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My passion for the beauty, history and mystique of
Straight Egyptian Arabians--transformed into your reality.

 Straight Egyptian Arabian Horse Consultant


Historic Roots of the Straight Egyptian Arabian 
 
Desert Origins:

The first pure Arabian is said to have been a wild desert mare gifted to Ishmael (first born son of Abraham) by God, approximately four thousands years ago. According to Arab lore, God created the original Arabian horse from the south wind, exclaiming, “I create thee Oh Arabian, and to thy forelock, I bind victory in battle. On thy back, I set rich spoil and a treasure in thy loins. I establish thee as one of the Glories of The Earth…I give thee flight without wings”. Domesticated by the Bedouin nomads, the descendants of the "wild horse of Ishmael" eventually became an essential part of Bedouin life; one which was harsh and unforgiving to both humans and animals alike. Daily existence in a brutal environment, with sparce water and food resources, dictated that only creatures of great strength, stamina and resilience would survive and breed on.
 
The nomadic Bedouin tribes, in competition for territory, dominance and resources, regularly waged war against each other. Under the cloak of darkness, raiding Bedouin warriors would attack enemy camps -- stealing herds of sheep, goats and even camels -- but the most treasured prizes of all were the enemy's horses. The element of surprise was essential to a successful raid, and for this reason mares became the war horse of choice. Stallions, who could become "distracted" in battle, causing disruptions and alarming the enemy against an impending attack, stayed back at the camp during such forays, but his importance to the tribe was also essential. To fulfill the mortal needs of the Bedouin warrior, a war horse required speed, resilience, obedience and reliability. These traits were an absolute necessity for the Arabian horse of the desert, who also had to prove his great endurance in order to survive the long migrations across the brutal, unforgiving deserts.
 
The nomadic culture of the Bedouins was utterly unique in comparison to any other set of conditions in which breeds of horses have developed. The close proximity in which the animals and humans coexisted; their mutual dependence for food, drink and security, required deep levels of mutual trust and compatibility. Inside the Bedouin encampment, the war mare was also the family horse…indeed, she was a valued family member. Mares often slept inside the tents with their families, providing additional warmth as well as security at night -- conveying early warnings of impending attacks by raiding enemies. The daily care of mares and foals was designated to the women and children of the tribe, who lovingly nurtured and taught them "good manners". The foals were hand-fed camel’s milk because their equine mothers were often not available for nursing, while the milk of lactating mares was fed to the tribe’s children, sustaining them with a rich supplement to their limited diets.
 
All elements of the nomadic Bedouin lifestyle were centered upon utility -- functionality, efficiency, reliability and necessity. Thus, the Arabian horse gradually developed in the isolated Arabian Peninsula as a peerless creature, selectively bred and reared to best meet the specific needs of the Bedouins in all aspects of their practical and cultural existence. The pure desert bred Arabian was, simultaneously; a fearless war horse, an intelligent, intuitive family member and a gentle companion to his human counterparts. He was of robust health, and if he should ever became injured or ill, his resilience and recovery was remarkable. He could be relied upon to contribute to the complex wealth and well-being of his own family and to the tribe overall – requiring relatively little and giving so much. It has been said that a great secret is hard to keep, and despite the comparatively sequestered circumstances of his being, word began to spread of this incredible race of “super horse” which could only be found in the custody of the Bedouin nomads of Arabia.
   
Exodus to Egypt:
 
While the Nile Valley has been a rich source of horses since before the time of King Solomon, there came a time when the humble horse of the Arabian Desert became the focus of great International recognition. It began in the first half of the 19th Century with the reign of Mohamed Ali the Great and his son and successor, Ibrahim Pasha, who ruled Egypt for forty years. During their combined reins, father and son amassed an enormous collection of desert bred horses, taken as the spoils of war from the kingdoms of Arabia. While passionate about their horses, neither of these rulers truly understood their exclusive heritage, nor did they regard them with the level of dignity practiced by the Bedouin breeders. Sadly, while many of their horses were exquisitely bred, they suffered severely from neglect and by the end of that reign in 1848, a vast number were lost. However, a young warrior prince, known as Abbas Pasha, had the gift of far greater insight. His own experiences with Arabian horses had left him with a deep and abiding appreciation for the breed, and the strong alliances which he had forged with the Bedouin chiefs put him in a position to acquire some of the most coveted horses in the desert. With the assistance of his father, Prince Toussan Pasha (second son of Mohamed Ali the Great), he began to assemble a formidable herd. By 1848 Abbas Pasha became Viceroy of Egypt, and what would become known as the “Golden Age” of Egyptian breeding was under way.
 
