Photos of the Day: *Ta’an, from Syria to the USA and back to Jordan

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 27th, 2010 in Syria, USA

The 1988 grey Hamdani al-‘Ifri stallion *Ta’an (Awaad x al-Efrieh by a Kuhaylan al-Wati) was born in the Jazirah area of North-Eastern Syria. His breeder, Mis’ir al-Hamad is a member of one of the small Arab nomadic tribes that settled in this area in the XXth century.

I first saw *Ta’an in 1990 as a yearling, at Mustafa al-Jabri’s stud outside of Aleppo. I took pictures which I will scan and share with you. I then saw him again in 1991 and 1992. In 1993, Mustafa gifted *Ta’an to Gerald and Debra Dirks who took him to the USA, then to Jordan in 1996. At that time, the Arab Horse Association studbook did not recognize the Syrian Studbook, so *Ta’an never got registered, even though Al Khamsa, Inc accepted him on the basis of his being a Bedouin-bred horse from Syria. The two pictures below were taken at the Dirks’ farm, and are courtesy of Marie Arthur.


*Ta’an’s sire was Awaad, a grey Kuhaylan al-Krush bred by ‘Iyadah Talab al-Khalaf, of the Shammar Bedouins, from the prestigious Krush al-Baida marbat of Mayzar al-Abd al-Muhsin al-Jarba of the Shammar. Awaad sired many good mares and stallions in Syria, among them the closely-bred black Kuhaylan al-Krush stallion Mokhtar, who was exported to France and who was Ta’an’s paternal half brother.

*Ta’an’s dam Efrieh, which Mustafa al-Jabri acquied from her breeder with her son at her side, was also bred by the Tai Bedouins, but traced back to the ‘Amarat Bedouin tribe (part of the ‘Anazah), whose al-‘Ifri clan, owned the marbat called after them. Hamdani al-‘Ifri was originally Hamdani Simri of the marbat of al-‘Ifri, and was widely acknowledged to be one of the most authenticaed (mazbut) marabet of all the ‘Anazah.  *Ta’an’s dam Efrieh was sired by the Kuhaylan al-Wati stallion of Diab al-Sbeih of the Shammar, a dark grey desert-bred stallion born in the mid to late 1970s, and by the al-Ghishm clan of the Shammar. This Kuhaylan al-Wati stallion was also the sire of Mustafa’s head stallion Mahrous (Kuhaylan al-Wati x ‘Adlah by the Saqlawi Marzaqani known as Abu Ketf). Mahrous and *Ta’an shared the same straight profile and large protruding black eyes, and both features most likely came from that Kuhaylan al-Wati stallion.

*Ta’an left some progeny in Syria, many of which were exported to the Gulf countries. He only left one colt in the USA, DDA Baraq (out of the Hadbat Inzihi mare DDA Latifah by Grand Pass), and this colt’s whereabouts are unknown, although Randall Harris might have some leads. Not sure whether *Ta’an himself is still alive today.

[July 31 upate: the additional photo of *Ta’an below was taken by Joe Achcar in 1992. Thanks Joe for sending it]

8 Responses to “Photos of the Day: *Ta’an, from Syria to the USA and back to Jordan”

  1. Sadly, I think that DDA Baraq died in a young age. I met the Dirks, *Ta’an, and Mustafa al-Jabri’s in Colorado years back. But I did not take any pictures of *Ta’an.

  2. It is important for Al Khamsa to know if DDA Baraq is alive or not. I checked with the Registry, and he should be eligible for registration now, if he is still alive. When the Registry and WAHO re-connected, the Syrian Stud Book was accepted, so *Ta’an and his progeny would be eligible.

  3. Ta’an spent an overnight visit at our farm enroute to being transported to the Dirks’ in Colorado. Randall Harris had picked him up from import quarantine and was traveling cross country and spent the night at our farm leaving the next day. Ta’an was a wonderful horse and I enjoyed the opportunity to see him. We put him up in a large broodmare stall in our barn for the evening. It was dark outside but Ta’an could hear the other horses calling to him so naturally he was very excited about all this. As Randall and I just stood in the stall watching over him. Ta’an moved as swift as a panther, in a figure 8 around and between Randall and I, never touching us or stepping on our toes. You could not even hear his feet touch the ground. I was so impressed with the elasticity of his movements. Finally Randall decided to make him come to a stop in the stall so he grabbed Ta’an’s halter and said “whoa”. However this did nothing. Then, all of a sudden, Randall remembered that he had been given a piece of paper with the Arab pronunciations for some of the words Ta’an would know. Randall pulled out the paper, read it quickly and then said: “La’ah”. I may not be spelling this right but to our amazement Ta’an froze and did not move, looking at us and waiting for his next instruction. We both got a laugh out of that. I was very impressed with his movement, intelligence and good disposition. He also had a very nice eye and expression. He was nicely proportioned with good flat bone, short canon bones, and free moving elbows much like Davenports. Your photos do not quite do him justice but still pleasant to see. Somewhere I have a photo of him being ridden which is good. It is unfortunate that he arrived in America on the cusp of such change that his contribution here was cut short. We certainly can use good desert bred stock and it is always a useful outcross as well.

  4. Joe, I took other photos of him in Syria when he was younger, and they look nicer..

  5. Randall and *Ta’an stopped here on that journey, too, Joe. It was a real privilege to have him here. He reminded me of the Hamidie horses, more than the Davenport imports, but it was certainly all in the family!

  6. I also saw him at your place, Jeanne. He reminded me of *Mohalhil…

  7. Yes, you are right: *Mohalhil, too!

  8. You are all right about your reminisces. To me the Davenport and Hamidie horses are such contemporaries of each other that they are generally the same overall kind, the kind of horse I saw frequently on my 1996 trip in Syria.

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