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Asil & Straight Egyptian



The Arabian horse got used to desert hard living, the environment in which he was born and where he grew up. When tackling the issue of purity, we must ask ourselves what would happen if the Asil horses of the desert were crossed with our Western races. Cross-bred subjects generally do not fit well into their parent's native environment, so although hybrids are very prolific, selection weighs them down and restricts their spread. If for any reason the environment changed dramatically it could, in turn, create an advantageous situation for hybrids which could then reproduce themselves easily. Arabian horses brought to the West have faced radical changes in the environment; they have been brought to humid and warm climates from a drought and famine-like land, from places with extreme thermal changes which, in a quarter of an hour, may also vary by thirty degrees centigrade. These creatures who were used to living outdoors in every season become, in our regions, spoiled inhabitants of stables , who have food at will in paddocks rich in good grass; foals in particular have significantly benefited because of this and their mortality - that used to be about 50% in the Bedouin horses herds - has been cut down by almost 10%. The very strict selection due to the environment, in the extreme desert living conditions, does not occur in our Western world and the automatic self-restoration process does no longer take place, so that even the weaker subjects manage to survive and reproduce themselves. We could even argue that by crossing the Asil Arabians with Western races in our environment, selection could harm the Arabian horses itself.

The belief of many European breeders - who have a preference for certain specific physical characteristics that do not correspond to those of the desert horse - does not just fit well to the Arabian horse thereby adversely affecting the selection of this breed as in the case of a longer back and rounded rump or when seeking for a larger size. Many people mistakenly think that a light bone structure is a sign of weakness. Cold and humid climate affects the selection in Europe where there are diseases unknown in Arabia, such as ‘pulmonary emphysema’: the Polish stock-breeding before the 1930s can be considered emblematic of such a situation. On the so-called Polish farms put in ‘purity,’ many Arabians from the desert went crossed with many half-blood Arabians and half-blood Anglo-Arabians. An example of the way the pure Arabians were obtained in those days in Poland is the famous stallion Dardziling 1903 (Mazepa x Omega) who carried 90% of certified Arabian blood. We also know other horses who carried lower percentages of pure Arabian blood, even down to 37%, including the mare Arabella 1898 (Vasco de Gama x Irena), grand-mother of the stallion Adamas 1930 (Kohejl Ibn Mazepa x Arabella 1914) and of the mare Arabeska 1931 (Kohejl Ibn Mazepa x Arabella 1914); on the other hand, there were also some Polish Arabians who carried 100% of certified Arabian blood and they were Asil. A deeper analysis of the pedigree of the stallion Dardziling 1903, of his paternal grandparents Achmet-Ejub 1881 (Ezrak-Seglawi x Pusta), Delia 1884 (Rymnik x Galicja) and maternal grandparents Antar-OA (imp.1891), Dulcynea 1894 (Rymnik X Utopja) tells us that only Antar-OA is an original Arabian of the desert, while the other three ones must be considered half-blood Anglo-Arabians, since among their ancestors they have 8 half-blood Arabians and 9 half-blood Anglo-Arabians. Between 1899 and 1929, in order to assess the morphological type, people used to measure height at the withers level, the passage through the belts and the bone size; it could be seen that - by crossing these half-blood horses among themselves - breeders would achieve variable results in the Polish breeding; various final products came out with a plain Arabian type, but there were also a good number of subjects that were correspondent to the type of non-Arabian ancestors. Around 1930, three stallions bred in the desert were introduced into the Polish breeding farm: Koheilan Haifi DB, Koheilan Afas DB and Koheilan Kruszan, alongside with additional French- Arabian Asil stallions, such as Khartoum and Nemur, both sons of El Sbaa; so the measurements carried out between 1936 and 1956 showed that the trunk got shorter from 147 cm down to 145 cm and the passage through the belts increased from 170 cm up to 176 cm; the influence by foreign blood was clearly visible and far from being eliminated. These results carried out on Polish Arabians definitely prove the great value that Arabian breeders attribute to blood purity. In Poland there was a centralized state farm, so in the years to come, with the smart use of Arabian Asil stallions, they were able to significantly reduce the damage caused by crossing different bloodlines.

