Photo of the day: Kassar, asil Kuhaylan al-Wati stallion, Syria

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 13th, 2010 in Syria

The chestnut stallion Kassar (Mahrous x Dawha by K. al-Wati) was bred by Mustafa al-Jabri and purchased by Omar Anbarji of Aleppo, who sent me the picture below.

Kassar’s dam Dawha hails from the ma’ruf (well-known — by the Bedouin community, that is) and mazbut (reliable, authenticated, trusted) marbat of Kuhaylan al-Wati of the sons of Hakim al-Hsayni al-Ghishm of the Shammar, now settled in North-Eastern Syria.  Hakim, his sons Mohammed, Ali and Fawaz and his grandsons such as Husayn followed a policy of only breeding their Kuhaylat al-Wati mares to their Kuhaylan al-Wati stallions. They own  several branches of the same horses.  

Kassar in particular is heavily linebred to the Kuhaylan al-Wati strain. Kassars sire Mahrous is a son of a dark grey Kuhaylan al-Wati stallion, also from Hakim’s, and so is his paternal grandsire. Kassar’s paternal grandsire and Kassar’s dam are said to be very closely related.

Theirs is a relatively old marbat with the Shammar; The grey stallion “Koheilan”, imported to England in the early 1910s (I think, but maybe it was the 1920s, in any case the horse is pictured in the first pages of Al Khamsa Arabians I, 1983), where he left no progeny, was of that strain.  The Kuhaylan al-Wati strain is one of the main surviving branches of Kuhaylan Jrayshi (alt. spelling Jurayshi), itself an older strain present among the Sba’ah Bedouins, and indeed some people today in the towns in Syria refer to Kuhaylan al-Wati as Kuhalyan Jrayshi.  

Now Kuhaylan Jrayshi is just another spelling for the strain referred to in the Abbas Pasha Manuscript as Kuhaylan Ibn Jarshan, from which the much more famous Kuhaylan Jellabi is derived. If you have a copy of the Abbas Pasha Manuscript, whether in English or in Arabic, just read through the section of “Kuhaylat Ibn Jarshan, and her daughters Al Zahiyah and Al Jellabiyah” line by line, and you’ll see what I am talking about.

So, according to Bedouin oral lore, the mtDNA haplotypes of the two strain of Kuhalyan al-Wati and Kuhaylan Jellabi should match, as they both trace back to the same mare, the Kuhaylat mare of Ibn Jarshan. I am eager to see if DNA analysis will confirm this story (like it has done with some stories, more later on this), or whether it will infirm it (like it has done with others).   

Personally, I see some resemblance between the photo of Kassar above  and that of the chestnut Kuhaylan Jellabis of Lady Anne Blunt and Ali Pasha Sherif, such as Kasida (picture below) and Merzuk.

3 Responses to “Photo of the day: Kassar, asil Kuhaylan al-Wati stallion, Syria”

  1. Edouard, is the picture on the bottom of page 50 of A. K. 1 of the grey Kuhaylan al Wati stallion the one you are referring to? He looks like he has very good bone substance.
    Best wishes
    Bruce Peek

  2. Yep, that’s it. I did not have the page number when I wrote this entry. These are really, really good horses.

  3. very nice pic, nice stallion

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