By Edouard Aldahdah
Posted on April 19th, 2014 in General
I was always intrigued by the scarcity of references in Lady Anne Blunt’s Journals and Correspondence to her encounters with the Dahman Shahwan horses of the lines of Nadra El Kebira and Obeya, compared to her numerous references to horses from the lines of Yemama (Saqlawi Jadran ibn Sudan), Roga El Beda (Saqlawi Jadran, no marbat mentioned) and Freiha (Kuhaylan Mimrah) at the stables of Prince Mohammed Ali Tewfiq and Prince Ahmad Kamal. This is by far Egypt’s most famous and globally prevalent strain today, yet it is the one we know least about from contemporary sources.
The most explicit of these scarce references occurs during a visit to the stables of Prince Mohammed Ali Tewfiq at Manial on December 22nd 1908, where she records seeing “a beautiful grey Dahmeh Shah. the prince got lately from the Khedive who had her dam from A. Pasha Sherif (she had a foal 3 weeks old with her)“. This is either Nadra El Kebira or Gazza.
Another reference is from one year earlier, on December 17, 1907, also during a visit to the Prince: “There was a handsome white horse from the Khedive, a Dahman — sire Seglawi, which headed the list of horses.” Could this be Farhan/Saklawi II, who was out of El Dahma, and by Saklawi I?
A third reference occurs on December 4th of the same year 1907, when Prinnce Mohammed Ali tells Lady Anne: “my brother has two Dahmehs from Ali Pasha Sherif, which I asked him to let me buy from him as he did not wish to breed Arabs, but he would not, and then I found he had had them covered by Cedar (and English horse).” Could one of these two mares have been Nadra El Kebira, and the other one Gazza?
A fourth reference is on February 6th of 1912, yet on another visit to the Prince, where Lady Anne sees “very fine Dahman Shahwan stallion from the Khedive who had it from Ali Pasha Sherif.”