The strain of Kuhaylan Abu Junub survives in Saudi Arabia

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on December 24th, 2009 in Arabia, Saudi, Syria

I have always felt considerable sadness whenever an Arabian horse strain dies out. With it, part of the rich and colorful history of this breed vanishes forever. I can’t really say why, but to me it feels just like losing the last copy of a rare manuscript.

Most of the best-known and most important Arabian strains are still represented today in asil form, and we are lucky to have them. A number of really significant ones were lost in Arabia Deserta over the last fifty years. These include Kuhaylan Tamri (known to US breeders as the strain of the Davenport import *Houran), Kuhaylan al-Kharas (the strain of the Blunt import Proximo), Kuhaylan Harqan (the strain of the grandsire of the Ali Pasha Sherif stallion Mesaoud) and Kuhaylan Om Soura. Until last week, I thought Kuhaylan Abu Junub was one of these.

Kuhaylan Abu Junub is a strain I have always been interested in. There are some indications it is somehow ‘related to’, in a way I am not yet in a position to explain fully, to Ma’naqi, Jilfan, and Frayjan, all of which are ultimately Kuhaylan branches as well. It is on the list of Abbas Pasha’s ten favorite strains, where it ranks tenth. It was present among several ‘Anazah Bedouin tribes, and there were a couple famous marabet among the Sba’ah.

I thought the last asil mare of this strain had died some fifteen years ago in Syria. She traced to the horses of the Mudarris family of Aleppo, which owned a marbat of Kuhaylan Abu Junub, and another of Saqlawi ibn Zubayni. She was not registered in the WAHO accepted Syrian studbook, but she was nevertheless widely recognized as asil. When my friend Kamal Abdul Khaliq, another Alepine breeder, told me he died without replacement, I said to myself: “Another one goes down the drain”. In his presentation at the WAHO conference in Syria in 2007, my friend Hazaim al-Wair, who works with me researching strains, even recorded it as “extinct”. We were both wrong.

Last week Pure Man sent me the picture (below) and pedigree of a colt he told me was Kuhaylan Abu Junub. He also told me the colt traced to a mare that had come to the area of Hafr al-Batin in Saudi Arabia from the Bedouins tribes of the “North” (i.e., Syria or Iraq), some decaides ago. Hafr al-Batin and the whole of North-East Saudi Arabia in general, are now home to dozens of thousands of Bedouin nomadic clans, mostly Sba’ah, ‘Amarat, and Dhafeer, but also some Shammar, who were invited by the Saudi government to undertake a reverse migration to the south in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, and given Saudi citizenship. Pure Man also told me there was another colt from this line in the city of Medina, as well as two or three mares of breedable age. He also added that horsebreeders of repute vouched for the origin of this particular Abu Junub line.

The news made my day, and Pure Man promised to get more information about this line. I can’t wait.

Kuhaylan Abu Junub colt in Saudi Arabia

3 Responses to “The strain of Kuhaylan Abu Junub survives in Saudi Arabia

  1. What a lovely colt, and what a wonderful Christmas present that the strain of kuhaylan abu junub survives, with both mares and colts still available from which to breed.
    Great news.
    Tzviah

  2. How nice to be wrong for such a reason! A real treasure….

  3. Wonderful news! Thank You Pure Man.
    Otherwise our legendary Kuhaylan Zaid’s sire was a Kuhaylan Abu Junub too.Kuhaylan Zaid was bought for Babona from the Would Ali bedouinen nearly Damascus.
    How I know the sire of this stallion, a Kuhaylan Abu Junub was from the horses of the Roualla Enzer.

    Best wishes,
    László

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