Photo of the Day: Samura, Kuhaylat al-Jalala, from Russia

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on May 19th, 2010 in Arabia

Samura, a chestnut 1895 mare, is a first generation offspring of two desert-bred Arabians imported to Russia by Count Stroganov and Prince Sherbatoff, and was bred by the former at what is now the Tersk Stud. Stroganov’s breeding program was completely wiped out in the events that led to the bolchevik revolution of 1917, and nothing remains of it today.


A couple words on the strain of Kuhaylan al-Jalala: it is specific to the Shammar tribe, among which it is now extinct. It is one of the seven (some say eleven) strains which the Shammar took in war from the Sharif (Ruler) of Mecca, when this tribe crushed the Sharif forces in a grueling and epic battle still celebrated by the Shammar in their poems, some two hundred years ago. The other strains taken by the Shammar from the Sharif of Mecca in this battle (actually, a series of battles) are, off the top of my head: Kuhaylan al-Sharif, Obayyan al-Sharif (also known as ‘Ubayyan Suhayli), Kuhaylan al-Dhabi, Kuhaylan al-Jalala, Nkhayshi, Kuhaylan al-Shnaynan, and a seventh I don’t recall now as I am writing from work without my notes. The first two strains are still extant among the Shammar in Syria today, and a thin line Kuhaylan al-Shunaynan subsists in Saudi Arabia’s royal Studs. The other strains had disappeared by the 1940s.


2 Responses to “Photo of the Day: Samura, Kuhaylat al-Jalala, from Russia

  1. What legend horses used to come in Russia! It is pity that there are no more persons like Stroganov. It would be nice if Tersk stud received some of authentic Arabian horses. Even in case of diplomatic gifts, these horses never arrive the stud. For example, the last gift was 2 stallions and one mare presented by the King Abdullah II of Jordan to Russian president in 2002. They seam to stay at the Moscow Hippodrome till now.
    Though, I can not be sure if the horses are desert bred.

  2. Take a look at the size of her leg bones.. When was the last time you saw legs that large and strong?? The photo of Sig Bag 6 on the all breed pedigree index comes to mind, as does the Al Khamsa photo of Kuhailan Zaid. And a few others.. Most all of them Desertbreds, or descended from Desertbred stock.
    best wishes
    Bruce Peek

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