I have here outlined the case of the Polish breeding industry because it is a representative one just as it is like in many other nations where, unfortunately, farms are all private and widely scattered so it has then been more difficult to bring the original desert horse's features back into the genetic pool. In many countries, even in recent years, there have been used stallions which are certainly not pure Arabians; among them there are also some who have been used to making show products, including a multi-celebrated show champion who shall remain nameless for obvious reasons since he is in full swing being born approximately around year 2000. In the sire line of this stallion we find several crosses with Shagya horses. To get competitive products intended for plane racing, they even use real half-blood Anglo-Arabians recognized as Arabians by W.A.H.O. (World Arabian Horse Organization), such as the lines of the French Manganate or even some stallion coming from North Africa mistakenly considered as a Desert Bred. Another practice that in the modern era has dramatically reduced the number of Asil Arabians is ‘Embryo Transfer’; in fact, there is scientific evidence that the RNA of the recipient mare does contaminate the fetus’ one given that we usually use broodmares of other breeds as recipients, especially Trotter horses; therefore, we can realize how many foals may have come to birth with an Asil Arabian horse pedigree although they should not to be considered as such at all. All breeders who think they are ‘purists’ should be more concerned with not having in their pedigrees the blood of horses like Nasralla (Shahriar), Tifla or others - who are absolutely Straight Egyptian Asil Arabians - rather than just getting the tools to detect horses born via ‘Embryo Transfer’ so to exclude them from their breeding programme. In order to protect the Asil Arabian the Executive Committees of the various Arabian Horses National Breeders' Associations should have always made a request for a direct line of descent from the Arabian horses bred in the desert when it came time to develop articles and various regulations to determine a definition of the pure Arabian Horse. In the ‘Memorandum and Articles of Association’, the Arab Horse Society of the United Kingdom founded in 1919 states that: ‘The term Arabian or Arabian horse must define the subject whose pedigree comes exclusively from pure Arabian blood.’ Also Mr. R.S. Summerhays Chairman of the Arab Horse Society, in his book ‘The Arab Horse in Great Britain ‘(1967, p. 55), emphasized very clearly this definition of the pure Arabian. No line of different blood was to be recognized; if that had happened, the product would have been invariably either an Anglo-Arabian or a half-blood Arabian. Even in the English Stud Book, unfortunately, there were several foreign-blood horses among the first subjects, and the most striking example was the famous Skowronek, who was very handsome, registered as a pure subject despite his mother Jaskolka had in her pedigree: 5 times English Purebred subjects, twice Turkmen subjects and 16 times Polish native broodmares. Many other examples could be made, but this happened not only in the United Kingdom, but also in many other European countries, for example in Germany, precisely in Weil, where the stallion we talked about earlier, Dardziling 1903, operated successfully; or more recently, also in Italy, there has been the much debated ‘Sardinia Line’, which today is the producer of all half-blood Anglo-Arabians recognized by WAHO as Arabians and which are employed in racecourses. In 1968 the book of Guttman and Klynstra was published and it was shown that the registrations of some Polish Arabians were invalid, so in September of the same year the Arab Horse Society decided to change the definition of pure Arabian in order to legitimize the whole thing. The new definition is as follows: ‘In accordance with breeding purposes, pure Arabian horses are said to be only those who are recognized as such in their country of origin (place of birth) and they are, or were, registered in such registers as Pure Arabians ‘, so the other National Stud Books also aligned with this definition. The most serious thing was that the very World Organization born in 1972, in order to maintain the purity of the blood and to safeguard the existence of the Arabian Horse, that is, W.A.H.O. (World Arabian Horse Organization), accepted this position. Therefore, the official definition is as follows: ‘By Purebred Arabian Horse is meant a horse whose pedigree can be traced back into the genealogical books as recognized by WAHO’. We shall not jeopardize, or even let disappear, one of nature's finest achievement. I hope that admirers and supporters of the Desert Horse will reject the misleading picture that was built on this creature, causing in some ways her decadence. Quite the opposite, they should unite and undertake the commendable and difficult task of saving at all cost the pure Arabian Horse because tomorrow it might be too late. I am going to end up this chapter by pointing out that breeding Arabian horses only for their beauty – putting emphasis simply on their aesthetics - will inevitably result in a degeneration of the breed. This concept applies to all kinds of breeding and it will never be reminded enough by the breeders in this sector. In order to preserve the purity of an Asil Arabian Horse, we not only need a pedigree free of other bloodlines contamination, but, we must apply the selection criteria that have been handed down from the Bedouin tribes, carrying on the features that the desert has given to this Noble Creature.


