*Sawannah, 1948 Dahmah from Bahrain in the USA

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on May 6th, 2009 in Arabia, Bahrain, Bahrain, USA

In 1953, K.M. Kelly, an American working in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, received a gift from Shaykh Khalifah bin Muhammad Aal Khalifah, the chief of police in the neighboring emirate of Bahrain (then a British protectorate), and cousin of Bahrain ruler Shaykh Salman ibn Hamad Aal Khalifah, who ruled the country from 1942 to 1961. See the family tree here.

That gift was a chestnut mare, *Sawannah, born in 1948. She was later imported to the USA, and she still asil descendents in the USA and Canada. A September 1975 letter by Danah Aal Khalifa, gives some information about *Sawannah, in response to an inquiry about the mare:

“The mare Sawannah pictured above was identified by Fatis, the old studmaster of H.H. Shaikh Issa bin Salman Al Khalifa, as a Dahmah, belonging to Shaykh Khalifa bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, (chief of Police). Dahmeh was bred by Shaykh Salman, Ruler of Bahrain at the time, out of one of his mares of the Dahman strain, and sired by one of his stud stallions serving at the time.”

Whether *Sawannah was a Dahmah Shahwaniyah, a Dahmat Najib, a Dahmat Kunayhir, or a Dahmat Umm Amer is not mentioned. That is where an MtDNA comparison with the lines still in Bahrain today, and maybe even with the Egyptian line of the Blunt mare *Bint el Bahreyn, would come in handy. Any sponsor volunteering?

Meanwhile, here is a video of the an unidentified descendant of *Sawannah, most probably from Edie Booth’s collection:

21 Responses to “*Sawannah, 1948 Dahmah from Bahrain in the USA”

  1. Edouard,

    Thank very much for posting a photo and some information about *Sawannah! I have a BLUE STAR mare that is descended from her and it has been difficult to find information on some of her ancestors.

    Corinna Nilson

  2. Hi Corinna, do you have a picture of your mare so I can post it here?

  3. Dahmeh El Shagara Imported About 1920 May be
    Dahmeh El Shagara death in 1977.Impossible the horses live more than Thirty-five years.

    Dahmeh El Shagara dam of Dahman Alawwal 1938- 1970 Lived about thirty-two years

    Dahmeh El Malek 1936 received from Saudi
    Sawannah born in 1948 .imported in 1954 to the USA
    Sawannah her dem Dahmeh El Malek

    The people of Bahrain Hide information


    DAHMEH EL SHAGARA 1928 Impossible No Dahmeh horses the date Before In Bahrain.


  5. Bint El Bahreyn Dahmah Shahwaniyah
    bred by Rais Issa Ibn Khalifah of Bahrain and imported in 1903 to Egypt as a gift for Khedive Abbas II. Purchased in 1907 by Lady Anne Blunt for Sheykh Obeyd Stud, Egypt.

    Dahmeh El Malek The same family of Bint El Bahreyn

  6. You’re right, some of the dates don’t match. But again, the dates are from allbreedpedigree.com which is not reliable. You need to look at the Bahraini studbook. Most probably, both Bint El Bahreyn and *Sawannah probably go back to the line of Dahmet al-Malek.

  7. story from them

    The Dahmeh strain , historically the best known horse family in Bahrain , was prolific and famous in the 19th century , but had diminished to one mare in 1928. Bahrain lost the strain briefly when this mare was sent to Fahad bin Abdulla Al-Jiluwi for his pacification campaign against the Ajman tribe. When King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud heard of the loss of El Dahmeh , he promptly sent a replacement to Shaikh Sulman bin Hamad (1895 – 1961) who was very fond of the Dahmeh strain . The mare was referred to in Bahrain as Dahmeh El Malek . Another replacement was sent by Shaikh Abdulla Jassim Al-Thani of Qatar, Dahmeh El Shagara.

    Dahmeh El Malek was mated to one of Shaikh Hamed’s stallions and gave birth to a filly ; Bint Dahmeh El Malek , and then she was sent to Shaikh Ahmed bin Jaber of Kuwait.

    Dahmeh El Shagara was a good producer . She was the dam of Dahman Alawwal (by Mlolshaan Speckled). Dahmeh Tawile a daughter of Dahmeh El Shagara was the dam of Dahman Althaani (foaled 1962) who served at stud till his accidental death in 1977. Today this rare strain is represented by Dahmeh El Shagara’s great granddaughter Dahmeh Yaamiah 273 and her daughter Dahmeh Umm Wajnah 821.

  8. I have three reference books on the Bahraini horses: a book called “The Living Treasures” (1971) that is mostly a pictorial, and also “The Amiri Arabian Stud Book of Bahrain,” volume I (1980) and volume II (1992).

