13 May, 2011

Ramiah: 2 S(u)ns

"There was never a great man who had not a great mother, it is hardly an exaggeration."-Olive Schreiner
Ramiah was bred by the EAO and became an important broodmare for El Zahraa. She was sired by the Alaa el Din son, Mohawed, a pure-in-the-strain Kuhaylan Rodan stallion, as Alaa el Din is out of Kateefa, a Bint Rissala daughter while Rafika, Mohawed's dam, is out of the Yashmak daughter, Om el Saad, a Bint Rissala grand-daughter. That's double Bint Rissala, double Rodania. Ramiah's dam, Fifi, a chestnut mare by Anter and out of Mamlouka, a Malaka daughter and a Bint Bint Riyala grand-daughter. Remember that in Egyptian breeding, the Rodania line is available only through Bint Rissala  and Bint Riyala and no other Rodania-line horses, as exists in Crabbet breeding and beyond, in the general list horses. In Ramiah, we have both horses present, both Rodania branches, both Rodania sources of this precious and very powerful blood. The only line in Ramiah's pedigree which is not Kuhaylan Rodan, is Anter, a son of Hamdan and Obeya. He is Saqlawi, tracing through Radia to the celebrated mare, Ghazieh. The people closest to the Rodania blood, the people who purchased her and brought her out of the desert, to England,  Lady Ann and Wilfrid Blunt, felt that the best way to breed horses of the Kuhaylan Rodan strain, were to combine them with only horses of the Saqlawi strain.
"Wilfred Scawen Blunt consigned Rodania to Class 2 of the Crabbet horses (though Lady Anne apparently considered her Class 1) and wrote, 'She may give sires to Class 2. She is to be covered by Seglawis only.' He was right, for this has generally been the best 'nick' over the years, providing the extra refinement needed by the strain."-Judith Forbis, Authentic Arabian Bloodstock (I), (p. 238)
The Blunts held a  deep appreciation for Rodania, as the mare reminded them of their beloved English Thoroughbred. When we read  the words of the Blunts, we need to recognize that the Kuhaylan Rodan Arabian Horse of today, is a much different horse than existed in the Blunt's time period. Today's Kuhaylan Rodan strain horse is also very deeply influenced by the other ancestors present in his pedigree. While the early Kuhaylan Rodan horses may have been coarse, today's Kuhaylan Rodan remains as one of the most beautiful and sought after horses of the breed, just as much a "classic" in his look, as a Dahman or Saqlawi strain horse.

Ramiah, when bred to Gad Allah, a stallion of the Hadban strain tracing to Hind through Yosreia,  produced the stallion Goudah, pictured above left, playing in the snow.  Goudah became a celebrated dancing horse in Egypt and eventually in Saudi Arabia too, where he participated in ceremonial parades which helped to spread his fame even farther. He was gifted to the the Prince of Wales by His Royal Highness Prince Al Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, one of the Arabian Horse's staunchest supporters. Goudah now makes his home with Jenny Lees at her Pearl Island Arabians, in Herfordshire, England. Goudah does stand at stud and it's a great opportunity for straight Egyptian breeders, to reinvigorate their breeding programs with the vitality of the current EAO bloodlines. When Ramiah was bred to the stallion, Rashdan, a Dahman Shahwan tracing in his tail female line to Bukra, she produced  Rawwah, pictured above right. Rawwah has been an important sire for the EAO, influencing each foal crop with his classic, old-world type, wonderful temperament and powerful movement.

Both stallions are similar in their phenotype, despite having different sires and it makes me wonder over the  influence that Ramiah contributed to each stallion and to a stronger extent, the impact of the Rodania family, for influencing strong and functional confirmation and for consistently producing horses who have "extraordinary strength and style of going."  Both Goudah's and Rawwah's masculine bodies are comprised of rounded, curvy, circular lines, with powerful laid back shoulders, muscled hindquarter, strong backs with noticeable withers, well-muscled gaskins and forearms, proportionately longer than their shorter cannon bones, plus extreme tail carriage. Both stallions convey great power and electrifying, ground-covering  movement as they move forward, using their back muscles and driving off of their hocks. It is personally exciting to see horses move like this. No, actually, it is deeply satisfying to know that in Egypt, horses are still bred  with the same vitality and vigor, that the Blunts found in a long-ago brave desert mare, who carried scars on her belly and chest, as proof of her courage. She was a real desert war horse, who is still very much alive today.


PS-Credit must be given to Judi Parks for the picture of Ramiah, Jenny Lees for the picture of Goudah and Rania Elsayed for the picture of Rawwah. Without these people, this story could not have happened. Many thanks. 

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