By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on April 24th, 2008 in Hungary, Lebanon, Saudi, USA

A previous post gave me the occasion to mention Zanoubia, which is something I have been looking forward to for some time now. Zanoubia was my first mare.  Rather she was the first mare from my father’s horses in Lebanon that I considered mine.  She did not make it in my recent top ten of the best Asil mares ever bred; she would have ten years ago, before I become acquainted with the wonderful Asil Arabians bred in the USA.

Dad had bought her as a yearling in 1977 0r 78. At that time, he owned some 15 mares and a couple stallions, not all of them Asil.  There were few Asil Arabians left in Lebanon, and Zanoubia was one of the them.  She was a ‘Ubayyah Sharrakiyah from the horses of the Dandashi landowners of Western Syria, who were famed for the beauty and purity of their horses.  The strain came from the Sba’ah tribe.

A couple of the Dandashi horses made their way to Europe and the USA.  The Dandashi were the owners of the 1880 black Babolna stallion O-Bajan, who’s left such an imprint on Asil breeding in Europe.  They were also the breeders of the Saqlawi Jadran, sire of the Asil mare *Muha, imported by Ameen al-Rihani to the USA.  That Saqlawi Jadran was a gift from the Dandashi to the French High Commissioner (de facto ruler) of Syria, General Gouraud.  Ameen Rihani bred his desert-bred mare *Noura, a Ma’anaghiyah Hadrajiyah from Ibn Saud, to this Saqlawi Jadran. *Muha resulted from this breeding. This is the tail female for the renowed mare My Bonnie Nylon (by Raffles, and hence not Asil).

The gound on which Zanoubia is standing in this 1991 photo I took of her is not level, which makes her hindquarter look higher than her withers.  Behind her stand Nowakiat Akkar, another Asil mare of my father’s, and the subject of a later post…

Zenobia older

3 Responses to “Zanoubia”

  1. Wow, Edouard, what a splendid mare. How fortunate you are to have had her, and of the prized Abayyah Sharakiyah strain. She is in famous company in North American Al Khamsa foundations. Two famed mares come to mind: *Abeyah 1896 bay mare of the Abayyah Sharrakiyah strain, imported by Homer Davenport and Queen of Sheba 1875 bay mare of the Abayyah Sharrakiyah strain obtained by the Blunts. Sadly we no longer have any tail female line to these mares in Al Khamsa, but they are found elsewhere throughout numerous Al Khamsa Davenport and Egyptian pedigrees.

  2. She was a beautiful mare indeed. Her strain goes back to Ibn Thamdan of the Saba’ah tribe. The Saba’ah used to maintain dozens of separate marbat (desert studes) of ‘Ubayyan Sharrak, of which the marabet of Ibn ‘Alyan, Ibn Thamdan, Ibn Duwayhiss, al-‘Awbali and al-Usayli’ were the most famous.

  3. Well what a nice mare we in still fortunate in Syria to have the horses of the Sbaa, by far the Sba’a are the best breeders of all time and very famous for their Abayan Strain, What a mare Edouard, I did own a mare in partenership from these horses by Minaim called Zanaubia as well as their Grandmother is Zanoubia bint Sheikh Alarab in himself A Sba’a horse. May Allah bliss the Asil horses.
    When famous horse the sister of sheikh alarab was presented to A’asim agha swidaan by the sheikh of the Sba’a ibn Mirshed the whole villiage was at her reception as bide on her wedding day.



Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>