Uncommon strains: Kuhaylan al-Shaykhan

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on January 4th, 2011 in General

This is the second item in the series on rare, uncommon Arabian horse strains, after the strain of Hazqan Misrabi, featured earlier.

This time I will mention the strain of Kuhaylan al-Shaykhan, feminine Kuhaylat al-Shaykhah. This is one of the most respected branches of Kuhaylan al-‘Ajuz, and the Sba’ah tribe possessed a couple marabet from that strain.

As far as I know, the last Kuhaylat al-Shaykhah mare in Arabia Deserta was with Dr. Iskander Kassis of Aleppo. I believe she came from the Sba’ah or the Fad’aan, like most of Kassis’ horses. Kassis was one of the Middle East’s foremost master breeders in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, and had a collection of the some of the rarest and most precious strains of desert-bred, asil, Arabian horses.  Radwan Shabareq, who saw that mare in his youth, tells me she had the most elegant and fine neck he had seen on a mare.

In the West, the strain is represented in the asil descendants of the desert-bred mare 60-Adjuse, imported by Mikhail Fadllallah al-Haddad to Babolna, Hungary. According to Haddad in his travel journals, she was bought from the “Anazeh El Sbaa Mseni (?)” tribe, her sire a “Kuhaylan Adjuze”, her dam a “Schecha”. She is the founder of the line of 25-Amurath Sahib in Central Europe.

5 Responses to “Uncommon strains: Kuhaylan al-Shaykhan”

  1. What little has been published about Dr. Kassis has really fascinated me, and I hope more will come out. His breeding is well worth the attention, I think!

  2. Unfortunately almost nothing remains from this breeding program. I was fortunate to see some of the offspring of stallions he owned and they were just wonderful. There has been nothing quite like them in Syria ever since in my opinion. The man also had innate talent for recognizing and breeding good horses. Radwan as a teenager was a frequent visitor at Kassis’ stud. He speaks very highly of two stallions of Dr. Kassis: Sahab, a Ma’naqi Sbayli from the marbat of Abu Sayfayn of the Fad’aan, and Kharuf, a Ma’naqi Sbayli from the marbat of Zudghum of the Sba’ah.

  3. 60 Adjuse, imported to Hungary in 1885, dam of at least three foals at Babolna:

    1886 colt named Meneghie by a stallion named Meneghie (apparently this foal was imported in utero).

    1888 grey mare 43 Jussuf, by Jussuf

    1889 grey mare 37 Jussuf, by Jussuf

    60 Adjuse was sold in 1890 to Mrs. Dominica Simionescu of Romania.

    This information is from W. Kwiatkowski’s book on the Babolna horses.

  4. Apparently, the name 60 Adjuse was given to her after her sire, a Kuhalyan “Adjuse” in the desert. This seemed to be a fairly regular Babolna practice, wasn’t it?

  5. Yes, they named horses after the sire. Many westerners were confused about strains coming from the dam, and it got almost comical with some of the early American AHC entries. Or it would have been comical if it hadn’t been so darned confusing!

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