10 December, 2010


The desert-bred mare, Rodania is an extremely vital mare in straight Egyptian breeding, maybe one of the most important horses in our community. Think of Egyptian horses like Alaa el Din, *Serenity Sonbolah, Al Adeed Al Shaqab, Imperial Imdal and Lancers Asmara, in order to understand how many of our most beloved horses carry the influence of Rodania in their pedigree. She is everywhere.

I found the above portrait, as painted by the wonderful artist and Arabian Horse authority, Peter Upton. Somehow, he managed to capture her beauty forever, so that people like me, would know how beautiful Rodania was. I am grateful for Peter Upton's talent, which has made it possible to pass great gifts, like the painting of Rodania, onto us. No matter what I am facing, within the course of a day, one look at this portrait and I am vividly reminded of the extraordinary beauty which does exist in our world. We just need to search for it..all the time.

"The ideal Arabian type is recognizable at sight to the experienced horseman and novice alike. It falls short of the ideal if it reminds one of another horse or breed. It falls short of the ideal if it is so plain and uncertain of type as to require a sign: 'This is an Arabian horse.'  It falls short of the ideal if it is so coarse and masculine as to remind one of a small Percheron, at one extreme, or so highly animated and elf-like as to remind one of a gazelle at the other extreme. The ideal type stands out alone. You know it immediately when you see it."-Ben Hur, from his 1951 Western Horseman article, Type in the Arab
Rodania is a Kuhaylah Rodaniyah, bred by the Ruala tribe of the Anazeh Bedouins.  Rodania was captured by Tais Ibn Sharban of the Saba'ah tribe, from Sheikh Sattam Ibn Shalan in 1880. Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blunt eventually purchased the mare from Tais Ibn Sharban and imported Rodania to their Crabbet Park Stud in England, circa 1881. Rodania is present in Egyptian breeding primarily through the family that her daughter Rose of Sharon founded. Rose of Sharon was a daughter of the desert-bred stallion, Hadban. She in turn, was bred to the Ali Pasha Sherif stallion, Merzuk and produced the mare Ridaa. When Ridaa was bred to the Ali Pasha Sherif stallion named Mesaoud, she produced the mare Risala. Risala's daughter by Ibn Yashmak, Bint Risala (a great-great grand-daughter of Rodania) is one of the two Rodania descendants incorporated into the RAS breeding program, which eventually became the EAO, as we know it today. The other Rodania descendant was Bint Riyala, a daughter of the Mesaoud son, Nadir and Riyala, a Ridaa daughter by *Astraled, who is an interesting horse, as his dam, Queen of Sheba, like Rodania, was a coveted mare in the desert and was also a prize of war. Rodania underscores the significance that the Blunts would ultimately have upon modern Arabian Horse breeding,


It is their sacrifices, their diligence, their dedication which makes any of this possible, so many years after they lived on earth.  Would we even be talking about these beautiful horses, if the Blunts did not exist? In this one instance of Rodania, Egyptian breeding would be far different without her.

EnJoy your horses,

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