What if we had known a few months earlier…

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on June 9th, 2008 in Bahrain, Bahrain

Arabesque Azieze is at the center of the biggest “what if” story I have recently been involved in. Scroll down this website to see a picture of him (I do respect copyrights, sometimes).

This Asil stallion was born in Australia in 1978 and was later sold to New Zealand. He was by the Asil stallion Hansan (El Hilal x Hamamaa), a stallion of Egyptian bloodlines. Nothing to write home about.. yet.

The real story concerns Azieze’s dam, Orilla, a 1960 chestnut mare. Orilla was by the legendary Oran (Riffal x Astrella), and out of the mare Rabiha, by Rheoboam out of Nuhra. Oran, a Ubayyan Sharraq of the marbat of Ibn ‘Alyan traced to the famed Blunt desert import Queen of Sheba, and was bred by Lady Yule at Hanstead Stud. Oran was the last Asil stallion used at Crabbet Park by Lady Wentworth. Rheoboam was born at Musgrave Clark’s Courthouse Stud from old Blunt bloodlines… wait, there is more:

Nuhra was a bay Asil mare (picture below) imported from Bahrain to England in 1938 by the Earl of Athlone, the brother of Queen Mary of England. Nuhra was a Wadhnat Khursan by strain, and her sire was a Kuhaylan Jallabi.

So Arabesque Azieze was a Wadhnan Khursan, the only known Asil representative of this rare strain outside the desert, on top of tracing to Oran and Rheoboam. Born in 1978 yet so close to prestigious Old Crabbet and desert stock. And a National Champion in New Zealand, too.

Tzviah Idan and Carol Monkhouse Brown had found out about Azieze in the early nineties and had tried to get his owner to send him to the University of Auckland, New Zealand to collect semen. They were not successdul. A second effort was undertaken in July 2001, when a group of breeders (including the late Carol Lyons, Tzviah and myself) started a thread in AK Horsemen dedicated to raising money to save him, only to be informed that he had been put down in November 2000. What a loss.. what if we had tried a few months earlier…

6 Responses to “What if we had known a few months earlier…”

  1. Yes, another one who got away. I still have all my correspondence about Azieze. Such a shame it didn’t end up differently.

  2. A big loss indeed.. by the way, Tzviah, I was looking for the Babolna article you published in AHW some time ago (or what is for Al Khaima?), as I would it to feature it on this blog. Where can I find it please?

  3. This may be of interest to you after reading the above. My husband and I purchased 2 foundation mares after the death of Lady May Abel-Smith (owner of Nuhra) and as far as I am aware this is the last ‘family’ group that is intact.

    ‘Nuhra was a bay Asil mare (picture below) imported from Bahrain to England in 1938 by the Earl of Athlone, the brother of Queen Mary of England. Nuhra was a Wadhnat Khursan by strain, and her sire was a Kuhaylan Jallabi.’

    Our mares are getting older ‘Shimsha’ (Shimnar/Sayada) is 18 years old, and Karera (Mehzeer/Zareen) is 20 years old – Shimsha has a colt foal at foot which has been reserved at weaning and an exceptional yearling filly, both by Hussain (Crusader/Heloua) who also carries one line to Nuhra.
    We have retained a Crusader/Shimha daughter who has a filly at foot to Hussain, that is stunning. We have also retained a young chestnut stallion by the Abel-Smith bred stallion ‘Zalim’ (Bayazar/Zareen) this young horse is 4 years old and carries 8 lines to Nuhra, both sire and dam are tail female line. Karera has not been a prolific producer, and unfortunately the new owner of her colt by Mehzeer had him gelded for ease (big mistake!) , and then struggled to get her back into foal, she did produce a filly by Zalim (Bayazar/Zareen) and this double Darjeel filly is now in the south of England. Shimsha has 2 daughters by Zalim (Bayazar/Zareen) both sold and competing in Endurance/Dressage. We presently have Shimshas’ other daughter, a very special and rare mare – the last daughter of ‘Mehzeer’ who is now 10 years old.

  4. Zalim (Bayazar/Zareen) is still alive and fertile and has covered two thoroughbred mares this year- he stands by private arrangement only in North Yorkshire, England with his owner. His only pure bred son
    Guisburn Zhalim (Zalim/Guisburn Shazehra) carrying 8 lines to Nuhra will go to stud in 2009 and could be available by AI should anyone wish to enquire about preservation of these lines

  5. Indeed Melanie (may I?), Nuhra’s is a family worth preserving. If you are interested, I have an entry about the Wadnan Khursan strain lined up in the “Strain of the Week” series of this blog..

  6. […] We had identified the 1978 asil stallion Arabesque Azieze (Hansan x Orilla by Oran) in New Zealand (last asil Wadnan al-Khursan stallion in the West, also last asil line to Oran); some asil descendants of the 1950 mare Rozina (Saoud x Ruth II by Bendigo) in South Africa, by the asil Kuhaylan al-Mimrah stallion Gordonville Ziyadan (more on this precious line later, it still goes); the two asil Courthouse Hamdani Simri full sisters Sappho and Sceptre (Bleinheim X Selima by Bahram, more on those later), and a few very old horses in the UK, of which the 1975 stallion Alfadir (Algolson x Fedora by My Man, non-Skowronek, but still non asil) was one. Nothing concrete came out of this, except the realization that something needed to be done before more bloodlines were lost. Arabesque Azieze was actually the nearest miss, by far. I wrote about him here. […]

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