Not all who have studied the history of the horse agree in giving King Solomon the credit for the development of the Arabian. Some credit the breed to the Arabs of the desert; some to the horses of Cappadocia. But the Arabs did not produce the Arabian horse, although they did preserve him. (John A Wallace, Part I of the “The Horse . . . From Abraham to Eisenhower”, Western Horseman June 1960, page 90).
Some of the Bedouin Arabs claim that their modern Arabian is directly descended from five mares belonging to a Shiek Solomon, said to have been 1600 years B. C. Some vary the tradition and attribute those five mares to Mohammed, who once tested a band of thirsty horses by penning them within sight and smell of a clear stream. When turned loose, only five mares halted and came back in obedience to the bugle call. IBID Page 92 [Karen Kasper, noted sculptor, created a print of these 5 mares for Al Khamsa]
Possibly Arabian breeders at one time kept these families more or less distinct as some travelers to Arabia years ago gave characteristics for each family: Kehilan, Seglawi, Abeyan, Hamdani and Hadban, all of which, according to legend, are descended from the mare named Kuhilet Azuz. Encyclopedia Americana, copyright 1957, Volume 14, page 394 W. R. Brown, former president of the Arabian Horse Club of America, made a trip to Arabia only a few years ago and found little evidence of any plan among desert breeders to keep the families distinct. Lady Wentworth, the famous and foremost Arabian breeder in England, said that Arabian horses of different families often bear a very close resemblance to one another while it is not uncommon to find considerable variation in characteristics of horses in the same family.
Straight Egyptian Arabians as we know them today reach back to the mares and stallions of Viceroy Mohammed Ali and his grandson Abbas Pasha I. Authentic and pure… they came in unbroken line from Bedouin tribes in the Arabian deserts. To this point, the answer is simple enough. Yet the path forward is one of intriguing twists and turns… Abbas Pasha was assassinated in 1854 and his fabled stud was disbanded and his horses scattered. Some horses were added to European collections; others remained in Egypt with Ali Pasha Sherif, a relative with a passion for the finest of desert-bred horses. With the dispersal of his magnificent stud, the horses moved into many hands, among them those of Lady Anne Blunt, whose journeys in search of desert horses are legendary.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, princes of the Egyptian royal family and other notables of the time collected and bred pure Arabian horses, some from the celebrated ranks of the Abbas Pasha tradition; others from sheikhs in Arabia. The Royal Agricultural Society (R.A.S.) was formed in 1908 to assure the preservation of what was surely an historic national treasure. In 1952, following the overthrow of King Farouk, a few notable horses of the former Inshass Stud (Royal Stables of King Fuad and King Farouk) were brought into the R.A.S., newly named the Egyptian Agricultural Organization (E.A.O.). At the time, however, many were of the mind that Arabian horses were the sign and symbol of excessive wealth and should, therefore, be dispersed. Then-Minister of Agriculture Sayed Marei was of a different mind. “It would be as if we were erasing the Great Pyramids of Egypt,” he insisted. Public sentiment shifted. The E.A.O. remained in place…and with it the pure, authentic horse of the desert. source: www.pyramidsociety.org/horse/history
Introduction of Purebred Arabians to North America
In 1873, while on a trip to the Middle East, General Grant was presented the two purebred Arabian stallions, LEOPARD and LINDENTREE, by the Sulton, Abdul Hamid II, of Turkey. LEOPARD was later given to Randolph Huntington who subsequently imported two mares and two stallions in 1888 from England. This program, limited as it was, must be considered as the first purebred Arabian breeding program in the United States.
The second important influence upon the Arabian horse in America was the Turkish exhibition of 45 Arabian horses at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Among the imported Arabians shown were the mare, NEJDME and the stallion, OBEYRAN. These two horses subsequently became foundation animals No. 1 and No. 2 in the Arabian Horse Stud Book of America.
The third greatest influence in the development of the Arabian Horse Registry came from the Homer Davenport importation of Arabian horses in 1906. Spurred on by his visit in 1898 to Peter Bradley’s stud where he bought his first Arabians. From Albert Harris’ book on the history of the Registry: This expedition was a remarkable one in many respects. It was sponsored by out President Teddy Roosevelt, financed by Peter B. Bradley, and executed by Homer Davenport, all three outstanding horsemen, and it resulted in the impoortation of the largest number of authentic Arabian horses in one shipment ever made to this county. In 1906 Mr. Davenport, accompanied by Charles Arhtur Moore, Jr., and John Henry Thompson, Jr., had the exciting and strenuous experience which he tells about in his bood, “My Quest of the Arabian Horse.’ from the website davenporthorses.org/about/
Randolph Huntington dates back to 1895 with his involvement with Arabians being imported from overseas. He bred El Sabok, 276, out of Narkeesa 7.
