The Saidan strain in Bahrain

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on September 27th, 2014 in Bahrain

The stud of Sheykh Muhammad B. Salman Aal Khalifah in Bahrain includes representatives of an Arabian horse strain by the name of “Saidan”, of which one representative is the stallion pictured below, Saidan Gharib (photo from the 1998 WAHO Convention in Bahrain).

While the strain sounds very similar to the strain of Saadan (as in Saadan Tuqan, the strain of, among others, the mare Francolin imported by the Blunts) they are not the same, and are not written in the same way in Arabic.

It seems that the Bahraini “Saidan” strain gots its name from the ruling family of Oman, the Aal Said. Here is a quote from the Bahraini studbook volume 1:

 “The Kuheilah Sai’da strain is a family of horse peculiar to Bahrain. The oft told story of how the name came about is still repeated in gatherings when men discuss horses of old and their merits. In the early 19th century the Al-Khalifas had to repel many invaders to ascertain their supremacy in Bahrain. In the year 1816, in one of the attempts to overtake the islands by the forces of the Sultan of Muscat, Said bin Sultan, a big battle was fought on the shores of Bahrain. When the Muscati fleet was sighted approaching on the Eastern coast, horsemen were gathered and positioned awaiting their landing. Although the Muscat forces were greatly superior in numbers and fought fiercely, the shallow water on the shore was to the advantage of the Al-Khalifa horsemen, who were victorious. The remaining of the routed enemy took to their ships and left the shores of Bahrain. When the victorious horsemen returned to their home camp, a Kuheilah mare gave birth to a filly foal. To commemorate the glorious battle and defeat of Said bin Sultan, the filly was named Sa’ida. The Sa’ida at Shaikh Mohammed’s stud are descendants of this mare.”

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