Scarcity: Code Red

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 2nd, 2012 in General

The Al Khamsa Preservation Task Force has put together a “Code Red” list of the most endangered Al Khamsa bloodlines, which consists of those Foundation Horses (that is, desert-bred imports) that have less than 100 descendants alive today. Here is the link.

By order of scarcity — and hence, emergency — these are those that count less than 20 Al Khamsa descendants alive today:

1. *Al Mashoor

1. *Euphrates

1. *Mlolshaan Hajar Solomon

4. *La Tisa, *Mahsuda, and *Mohalhil

5. *Layya

6. The Babolna/Weil horses

7. *Samirah

8. Kesia I, Kesia II and Mameluke

9. *Bedowiya Al Hamdani and Walid El Seglawi

10. *Azra

Jenny Krieg is leading the preservation of the first three (with Cathy Fye on *Mlolshaan) and #5 (also with Michelle Tennyson); The 4 left from #4 are with Candace Callegari; the #6 with Marilyn McHallam in Canada; the #7 between Stephanie Theinert and the Institute for the Desert Arabian Horse; the #9 are with Edie Booth; and I am handling #8 and #10, with some of the latter also with Elizabeth Ford Pade, that other quiet hero. Note that one horse can combine several of these extremely rare lines. For instance, the first two are found in a single mare alive today, and all the #7 also have lines to #8 as well (but not visa versa).

The overall situation is still very dire, but better than last year, with several efforts currently underway to get the few remaining descendants of these Foundation Horses bred.

I should have added another Foundation Horse to the list, *Lebnaniah, but the line is probably extinct by now.

36 Responses to “Scarcity: Code Red”

  1. I’d like to help in the preservation effort. Would someone please explain what it involves beyond tracking down living descendants, I assume, using DataSource?

  2. We really need more people with a preservation and conservation streak. A lot of us doing this are stretched to the max. In a nutshell, at Cathie was saying, what this involves beyond tracking down eligible horses, is a long term commitment to keeping and maintaining one of the concerned individuals and breeding it within the realm of Al Khamsa, and preferably within its own bloodlines. There are several horses waiting to find such homes right now, and a subgroup of the Al Khamsa Preservation Task Force is currently working on one such case as we speak, a younger mare from the *Nufoud tail female blind in one eye. You can also look at my entry “Updated List of Preservation Emergencies in North America and find what interests you.

    You can also contact me privately at:, and we will see what we can do together. We always need more help. You know what, I will contact you.

  3. Hi, Jeannie. Preserving these lines would be a lot easier if one could know in advance that a suitable home could be found for the resulting foal. I am making tentative plans for breeding my Mlolshaan mare this year, but there is just no way I will be able to retain the foal myself. I’ll have to do lots of networking once I know she’s in foal! Good luck, and we could certainly use your interest!

  4. I think, that if you are going to make a difference with these bloodlines… a person is going to have to do more than just keep a “line” going. What use is the line good for, if it is in some obsolete generation years ago? I am sorry, but I do not believe some horse from generations ago, that is carried on in one line via some Arab, is going to be significant. Especially after they have been watered down…. yes, “watered” down by Egyptian blood for GENERATIONS. What good is *Aire, when all she has been reproduced with is heavy Egyptian blood? That was a great mare!

    It should have been done when she was a grandma…. not when she has become a “thought”.

  5. From a breeding perspective I agree with you.

    From a cultural perspective I don’t. For me preserving a line, especially in the tail female, is as much about preserving the memory of the breeders and the culture behind the line as it is about preserving the type of the horses it represents. *Aire for instance traces to one of the stallions of Emir Bashir, the ruler of my home country of Lebanon in the 1840s, the protector of Lady Stanhope and an ally of Mohammed Ali the Great. There are no horses left in the Middle East that trace to his stud today, and this stud was famous in its time.

