Please find attached the background on my proposal of October 20th, 2009 to include into the Al Khamsa Roster the mare *Lebnaniah, imported to the United States from Lebanon by William Randolph Hearst in 1947. The proposal is based on the information published by Michael Bowling in the CMK Record VII/2 (Fall 1988) p.11, which is a full transcript of the information provided to Dick Skinner, manager of Hearst’s Pico Creek Stables, by George Khamis, *Lebnaniah’s recorded breeder. Michael has a photocopy of the Khamis papers that were given to Dick Skinner. This information is supplemented by detailed material on *Lebnaniah’s antecendents, as compiled by myself over the years in several entries of the “Aldahdah Index”, and crossed-check with various reliable Middle Eastern sources. The “Aldahdah Index” records information on hundreds of Arabian horses and part-bred Horses bred in the Middle East in the XXth century. It has been work in progress for the past ten years, and I intend to continue to add new entries and update old ones it until I am about fifty, when I will try to publish it.
I reserve the right to provide any additional information to supplement the information included herein. I am aware that as a current Al Khamsa Board member, I will have to recuse myself from the vote. I am however available to provide additional information or clarification on the enclosed material.
1. CMK Record Material
This material was published in Michael Bowling’s article, “The Khamis Family and Mounwer’s Pedigree”, which appeared in the CMK Record VII/2 (Fall 1988) issue, page 11. A scanned copy of the article is included with this proposal. The material is based on original information provided by George Khamis, who bred *Lebnaniah at his Rayaq, Lebanon stables, to Dick Skinner, then a trainer at Hearst’s Pico Creek Stables. The entire article is included as part of the proposal. Note that the original Khamis papers are in the Hearst scrapbook that is with the Arabian Horse Trust. Below are the excerpts from the Bowling article that are directly relevant to *Lebnaniah.
George Khamis’s cover page: “My lifelong association with the pure Arabian horses of Lebanon and Syria, coupled with the integrity of one who values the truthfulness & accuracy of documenting the desert bred bloodlines, prompts me to present this pedigree information to the ‘Pico Creek Stables,’ in the trust of the Hearst family & trainer Dick Skinner. Yours always in the interest of promoting the pure Arabian horse.”
Khamis’ information on *Lebnaniah, as transcribed by Michael Bowling from the Khamis papers: “Briefly, *Lebnaniah was sired by ‘Surjon Majuer (Sergeant Major),’ a grey by a Hidban stallion out of a Managy Sbiley mare. Her dam, a grey Managy Sbiley mare, was by a grey Khailan stallion (Hidban sire x Khailan dam) and out of a bay Managy Sbiley mare whose sire was a bay Haifi stallion.” In the above, note that “the grey by Hidban stallion out of a Managy Sbiley mare” is a reference to *Lebnaniah herself, not to her sire Sergeant Major, himself a Hadban not a Ma’naghi, as is shown next.
Note also that *Lebnaniah’s maternal grandsire, the gray Kuhaylan sired by a Habdan, is also *Layya’s maternal grandsire. *Layya, another Hearst import, was added to the Al Khamsa Roster a few years ago.
2. Aldahdah Index Material
Two Aldahdah Index entries are provided, which are relevant to *Lebnaniah. I was not aware of the existence of the Khamis papers cited above when I compiled the information in these two entries. So the two bodies of sources (the Khamis papers and the Aldahdah Index) are independent of each other. You will see that they converge, mutually reinforcing each other. The information compiled in the two Aldahdah Index entries were gathered over a period of ten years, using written and oral Middle Eastern sources only. These include, in the case of these two entries, Lebanese as well as Syrian breeders, racehorse trainers, and horse merchants.
The entry of Sergent Major, *Lebnaniah’s sire, in the Aldahdah Index:
SERGENT-MAJOR: Grey asil stallion [photo available in Ali al-Barazi’s book];
Strain: Hadb?n al-Faw?’irah, a branch of Hadban al-Nazhi
Sire: P?dishah, a chestnut Kuhayl?n Dunays?n (also spelled Kuhayl?n al-Dunays), from the marbat owned by the al-Mi’rabi landlords of Lebanon, and known as the marbat of the “Dunaysat of ‘Uyun al-Ghizlan” (in reference to a village in the Northern Lebanon plain of ‘Akkar where the Mir’abi used to keep some of their horses); Padishah was sired by Ma’naghi Halba, a Ma’naghi Sbayli stallion standing at the village of Halba in the Akkar plain ca. 1920, and was raced by Henri Firaun (or Henri Pharaon); The information on Padishah’s strain and color is from Ali al-Barazi’s book, which also has a picture of Padishah. [The information about his Mir’abi breeders was collected by Hazaim al-Wa’ir from old Dandashi breeders in Tall Kalakh, Syria, and through Fawaz al-Rajab in Hims, Syria; it was cross checked by myself, through my father, who asked the late Azmi al-Osman al-Mir’abi. Finally it is confirmed by the entries of some of Sergent Major’s get and grand-get in the draft Lebanese studbook that was submitted to WAHO in 1974.]
