out of the Bint Yamama dam line) that was imported direct from Egypt in 1964 by the Union Government (Union Buildings, Pretoria, Transvaal). Breeder stated is H. M. the late King Farouk, Inshass, Cairo, Egypt. His strain is given as Keheilan Jellabi in the first Volume of “The Arab Horse Stud book of South Africa”

  6. Sorry did not type correct, date is not 1964 but 1946.

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