26 March, 2023

Magidaa Al Rayyan

Have you seen the new Arabian Insider video of the 6-year old straight Egyptian mare, Magidaa Al Rayyan? She is sired by the 2002 stallion, Hilal Al Nakeeb (NK Hafid Jamil x Bint Bint Hamamaa) and out of Furat Al Rayyan (Ansata Nile Echo x RN Farida). In one pedigree, many of the ancestral elements that I have written about previously, come together, resulting in this beautiful mare. For example, Nabiel is the sire of Bint Bint Hamamaa, the dam of Magidaa Al Rayyan's sire. Nabiel is one of those horses, for whom you need to study and consider his entire pedigree (beyond the tail female line) in order to make sense of what you see physically, versus what you read on paper. An analysis of the first four generations reveals that the majority of strain influence comes from the Saqlawi strain, approximately 75%. The Kuhaylan strain, overall at 12.5%, is equally divided between the Kuhaylan Rodans and the Kuhaylan Mimriahs, 6.25% each.  The reality is that Nabiel is only Abeyyan, as much as he is Hadban Enzahi or even, Kuhaylan Rodan. Each strain accounts for a minimal percentage of 6.25% of Nabiel's pedigree. In studying the entire pedigree (and not just the tail female line), one can better connect Nabiel's airy, longer, stretchier phenotype, with that of the Saqlawi strain. 

RN Farida, her beloved maternal granddam, was foaled in 1995, a daughter of Salaa el Dine, an Ansata Halim Shah son out of Hanan. Her dam, Noha, was a Hadban Enzahi daughter, out of Nadja, a Nazeer daughter out of Nefisa (Balance x Helwa). From Nefisa, the tail female line runs through Farida to El Dahma, an Ali Pasha Sherif-bred mare, long considered to be the root mare of the Dahman Shahwan strain.

RN Farida matured into an important broodmare for Al Rayyan and for breeders around the globe. Bred to Ansata Nile Echo, she produced Furat Al Rayyan, who like her dam, has become a significant broodmare. 

NK Hafid Jamil, her paternal grandsire, took my understanding of straight Egyptian breeding to another level, well beyond a traditional understanding of selection, based on key conformational traits. I was not a fan of his sire, Ibn Nejdy, namely his pigmentation issues. Ibn Nejdy had a fabulous front end, which included a beautiful neck, well set, with a flowing line that ran gracefully from his wither (with no dip) and all the way to the poll. He had well-muscled shoulders that many horseman would consider ideal. NK Hafid Jamil, conformationally, was like his sire, a front-end horse and a celebration of all the breed characteristics that we cherish. However, from behind, the muscling was not equal, his croup was high and his hind legs were straight.The curvey, upward, gently flowing line of his neck was outrageously beautiful but so was the underline, resulting in a neck that was not heavy, it was elegant, more so than any stallion that I had ever seen before. However, the angle at which his head connected with his neck, also contributed to this look of lightness, by creating an extra-fine throatlatch. The features of his head were equally dramatic, with large, black eyes, placed lower on a head that was clean and dry, with fine skin that accentuated the prominence of bone and vein. His head conveyed what he was, a son of the desert, whose influence is now found in this daughter of the desert, Magidaa Al Rayyan. Congratulations and best wishes to the Doha Stud, her owner and to Arabian Insider, who created this beautifully moving video.

***Many thanks to Arabian Insider for making videos like the video of Magidaa Al Rayyan, available on their You Tube channel.***

19 March, 2023

Amanda Pegasus

The 2023 Turfah Arabian Horse Show, held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, finished yesterday. The senior mare class is always my favorite and at this particular show, it was Class 6, for mares 10+ years old. It was a strong class, with some very nice mares competing.  I found it interesting that the full sisters, AJ Anwar and AJ Arwa, both sired by Marwan Al Shaqab and out of AJA Angelica (WH Justice x FS Anastasia) were competing against each other. A tenth of a point eventually separated the sisters. A big surprise was finding the Sanadik El Shaklan daughter, El Sanadika IA, out of Magnalina, a Magnum Psyche daughter out of Elle Padron. While Padron represents 20% of her dam's pedigree, I was more focused on the percentage of Spanish blood through horses like *Estopa, *Morisca V and A Fancy Miracle. I was struck by her height, as she is a taller mare and the ratio of her forearms to cannons is impressive. She is a willowy mare, with length to her back, neck, legs and head. She was my favorite, until I clicked on the video of Amanda Pegasus. A 2013 mare, she is a daughter of Shaezz El Madan (Shael Dream Desert x MFA Exoticaa) and out of Kasetta Pegasus (Johakim Carol x Amanda Rach). What I appreciate most in Amanda Pegasus is her body mass, balanced within three equal circles. She is so harmonious, broad of chest, with a wide back and  a well-muscled hind end. Her maternal granddam is overwhelmingly of Polish ancestry, with a matriline that runs back to one of the most influential desert horses imported to Poland. In 1844, Count Juliusz Dzieduszycki traveled to Alexandria, Egypt and having obtained letters of recommendation that he could present to a Bedouin Sheykh; he journeyed into the desert to meet the various horse breeding tribes, in the hope of securing their very best horses. The Count purchased seven stallions and four mares and would export these horses to the breeding farm he had inherited from his father, Jarczowce. One of the four mares he purchased was Mlecha, who founded an enduring line in Polish Arabian horse breeding. Her descendants eventually moved to his brother's farm, Jezupol, and from there, to the Janow Podlaski Stud, where her bloodlines have remained relevant to the present day. In tail female line, Amanda Pegasus traces to Mlecha, a Kuhaylah Dajaniyah by strain. Additionally, she carries  approximately 30% Egyptian blood through horses like Ansata Shaamis, Hadidi, *Soufian, *Ibn Moniet el Nefous, *Fadl, Aswan and Ruminaja Ali. Amanda Pegasus placed first in her class, advancing her to the senior mare championships, where she earned bronze. Congratations and best wishes to Al-Diriya Stud, her owners and Espolio Raul Luciano Folle, her breeder.