1) Bairactar – Asil Arabian stallion imported from the Orient to Weil on 1817 together 7 mares by Hungarian Baron von Fechtig, here ridden by King William I of Wurttemberg (1781 – 1864) (by Albrecht Adam).

2) Amourath 1829 (Bairactar x Saady III – D.B.). Asil Arabian stallion born in Weil (by Emil Volkers 1856).

3) Zarif – Asil Arabian stallion imported from the Arabian Penisula on 1840/1845 to East Prussia by Furst von Pueckler-Muskau that purchased him form the Roala bedouins, at the age of 15 years he was purchased by King William I of Wurttemberg for his Stud of Weil (by Emil Volkers).

4) Manganate 1972 (Saint Laurent x Mandragore). Looking at this figure of the stallion Manganate, we can see with clarity that he is a Selle Francaise and not an Asil Arabian horse (pure).

5) Orashaan 1988 (Maysoun x Orasha). Bred by Mrs. Karin and Mr. Gunter Maiworm, Gestut Maiworm, Balve, Germany. Asil Straight Egyptian Arabian stallion from the family of Tifla. 1996 German National Champion Stallion.

6) Thee Desperado Apr.5.1989 (The Minstril x AK Amiri Asmarr) at age 20, June 2009. Bred by Mrs. Martha and Tom Salome, MarSal Arabians, Crawford, Texas. Asil Straight Egyptian Arabian stallion, that in his pedigree he has the blood Nasralla (Shahriar). 1994 US Reserve National Champion Stallion, 1994 Scottsdale Unanimous Grand Champion Stallion. Passed away on July 26, 2013, together Ashhal Al Rayyan, Thee Desperado is the best Straight Egyptian stallion of the last generation.

7) Ashhal Al Rayyan Nov.13.1996 (Safir x Ansata Majesta). Bred by Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Khaled Al-Thani, Al Rayyan Farm, Doha, Qatar. Asil Straight Egyptian Arabian stallion, ridden by Mr. Bart van Buggenhout. Senior Champion Stallion, International Show Doha, Qatar 2004. Passed away on August 15, 2015. Together Thee Desperado, Ashhal Al Rayyan is the best Straight Egyptian stallion of the last generation.

8) Carl Reinhard Raswan (Schmidt) - born March 7, 1893 in Dresden, Germany; passed away October 14, 1966 in Santa Barbara, California.

9) Shuwaimeh 414 (1983) (Jellaby x Shuwaimeh 165) – Asil Arabian mare of the strain Shuwayman, bred by The Amiri Arabian Stud of Bahrain of H. H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Alkhalifa.

10) Tufail 4.16.1970 (Kaisoon x Faziza). Asil Arabian stallion bred by Dr. W. Georg Olms, Hamasa Gestut, Giessen, Germany. Best in training and second of his age groupe at the stallion performance test, Medingen, Germany 1974.

11) General Tibor Pettko Von Szandtner - born June 20, 1886 in Pezinok, Slowakia; passed away January 6, 1961 in Leutstetten, Starnberg, Germany.

12) Serr Maariner 1970 (Ibn Fa Serr x Maarena) – Asil Straight Egyptian Arabian stallion, bred by Henry Blake Babson, Chicago, Illinois. Three times National Champion through 4th Level Dressage. Twice National Reserve Champion. Four times U.S.A. Dressage Federation of the Year. The first Arabian to win U.S.D.F. Horse of the year at the F.E.I. (International) Level among all breds. Six times Eastern States Dressage Champion through the F.E.I. Level.

13) Naheed 1984 (Madkour x Nagha). Bred by Family Gunter W. Seidlitz, Johannesberg, Germany. Asil Straight Egyptian Arabian stallion – Baden-Baden, Germany 1992 - Champion stallion performance test at Medingen 1988, Champion of riding class in E-dressage at Leipheim 1989 and Augusburg 1990, Reserve Champion of riding class in E-dressage at Baden-Baden 1990 and 1992.