Spencer Borden author of The Arab Horse, 1906, bred Segario, 249. He also bred Gulnare 278, listed in Arabian Horse Club [AHC] stud book, volume III as well as Guemura 277. He began his US Arabians stud in 1898 with imports from England and dispersed in 1918.
Peter Bradley’s Hingham Stock Farm bred Adouba, 270, as well as Hanad, 489.
Charles B. Crane was not only Minister to China but also member of the Middle-Eastern affairs traveling through Arabia and Egypt. He also imported Arabians when he returned to the US
Richard and Laura Cavedo also lived in Saudi Arabia, traveling extensively and imported a stallion and 2 mares, Arabians to the US upon returning.
Mrs. Connie Cobb resided in Saudi Arabia with her husband and imported several Arabians to the US.
Marie Francis Richards, who had lived in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia for several years, obtained a mare shortly after her arrival and imported a daughter of this mare to the US.
Albert Harris wrote ‘The Blood of the Arab’, 1941. Harris was the breeder of Katar, 724 and Alcazar, 533.
Kaniht, bred by Albert Harris, scion of the family that established Chicago’s Harris Bank, descended primarily from horses bred by Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blunt of England’s Crabbet Stud, was a gift to Daniel C. Gainey, Owatonna, Minnesota. When Gainey acquired Kaniht, Harris was the AHRA’s president. Unlike Harris, who prized Arabians for their toughness and athleticism, Gainey valued beauty, elegance, and refinement. Mr. Gainey was considered a breeders’ breeder in that horses bred by him became the foundation of other breeding programs.
A Brief History of the Crabbet Stud
The Eastern Crabbet Arabian Horse Society was organized on December 4, 1994 for the preservation of Arabian horses that trace their lineage to the original Arabian horses utilized by W. S. and Lady Ann Blunt, Judith, Lady Wentworth, C. Covey, The Crabbet Stud of England, and The Sheyk Obeyd Stud of Egypt. The Society’s purpose is to promote the purity, beauty, utility, tractability, and versatility of Arabian horses descending from the Crabbet sources. https://ecahs.org/about-us/
Crabbet Arabian Stud was an Arabian breeding stud located in England founded by Wilfrid Blunt and Lady Anne Blunt July in 1878. On the Blunts’ early trips to the desert they obtained horses from Bedouin tribes, Sheykhs and other desert sources. Later the Blunts were able to purchase many horses from the Abbas Pasha and Ali Pasha Sherif breeding programs in Egypt. Mesaoud (Ali Pasha Sherif) was a foundation stallion who has significant influence on bloodlines around the world. Most Pure Crabbet horses today carry 10-25% Mesaoud blood. Foundation mares included Rodania, Dajania (DB) and Sobha, who have had extreme influence through their daughters and are the most common dam lines in Pure Crabbet horses. Horses were kept at the Crabbet Stud in England or the Sheykh Obeyd Stud in Egypt.
The Blunts’ legacy was continued by their daughter Lady Wentworth who added the outcross stallions Skowronek and then Dargee to the breeding program. Many Pure Crabbet horses today carry in excess of 10% Skowronek blood. The Pure Blunt (Pure Crabbet) horses bred by the Doyle family (USA) have horses with no Skowronek blood. Lady Wentworth sold horses to the Royal Agricultural Society in Egypt, the Duke of Veragua of Spain, Kellogg Arabian Ranch, Russian government, Poland, Australia and many other smaller breeders.
In 1957, when Lady Wentworth died, Cecil Covey took over the Stud. Covey was able to continue the Stud on a much smaller scale helped by the many purchases of Bazy Tankersley of Al Marah Arabians, USA. For over a decade, Covey ran the stud and continued the Crabbet traditions. In 1970, Covey learned that a new motorway was going right through Crabbet Park and within a couple years the remainder of the Crabbet horses were sold.
Today, over 90% of all Arabian horses carry lines to Blunt or Crabbet bred horses. — Richelle Elchuk https://ecahs.org/history/
What is a Davenport Arabian horse?
Definition from their website: Davenport Arabian horses are descended entirely from the historic Davenport Desert Arabian Stud. The group consists of individuals descending from horses imported by Homer Davenport in 1906 to the U.S. from Arabia, and, in some instances, in combination with horses from the Hamidie Society importation of 1893 to the U.S. from Arabia.
