05 March, 2010


"There's a brown girl in the ring,
Tra la la la la
There's a brown girl in the ring,
Tra la la la la la
Brown girl in the ring,
Tra la la la la
She looks like a sugar in a plum,
Plum! Plum!"-lyrics from Brown Girl in the Ring, a West Indian Folk Song
I remember Dahmah Shahwaniah (*Ansata Ibn Halima x *Bint Maisa El Saghira). She was a sweet mare. I met her at Bentwood, before the Sotheby sale. She was a pretty, feminine, petite mare and one of my favorites mares at Bentwood, not so much for how she looked, but because she had one of the best temperaments that I had encountered, in any horse, up until that point in my life. I will never forget how excited I felt to actually meet a living daughter of *Bint Maisa El Saghira, one of my most favorite Egyptian mares. Dahmah Shahwaniah is as close as I ever got to *Bint Maisa El Saghira.

Dahmah Shahwaniah was physically, very Dahman in her appearance. I always believed that Dahmah Shahwaniah should have been bred to one of the best Dahman Horses of our time, Ansata Halim Shah, who was so superb, so typey and so harmonious. However, I think that in the recent past, the decisions that were made for breeding Egyptian horses did not take into account how the individuals complemented each other or for the resulting quality they would produce together; as it was for producing a horse with "big name parents" who could bring a good sales dollar or what did they call "it" in those days?


Dahmah Shahwaniah was bred to her half-brother (out of the same dam) Shaikh Al Badi and produced a popular colt named AK Ishmael. She was bred to Moniet El Sharaf and produced a bay mare named AK Salima Sharaf. She was also bred to Moniet's sire, *Ibn Moniet El Nefous, to produce the popular stallion, AK Shah Moniet. She was bred twice to *Ibn Hafiza producing two bay colts: Ibn Dahmahn and Almawardy. She was bred to *Sakr and produced the colt, Dar Al Salam. She was also bred to *Morafic, producing the stallion, Shahid. She was also bred to Ruminaja Bahjat and produced a bay mare by the name of ZT Bahshahwaniah, who has produced a number of daughters.

During this visit to Bentwood, having also met Prince Fa Moniet for the first time and many of The Egyptian Prince daughters; I became impressed over The Egyptian Prince's siring ability. The Egyptian Prince was out of *Bint Mona, *Morafic's full sister in blood. It made sense to blend the blood of a Dahman horse, with the blood of a Saklawi, to produce a more refined Dahman horse. Combining Dahmah Shahwaniah with The Egyptian Prince also doubled the Nazeer blood and bringing in additionally, the influence Moniet El Nefous. He was a great match with Dahmah Shahwaniah, producing what my friend Oliver Wibihal called "Dahmah Shahwaniah's masterpiece": AK Nawaal. Dahmah Shahwaniah was bred again to The Egyptian Prince and she produced another grey mare named Dahmah Reshan.
Although her children may not have all been consistently magnificent in their phenotype, the legacy of Dahmah Shahwaniah becomes obviously apparent through her many grandsons and granddaughters. It is in this generation that one starts to develop an appreciation for her influence. One of the most exciting grandsons is Authentic Ibn Nawaal (Maysoun x AK Nawaal). He's owned by Rosi Kolster of Authentic Egyptian Arabians of Hollern, in northern Germany. He's a fabulous horse, a "total package" having won in 2000, the Reserve Junior Champion Colt at the International Cup in St. Poelten, the Junior Championship at the German Nationals in 2002 and a gold medal at the annual Stallion Show, completing the performance part of the German Stallion Show which is a voluntary test now, in addition to the halter competition. I think Authentic Ibn Nawaal's complete participation in this demanding test speaks volumes about Rosi, as a breeder and what is important to her and also, her faith in her horse's athletic capabilities. Every time I look at this picture, it makes my hair stand on end just to think of a beautiful athlete like Authentic Ibn Nawaal, a horse who has everything you want.

Enjoy your horses,

Johnny Johnston captured the essence of Dahmah Shahwaniah forever in the first photo. This photo subsequently appeared in the early volumes of the Pyramid Society Handbooks, when Dahmah became part of the Bentwood breeding program. The second picture of the stallion, Authentic Ibn Nawaal was taken by Babette Krall. The third picture, at the performance part of the German Stallion License test, is Authentic Ibn Nawaal and the photo was taken by the late Kerstin Anders, who was much loved and is very missed.

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