    Here’s another example: my old mare Jadiba is more than 90% Doyle breeding (sire, grandsire, great grandsire) and hence Crabbet and some 10% of so Davenport breeding. When Terry and Rosemary Doyle saw her in September, they told me she could hardly be differentiated from one of their 100% Doyle mares. For all practical purposes, she is a Blunt horse. She only carries two distant crosses to *Wadduda, including one in the tail female, through Sedjur.

    From a culture and heritage perspective, these two distant crosses matter to me more than all the rest of the pedigree combined, even if I cannot see the *Wadduda blood in my mare. It greatly matters to me that I own a direct descendant of the war mare of the leader of the ‘Anazah Bedouins in the early 1900s. It is part of the “identity” of my mare, even if this “identity” does not show in her type.

  6. dear Majestic: And we do know that back breeding will work too. Whether the mechanism by which the phenotype is expressed is from say 3 fifth generation crosses or whether the genetic expression comes from enzymes turning genes on once the tipping point is reached isn’t always known. But we do know from most all state stud farm breeding programs that it is an idea that works. So i would argue that it is an idea that works..
    Best wishes
    Bruce Peek

  7. Yes, Bruce, but I have a question here. Lets take the example of Jadiba with her overwhelming percentage of Blunt blood (90%) and the two distant crosses to Wadduda, and say I want to breed back to *Wadduda by breeding Jadiba to Vice-Regent a Davenport stallion with 16% *Wadduda in his pedigree.

    How do you know that by doing so, you are not breeding back/linebreeding to Letan, or *Hamrah, since Vice-Regent is also full of their blood, and since Jadiba herself carries crosses to both, in the back of her pedigree, as well as to *Wadduda?

  8. Edouard,

    Breed back to another tail female stallion that is *Wadduda! This is by breeding your mare back to a son of Vice Regent. Or if you get a filly, breed the filly as a mare to a son creating, Tail female to tail female, takes time, yes! The tail female or line breeding will bring forward *Wadduda. The tail female bred to same will work!
    *Reshan to *Reshan works, *Werdi to *Werdi works.

    *Werdi Per Cent-age is so low, yet the tail *Werdi is different from all other Davenports.

    With this in mind, when you wish to re establish a tail female, line bred! Using type, yes, color, and most important Tail Female. This takes time, you are blessed
    with passion and age. Above all, listen to you self and your horses. They can lead you!

    JMH/Bedouin Arabians

  9. How do you know that by doing so, you are not breeding back/linebreeding to Letan, or *Hamrah, since Vice-Regent is also full of their blood, and since Jadiba herself carries crosses to both, in the back of her pedigree, as well as to *Wadduda?

    My answer is, you don’t know until you look at what that breeding produces. To take Eldar HD for one example, Michael could have bred Trilogy to Jonquil CF and gotten a *Wadduda (15%) or an *Urfah (22%) but what arrived was a *Hamrah (34%, but many MANY Davenports are 30+% *Hamrah without having his type).

    Look at En Pointe CF, whom I know you love, who is 16% *Wadduda… and very much like her. She is also 35% *Hamrah, but that’s not who I see when I look at her.

    In short, you don’t know what’s buried in the genotype from that distant ancestor until you try reinforcing it.

  10. Jackson, I am attracted by what you say, because back in the middle east we give so much importance to the influence of the tail female, but is there real evidence that the line breeding to tail female brings back that tail female more than it brings back other horses in the pedigree? Is there more power to the tail female? I know RJ has thought a lot about this, and I am very curious to what he has to say.

    Ambar, I also agree with you, even if waiting to see the product is frustrating because it puts into question the entire idea of breeding specifically to get something you like…

  11. Werdi is the best example to use in the Davenports! Pretty much a closed group, today. So why does the *Wredi group breed different to the *Reshan Group? When I bred tail female to tail female I reinforce the tail female! Even though *Wredi is distant. I know very much the difference of Tripoli enfluence, or *Reshan difference. Hamran was a great influence on the orginal group as was now Tripoli.
    Yet by breeding tail female to tail female this calmed and the original comes back slowly. Right now I am using Pulcher with the Krush to bring back a needed foal, a stallion.
    Somehow the breeding’s I found by others lost what I once was getting. So now I am starting over. I will return back to line breeding the Krush with balance. Now I find the *Werdi group all over the place. Out crossing gone a muck! Out crossing of tail females! With little regard as
    patterns of breeding. Just producing foals does little good in my mind. As to R.J. would be interesting to read his thoughts. I have not really studied his horses, breeding’s, or seen. I personally look at photo’s of Michael’s horses, and I listen carefully to his words, as they come from his research. DNA can be very interesting.
    When especially other mares known share common DNA.

