Falconwood Arabians
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History

The country of Egypt is an ancient one.  Its History is filled with Romance and Intrigue, Mystery and Nobility, and Exotic extremes.  Included in the story of this Mysterious and Exotic Land, is the story of the Egyptian Arabian Horse.  For Centuries, the Arabian has been an inspiration to the Artist, Poet, the Prince and Pauper.  Egyptian Arabians have been the seats of Kings and Conquerors, and to warriors in battle.  They have been valued family members, and the care takers of children.  For three Thousands years, the Egyptian Arabian has been living and working with mankind.

The exotic qualities of Egyptian Arabians, are essentially inborn, by the selective breeding of the
Ancient Bedouin tribes, of the Arabian Peninsula.  These tribes considered the Arabian, “A Gift from Allah.”  They were fanatical in the guarding and preserving, of these horses, in their purest form.  They depended on them for their very survival and protection.  As a consequence, a highly specialized kind of horse was created, that was exceptional in its own right, and without need of modification.  The native Egyptians were among the first to realize the magnificence of the Bedouin horse, and hence began importing them into Egypt.  They bred them in the same traditions, as these nomadic tribes.

The Ancient Egyptians used these Arabians, in warfare, as early as 1580 B. C.  The horses depicted in their hieroglyphics, show an amazing resemblance to the animals we know today, as Egyptian Arabians.  The Pharaohs ruled by the forces of their mighty chariots and horses, until about 525 B. C. Over the next three centuries, the Persians, the Greeks, Romans and others, ruled over Egypt.  With the rise of Islam, in 632 A.D., the horse-loving people of the East began a movement, whose impact is still noted today.  Desert Bedouin Warriors, astride noble Arabians, proved invincible.  Egypt was included, in the many states, engulfed by the Arabic tide.  About the same time, fierce horsemen, known as, “Mamelukes,” rode fine Arabians and continued to breed only the best.  In 868 A.D., Mameluke, Ahmed Ibn Tulun, subjected Egypt to his will.  He,  built a palatial hippodrome for his best Arabian horses.  Egypt changed hands, many times, but was always ruled by those that appreciated the fiery, well-bred, desert horses.

 Essentially, the beginning foundation of the Egyptian Arabian, as we know it today, was started at the stud of Abbas Pasha 1, the Viceroy of Egypt, from 1848 to 1854.

Abba Pasha had a fascination for these horses of the Desert.  Though of royalty, he knew the life of the Desert, among Bedouins.  He had been orphaned, at the age of 4, and had been raised by Mohammed Ali, the Great, an Albanian.  His Grandfather Mohammed, ruled in the early 1800s. Abbas had been given military training by his Uncle.  As he grew, he became somewhat of a rebel and was contrary to the demands of his royal relatives. He learned the advantage of being shrewd and manipulative, which was to later serve his passion of Arabian horses.  He cultivated friendships, contacts and alliances, with Arab rulers in different parts of Arabia. This gave him a unique advantage, later, in acquiring choice Bedouin stock, otherwise unobtainable.

In 1848, Abbas Pasha’s Uncle became Viceroy of Egypt.  Within a few months, he died, and Abbas succeded him to the throne.  After becoming Viceroy, he sent his agents into the Desert to gather the finest horses, and hired Bedouins to run his Stud, in the traditions of the Desert.  Foals were fed camel’s milk, as in the Desert, and the horses were taken, daily, into the Desert for exercise.  He sent scribes, agents, and Mamelukes, to obtain the exact histories of his horses, and he compiled them into the “Abbas Pasha Manuscripts.”  The Egyptian Arabians today can all be traced back to 1,000 of those in the collection of Abbas Pasha.  Tracing these bloodlines back these 3,000 years, qualifies our modern day horses, as Egyptian Arabians!

In 1854, Abbas was assassinated by his Heirs, as they had no interest in his passion, and they dispersed the Stud, by 1860.  The horses, mainly stallions, were given as gifts to European governments or royalty. Most of the mares remained in Egypt. Some sold to Egyptian officials and other royalty. Many went to the Crabbet Stud, in England, owned by Lady Ann Blunt.  A principle buyer was named Ali Pasha Sherif who shared the passion of his father, for these Arabians.   At its peak, his stud is said to have numbered 400 horses.  Many of these were lost to the horse plague that swept Egypt, and dealt a substantial blow to the magnificent collection of Ali Pasha.

In 1895, the first straight Egyptian Stallion to be imported to this country was an Ali Pasha bred, beautiful white stallion, “Shahwan.”  He was imported by JAP Ramsdell, and was the only 100% Ali Pasha-bred stallion every to be imported to America.  Shahwan was first taken to England, by Lady Ann Blunt, and used for three years, at her stud, before coming to America. The influence of Shahwan was not recognized, in this country, until his later descendants came to this country, in 1951, through the stallion “Moftakhar.”

In 1908,” the Royal Agricultural Society of Egypt,” was formed.  Its purpose was to preserve the Egyptian Arabian horse.  Today, this organization is actively contributing to the promotion, and preservation of the Egyptian bloodlines, under the name of, “the Egyptian Agricultural Organization,” the EAO.”  The stud operates in Al Zahraa.

For the next 34 years, only two horses were imported to America, directly from Egypt.  In 1929, a
Desert-bred mare, “Malouma,” and “King John,” a desert=bred stallion, were imported by Herman Frank.  The only other imports, during this period, came from the Blunt Stud, via England.

In the early decades of this Century, Egyptian Arabians were imported, sporadically, by such men as WR Brown, and Henry Babson. In the 1960s and 1970s, theses horses started being imported more frequently, and in larger numbers.

The largest number, of straight Egyptian Arabians, is found in the United States.  They are especially valued for their potency, due to the close line-breeding, of their ancestors.  They are prepotent in passing on highly desirable traits, and “Arabian Type,” for today’s breeding programs. They are rare in numbers, as they are only 3% of the total number of all Arabians, in this country.  Egyptian Arabians are valuable blood, and a proven outcross, for other bloodlines.  All of our light breeds of horses have been based on the blood of the Arabian, including the thoroughbred.

The Egyptian Arabian horse, as we know him, today, has become the most sought after in the World.  Egyptians are seen winning show championships, and stakes races, with many more back at the farm quietly fulfilling their destiny as breeding stock or pleasure horses.  For type, exquisite beauty, athleticism, versatility, personality and courage, no horse comes close to the Egyptian Arabian.  The treasure of the ancient pharaohs lives on, in the pastures and stables around the world, adored by all who come to know them….

 

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