Part-bred Iraqi stallions in the Lebanese racetrack from 1950s to 1980s

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on May 13th, 2017 in General

This is work in progress. In face of fading memories and changing narratives, and documented truths that don’t seem to matter anymore, and in keeping with my obsession to safeguard all I can from a previous Middle Eastern order, I have taken it upon me to list and document the part-bred Arabian horses that came to the Lebanese racetrack from Iraq starting from the 1950s and well into the 1980s, and were later used as stallions by the most prominent breeders. Together with the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990), they were responsible for the destruction of the asil, purebred Lebanese Arabian horse breeding program, and there were spillover effects into neighboring Syria (mostly Homs and Tell Kalakh, but also Hama and Damascus and into Deyr Ezzor), where part-bred Iraqi stallions were also used.

There were grandsons and great grandsons of the grey English Thoroughbred known as “Tabib” and “al-Suri” in Lebanon and Syria, and sometimes had more than cross.

Iraqi imported stallions to the Beirut racetrack, grandsons of Tabib, 25% Engligh Thoroughbred blood, 1950s and 1960s, later used as stallions:  

  • Hisham, by Walans/Violence by Tabib, one of the earliest and perhaps the most used to all these Iraqi imports; raced by Henri Pharaon
  • Helwan
  • al-Zir, a son of Ala Mahlak, widely used in Akkar (Northern Lebanon) and neighboring Homs in Syria.
  • Fahd al-Shol
  • Mared, used in the Syrian Jazirah and around Deyr Ezzor, sire of Amir Al Zaman who was very widely used

Iraqi imported stallions to the Beirut racetrack, great-grandsons of Tabib, 12.5% English Thoroughbred blood or more, 1970s and 1980s, later used as stallions: 

  • Lark, son of Dixi al-Awal son of Wadi’ Amal son of Tabib
  • Rabdan, said to be Lark’s full brother
  • Burkaan
  • Surra Man Ra’a, son of Saaad Sattar, son of Asad Anwar son Dahman Baghdad son of Tabib
  • Milyar
  • Amal Hayati
  • Shayyal, used sparingly in and around Damascus
  • Black Arrow, used in Damascus

Incomplete list of Amir al-Zaman male progeny used for breeding in Lebanon, out of Lebanese mares:

  • Tayr al-Shol, out of a Ma’naqiyah from ‘Akkar
  • Good Boy
  • Nafees, out of a Dunayssah from ‘Akkar (the Uyun al-Ghizlan marbat)
  • Samer, out of a ‘Ubayyah from ‘Akkar (the al-Bissi marbat)
  • Ossyan
  • Harbaji, used in Rayak (Lebanon)


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