Other photo of desert bred stallion Bango imported to Algeria

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on September 20th, 2017 in Syria

I had never seen this photo of the Ma’naqi Sbayli stallion Bango, bred by the Shammar in 1923, and imported to Algeria by the French government in 1928, from an Egyptian racetrack. The photo was taken from an article on the Algeria stud of Tiaret, which appeared in the magazine Le Sport Universel Illustre N1375 of 1929/07/06.

Although French studs did not favor grey horses at the time, Bango left behind 142 offspring in both Algeria and Tunisia, including the stallions Sumeyr, Beyrouth, Titan, Caleh, and the mares Tosca, Salome, Palmyre, El Balaska, Gafsa, Themis, Diyyena, and others that stamped Northern African studs with their quality.


Libraries of the East

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on September 20th, 2017 in General

A very exciting development is the digitizing and online publication of eight Middle Eastern library collections, the result of a collaboration with the French National Library. There are so many Arabian horse related treasures in the French National Library, and I can’t help think how many more lie in the Middle Eastern ones.

Mahboub Halab in 2017

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on September 7th, 2017 in Syria

Better resolution photos from the Shuwayman Sabbah stallion Mahboub Halab in France this summer.

Mahboub Halab, Syrian import to France, in 2017

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on September 7th, 2017 in Syria

I spent some time with my friend Jean-Claude Rajot and his companion Fabienne Vesco and her daughter Severine this past summer. His imported Syrian stallion Mahboub Halab is looking glorious. I have other better photos too.

Telmese, b. 1903, “Asil from the Chammar”

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on September 5th, 2017 in Syria

A photo of the desert bred stallion Telmèse, born in 1903, imported to France by  Quinchez in 1912 has surfaced on allbreedpedigree.com. His name is spelled “Telmez” there.

There is no strain recorded for Telmese, only that he was an “Asil de la tribu des Chammars”. This marks one of the first usages of the term “Asil” for an Arabian horse in French official records.

His most important progeny includes the stallion Djebel Moussa, sent to Tunisia, out of Dragonne, and the mare Medje, out of Dragonne’s daughter Dourka.

Dahman, b. 1900, from the Shammar

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on September 5th, 2017 in Syria

The desert-bred Arabian stallion Dahman, born in 1900, imported from Syria to France’s Pompadour stud in 1909 by Quinchez, remains one of the prototypes of the authentic Arabian stallion. He was bred by the Shammar, by a stallion of the Dahman strain, out of a mare of the Rabdan strain.

This photo is in a 1923 article from the magazine “Le Sport Universel Illustre”, from the Bibliotheque Nationale de France.




The Emmon issue

By Amelie Blackwell

Posted on August 31st, 2017 in General

Among the foundation stock of Old French Bloodlines, I would like to discuss one specific horse : the stallion Emmon born in 1819. Some have considered his blood as “Asil” for decades. But, does he really fit the “Asil” definition?
What do we actually know about this horse? Honestly not much. The first french studbook describe him as : “a grey 1819 Arabian stallion, bought in England by Strubberg Senior and de Bony”. He stood at Pompadour from 1825 to 1836 and died in January 1837.
Can we trace him to “Bedouin breeding of the Arabian peninsula”? No. No data from his breeding source is given in the French Studbook, nor inside the Journal des Haras.

Indeed, he is sometimes listed as an Arabian horse…but also, he is sometimes not. Although, one must confess that French authorities did their best to try to classify their “oriental imports” (from Persians to Barbs), having him or any other horse listed as “Arabian” is not enough to prove he was “Asil”. We shall agree that the knowledge of “oriental breeds” was lacking depth at that time. The difference between Thoroughbred horses bred in England and orientals imports was also suffering great troubles. They were, in most occidental countries, listed together in the same Studbooks. In France, until 1891, every horse either sired by an oriental or Thoroughbred stallion and foaled out of an oriental dam-line was listed under the “oriental section”. Ephrem Houël, the French Stud Officer who compiled exhaustive data of every Thoroughbred and Oriental stallion introduced in France before the 1860’s does even not mention Emmon in his purebred horse listing.
So, I have searched for more information about him in the General Studbook of Weatherbys. No horse is recorded under this name. As some of you shall know the Studbook describe exports. But I could find no purebred Arabian matching the description of Emmon inside the 1810’s to 1830’s issues. The Studbook does feature a good number of “Arabian” horses, some of them famous stallions exported (fore example Buckfoot to Germany).