Harris went on to write” “Davenport’s importation of Arabian horses directly from the desert so aroused the enthusiasm of the few Arab breeders in this country that they decided to form a club and registry of their own to promote the interest of their horses and to offer encouragement for importation of new blood to America. The only place Arabian horses could be registered at the time was in the (Thoroughbred) Jockey Club, and the interests of the Jockey Club lay solely in promoting the Thoroughbred.”
We maintain a roster of eligible Arabian horses, which we define as “those horses in North America that can reasonably be assumed to descend entirely from Bedouin Arabian horses bred by horse-breeding Bedouin tribes of the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula without admixture from sources unacceptable to Al Khamsa.” Horses may be added or deleted from the roster. Thus in Al Khamsa we still have representatives of the old Blunt-Sheykh Obeyd bloodlines.
We have horses of recent Saudi breeding.
We have descendants of *Leopard #233, the earliest horse in our stud books.
We still have breeding groups from at least three different eras of Egyptian breeding.
We still have bloodlines tracing to the Hamidie Society importation of 1893.
We still have a major breeding group tracing exclusively to the Davenport importation of 1906.
We still have bloodlines tracing to *Mirage, *Turfa, *Sunshine, Ayerza horses, *Naomi, *Exochorda and many others.
Thanks to those who worked so hard to create the Al Khamsa Arabians Volume II, copyright 1993, one of the major written authorities in the last thirty years on the Arabian breed. By no means the “only” authority, however, one recognized for its careful detail, authenticity and information.
Many different publications in the 1960’s and 1970’s carried articles on various Purebred Arabian breeders and the activities around the Purebred Arabian horse. Horse Lover’s Magazine, “Spotlight Arabs at Oregon Show by Bill Smale” featured the 12th Annual Arabian show held at Salem, OR, June 21 and 22, 1962 at the State Fairgrounds. Horses nearly 200 strong came from Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, and New Mexico. Champion Halter Stallion was Fermait by Ferseyn and Ga’Nissa by Ga’Zi owned by Lasma Arabians, then at Mountlake Terrace, Washington was Champion Halter Mare.
What is a Spanish Arabian Horse? from Wind Dancer Ranch
Classical Spanish Arabians are purebred Arabian horses that are descended in all four lines of their pedigree from horses registered with the Spanish Stud Book (SSB) prior to 1970. Much ‘outcrossing’ was done in Spain in the 70s and 80s. That has resulted in some good horses, and of course some not so good, depending on the animals (and their quality) used in the cross.
One reason we treasure the Classical Spanish Arabian (in the SSB prior to 1970) is for their prepotence as breeding animals. We can count on them. These horses are the product of 200 years of careful selection, breeding and culling from the Yeguada Militar (YM), a government agency under the Minister of War that directs all horse breeding in Spain.
The original bloodstock of the YM was selected from some of the finest Arabian horses available in Arabia, Egypt, England, Poland and France. Since their mission was to create cavalry mounts, they chose horses with amazing athletic ability, soundness, stamina, and a trainable mind. The horses had to work well with their riders, the lives of both animals and people depended on it. http://www.foxworks.com/clients/stanleyRanch/what_is_an_Arabian_Horse.html
Due to its geographical position then, with the borders reaching the Black Sea and the neighbouring Ottoman Empire, Poland had always had an easy and constant access to the horse of Oriental breed coming from Arabia, The earliest historical sources say about the ‘white horse”, worshipped by the ancient Slavic tribes, and serving as an augury to express the will of gods. The merchants travelling by the ‘Amber Trail’, from the South and East to the Baltic Sea, had been providing the noble and high quality specimen of the oriental origin horses to the Slavic temples, landlords’ manors, and royal castles.
Poland, as the farthest European country to the East, had been an everlasting battlefield, defending not only its own frontiers, but the bastions of European civilization as well. Hence, the demand for the war mounts was enormous. The fast moving cavalry needed brave horses with great endurance, and only the oriental horse could withstand those harsh war conditions. Long before, Poles had recognized the value of an Eastern horse, not only appreciating its usefulness but also the horse’s courage, intelligence, grace and beauty.
The horses were bred with great fondness. Polish magnates’ high quality bloodstocks were famous all over Europe in the 16th and 17th century. With the full bloom of the noble horse breed heavily crossbred with the original Arabians, a purebred breeding started to develop. The first sources say about the stud of King Sigismund Augustus (1520 – 1572) in Knyszyn. The King’s equerry, Adam Miciński, in his treatise “On mares and stallions” from 1570, says that: ‘…but for the King’s stud in which only the purebred Arabian is kept, there is no other guaranteed breed in Poland or in other countries.’ The same equerry states that: “Mikolaj Radzwill, King Sigismund Augustus’s brother in law, imported horses to the royal studs from the Archipelago.’ from the website: azrek.co.za/polish-arabian-horses