    Today the knowledge R.J. holds is vital for us all to listen. Just as the experience Charles and Jeanne hold.


  12. This is very important. I appreciate the sharing, especially when it come from 50 years of extensive experience.

  13. So by breeding back to tail female you are indeed reinforcing tail female dna. Are you also reinforcing mitochondrial dna. recall in school the proffs said the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. powerhouse meaning switching off and on genes for coat color, length of time for bones to grow thereby influencing size and shape. Wasn’t it female mitochondrial dna that the Bowlings tested?
    Jackson as to the kruush isn;’t there a farm in Idaho that has a tail female Davenport Kruush mare who was sired by a spanish stallion but still doesn’t look spanish, nor like the tripoli or mandarin line davenports… I’ll go take a look and report back
    best wishes
    Bruce Peek

  14. Rats seems according to the all breed pedigree index she’s tail female Abeyah.
    Nice to know, but the Davenport is so distant. Too bad there are no more asil lines to abeyah. After all Homer Davenport said she had the best back tendons of all..
    best wishes
    Bruce Peek

  15. Back to Cathie Fye’s comment about what to do with the precious preservation foal once it is born. If we are going to try to preserve the antique female tail lines via small farm breeding (my farm falls into the micro category),we need to have a plan for where and how to grow up these youngsters and keep them preserved for future breeding.I intend to put my mind to that problem and let the pedigree experts help me with choosing matings for the little breeding I can do here.Thanking you all in advance for your help!

  16. Edouard,

    The evidence is with the offspring. Random breeding’s give random results. Patterns as J.R. wrote of are very much evident. You will see this as you produce more foals and see their growth. Saving tail females is all you can expect now, later comes the breeding’s. Using Davenport Stallion’s is necessary for Wadduda! As well as color. Sad, that she is not part of the Davenport breeding”s as a core breeding group!

    Hopefully, you will save the lines you are working with.

  17. That’s wise advice. So far it’s one from the Wadduda line through serije and two from the *Werdi line through Kapiti.

  18. Don’t forget the bloodlines outside AK, AC etc.

    They have nearly no lobby and they’re, in my opinion, even more in danger than AK bloodlines.


  19. Ambar, I also agree with you, even if waiting to see the product is frustrating because it puts into question the entire idea of breeding specifically to get something you like…

    I would assert that the only reason we today have any hope of breeding specifically to get something we like is due to the experimentation done by Davenport breeders of the past, which is what led to RJ’s comment about “established patterns”.

    The core Haifi Plantagenet daughters were bred to Lysander stallions like Christopher Wren, Javera Thadrian, Student Prince CF, and Triermain CF, and progeny like Confetti CF, Divine Design, Pirouette CF and Dulcet CF resulted.

    I took a Plantagenet son to Thadrian daughters like Lustre CF and Petit Point CF, and what do you know, that same magic happened in ADA Skylarking and ADA Point Reyes. This was predictable only because of the generations of breedings before it that made it so. If I had taken the opportunity to breed Petit Point to Kamil Ibn Sahanad or Daedalus DL, something very wonderful might have appeared — but I certainly wouldn’t have been able to predict it before its arrival.

  20. re: #4. Sumner Kai has a stallion of this group that she is hoping to find a home for. We were in touch over a year ago, but as far as I know, she still has him.

