By Edouard Aldahdah
A previous post listed the strain of the desert-bred Asil Arabian stallion El Sbaa as Ma’naghi. That’s the strain France’s premier purist Arabian horse breeder Robert Mauvy attributed to him in one of his books. A manuscript note, found in El Sbaa’s file in the archives at the government’s Pompadour stud, and cited by Nicole de Blomac and Denis Bogros in their masterpiece “L’Arabe: Premier Cheval de Sang” (Paris, 1978), says otherwise.
Note #1244, which bears the handwriting of Inspector Rieu de Madron, who imported El Sbaa at an Egyptian racetrack, can be roughly translated as follows:
“According to the testimony of Barjas Ibn Nederi, the leader of the ‘Abdah tribe [one of the two main sections of the Sba’ah tribe] and of Nawaf al-Salih, the leader of the Hadidiyyin tribe, the Ju’aitni family to which El Sbaa belongs, is a branch of Kuhaylan al-‘Ajuz, not a branch of the Saqlawi, as I had understood before. Horses from the J’aitni strain are very rare now. One needs to look for them among the ‘Anazah Bedouins who never left Najd.”
So El Sbaa is of the Ju’aitni strain after all. Note that the confusion about the origin of the strain persists until today, with some people linking the strain to the Kuhaylan family, while others claim it is a branch of the Saqlawi family.