Photo of the Day: Szeikha, desert-bred Kuhaylat al-‘Ajuz, Poland

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 14th, 2010 in Arabia, Poland, Saudi

This is a raelly unique photo, by Carl Raswan, from the Craver photo collection. It shows the mare Szeikha, a chestnut Kuhaylat al-‘Ajuz purchased in the Arabian desert in 1931 by Bogdan Zientarski and Carl Raswan on the behalf of Prince Roman Sanguszko for the Gumniska Stud. She was bred i n 1923 by “Sheikh Farhan bin Haji Barak al Rahman” of the Muntefiq. She was lost during World War II and never found again.

She may or may not have been of the strain of Kuhaylat al-Ajuz al-Shaykhah, Kuhaylat al-Shaykhah for short, or Szeikha (Shaykhah) may just be her name. She is the quintessential war mare, and I am a strong advocate of breeding back to this type of Arabian mares – the upright neck aside.

11 Responses to “Photo of the Day: Szeikha, desert-bred Kuhaylat al-‘Ajuz, Poland”

  1. She had several offspring by Koheilan Kruszan (, would be interesting to see pictures of that offspring – they seem like a perfect match.

  2. Interesting read on this mare (damline of Urok who was bred to a daughter of Szeikha). So the old man brought went to the trouble importing mares from Arabia and coincidentally named them all 3 Elsissa 🙂

  3. K. Kruszan was also from the Muntafiq Bedouins..

  4. She may have a skoash too uprigt of a neck, but her back especially her coupling is way strong. How else can a horse carry weight and do athletic feats under saddle if not for a good coupling? Sure she’s not got the broadest loin in the world either- but there is absolutely no dip whatsoever in her lumbars. Also the way she’s posed slightly pronked back off her front legs with her head very high accents the lowset and short scalenus junction of her neck. The challenge for the breeder here is to keep the short strong coupling which desertbred Asils appear to have more than most any other breed, and lengthen out the lower curve of the neck and over time raise it up higher in the shoulder.
    Patrick: do you know if any of Szeihkas’ offspring survived the war, and if so what became of them?
    Best wishes
    Bruce Peek

  5. Wonderful mare. Thanks for posting. A great historical photo, such a shame she was lost to the breed.

  6. I think the neck carriage is an accident of the photo, where she is being backed into position by the handler. I have seen a photo of her in Poland, and her neck was not carried that way at rest.

  7. I believe Jeanne is right,manytimes I saw bedouin handlers showing their horses with the hand very near to the head which makes the horse raising his head thus giving this kind of neck.
    the only default she has could be in her knees who are a little bit”Under her” or it is the photo?

  8. Bruce, according to Allbreedpedigree none of her female offspring continued the line – I didn’t check the male offspring.

    Edouard, what happened btw with your Saudi contact “pure man”, no new video’s or pictures of his horses anymore?

  9. Her line continues in modern Polish breeding. Without doing a major research project, at least one prominent line is through her great grandson, Faher (1953 grey, x Trypolis). No asil lines, however.

  10. reste il des psar polonais pur?!Grabiec (branibor x gastronomia par marabut) et baj (negatiw x bajdara par gabor) sont ils pur? merci

  11. Poor old girl was aged 22 when she was lost in 1945. Dam of 8 foals born between 1932 and 1944, 6 fillies and 2 colts. Her broodmare daughters Udzda and Abra were also lost in 1945.

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