  21. ,” Established patterns,’ to concentrated female mitochondrial dna. Sounds like pure in the strain breeding by another name. What say you Jackson?
    Best wishes
    Bruce Peek

  22. Bruce: Stallions do not pass on their mitochondrial DNA. The mtDNA passes only from mother to offspring. Therefore you can’t increase its concentration by breeding together horses from the same tail-female line.

    Jackson: I saw a number of horses from your farm in the 1980s, and they followed a consistent type. I’m thinking of Kurushah al Krush, Munire al Krush, Lente Krush, Sarra al Krushah, and Naufali al Krush. But how would you know if that was *Werdi’s type? Nobody has ever found a photo of *Werdi that gave an indication of what she looked like. There are only a couple of hindquarter shots on the picket line on the way out of the desert.

    Also, if breeding pure in the strain over multiple generations magically brought back the type of some remote tail female ancestor, how is it that you can have Davenport horses of two or more generations of strain breeding to *Reshan that instead of looking like her, look just like Hanad or Antez? In addition to linebreeding *Reshan and Haskiker, you are also linebreeding Hanad, Antez, Letan, *Hamrah, Tripoli, etc., and those types reappear as well.

    Bill Munson was known for saying in the 1960s that it didn’t matter how many generations of inbreeding to *Raffles you did, you could still tell the different tail female lines when you looked at the horses. When I met him in the 1990s, I asked him about that, and he said, “Yes, I used to say that, and it was true after three or four generations of *Raffles breeding. But when you get to six or seven generations, they look alike.”

  23. Also, how do you know that you’re not getting horses that are throwbacks to Reshan’s (or any other import for that matter) parents and grandparents, which we will never know how they looked like…

  24. R.J. I clearly stated ,” concentrated female mitochondrial dna.” I am perfectly aware that stallions do not pass on mitochondrial dna. Thanks for your courtesy.
    Bruce Peek

  25. *Werdi, Tail female where does it end, the beginning. Same as all other tail female lines. R.J. you are correct, question every thing even the right to question. Line breeding is perhaps strain breeding? No, we now know strains do not always reflect DNA of tail female. All that is known to this date is the DNA of the tail female, passed. Types vary, yes, in the tail female, I agree with this statement R.J.. Yet, are those various types coming via the tail female make up, or from the many various non tail female crosses? Richard used *Rashad on most of his mare’s, yes. The influence was great on the various tail females. Until a generation pasted and Richard began to use the tail female stallions back to the same tail female foals.

    Yes, I did the same line breeding’s using both Richard’s example, as well as Charles.

    Who did the foals look like, certainly not the line bred
    breeding’s of Reshan. Nor the infusion of Tripoli crosses. They, *Werdi, were different from the other Davenports, how different, I believe the difference was *Werdi! Sure, they varied, the offspring, to be expected. Just as the *Reshan offspring, varied. And will continue, thank goodness.

    Yet, the difference remains consistent between tail
    females line’s. Why, those are the various theories by all? Who is right, The answer is argued, over and over, today there is only, thanks to DNA, tail female lines. (not strains, per-say)

    Type various, within the Tail female, often similar to other Tail female lines. Yes, R.J. you know your question
    and statements well. Far more versed then I in relating ideas and studies. Yet, *Werdi, *Reshan, and all the other tail female line’s produce differences. Just *Werdi and *Reshan are in a very closed group, and allow findings to be reached.

    I wish I knew your horses R.J., perhaps someday? For the
    horses always lead, and we eventually see. Even in are sleep we are visual, searching for answers.

    I hope with this discussion, you will see where I am coming from as to Tail female and its many looks. Perhaps
    my answers are within the boundaries of the questions,
    that several have asked, with respect.

    JMH/Bedouin Arabians

  26. Thank you, Bruce. You did clearly state “concentrated female mitochondrial dna.” But the meaning of that phrase is unclear to me. I had read your sentence to imply that mtDNA could be concentrated by breeding together individuals of the same tail-female family, as though the foal would be inheriting the same mtDNA haplotype from both parents and therefore “concentrating” it. But if that’s not what you had in mind, what exactly do you mean by “concentrated” mtDNA?

