Photo of the Day: *Kouhailane, 1943 K. Tamriyah imported to the USA from Lebanon in 1947

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on November 9th, 2010 in Lebanon, USA

The 1943 mare *Kouhailane (photo above, not flattering) was one of the 14 horses to be imported to the USA by press magnate W.R. Hearst in 1947. She hails from the Lebanese plain of Akkar, north of Tripoli and close to the Syria border.

‘Akkar is the prime horse-breeding area in Lebanon. It is a very fertile agricultural plain, extending from the Mediterranean sea to the highlands of Mt. Lebanon, and bordering Syria. It is within an hour’s access to the Syrian desert by car, and it is was not unusual for ‘Anazah clans and others from smaller Bedouin tribes used to pitch their tents in the plains.

Since the end of the XVII century, the feudal landlords of ‘Akkar have been from the Mer’abi family, who were of Kurdish origins (in Arabic). The Mer’abis were split in several rival clans: al-Muhammad, al-‘Uthman, al-‘Abd al-Razzaq, al-As’ad, al-‘Ali, who were farming taxes from the various ‘Akkar districts on behalf of the Ottoman governor of Tripoli, and ultimately, who was the local representative of the Ottoman governor. At times, Mir’abi leaders were able to garner enough strength to become Ottoman govenors of Tripoli themselves.

In ‘Akkar, some of the most prestigious marabet were:

1. Kuhaylan al-Dunays, originally from Sba’ah, with the Mer’abis in the village of ‘Uyun al-Ghizlan;

2. Kuhaylan al-Kharas, also from the Sba’ah, with the Mer’abis but through the Jundi family of Hims in Syria;

3. Ma’naqi Sbayli, also from the Sba’ah;

4. Kuhaylan Tamri, originally from the Sba’ah; this is the very same marbat of the old stallion Taharror (Ghazwane x Tamria), of which we used to own a maternal granddaughter, as well as that of the mare Mamlakeh, of which a non-asil son was imported to the USA in the 1970s (*Najm Hilwane, by Hilwane, non-asil partbred Arab from Iraq x Mamlakeh).

There were other marabet too. I need to ask my father about them, as he knows the ‘Akkar marabet inside out. In any case, the records of the Hearst import *Kouhailane at the Arabian Horse Trust identify her sire as “Koheilan — Akkar” and her dam as Tamrie, and mention that she was known as “Bint Kouhailane” in Lebanon, and that she was in the ownership of Henri Pharaon (who else?).

The records are scanty, but when compared with the information from Lebanese old-timers (and not so old-timers), the pieces of the puzzle fit together and make sense:

*Kouhailane was  obviously from the Kuhaylan Tamri marbat of the Mer’abis; there was no other Tamri marbat there. Concerning her sire “Koheilan — Akkar”, there was only one stallion by the name of “Koheilan” (his racing name) standing in ‘Akkar (in Halba) at the time, and he was a son of the famous Krush Halba out of a Kuhaylat al-Kharas mare. I think he was a government-owned stallion.

Unfortunately, nothing is left from this mare that is otherwise asil.

One Response to “Photo of the Day: *Kouhailane, 1943 K. Tamriyah imported to the USA from Lebanon in 1947”

  1. Thanks Edouard for this interesting information. The 1906 Davenport imported stallion Houran was from this strain. Though Houran is found narrowly in Al Khamsa lines today, it is too bad that he was not preserved within the all Davenport breeding.

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