One would easily argue that not much either is known of  several foundation stock horses already qualified and recognized as “Asil” horses. But, in that case, they are linked to names of Asil horse breeders that we can trust. So what do we know about Strubberg Senior (Charles George Strubberg père)  and Count of Bony (Jospeh de Bony)?

The name Strubberg should ring a bell to any horse enthusiast who ever got interested in European Warmblood breeding in the early 19th century. This family ruled some of the most successful breeding programs from Trakhnen to Le Pin. Strubberg was in charge of the famous Zweibrucker Stud on the French/German border for many years and later head of the Rosière aux Salines Stud in East of France. Without any doubt, this was a family of great horsemen, wise and successful breeders. But they were not purist in anyway. The success of the old Trakhner breed or the old Zweibrucker breed  was the same recipe : breeding Warmblood horses for cavalry purpose and mixing oriental and Thoroughbred bloodlines. Holbein, one of the most successful Thoroughbred stallion in France during the 1820’s and 1830’s, was selected at Lord Exeter‘s in England and imported by Strubberg Senior in 1826 (likely within the same group of imports as Emmon).

About de Bony, he was director of Pompadour for a year. But his most infamous accomplishment was the fire who severely damaged the castle of Pompadour during his charge (while the man was running the country chasing for romance). Fortunately, the Stud’s barns and horses were safe but he got fired from his duty soon after the dramatic event. He was later reintegrated mostly in an honorific form, due to the strong support he received some influential friends. He was curiously praised by many while Lespinats who succeeded him brilliantly, devoting his life to what would become the true major step towards the foundation of Pompadour’s breeding program, was sometime despised.

So what? Do we actually care if such a remote ancestor as Emmon, indeed was an “Asil” stallion? He may well have been. I have followed the track of 9 horses sent from Aleppo to England by the Pacha of Tripoli’s ambassador in 1819 from which the famous stallion Bagdad was part of. Three of them eventually made it to England while six of them were purchased by the French National Studs (likely Noma, Shami, Hadban, Rhadeban and Raz-El-Fedawe). Could one of the two remaining horses be Emmon, or his dam imported in foal? Maybe. But there is no proof I could find to emphasis this hypothesis.

Ultimately, Emmon’s blood is widely represented in worldwide breeding programs through his great-grand childs: Bou-Maza (1847) and Moheleda (Bis – 1850) bred by Baron of Nexon. There is not a single doubt that many “Asil” horses were imported to France since the 1810’s. And many of them were bred to the descendants of Emmon. These horses have proved their value in many ways over the last two centuries…but can we reasonably pretend that they are “Asil”?

Vonolel, a hero of the second British Afghan war

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on August 29th, 2017 in General

 Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Sleigh Roberts was the commander of the British expeditionary forces — the Kabul Field Force — that fought the second Anglo-Afghan war from 1878 to 1880.

General Roberts led his 10,000 troops, including 2800 British soldiers, on the legendary march from Kabul to Kandahar, where he defeated the forces of Ayub Khan.

The war horse General Roberts rode on the 20 days march from Kabul to Kandahar and on much of the campaign was Vonolel, a desert-bred Arabian stallion (photo below, at the National Army museum). Vonolel ranks high in the pantheon of history’s most famous war steeds

Der Ezzor in 1933

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on August 28th, 2017 in General

The French military airport in the foreground, the Euphrates and its modern bridge in the background. The bridge was built by the French in 1927 and destroyed by ISIS in 2013.