    Jackson: I do see a resemblance between the photos of Babe Azab as an aged mare and many of the horses you produced from close line-breeding to June and Asara. But which of Babe Azab’s granddams did Babe Azab take after, *Jedah or *Werdi? Because no clear photos of *Jedah or *Werdi seem to have survived to our time, we have no way of knowing. Your linebred Asara stock might just as easily have taken after *Jedah, not *Werdi. After all, Asara had two crosses to *Jedah, and only one to *Werdi. When El Alamein, Dharanah, and Dharebah were added to the mix to produce your foundation horses such as June, Sir Oliver, and Desert Air, a third source of *Jedah was added through Dhareb.

    You seem to be working from the assumption that because the desert bred ancestors behind the Kurush and Haifi Davenport breeding groups are identical except for *Werdi, any difference in the foals produced by the two groups must be attributable to *Werdi. But I submit that the sampling of genes that Asara got from Letan, Fasal, Amran, *Abbeian, and *Hamrah was substantially different from what those earlier ancestors handed on to Dhareb, Salan, Poka, Antarah, and Hanad. Thus Asara and her progeny stood out from the Haifi horses not simply because they traced tail-female to *Werdi, but also because Asara represented a substantially different sampling of the same Hingham Stock Farm horses also found behind Dharebah, Tripoli, Dhalana, El Alamein, Dharanah, Dharantez, Saranah, Tara, and Dhanad.

  27. Since the *Werdi lines today contain most of the same lines that *Reshan hold today, the question begs. Why the differences? The differences in the line breeding’s of both *Werdi and *Reshan are there for anyone to realize. Yes, also some very strong likeness. Line breed *Werdi and the differences are there, line breed *Reshan and the difference are there. Cross over breeding’s will become evident, as to stallions. We could debate this a life time, but the horses I have known displayed to me my understanding, and what I see.

    As I have said, this works for me, and that is all that I can explain. I have many regrets as to the Davenports, Wadduda’s Loss, tail female, and *Haleb’s influence. If *Wadduda’s tail female in the Davenports was here now, both you and I would have a reference needed to express upon. I know as the *Werdi line was not line bred the results changed!
    I line bred a number of Stallions of the *Werdi line, wanting answers. Types varied some, yet the stamp of line breeding was evident. I have found no stallion controlling the line breeding of *Werdi, tail female. I doubt seriously that a distant stallion will change the tail female any more today then it did then. If so it would show with the Stallions today. Sure, many types are displayed to day, but the differences of the *Werdi influence is overwhelming, as is *Reshan. *Werdi herself is not important as an individual; but, her tail female line is. Seeing her is of no importance, just as seeing a *Werdi mare today. What is important is the tail female line that is her heritage. What I am doing is the reinstatement of that tail female in both sire and dam. This also brings all others that form their being. I like the results and I will continue to forward the results to others.

    This does nothing as to Edouard and his question concerning his *Werdi Mare. High percentage *Wadduda will
    be good, especially if Davenport Breeding. My feelings
    then change, high percentage *Wadduda, plus the same tail female. Improvement? Changes, yes! For the better? Depends, who is doing the telling.

    Needless, I respect your studies R.J. and I do listen to your opinion. I also listen to my horses. Yes, I know, what does *Werdi tail female know? That they are Krush?
    And, yes, carry me in the fields afar. They not only look different but they think different. It was they that created my horses, *Werdi tail female, and so many mares and stallions. All coming together. Can I do it again?
    I am not young as Edouard, but I think so, if not I, then perhaps my daughter, Morika. (almost eighteen) or perhaps
    another far better at this then I.

    JMH/Bedouin Arabians

  28. Interesting conversation. I have a question I’ve been wondering about, perhaps R.J. or Michael Bowling know the answer. Has anyone determined how many haplogroups exist within the domestic horse species, how many of those are represented within the WAHO Arabian breed, and how many of those are extant within accepted asil lines? Just curious.

  29. great questions Cathie. I would be curious about this also.