***Many thanks to Arabian Essence TV for making the videos of the 2023 Turfah Arabian Horse Show available on your YouTube channel.***

13 March, 2023

The Vision of a Life Lesson

Life can really surprise you sometimes, especially when unrelated things seem to come together, to deliver a message in a most powerful way. While you may call it a "coincidence", it is still challenging to hold your composure when Ke Huy Quan, in his Oscar acceptance speech, points his finger right at you, while telling you to believe in your dreams, to keep them alive, to never give up. 

A month ago, Ariela Arabians posted the above Bar Hajaj photo to their Facebook page with the  following caption:

"When you have a dream (and vision...)

I have to be honest and tell you that when I first saw the photo, I wasn't so sure it was Al Ayal but the part of the caption that mentioned "vision" was a clever "hint", without really saying his name. I was exchanging emails with my friend Tzviah, a couple of weeks later and so, I asked her. I wanted to be sure and then, I was. Thanks Tzviah. Al Ayal is proof of how important it is for each one of us to live our dreams and for what is really possible, when we do.  I admire Chen Kedar for her perseverance, her strength and faith to all she believes in, as she has brilliantly used every opportunity to further her ideal in this world. I wish I was more like her and less like me. When times were challenging for her, and she faced more limitations than there were opportunities, she never stopped believing in her dreams.  If vision were like a fruit tree, Al Ayal is the choice fruit produced by the tree, lovingly tended by the tree's gardener (Chen).

What does it mean - vision? The dictionary defines vision as "an idea" or better yet, "the act or power of imagination." 

Over the last week, I had an opportunity to read Drinkers of the Wind by Carl Raswan. It's been a few years since I last read the book. When Carl Raswan's eyes were finally opened and he realizes that the Bedouin horses are the horses he has been searching for, it remains a powerful moment. Had Carl Raswan given in to the frustration of not finding what he searched for, how different the world may have been for generations of Arabian horse lovers!

"The truth slowly dawned upon my mind. The shock of the beauty of these creatures was followed by the realization that they had once been the same poor, shabby, disheveled horses which I, in my ignorance, had discarded in Nuri's camp and among the tribes of the inner desert. Here were the creatures in whom strength and beauty blended in perfection, whose proud carriage and handsome shape were indeed like that of the horses of Phidias."

Like Raswan, I am not seeing beyond the immediately obvious. Unlike Raswan, whose life was just beginning; I am approaching the autumn of my life and well,  I struggle with the feeling that I have run out of time and that it's too late for dreams, imagination and thereby, vision. And that's where I need to rewind to where this blog started, watching this man, Ke Huy Quan, finally receive the recognition that is part of the life he believed he would have. 

11 March, 2023


Lateefa (Ashhal Al Rayyan x Anasheed), an AlDanat broodmare

Last week, when I was writing the blog for Amoun Arya, I stumbled upon the most beautiful photo of the AlDanat mare Lateefa, a 2004 Ashhal Al Rayyan daughter, out of Anasheed, an Ikhnatoon daughter. Lateefa is the maternal great granddam of Mona AlDanat, the senior champion mare at the Kuwait International Egyptian Event, held at Bait Al Arab in February. 