Monsoon, that legend

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 15th, 2017 in General

I will never, ever tire of watching that mythical photo of the Kuhaylan Haifi stallion, Monsoon (Tripoli x Ceres). Thank you Anita Westfall, for taking it. My Thalia (Javera Thadrian x Bint Dharebah by Monsoon) is a Monsoon granddaughter.

So long, Ginger

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 15th, 2017 in General

This week, my beautiful Ginger (DA Ginger Moon) left for Idaho, on lease to Bev Davison. She will be missed, but I could not give her the chance she deserved over the past three years, for lack of a suitable stallion, and competing breeding projects (and programs). Her 2015 miscarriage after a successful breeding to the aged Bahraini Mlolshaan stallion in Michigan still haunts me.

Ginger July 2015

Bev will attempt a breeding to Buckner (photo below), on lease from Rosemary, Terry and Lyman Doyle, and then to one of her handsome Babson-Doyles, if all goes well. Buckner is double Greggan and double Subani, and it does not get better than that!

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Pericles, Kuhaylan Haifi

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 14th, 2017 in General

This beautiful photo of Pericles appeared on Facebook yesterday, courtesy of PG Gregory.

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Fifth Lumbar Vertebra in Arabian and Barb horses

By Yassine Jamali

Posted on July 14th, 2017 in General

So much has been said about the five lumbar vertebra of the Arabian horse. Many authors still mention it up till now. But History and science reject this assumption.
This feature was described by Auguste Rochau, then by his pupil André Sanson. Both of them were French veterinarians in the second half of the nineteenth centuryThis is a summarized translation of what Sanson said on the topic :
— The aryan horse, with a straight frontal bone and rectilinear nose bones and six lumbar vertebra is from Asia.
— The mongolic horse, with a convex profile and nose bones and five lumbar vertebra is from Africa.
 Here under is the translated text of Sanson ( extract from Denis Bogros’s book)
[Both brachycephalic, one has a flat frontal bone, rectilinear nose bones and six lumbar vertebra in the spinal column, with seven cervical , eighteen dorsal and five sacral. The other has a convex or rounded frontal bone, slightly curved nose bones, and only five lumbar vertebra, and seven cervical vertebra, eighteen dorsal, and five sacral;  and this one’s lumbar vertebra are not only different from the others by their inferior number, but they differ also by their transverse apophyses’s shape and by their disposition in the series.

The two oriental types seem to have different geographic origins, as they are obviously from different stocks.

The oriental type with six lumbar vertebraes would belong, in the hypothesis, to the Asian continent; while the five lumbar vertebraes type belongs to the African continent, as other types from the same genus yet admitted by naturalists as distinct species, and known for having only five sacral vertebraes, like donkeys and zebraes in general. Two american teachers  William E. Jones et Ralph Bogart, in their book Genetics of the Horse,1971, showed this board, from a 1962 study by R. M. Stetcher :
Thoracic vertebraes  Lumbar vertebraes 
Observed animals Nb 17    18    18 ‘/2 19 5    5 ‘/2  6    7
Common horse 55 4 50 1 0 6 1 48 0
Shetland Pony 7 0 7 0 0 0 0 7 0
Arabian horse 7 4 3 0 0 1 0 6 0
Przewalski 32 0 23 0 9 16 0 16 0
Donkey 11 1 10 0 0 9 0 2 0
Mule 6  2 4 0 0 1 0 5 0
Hemionus  9 0 8 0 1 9 0 0 0
Zebra 49 7 41 0 1  5 0 44 0

Grévy Zebra
14 0 14 0 0 1 0 12 1

End of the extract ]

This board shows clearly that most of the Arabian horses have a normal number of lumbar vertebraes, i.e six, as every breed of horse.
The number of thoracic vertebraes is equal to the number of ribs. In his book published in 1834, Karl Wilhelm Ammon reported an Arabian adage, where the Arabs were praising horses with an additional rib, which means an additional thoracic vertebra. That seems logical because it gives more volume to lungs. Only 9 Przewalski horses out of 32, had 19 ribs instead of 18 like normal horses. Sanson’s allegation still needs to be confirmed for the African horse, the Barb. That should be easy to prove with modern tools as echography and radiography.

