By Edouard Aldahdah
Posted on September 27th, 2011 in General
It’s no secret that the asil lines in the West are increasingly tightly bred, so much that many equine scientists believe this is a major concern for the sustainability of the breed in the medium and long terms.
More than ninety five percent (and maybe more!) of asil horses in the West (the USA, Europe, Australia, etc) are Straight Egyptian or Egyptian related.
All Straight Egyptian and Egyptian related horses carry a non-trivial measure of Blunt blood from the Crabbet and Sheykh Obeyd Studs. The influence of the Blunt’s breeding program is arguably the most pervasive of any Arabian horse breeding program so far.
All “New Egyptian” horses carry Blunt blood through Rustem (Astraled x Ridaa), Kazmeen (Sottam x Kasima) who is Nazeer’s grandsire, Hamran (Berk x Hamasa), Bint Rissala (Ibn Yashmak x Rissala), Bint Riyala (Nadir x Riyala) and others. “Old Egyptian” (i.e., “Babson”) horses carry it through Bint Serra I (Sottam x Serra). “Babson-Browns” carry it through Gulastra (Astraled x Gulnare), and so do “Doyle” horses, which are the only 100% Blunt horses in existence. In short, Blunt blood is all over the place.
There is a tiny group of asil Arabian horses in North America that does not trace to Blunt horses. They include the “Davenport” horses, the “BLUE STAR” horses (descendants of horses that came from Saudi Arabia to the USA mainly through ARAMCO employees and their families, sometimes in combination with *Fadl, *Turfa and Sirecho) and a handful other horses. In total, they don’t amount to more than 5% to 10% of the asil Arabian population in the USA.
The late Carol Lyons was the first to identify the value of these “non-Blunt” asil Arabians as a group worthy of preserving in its own right, and as a potential future outcross for the asil Arabian down line. In a cleaver play on words, she labeled these non-Blunt horses “Sharps”, which is the opposite of “Blunt”. Thanks to her foresight and dedication, the “Sharp” still exist as a group today, even though it can be argued that they have suffered more than others from the recent economic downturn.
The overwhelming majority of “Sharps” are Davenport and BLUE STAR Arabian horses, but there is a handful of others, maybe less than 10 or 15 horses all in all. These include some of the descendants of the mares Haraka and Bint Hamida (both by *Kenur x *H.H. Mohamed Ali’s Hamida by *Nasr), some of those of the mare Shar Moliah (Fa-Turf x Schiba by Hanad), and some of those of the mare LD Rubic (Plantagenet x Tarrla by Tarff) combined with Davenport and BLUE STAR lines.
Most of these horses are owned by Randall and Mary Sue Harris of Jadah Arabian in Peoria, IL. If Randall and Mary Sue’s program goes bust, so will one of the best chances for preserving the genetic potential of the Arabian horse in America for future generations. It’s as simple as that.