Abbas Pasha recognized that the unique nature of this breed was inherent in the particular culture of its native heritage. Knowing this, he placed great emphasis on the ancient breeding philosophies which had cultivated the Arabian horse over thousands of years. His magnificent stables were skillfully managed by carefully chosen Bedouin horsemen, who scrupulously authenticated each precious pedigree. Under such specialized care, the horses were bred and nurtured according to strict Bedouin practices — the mares drank from water hauled daily from the River Nile, the foals were hand fed on camel’s milk. In time, the stables of Abbas Pasha became famous throughout the world, eventually housing nearly 1,000 pure desert bred Arabians. Visitors came from all parts of the Middle East and Europe to view this priceless collection. But the glory of this spectacular treasury would end much too soon. In 1854 Abbas Pasha was assassinated. The royal herd was disbursed at an auction in Cairo, extending over a period of three weeks and attended by Arabian horse enthusiasts from all over the world. The treasures of Abbas Pasha were sold off to buyers from Germany, Australia, France, and to numerous private individuals in Egypt.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
One of the private individuals who attended the auction was a young man, not altogether unlike Abbas Pasha himself. His name was Ali Pasha Sherif, and he was the son of El Sayed, Governor of Arabia under the reign of Muhamed Ali the Great. Educated in France, Ali Pasha Sherif entered the Egyptian military where he gained notable status. Like Abbas Pasha, he also developed a great appreciation and desire for fine Arabian horses. He had already begun his own collection of desert breds when he learned of the great auction. He seized this opportunity to expand his treasury, acquiring 40 horses from the sale and re-purchasing many of the horses which had already been sold to others. Like Abbas Pasha before him, Ali Pasha Sherif eventually assembled a world renowned collection of approximately 400 pure Arabian horses -- all managed and bred according to strict
 
By this time, modes of travel had improved significantly, and the wealthy class of England and Europe were lured by the exotic, rugged beauty of the Middle East. Among these travelers were Wilfred and Lady Anne Blunt, granddaughter of Lord Byron. The Blunts had created a Thoroughbred breeding farm in England, called Crabbet Park. In 1877 they began visiting the Arabian Desert in order to procure additional pure Arabian blood to improve the quality of their Thoroughbred foundation stock. During one such visit in 1880, they found themselves in Cairo, attending the Theater. As fate would have it, Ali Pasha Sherif was attending the same Theater that evening and an introduction was made between himself and the Blunts. In retrospect, it would appear that at that very moment, a connection was created which would seal the future of the Arabian breed in Egypt.

Having spent so much time in the Middle East over the past years, the Blunts had fallen in love with this stunning country and her people, and began searching for a permanent residence in Egypt. About a mile and a half outside of Cairo, they found a 37 acre walled garden, once owned by Abbas Pasha’s uncle Ibrahim. It was called “Sheykh Obeyd”, the name of a saint and companion of the holy Prophet Mohammed. Here the Blunts would settle, and it would remain Lady Anne’s beloved home until her death. The Blunt’s travels through the desert over the preceding years had provided close contacts with the Bedouin tribes, and had taught them much about their ancient breeding practices. Lady Anne, a scholar by all accounts, became acutely aware of the importance of insuring the authenticity of Arabian bloodstock. She vigilantly pursued pedigree studies, readily adopting the Bedouin purist philosophies. Through their contacts, the Blunts acquired some excellent desert bred Arabians, retaining some at Sheykh Obeyd in Egypt, while sending others on to Crabbet Park in England. But as Lady Anne became more exposed to the particular type of Arabians bred by Ali Pasha Sherif, she cultivated a more refined “eye” and her personal ideal evolved to reflect that influence. She made supreme efforts to acquire some of the best of the Ali Pasha Sherif stock, and succeeded. The combination of the Blunt’s original desertbreds with their Ali Pasha Sherif acquisitions resulted in some of the finest Egyptian Arabian horses they ever produced.
 
During this period, this breeding circle in Egypt continued to grow. Additional private breeders of Egypt’s privileged class took up the cause to perpetuate the legacy of Abbas Pasha and Ali Pasha Sherif. In 1908 the government of Egypt created the Royal Agricultural Society, intended to preserve the Egyptian Arabian horse. The private breeding community donated horses of their own breeding to help build the rootstock of the RAS. These gifts came from such breeders as Prince Kemal El Dine, Prince Mohamed Ali, and Lady Anne Blunt. While the RAS was a government project, it was run by the renowned Scottish Veterinarian and ardent purist, Dr. Branch. A contemporary of Lady Anne, Branch was integrally connected to the Royal breeders, particularly to Prince Kemal El Dine and Prince Mohamed Ali who consulted him closely on their breeding. He was said to know more about the bloodlines of Arabian horses in Egypt at the time than most anyone, including the Prince. Together, these individuals created a breeders circle of like-minded preservationists never before known in Egypt.
  

 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
  
 

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