A scene from an Egyptian wedding in 1905

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 13th, 2017 in General

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Provance CF headshots

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 11th, 2017 in General

Confetti CF headshots

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 11th, 2017 in General


Confetti CF, 2000 K. Haifi mare

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 11th, 2017 in General


Provance CF 2001, and Confetti CF, 2000 K. Haifi mares

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 11th, 2017 in General

The two K. Haifi mares Provance CF 2001 (Triermain CF x Anjou CF by Plantagenet x Bint Dharebah), right, and Confetti CF 2000 (Triermain CF x Domina CF by Plantagenet x Bint Dharebah), left, on a hot day last Saturday, at Hazaim Alwair.

Zubaida Assahara, 2010 Hadba Enzahi mare

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 10th, 2017 in Syria

I spent part of the weekend at Hazaim’s house and small farm in North Carolina, and got to see his five Davenports, four Kuhaylan Haifis and a Hadba Enzahi. The best part was a trail ride around the subdivision, him on Gilad Ibn Dubloon and me on Una CF.

Below are two photos of his 2010 Hadba Enzahi mare, Zubaida Assahara (RL Thunder Cloud x RL Angel Girl by Letarnard), with 4 lines to *Hadba. She was in many ways my favorite, despite being the smallest of the lot. A war mare, built like a tank, with a broad chest, a deep girth and a broad, round rib cage, exuding stamina and power, with a pleasing and dry head, a big eye and prominent eye socket, a dry bony face, an elegant arched throat, hair fine like silk, a shiny copper coat, overall not without style, and so reminiscent of the small and valiant desert horses of my childhood in Syria.


Guest Blogger Laszlo Kiraly

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 6th, 2017 in General

One of Hungary’s veteran Asil Arabian horse breeders, Laszlo really needs no introduction.

Laszlo owns and edits a horse magazine owner and editor Lovas Nemzet, an historian of the breed, and a believer in the universality of Asil bloodlines. Suffice it to say he owns some of the last lines to Babolna’s Siglavy Bagdady VI and 25-Amurath Sahib, and the very last line to Abbas Pasha’s Selma that runs through Musgrave Clark’s Courthouse Stud, and that he has been successfully breeding them to some of the best Egyptian lines in addition to the Davenport bloodline of Delicate Air.

Video of Arabian Horses from Bahrain from 1985

By Laszlo Kiraly

Posted on July 5th, 2017 in General

It is an honor for me to publish my thoughts and my experiences on the Daughters of the wind Blog from time to time. At the same time an honor and pleasure  knowing and learning from  the opinions of other people about our beloved Arabian horse.
One of my experiences about the Arabian horses was a film from Bahrain. A long time ago, at the turn of the millenium, in 1998 or 1999 I received it as gift from a German friend, Jens Sannek. The film was made by an Austrian breeder,  Anton Tucek in 1985 (!)Today I learned that Anton Tucek died in 2004. I spoke with his very kind widow, who agreed to let me publish the recording. Anton Tucek was a breeder of Asil Arabian horses. I’m sorry I didn’t know him personally, but I knew about his horses. He imported two stallions from Bahrain in the 1980’s. One of them was Sarhan, whose 26-year-old son (out of an original Iranian mare) is still living, now owned by the family.
It is not easy to identify the horses in the film. I only can guess the names of someone, but I hope there are people who knows them exactly. I remember, what pleasure was for me  seeing real desert bred horses. The horses of the Islands of Pearls. Recently there was the  WAHO Congress in Bahrain and in this context we could see a lot of photos and some videos from today’s horses on this Blog. The “actors” of this film are the ancestors of the horses of nowadays, maybe.  All or just a few of them , but one  thing is certain: They are “Pearls of Great Price”.
Here is the film in three parts, enjoy yourself !

