Some Reflections on Purebred Arabian Horses

Some Reflections on Purebred Arabian Horses

by His Highness Prince Mohamed Ali

“At the request of my foreign friends I take this opportunity of presenting the reader a clearer picture of the Arabian horse…”  “…it is only right that he should be looked upon with the veneration which he deserves.” “All my life I have lived among horses, and loved them. My guardian was an old Georgian Pacha, who was sent more than twenty times to Arabia to buy the finest horses for my ancestor… Abbas Pacha the First. Abbas had a stable of horses finer and more beautiful than any since the days of King Solomon. The Pacha (the Georgian Pacha) used to tell us stories all day long of his travels, praise what he bought, and also taught us the beauty of horses. ” “Being an Oriental, and having exhausted nearly all of the literature which deals with the Arab horse, and having seen how often Europeans write inaccurately on this subject, I should like, before I die, to dedicate these notes to the horse lovers of the world.

Gamil Manial (Saklawi II X Dalal) 1912, SGIS, Prince Mohamed Ali, shown as a youngster.

May they forgive my imperfect mastery of the English Idiom.” “The Arabs had a peculiar respect for their horses; they were not beasts of burden like camels, or mules or donkeys. An Arab would never offend the dignity of his horse by the contemptuous gesture of pulling its forelock” “The Arabs do not consider that height has any relative value; it is proportions that make the value, and we shall see that they preferred the smaller horses.” “A bay horse has the best resistance in the extreme of temperature. They consider that he is better able to endure thirst, hunger, and in fact privations of any sort, than horses of other colours.” “A white horse is much esteemed but to be a perfect specimen the muzzle, eyes and membranes must be black.” “The dark chestnut should gradually darken down the chest to the points that all four legs are black; very often there is a deeper line in the dark chestnut with a medium line from the withers to the tail. Horses of this colour are highly prized.” “The black must have no light blemish; the muzzle must be absolutely black, and must be the colour around the eyes, nor should the coat of such an animal show a brown or reddish colour.” “Before covering a mare with a stallion her food must be reduced and on the previous eve she should be left fasting. Thus it is said she will conceive quicker and in better conditions.

The Arabs often say that after a mare has been covered, if she turn and look at her sides then she has conceived.” “…breeding horses for thirty five years and my aim has always been to unite dignity with grace.”   “HRH Prince Mohamed Ali was the brother of the Khedive, Abbas Pasha Hilmi II. He was born in 1875. He was Heir Presumptive to his brother from 1892-99 and to King Farouk from 1936-52, and President of the Council of Regency from 1936-7. He married in 1941 and died at Lausanne in 1955.  Statesman and scholar, a man of charm, dignity and exquisite taste, his was the most splendid of the royal studs. Among his many outstanding horses may be included the mares Negma, Mahroussa, Maaroufa, Farida, Zahra, Saada and Gamila Manial, and the stallions Kawkab (II), Mabrouk Manial and Gamil Manial.”

Information on this page is taken from “Breeding of Purebred Arab Horses” by H.H. Prince Mohamed Ali and “The Arabian Horse Families of Egypt” by Colin Pearson