  30. The discussion of Werdi is an interesting one because it draws in curiosities about features of the whole pedigree and also about the mare Werdi whose name becomes the “root” banner for this strain in Davenport bred lines. Both are an important part of a breeders dialog in our times but if I were to try to think like a Bedouin, I would be inclined to follow Jackson’s commentary on his experience with the horses that trace in tail female to Werdi in this group. I have seen many of Jackson’s breeding from the early days and they are indeed distinctive from other Davenport tail female lines, including body language and demeanor. Did he create this or did he see it and try to maintain it? Over time this would seem to create an identity and reputation for this female line that is remembered and celebrated as a Bedouin would do so regardless of what scientific formula created it. I may be guessing here but the celebration of a female line by the Bedouin remains regardless of the rest of the pedigree but without ignoring the rest. So to me I will always remember the tail female Werdi horses as something of their own regardless of if it can be scientifically proven to be a specific recipe of several individuals, more than just Werdi. I am not trying to be dismissive of analyzing a whole pedigree which I feel is very important but when a female line develops a strong identity, it will be the first thing looked for and admired in those that measure up to its reputation. To me there remains something of a “cultural” element to the celebration of strains which does not necessarily have to be obliged to science.

  31. Hi Joe, as an Arab, I am with you on the statement: “To me there remains something of a “cultural” element to the celebration of strains which does not necessarily have to be obliged to science.”

    To me, the question can be summarized as follows: is the significance of the tail female a cultural notion or a scientific notion?

    What is the influence of the tail female on other horse breeds? There would be no reason why Arabians are unique in this regard.

  32. Joe,
    Thanks for jumping in to this dialog. Your thoughts, as J.R.’s, are always filled with personal experience and timeless insights.

    I must admit each day when I go home, I re look at the mares and stallions, and visit memories of what once was.
    J.R. and his comments are a constant reminder, that one can never accept one’s own concepts as truth. So I am constant in what I should value as what truly is. This is true in my art, as well, as all other aspects of living.
    Usually, I withdraw in disagreements, but this blog has made it possible to enter thinking with out harmful effects on a personal level.

    We all have a right to disagree and that usually creates
    not only interest, but, also more enlighten thinking. The broader the discussion, the greater the possible to learn.

    The greatest gift, second perhaps to Jeanne’s energy to Al Khamsa, is the right to accept others ability to think separate. Volume’s of books, both Jeanne and friends have gifted. I am constant in amazement of the human spirit to respond to their own needs and others.

    In breeding these Asil Arabians we are lucky as they trace to the breeding’s of the Bedouin and Desert Arabia.
    The true strain of all these gifted is simply the strain called Bedouin Arabian’s. How we choose to breed these horses does not matter, as long, as they are bred Asil. Personal taste is just that, personal. I remind my self constant of other lines that Joe held, photo’s and even a horse ridden. Wonderful breeding’s, personal thinking. Then there is always Tybalt, Rafaar, and even better yet for me Asar Al Krush, the foal, and then the Stallion I rode. Good memories, all those calls to Charles saying thanks! We talked often, saying many things. And now this blog, thanks Edouard! And your World wide group whose interest is as mine, the Bedouin Arabian.

    JMH/Bedouin Arabians

  33. Expand the Question Edouard, Human life. The various races
    and types they form. Then the notions of who is who?

    Little question often form the complex, like …………… what is truly Love, but, God.


  34. IS Tail female a cultural notion or a scientific notion, “both!” Say I! This the extreme beauty of this highly bred and intact group, the Bedouin Arabian. And, yes, the love that held them as a friend. And still brings that friendship and trust in these horses to us, all of us!

    If I stay out, they will leave their food just to visit.
    So many stories we all have had gifted, the horse of the Bedouin now the horse of us all. JMH

  35. Jackson, do you have new photos of Pulcher to share?

  36. Edouard,

    I rarely take any photo’s of the horses. Perhaps this summer I will take some. Pulcher is a very beautiful horse in spirit and visual. Extremely flea bitten even in full winter coat. jmh

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