14) Hamasa Khazzan 1984 (Kasr El Nil x Nafteta), Asil Straight Egyptian Arabian stallion at the Stallions Performance Test 1988, Munchen-Reim, Germany. Bred by Dr. W. Georg Olms, Hamasa Gestut, Giessen, Germany. Champion Junior Stallions Asil Cup International, Dillenburg, Germany 1985. Reserve Champion Junior Stallions Asil Cup International, Dillenburg, Germany 1986. Top Ten Stallions Asil Cup International, Mannheim, Germany 1990.

15) Monera Siptah 1986 (Moneef x Shaheera) - Asil Cup International 1993, ridden by Mrs. Dorothee Faltesjek. Bred by Mr. Georg Thierer, Gestut Monera, Bad Schonborn, Germany. Top Ten Stallions Asil Cup International, Ludwigsburg, Germany 1988.

16) Bilal I Apr.14.1965(Morafic x Mona). Important stallion bred by El Zahraa Stud, EAO, Cairo, Egypt. Together his owner, Madam Wegdan El Barbary, Shams El Asil Stud, Egypt.

17) Ikhnatoon Oct.26.1974 (Farazdac x Bint Om El Saad by Nazeer). Chief Stallion bred and owned by El Zahraa Stud, EAO, Cairo, Egypt.

18) Morafic Mar.19.1956-Mar.18.1974(Nazeer x Mabrouka), Ansata Ibn Halima (Ibn Halima) Sept.17.1958-Sept.17.1981(Nazeer x Halima), and Talal (Tilal) Sept.17.1957-Dec.24.1984(Nazeer x Zaafarana) on October 1973 at Gulf Coast Arabian Horse Club, Texas.

19) Ibn Moniet El Nefous Mar.26.1964-1985(Morafic x Moniet el Nefous by Shahloul). Ridden by Sara Stroube White. Bred by El Zahraa Sud, EAO, Cairo, Egypt. 1971 Halter Champion Stallion at Scottsdale, 1971 U.S. National Halter Top Ten Stallion.

20) Nihal Feb.14.1967-Aug.4.1977(Anter x Neamat by Morafic). Bred by El Zahraa Stud, EAO, Cairo, Egypt. 1971 U.S. Nat. Ch. Western Pleasure.

21) El Norus 1988(Norus x Keraima) ridden by Rita Mcnair. Bred by John C. & Georgette Coles, Stonebridge Farms, Arva, Ontario, Canada.

22) Tammen 1982-Apr.21.1999(Abenheptep x Talgana). Bred by Mrs. Rhita

B. Mr. Thomas P. McNair, Houston, Texas. Arabian stallion ridden by his owner, Actor Patrick Swayze.

23) Ramses Maris 1982-2007(Shaikh Al Badi x Ramses Nur El Fayek by Ramses Fayek). Bred by Martin Loeber Family, Plum Grove Farm, Illinois. A super transmitter stallion with a stellar show record, including several Class A Halter Championships and Championships in Park.

24) Roufah Mar.4.1965-Jan.28.1992(Ibn Fa Serr x Bah Roufa). Bred by Henry Blake Babson, Chicago, Ilinois. A Class A performance Champion mare. When Roufah was owned by Mr. Jarrel McCracken, Bentwood Farms, Waco, Texas, she has been 1974 Canadian National Top Ten Pleasure Driving and 1976 U.S. National Top Ten Mare.

25) Nabiel Feb.16.1971-Jan.1.1995(Sakr x Magidaa by Alaa El Din) at Rinconada Arabians, Albuquerque, New Mexico of Mrs. Sheryl and Dr. Burton Melton. Bred by Mrs. Margaret and Mr. Douglas B. Marshall, Gleannloch Farms, Spring (Houston), Texsas. 1974 U.S. National Champion Futurity Stallion, twice U.S. Top Ten Stallions (1975 and 1976), plus Region 10 Champion Stallion and Regional Top Five, 18 times Grand Championship, 7 times Reserve Grand Champion, 4 times Junior Championships, 3 times Reserve Junior Championship, fifteen victories ‘Most Classic’ and he also earned the ‘Legion of Supreme Merit’ trophy.


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