To answer Lytha’s question:
The Straight Egyptian Arabian began as long ago as our recorded history of domesticated horses. They were integral in the spread of Islam, as Bedouin warriors mounted on the finest of Arabian steeds proved to be invincible. At it’s heart, the Straight Egyptian is the product of blending strains of pure, undisputed, desert heritage. They were significant in the battle between the armies of the West under Richard the Lionheart and the conquering King Saladin from the East. King Solomon of Israel housed 40,000 of them in his royal stables and Sir Walter Scott hailed them in his work “The Talisman”.
More recently, the Turkish ruler, Mohammad the Great, brough together the finest Arabian horses he could find and demanded Arabia’s most priceless desert horses as terms for his peace treaty. His collection brough to Egypt 1100 of the most beautiful and valuable Arabian horses in the world. When he died, his herd was passed to Abbas Pasha, who kept incredibly detailed written records of the breeding and history of all of his horses. He combined Mohammad’s herd with the horses he had gathered from the Bedouin’s, the cream of the desert horse. When he died, his herd was dispersed.
Some of the herd was purchased by Lady Anne Blunt, who divided the horses she purchased between her Crabbet Stud in England and her Sheykh Obeyd Stud in Egypt. Egypt itself formed the Royal Agracultural Society and gathered up the best of Abbas Pasha’s herd for the overall good of the country. All the Straight Egytian horses in the Arabian world are decended from the Abbas Pasha stables, either through horses that Blunt purchased, or from horses that were later purchased front he government of Egypt. Some of these horses were imported to America.
In 1952, the Blue Catalog was created. It is a proven list of horses that trace their lineage to the desert on every line. This Blue Catalog was started by one woman, but taken over by Al Khamsa (Letha - Al Khamsa is basically the breed registry for the SE Arabian). All of these horses trace in every line to the Bedouin desert horses or horse purchased by Lady Anne or from the herds of Abbas Pasha. The Asil is a German organization with the same goals. Asil means purebred. Egyptian related means the sire is SE Arabian, but that not all the lines are pure.
The Crabbett stud is not Straight Egyptian, since Lady Blunt’s daughter did not keep the breeding lines clean. They do have a high percentage of Egyptian blood. The same applies to the Russian, Polish and Spanish Arabian. The foundation sires were straight Egyptian, but the breeding lines did not stay with SE Arabian breeding.
The SE Arabian holds less than 2% of the Arabian breed registered in America, but holds 30% of the National Titles.
The Pyramid Society was established to preserve the SE breed, and hosts the Egyptian Event annually.
The purity of the Straight Egyptian breed has endured since the beginning of history due to the passionate devotion of its caretakers. They are known for their beauty, stamina, courage, intelligence and strength. I can attest to how special they are. And Ashke has not forgotten that his ancestors slept in the tents of their owners, carried their chosen riders into battle, and carried Kings in parades. In his veins in the unbroken heritage of thousand of years.
Arabians LTD, where Ashke was bred, is closing down their operations. The woman who shaped the breeding program for that stud is retiring and selling her blood stock. I’m sad, because I had hoped to someday visit and see where Ashke was born.