Photo of the day: HS Marayah

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 24th, 2008 in Lebanon

This past weekend I took part of my family to visit with Jenny Krieg, of Poolesville, Maryland. Jenny is the president of Al Khamsa for a few more days. A new board will take over for a year after the 2009 Tulsa Convention, which starts today, and which I am so sorry for not being able to attend. Jenny is otherwise the proud owner of HS Marayah (2 pics below). Marayah traces to the Shaykhah mare *Layya, imported to the USA by W.R. Hearst in 1947. Jenny is one of the few breeders preserving this rare line in Asil form, and this year she bred Marayah to DB Khrush (pic also below) for a 2009 foal.

In 2007, mtDNA research showed that Marayah and a Lebanese mare from the same strain and the same original breeder as *Layya shared the same haplotype, implying a common tail female ancestor.  *Layya’s original strain, and therefore Marayah’s, is ‘Ubayyan, from the marbat of the Donato family, a merchant family of Italian origin settled in Lebanon’s Biqaa’ valley. *Layya’s great-grand dam was a famous and important mare, and was hence known as “al-Shaykhah” (feminine of al-Shaykh, or al-Sheikh, a honorific title in the Arab world).  Her descendents were named al-Shaykhat, after her. They practically formed a new strain, and back in Lebanon, few people if any recall that these horses were originally from the ‘Ubayyan strain.  


4 Responses to “Photo of the day: HS Marayah”

  1. Hi Edouard,

    I probably will have the pleasure to go take pictures of these horses next year and who knows, may be see the foal!


  2. Just wanted to note here that the name of the Lebanese Shaykah mare that was compared with HS Marayah was Bint bint Ghazwa. Ghazwa was the daughter of the stallion Jarrar (I think Asil). Ghazwa was bought by Pierre Pharaon and Pierre Helou from Khalil Abu Zaid the maternal uncle of Khamis (the Khamis were the owners of *Layya). Bint bint Ghazwa was owned by Pierre Pharaon.

  3. Edouard,

    Are there any asil ‘Ubayyan Donato horses remaining in the middle east?


  4. No. Not a single one.

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