Lithography of Gliocho imports

By Amelie Blackwell

Posted on July 3rd, 2017 in General

This beautiful lithography of some of the stallions imported by the famous greek dealer Nicholas Gliocho in the 1820’s can be seen at the Tylers Museum in Netherlands and online here

Giraffes now allowed to compete in Arabian horse shows

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 2nd, 2017 in General

Reflexions sur l’origine et la creation du pur-sang arabe

By Yassine Jamali

Posted on July 2nd, 2017 in General

Le débat autour de l’origine exacte et de la genèse du pur sang arabe date approximativement du XIXème siècle, en Europe du moins.

L’hypothèse d’une origine purement arabe suppose l’existence d’un cheval préhistorique local dont descendrait presque sans changement le pur sang arabe actuel. Carl Raswan entre autres défendait ce point de vue.

L’autre hypothèse rejette l’idée d’un cheval arabe préhistorique et situe l’arrivée du cheval dans la Péninsule arabique sous forme domestiquée très tardivement , vers le premier siècle après JC. Les premiers chevaux de par leur rareté auraient eu un statut prestigieux, semi divin, avant d’être utilisés pour la guerre ou la chasse. La croissance des effectifs, très lente, est évaluée à travers des inscriptions détaillant le nombre de fantassins, chameliers et cavaliers ayant participé à des batailles antéislamiques.

Christian Robin et Saud Soliman Theyab ,(chevaux et cavaliers arabes, ouvrage collectif) résument ainsi une énumération d’inscriptions découvertes au Yémen et dans le Hadramaout :”Cette longue récapitulation n’est pas sans intérêt. Au Ier siècle les chevaux se comptent en unités; au IIIème siècle c’est par dizaines; enfin au IVème siècle c’est par centaines. Le cheval, très rare en Arabie méridionale au début de l’ère chrétienne, devient relativement commun trois siècles avant l’islam. ”

Par contre des chevaux de type pur sang arabe se rencontrent sur des bas-reliefs très anciens, mais hors de la Péninsule. Dans le tombeau d’Horemneb, (XVIIIème siècle avant JC) notamment, un cheval monté présente une petite tête avec un chanfrein concave, un col de cygne, une ligne sacrée horizontale et une queue implantée haut , qui en font un véritable modèle de show moderne, plus typique que bien des desertbred. Des bas-reliefs assyriens plus récents (VIIIème IXème siècle avant JC) montrent également des chevaux du même type.

Ces chevaux , dans l’ancienne terminologie de André Sanson, étaient qualifiés d’aryens, du nom des conquérants orientaux qui ont bouleversé la Mésopotamie et renversé les pharaons . Il est logique qu’ils se retrouvent sur tout le parcours de ces conquérants.

Les ancêtres du futur pur-sang arabe semblent donc distribués dans tout le Proche et le Moyen Orient plusieurs siècles avant d’avoir atteint son second berceau, la Péninsule arabique. Mais il ne s’agit que d’une population-souche, un minerai non encore purifié. L’Arabie sera la forge et les arabes les forgerons.

Première question, pourquoi un tel développement qualitatif en Arabie et pas chez les peuples cavaliers qui ont précédé les arabes dans la domestication du cheval ?
Deuxième question : comment ?
Troisième question : Pourquoi ce type “show” très antique, qui correspond à l’archétype du pur sang arabe dans l’esprit du grand public , cohabite-t-il avec un pur sang arabe beaucoup moins typé, à profil rectiligne, croupe plus inclinée , modèle du pur sang arabe de course , présent également chez de nombreux desertbred ?