    The 1992 book has very few Dahmah mares. These are:

    Dhahma Alhamra 23, bay, 1965, by Dhahmaan Alawwal and out of Dhahma Bint Dhahma Alshaghara (559). Dhahma Alhamra is noted as having died in 1991, when she was age 26. (DataSource extends this tail female line back one more generation to Dhahma 527, chestnut, no date. Presumably #527 is the Dahmeh El Shagara sent by Shaikh Al-Thani from Qatar? This Dhahma 527 would have been foaled approximately in 1945.)

    Dhahma Yaamiah 273, mentioned above by Pure man, bay, 1976, by Dhahmaan Althaani and out of Dhahma Alhamra 23. Dhahma Yaamiah was 16 in 1992 and would be 33 today, so is probably deceased.

    Then there is Dhahma Umm Wajnah 821, also mentioned by Pure man, grey, 1989, would have been a 3 yr old at the time of volume II, by Kuheilaan Aafas Ttaawoos 416 and out of Dhahma Yaamiah 273. Dhahma Umm Wajnah died 6/16/2004 according to DataSource, but DataSource also lists progeny for her, two colts and one filly:

    Dhahma Mabroukat Al Bahrain 1155, bay, 1999, by Kuheilaan Umm Zorayr Al-Dhelee 730 (interestingly, he was by Dhahmaan Alrafah Althaalith (1961), a son of Dhahma Bint Dhahmat Almalek (1940), who was out of the original Dhahmat Almalek (imp. 1936) — apparently the tail-female from Dhahmat Almalek is extinct).

    There is also in the 1992 book a mare called Dhahma Umm Amer, 1970, bred in Saudi Arabia by HRH Prince Bender bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, imported to Bahrain in 1984, and her daughter, Dhahma Shaafia (1987).

  9. OK, I see now that the original mare Dahmeh El Shagara is the dam of a 1938 son, so was probably herself foaled in the early 1930s.

  10. Thank you R.J. Cadranell

    the Result From your Comment

    Sawannah was daughter Dhahmat Almalek

  11. why? how did you reach this conclusion pure man?

  12. Dhahmaan Alrafah Althaalith (1961),

    Dhahma Bint Dhahmat Almalek (1940),

    Dhahmat Almalek (imp. 1936)

    —I have a question

    When imported Dahmeh El Shagara

    When foaled Dhahma Bint Dhahma Alshaghara

    When foaled Dhahmaan Alawwal

    When foaled Dhahmaan Althaani

  13. DHAHMAAN ALAWWAL foaled 1938, out of Dahmeh El Shagara. If there were no Dahmah mares in Bahrain when Dhahmat Almalek arrived in 1936, then Dahmeh El Shagara must have been imported after Dhahmat Almalek but in time for the 1937 breeding season???

    DHAHMAAN ALTHAANI foaled 1962. DataSource says his dam was a daughter of Dahmeh El Shagara. (It would be very unlikely for one mare to have foals born 24 years apart.)

    The stallion table on p. 10 of Bahraini stud book volume I lists Dahman stallions as follows:

    Dahman I 1938 out of Dahmeh El Shagara

    Dahman II 1963 out of Dahmeh El Tawileh

    Dahman III 1962 out of Bint Dahmeh El Malek

    So the foaling dates for Dahman II and Dahman III are off by one year from what is in DataSource? DataSource has a horse named DHAHMAAN ALRAFAH ALTHAALITH 1961 bay out of Dhahma Bint Dhahmat Almalek.

  14. RJ Al Thaalith means the Third in Arabic, so Dhamaan Alrafah Althaalith is Dahman III.

  15. There is Old man in Bahraini May be he died he knows All things about horses in Bahraini his Name Saad Al-Dosari

    All the horses under his administration

  16. I think Jenny Lees she know Saad Al-Dosari

    he was Working with Sheikh Mohamed Bin Salman

    Jenny Lees This is a question for you

  17. Here you will find Fatis sire *Sawannah


  18. Fatis is Hamdani

  19. I think Fatis is the name of the man who was chief sayiss for the horses in Bahrain.

  20. Hello All,
    I’m the Bahrain Arabian horse registrar and thought I should step in here. It is with great regret that I inform you that neither of the Royal studs have any female Dhahma (Dahmeh) descendants left, my eyes well up and my chest tightens as I convey this to you.
    I am so pleased at the international interest in our horses about who so little is known outside Bahrain.
    I am not comfortable putting too much information on to open forums where it could be misused, but would be happy to answer any questions personally.

  21. Hello Jehangir,

    Welcome to this blog. I am pleased to know you are a reader. The news you bring forward about the extinction of the Dahman strain in Bahrain is just so sad. I wish you elaborate a little more about happened to Dhameh Umm Wajnah and her dam, and the Dhamet Amer at Sh. Muhammed b. Salman.

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