Lateefa's matriline goes back to the beloved matriarch of straight Egyptian breeding, Moniet el Nefous, making her Saqlawiyah, by strain. What I found interesting is the relationship between *Farazdac, the paternal grandsire and Reem, the maternal granddam. They are paternal siblings, both sired by the Nazeer son, Alaa el Din (x Kateefa). While *Farazdac's dam, Farasha, is sired by Sid Abouhom; Reem's dam, Farfoura, is both a paternal and maternal great granddaughter of Sid Abouhom (El Deree x Layla). Despite the different positions he occupies within each mare's pedigree, the percentage remains at 25%, making *Farazdac and Reem a little more closely related  than just saying "paternal siblings".  There is another Sid Abouhom line in Lateefa's pedigree, through his son, Ibn Abla, the sire of Enshad.  I am a fan of the mare Abla (Nazeer x Helwa) and it is a nice surprise to find her here, on the side of the pedigree from where she normally will drive her influence. I have noticed over the years, that the grey Moniet el Nefous horses are different in type, as compared to the chestnuts, who resemble her most. In Lateefa's case, I wonder if we are seeing the Abla influence, particularly because of her position within the maternal side of the pedigree. Lateefa's body is generous, with respect to substance. She appears to be broad, smooth and strong across her back, with a well-muscled hind end, in the same way that Abla was, not only in the photos I have seen of her, but also in the horses I have met personally, who carry multiple lines to her. It's a wonderful surprise to find that Abla remains relevant and just as exciting, 70 years from her date of foaling.  Once again, congratulations and best wishes to AlDanat Stud.

***I'm not sure who the photographer is of this gorgeous photo, although I have seen the signature before. So apologies, for the lack of credit to the photographer.***

05 March, 2023

Amoun Arya


A few weeks ago, at the 2023 Kuwait International Egyptian Event, held in mid-February, Amoun Arya competed in class 7a, mares 4 - 6 years old. She is an Ezz Aldanat daughter, out of Amoun Halima (Frasera Ramses Shah x Taysouna). As I scanned the thumbnails on YouTube, this particular mare caught my attention and after watching the video, I wanted to learn a little more about her.  Her dam is double Maysoun (Ansata Halim Shah x Maysouna) and in matriline, traces to *Bint Nefisaa, the Nazeer daughter imported by Gleannloch Farms:

Amoun Halima->Taysouna->Talia Halima->Charm of Halima->Nama->*Bint Nefisaa

In addition to producing Nama, her *Morafic daughter (maternal great-great-great granddam of Amoun Arya), *Bint Nefisaa also produced the full siblings:  El Hilal, Negmaa, Nourah (all 3 sired by *Ansata Ibn Halima) and the full siblings sired by Mohssen (*Ansata Ibn Halima x *Bint Mona): Nefisaan and Moynese. In addition, Charm of Halima, when bred to Ruminaja Ali, also produced Aliah Halima, a spectacular broodmare for Rock Creek Arabians and Arabians LTD. In studying her matriline, I came to realize how time has proven the genetic strength and endurance of the *Bint Nefisaa matriline, regardless of the branch you choose to follow.

Amoun Arya placed second in her class, advancing her to the senior mare championships, competing against her paternal sister, Mona Aldanat, who was named champion. It raised my awareness for the sire of both mares, Ezz Aldanat (Shamekh Aldanat x Shalwa), who primarily reflects the breeding program of Ansata Arabian Stud (75%) plus the programs of the late Dani el Barbary and Russ & Mildred Jameson of Ranch Ruminaja. 

The number of mares shown within the 4 - 6 year old mare class was so large, the class was split in 3 sections: A, B and C. There were 3 other Ezz Aldanat daughters participating, in addition to Arya and Mona: Ajeeba (x Badrah Aldanat), Saba (x Danah Aldanat) and Nadrah (x Latifa Aldanat). That's a total of 5 Ezz Aldanat daughters, representing him, in the 4 - 6 year old mare class and eventually, the senior mare championships. I think that is very impressive, as it points to a level of consistency for a breeding stallion that if I were breeding horses, I would want to add to my program.

It's tough to choose one mare over another, however, Amoun Arya, for me, is my choice. I think Mona and she, are more similar than they are different. However, Amoun Arya, genetically speaking, comes from a strong mare family, who over time has not only remained relevant but also, has driven influence from the mare side of the pedigree. Her sire is consistent, across a variety of bloodlines and phenotypically, she is taller, harmonious, generously muscled, broad in the chest, wide from the back, with a little more freedom in her shoulders. Also, her skin is dark, her eyes are black, all of which adds to the allure of a desert-bred horse. She was my favorite horse of the show, as she physically celebrates the legacy bestowed upon her by her sire and dam. Congratulations and best wishes to Al Danat Stud.

***Many thanks to Arabian Essence TV for the coverage of the 2023 Kuwait International Egyptian Event, held at Bait Al Arab and for making the videos available on your YouTube channel.***

04 March, 2023

Atticus ENB

There have been a flurry of emails recently, concerning a young stallion named Atticus ENB (El Nabila B x Om el Benedine). His daughter, Alesia ENB (x Aliyah Vision PCF), owned by Rae-Dawn Arabians, was named the 2023 Scottsdale Senior Champion mare. Foaled in 2015, Atticus ENB is bred and owned by Psynergy Enterprise. 