A la première question on peut répondre par : C’est le fruit des besoins et des contraintes, moteur de toute évolution, qu’elle soit naturelle ou issue d’une pression de sélection humaine. Les besoins étaient les mêmes que ceux de tous les peuples cavaliers nomades: chasse (comme l’indique la légende de Zad er Rakib)  et razzia, accessoirement guerre et voyage. Il fallait un cheval endurant, rapide, et capable de résister aux terribles conditions climatiques. Ces besoins ont été comblés grâce à la sélection, en un laps de temps plus ou moins long selon les sociétés.

L’exception du contexte arabe par rapport à l’Asie centrale ou à l’Afrique du Nord réside dans la rareté du cheptel équin, en relation avec le coût pharamineux de l’entretien d’un cheval. Comparée aux immenses étendues herbeuses de l’Asie centrale, aux abondantes récoltes de l’Afrique du Nord grenier de l’empire romain, l’aridité extrême de la péninsule rendait l’approvisionnement en grain et fourrage très onéreux. Ceci représente la contrainte majeure. Alors qu’en Asie et en Afrique les troupeaux immenses pouvaient se reproduire quasiment en liberté , produisant aléatoirement d’excellents chevaux pour la razzia et la chasse, des chevaux moyens pour la guerre et les déplacements en tous genres, et du tout-venant pour la viande, le lait, le cuir et le bât, en Arabie seule pouvait exister la catégorie supérieure , qui justifiait par sa valeur tous les sacrifices nécessaires à son entretien. Dans ce contexte , le cheval moyen et le tout-venant étaient remplacés par le dromadaire. Étant entendu que les dromadaires eux-mêmes étaient divisés en catégories de noblesse diverse.

C’est pourquoi la pression sélective n’a pu qu’être énorme d’emblée.c’est aussi pour ça que la notion de généalogie a pu se développer car les chevaux en Arabie étaient des individus, non des troupeaux relativement anonymes. Imaginons à quoi ressembleraient les véhicules dans un contexte où le prix du pétrole serait dix fois plus élevé que partout ailleurs : sobres et très performants …

Deuxième question : comment a pu se produire une telle purification en si peu de temps ? Au premier siècle après JC , les chevaux n’existent pas dans la,péninsule. Ceux d’Egypte et de Syrie sont à peine mentionnés par l’auteur romain Oppien dans son Livre de la Chasse alors qu’ils s’étend sur la rapidité des chevaux espagnols et siciliens, et sur l’endurance du cheval de Maurétanie et de Libye . Notons qu’Oppien était lui même natif de Syrie.

Ce progrès rapide et irréversible est dû à l’immense savoir empirique des arabes en matière d’accouplements , leur maîtrise de la consanguinité, et leur utilisation de la course comme instrument de mesure objectif de la qualité des reproducteurs. Cela est assez connu pour se passer de développement.

Un point à questionner est l’utilisation des juments pour la selle, phénomène presque exclusivement arabe. Il est sans doute lié au coût d’entretien : nul ne peut entretenir une jument exclusivement pour la reproduction, elle doit gagner son grain et son fourrage en portant son maître. Il est probable de ce fait que des juments pleines de plusieurs mois effectuaient couramment des razzias , des parties de chasse de plusieurs dizaines de km au galop derrière une gazelle ou une antilope. Ceci conduit à parler d’épigénétique. Cette discipline étudie l’impact du vécu de la mère gestante sur l’embryon qu’elle porte, sur les gamètes de l’embryon, sur la descendance même de cet embryon. D’ailleurs, plutôt que de vécu de la mère on devrait parler de vécu du couple mère-embryon. Les modifications apportées au niveau du génome du produit ne sont pas des mutations; elles consistent en activation de certains allèles et désactivation des autres. L’action ne s’exerce pas sur les circuits mais sur les interrupteurs. Que les généticiens et les informaticiens pardonnent ce parallèle approximatif :  la génétique correspondrait à la modification de pièces de l’ordinateur, et l’épigénétique à une modification des logiciels. Modification qui se fixe et devient héréditaire.

