By Edouard Aldahdah
The entries on the French Asil Arabian horses continue to generate a lot of interest. To some, the photos of classic specimen of Arabians horses were like an eye opener, shedding light on Asil breeding in a country that has imported hundreds of desert bred stallions and mares from Arabian, and set up large-scale breeding ventures that go on in three other countries (Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco).
Some of the comments I received go a step further, and ask practical questions, for example about what can be done to save the remnants of these horses, before it is too late. Here is a lead:
While I was still based in France, I tried to lease one of the last Asil mares, Bucolique (Besbes x Berthe by Irmak), a gorgeous 1981 bay mare of the Jilfan Dhawi strain, and the dam of many racehorse champions, with the aim of breeding her to Rubi de la Mouline (Ilamane x Hamma by Raoui), a 1983 chestnut stallion of the Kuhaylan al-‘Ajuz strain .
Her owner, Jean-Marie Baldy, of the Haras du Cayrou in the Cantal area of central France, was willing to lease her, and the owners of Rubi de la Mouline were also willing to let him breed her, despite his old age. Agreements were reached, transportation arrangements were made, but the project eventually failed to materialize because the next month I had to leave France for the USA.
I wish someone could revive this project, and take it forward, and I am willing to help in every way I can. It is an endeavor worth pursuing. I believe that a good case can be made for these horses: the supporting documentation exists, and the horses speak for themselves.