Dam: a grey Hadbat al-Faw?’irah. [Barazi, WAHO 1974]
Racing and Breeding career: Sergent-Major raced in Beirut and was later used as a breeding stallion [Barazi, WAHO 1974] in the Lebanese state-owned breeding facility of Eblah in the Biq?’ plain [information deduced from the background of Sergent Major’s picture]; he was possibly owned by the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture; he was breeding in the 1930’s and early 1940’s. He was the fastest racehorse of his time, according to Syrian breeder Ali al-Barazi who knew him.
Comments: The origin of the strain of Hadb?n al-Faw?’irah is with the Faw?’irah, a small but noble and very wealthy Bedouin tribe nomadizing around Hims; it is a celebrated strain among the horse-breeders of the region of Hims and Ham?h in Central Syria [Edouard original info through asking the elders]. The Shaykh of al-Fawa’irah, a man named Fad’us, was a main breeder of the strain of Hadban al-Fawa’irah, and supplied the Beirut racetrack with such good racehorses as Hadban Fad’us and Ghazal [info from Hazaim’s notes].
Progeny: Sergent Major is the sire of the mare *Lebnaniah, and of the stallion *Zamal, both imported to the United States of America by Preston Dyer for W.R. Hearst in 1947. Sergent Major also sired numerous Asil horses registered in the draft Lebanese Studbook submitted to WAHO in 1974. None of these horses left any asil progeny in Lebanon today.
The entry of Kuhailan, *Lebnaniah’s maternal grandsire in the Aldahdah Index
KUHAYLAN (II): A grey asil stallion of the French Remounts, stationed in Rayaq in the Biqa’ valley; also known as Kuhaylan al-Faransawiyyi, that is, “Kuhaylan of the French”; as Kuhaylan al-Zara’ah, that is, “Kuhaylan of the [Ministry of] Agriculture”; as Kuhaylan al-Hukumah, that is, “Kuhaylan of the Government”; and as Kuhaylan al-Mufattah, or “Kuhaylan of the open eyes” as opposed to Kuhaylan al-Aama, “the Blind” (Kuhaylan I).
Strain: Kuhaylan al-Kharas, a famous strain from the Sba’ah tribe that was well represented in Lebanon and western Syria [It is the strain of the Blunt import Proximo].
Dam: A Kuhaylat al-Kharas.
Racing and Breeding career: This stallion was already active as a breeding stallion before 1943, the date Lebanon was granted its independence by France and the date French military institutions, including the Remounts were transmitted to the new Lebanese Republic. [This can be deduced from the stallions’ two nicknames, “Kuhaylan of the French”, and “Kuhaylanof the Government”]
Progeny: Kuhaylan (II) is the sire of the Rayaq mares Khaznah and Ma’amunah, the latter being the dam of the mare Ghazalat al-Sahraa by Shaykh al-Árab, as well as the sire of the Suwaydan mare al-Khaljah [All this info through Hazaim al-Wair]. He is most probably the sire of the mare *Dalal, imported by the Hindis to the USA.
Comments: Kuhaylan (II) is is not to be confused with Kuhaylan (I), a stallion in use in the Northern Lebanese plain of Akkar around the same period. There was almost no exchange of horses between the plains of ‘Akkar and those of the Biqa’ valley. According to Ahmad Ghalioun, Abu Taher, Kuhaylan (I) and Kuhaylan (II) are full brothers, which makes Kuhaylan (II) a son of Krush Halba. This is highly unlikely.
Note that the Lebanese normally use Kuhaylan as a short for the strain of Kuhaylan al-Kharas, which is very popular there. For other branches of Kuhaylan, they used only the substrain (e.g., al-Hayfi for Kuhaylan Hayfi).
There was only one grey Kuhaylan al-Kharas stallions in the Biqa’ valley at the time of Kuhaylan (II), so this is in all likelihood the same horse as the maternal grand sire of *Lebnaniah and *Layya.
As you can see, the information from the Aldahdah Index completes that provided by George Khamis to Dick Skinner, and does not contradict it in any way. This information makes it possible to complete *Lebnaniah’s pedigree and expand it a couple more generations back.
3. Other additional information
I do not have sufficient about *Lebnaniah’s great-grand sire, the bay Kuhaylan Hayfi. However, I vaguely remember hearing of a bay, probably desert-bred Kuhaylan Hayfi, which stood at the French Remounts back in the 1920s, in either the Biqa’ valley of Lebanon, or in the area around Damascus, Syria. The information is too vague to justify a separate entry in the Aldahdah Index, and will need to be verified further.
Similarly, I have no specific information about the bay Ma’naghiyah Sbayliyah, who is granddam of *Lebnaniah. However, the strain is closely associated with the Saba’ah Bedouin tribes (especially their Gmassah and Rasalin sections) who had their summer pastures a few dozen miles to the north east of the Khamis’ stud in Rayaq, Lebanon. In addition, back in the 1940s, the Khamis stud was a reputable stud where only asil Arabians tracing exclusively to desert-bred stock were bred.