This is not an Arabian horse

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 3rd, 2008 in France

On paper, this stallion looks okay. I mean he has the pedigree of an Arabian horse. But he is not. He is an Anglo-Arab in disguise.  Ba-Toustem (Djerba Oua x Bacchantara, at least that’s what his papers say) was born in France, at a time when Arabians raced in the same same races as Anglo-Arabs and English Thoroughbreds, with a weight “discount”. Ba-Toustem (check out his picture on, pretty typey, eh?) is the result of what French purist breeders call the “midnight breedings”. Arabian mares mated to Anglo-Arabian stallions. Their products registered as Arabians, with Arabian sires as a fig-leaf. Raced against Anglo-Arabians, and English Thoroughbreds [correction: only against anglos; thank you Jean-Marc di Francesco]. Then used as stallions on pure Arab mares. And the story goes on, and on, and on. The few French purist breeders that stood against such widespread practices were silenced. And WAHO accepted these horses. What a shame. 

From now on, “Daughter of the Wind” will seek to escalate the debate on purity by featuring a regular series called “This is not an Arabian horse”, with the aim of “naming and shaming” those horses that should not even be called Arabians. Photo of Ba-Toustem courtesy of Pierre-Henri Beillard.

14 Responses to “This is not an Arabian horse”

  1. have a look on Ba Toustem picture on
    the presence of Thouroughbred blood is maybe more explicit

  2. How far do you want to go back in history Edouard? Let’s say 1950 perhaps? I think you would have to list at least 10 horses a day…

  3. You’re right, but I’ll stick to those who did the most damage..

  4. What about the TB blood coursing through the veins of all those registered Arabs with Skowronek?

  5. We’ll get there… Ba-Toustem was a 25% anglo-arab, and has thousands of grandsons and grand-daughters alive today. Skowronek and his descendents are a icons of purity in comparison.

  6. This is not the place but I could not resist in posting it.


    Half-Arabian Elmer Bandit trotted under the finish line Sunday to set a new competitive trail mileage record of 20,720 miles, 201 days after his 37th birthday. The North American Trail Conference event took place Oct. 25-26 at Kanopolis State Park near Lindsborg, Kan.

  7. Edouard,

    Once Again you don’t know what really happened.

    The cheating on Ba Toustem is not on his pedigree.

    Your blog is a real disgrace.

  8. William, the horses for which you cheer are the disgrace.

  9. The flaw on Ba Toustem’s pedigree is fully recorded on the French Studbook, starting with the 1838 issue. Every Arabian horse with Danbik (1913) in his pedigree is a part-bred Arabian. The fact that La Duchesse’s (1824) pedigree was omitted in the 1851 issue does not make her less the daughter of an half-bred “hot blood” stallion. None of this horse’s descent should ever be considered Asil. There is not even guesses of midnight breeding to be made to prove it and if they did occur in the 1950’s it is not a big deal, the strain was already a part-bred Arabian strain for a century. The fact that it was accepted by WAHO is another issue I guess ^^

  10. Forgot to add that is does not make less of nice performing horses : the true heritage of the famous Haras des Sourches and almost 200 years of descendants of the Duke des Cars (or d’Escars whatever you want to spell it) breeding program. It might almost be a distinct breed now, if anybody would care enough to breed them back to their original stable mates descendants such as Tigris or Deucalion’s.

  11. What’s wrong with Danbik Amelie? Can you tell us?

  12. Danbik’s tail female goes back to the mare of M. de Lalaubie : Duchesse. This mare is a part-bred Arabian mare. She was entered on as being born in 1849, no breeder recorded. This is not correct. She is recorded twice in the French Studbook. Latest record (1851 tome 2 issue) says she was a grey arabian mare from Arabian sire and dam, owned by M. de Lalaubie as of 1850 and record her as “hors d’âge” meaning she was a very old mare in 1850. Certainly NOT born in 1849. This mare looks like she popped out of nowhere or being an OA. But she was not, everybody knew where this mare was bred in the 1850’s. She was bred by the famous Duke des Cars. Her breeder or her pedigree is voluntary not mentioned because of political reasons. It was now the Second Empire and horses from the Royal French family’s blood (or close relatives royalists like Duke des Cars) were kind of taboo. But there is an article in the Journal des Haras 1857 about the Haras des Sourches (main Stud of Duke des Cars, he was boarding his horses at Meudon in Paris also) mentioning Duchesse as being by arabian stallion Hadeban out of a “persian bred” mare called Moosès. Both are badly spelled, correct horses are Adeban 1820 (Duke of Angoulème’s Arabian stallion) and Mause 1812 (Duke des Cars’Arabian mare). French Studbook vol 1 from 1838 provides all details of Mause’s progeny before her sale to the Duke of Hautpoul. She indeed was bred to Adeban (at Meudon) but her resulting 1822 filly was NOT Duchesse. It was a mare called Zaire, if she ever survived she never bred a foal recorded in the Studbooks. Her daughter called Duchesse (or La Duchesse) is a 1824 grey mare out of a half-bred “hot blood” stallion called Le Coquet, whose pedigree is not more described. Of course Duke des Cars was using the private royal stallions often and he bred this mare Duchesse to the Egyptian gifted stallion Nedjdi (imported in utero and born at Saint-Cloud). All these horses were conceded (or rather seized) with the advent of Second Empire and sent to Pompadour. There Duchesse foaled the filly Himalaya. Many of the Royal horses were sold at that time by Pompadour who kept only a handful of them. They were re-registered in the French Studbook erasing the “Royal” data. De Lalaubie purchased Duchesse and her filly Himalaya. He bred his daughter Sylphide by Moor and his granddaughter Dibphide by Dibadj. This is Danbik’s tail female.

  13. so what does the real pedigree of duchess look like if redone in allbreedpedigree?

  14. Here is her entry in I did a couple of weeks ago:
    Changed Himalaya’s dam yesterday from Duchesse 1849 (erroneous) to La Duchesse 1824 (correct). So you can see how it spread among world wide breeding programs, very influential non Asil bloodline. Possibly correct way to describe this breed would be “Limousin/Limousine” not Arabian. The breed is believed to be extinct but actually is not if you consider Le Coquet as a possible Limousin stallion. He might very likely have been related to Baron de la Bastide’s famous Limousins racing bloodline (, but no way a purebred Arabian.

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