On peut formuler l’hypothèse que le travail d’une jument gestante apportera un plus au poulain qu’elle porte et surtout à la descendance de ce dernier. On peut aussi supposer que les gamètes d’un étalon soumis au travail seront améliorées par rapport au même étalon qui n’aurait jamais accompli d’effort. Évidemment il s’agit pour la jument d’un effort adapté à son état.

Un exemple limité porte sur des juments arabes importées de France au Maroc en 2015. Les poulains nés deux mois après leur arrivée transpiraient énormément , par des températures de 45 °C (conversion °F?). Les poulains nés en 2016 des mêmes juments et d’un étalon importé du même haras résistaient à la chaleur aussi bien que les poulains locaux. L’exception arabe réside peut être dans une exploitation maximale et sans égale des ressources de l’épigénétique.

Troisième question : Pourquoi, alors que le type arabe à profil concave et croupe horizontale semble fixé dès le XiIIème siècle avant JC, bien avant l’arrivée du cheval dans la péninsule, trouve-t-on parmi les desertbred photographiés au XIXème siècle des chevaux beaucoup moins typés mais néanmoins indiscutablement arabes de par leur généalogie ?

Il peut s’agir d’une évolution naturelle. Mais il peut aussi y avoir eu dans les premiers siècles de l’expansion musulmane intégration des meilleurs chevaux capturés au pool génétique arabe. Cette dernière hypothèse semble en contradiction avec l’exigence arabe de pureté du naçal ou lignée, qui interdit d’utiliser un étalon ou une jument dont les ascendants ne sont pas établis avec certitude. Cette interdiction, rapportée depuis trois ou quatre siècles était elle déjà en vigueur il y a quatorze ou quinze siècles ?

Comment expliquer que El Hajjaj Ibn Youssouf, sur ordre du calife Omeyyade demande à son lieutenant Qoteiba d’organiser des courses dans le Khorassan et de lui envoyer les vainqueurs ? Ceux-ci, deux frères issus de la même jument, sont acheminés vers Damas, mais l’un d’eux est volé en route . Le second, arrivé à la cour est offert par le calife à son frère . Peut on imaginer que le voleur d’une part, le frère du calife d’autre part, n’aient pas fait reproduire ces chevaux d’exception ? Après tout, Antar ben Cheddad, fils d’une esclave , bâtard, a été reconnu par son père et intégré au naçab suite à ses exploits …

Plus tard,,le savoir arabe en matière de sélection a certainement été adopté dans les zones conquises, de même qu’était adoptée à l’identique la méthode de l’idmar, décrite aussi bien au Turkmenistant qu’au Moyen Orient et au Maghreb.

On peut se demander si la notion de dégénérescence des races exportées hors de leur berceau , en particulier le pur sang arabe, n’est pas avant tout dûe au changement d’environnement géographique et humain, qui a tendance à défaire inexorablement ce que la sélection basée sur la génétique et l’epigenetique a construit depuis des siècles .
De là découle une question concernant les races de terroir: Peut on éviter la perte de certaines aptitudes chez un chien de troupeau qui ne voit ni ne sent le loup pendant des générations ? Chez un lévrier qui ne chasse plus ? Chez un pur sang arabe dont les juments ne sont plus montées, gestantes ou non ?

Introducing guest blogger Yassine Jamali

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 2nd, 2017 in General

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A veterinarian by training who worked with Veterinarians without Borders in the Sahel, Yassine Jamali now breeds Arabians, Arab-Barbs and North African greyhounds (Sloughis) at his family farm in central Morocco, on the banks of the Oum er Rabiaa river.

I have been enjoying and appreciating Yassine’s online contributions on the breeding of Arabian and Barb horses and Sloughis for many years now. His thoughts on function driving form in conformation and temperament, on the breed’s adaption and resilience to evolving market needs, and bringing equine history to bear, resonate with me. I am excited at the opportunity to share them with you here.