I found Atticus ENB's pedigree interesting, as he carries almost 50% Egyptian breeding through his paternal granddam, the beloved mare, Elf Layla Walayla B; in addition to smaller percentages of Hadban Enzahi, Shaker El Masri, Gharib, Aswan and the Marbach stallion, Jasir. Atticus ENB also carries 26% Spanish blood, primarily through the elite mare, *Estopa, as well as Morisca V. The remaining percentage is represented by Crabbet, Polish and Russian breeding. However, it's the line that comes through the mare Scharaya (the maternal granddam of Sharem el Sheikh) that really got me. Scharaya is out of a mare named Hathor, sired by Halef and out of Jatta. The Halef-sired get out of Jatta and the Babson-bred Fadheilan, share common ground through their ancestral elements, for example, the Polish mare *Kasztelanka, crossed with the Egyptian horses from Prince Mohamed Aly Tewfik's breeding program. Jasir, the sire of Jatta, is by Mabrouk Manial, an influential sire in straight Egyptian breeding, while his dam is Negma, the granddam of *Fadl, who in turn, is the sire of Fadheilan, represented in the pedigrees of  legendary American-bred stallions, like Fadjur and Khemosabi. What an interesting cross Atticus ENB would make with broodmares carrying higher percentages of Fadjur and Khemosabi lines! 

While Alesia ENB does not carry lines to either Fadjur or Khemosabi, she does possess multiple lines to Bint Sahara, the dam of Fadjur and great granddam of Khemosabi. Perhaps the "secret" of her success is found in a significant mare like Bint Sahara, serving as the genetic "glue", to hold both sides of the pedigree together? Something to think about but in the meantime, best wishes and congratulations to all involved on Alesia ENB's big win at the Scottsdale show.

16 February, 2023

Love is in the Air

We are a couple of days past Valentine's Day but love, still lingers in the air. Which reminds me of the greatest equine love story that I know. 
Love Is In the Air 
Everywhere I look around (I look around...) 
Love Is In The Air 
Every sight and every sound (and every sound...) - lyrics from Love is in the Air, written by Harry Vanda & George Young
In the mid-60's, *Ansata Ibn Halima went to Gleannloch Farms to be shown and also, to breed the mares that the Marshalls had already imported from Egypt, before the arrival of *Morafic. In Judith Forbis' charming book, The Gift; she writes in the voice of her horse, touching upon the relationship that *Ansata Ibn Halima shared with one of the imported Gleannloch mares, *Bint Maisa El Saghira (Nazeer x Maisa): 
"My favorite traveling companion was Bint Maisa El Saghira, who often told me to calm down and relax. She became a very stabilizing influence during my show career. A tall bay mare beloved for her beauty and charm, she won admirers wherever she went. She too collected many halter championships as well as performance championships in English pleasure. Together we were wonderful ambassadors for the Egyptian Arabian horse because we were kind, handsome and athletic." 
Dahmah Shahwaniah was the result of the affection that both horses shared for each other. I don't think a greater love story exists in any breed, let alone the Arabian breed, across all bloodlines. Like her parents, Dahmah Shahwaniah was a sweet mare. I met her at Bentwood, well before the dispersal of the horses via the Sotheby sale, when she and her son, Ibn Dahmahn were sold to Count Federico. An aged mare, she was one of my favorites at Bentwood, now 35 years since that visit.  Dahmah Shahwaniah was physically, very Dahmah in her appearance, thereby, her name and it made sense to me to breed her to a concentrated Saqlawi horse, like TheEgyptianPrince, who would nick well with her, producing what my friend Oliver Wibihal called "Dahmah Shahwaniah's masterpiece", the mare, AK Nawaal.  Her German-born son by Maysoun, Authentic Ibn Nawaal, bred by Rosi Kolster, was part of the breeding program at Al Waab Stud in Qatar and now, makes his home in America. Dahmah Shahwaniah was bred a second time to TheEgyptianPrince, producing a full sister to AK Nawaal named Dahmah Reshan, the dam of the stallion, Ali Reshan, by Ruminaja Ali. 
A Ali Riyah (Ali Reshan x SES Abkara) as photographed by Moffat Photography

My friend, longtime SE breeder Marilyn Lang, currently has a beautiful 2007 Ali Reshan daughter-A Ali Riyah (out of a SES HalimasLegacy daughter) that she is offering for sale, open (not bred). A proven broodmare, she produced a spectacular filly by Fa Ali Bey in 2021: Fa Ali Aliaa.  Had *Ansata Ibn Halima and *Bint Maisa El Saghira not fallen in love, all those years ago, then this beautiful and typey mare would not exist! This is your opportunity to be part of a romantic story, all for the love of an Arabian horse.