Arabian horse

Arabian horse

Infobox Horse
name= Arabian horse
status = DOM

image_caption= An Arabian Mare
altname= Arabian, Arab
country= Developed in the Middle East, most notably Arabian peninsula
group1= Arabian Horse Association (AHA) (United States)
group2=The Arabian Horse Society of Australia
group3=World Arabian Horse Organization
features = finely chisled bone structure, concave profile, arched neck, comparatively level croup, high-carried tail. |
The Arabian horse is a breed of horse with a reputation for intelligence, spirit, and stamina. With a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage, the Arabian is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world. It is one of the oldest horse breeds, with archaeological evidence of horses that resemble modern Arabians dating back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses from the Middle East spread around the world by both war and trade, used to improve other breeds by adding speed, refinement, endurance, and good bone. Today, Arabian bloodlines are found in almost every modern breed of riding horse.

The Arabian developed in a desert climate and was prized by the nomadic Bedouin people, often being brought inside the family tent for shelter and protection. This close relationship with humans has created a horse breed that is good-natured, quick to learn, and willing to please. But the Arabian also developed the high spirit and alertness needed in a horse used for raiding and war. This combination of willingness and sensitivity requires modern Arabian horse owners to handle their horses with competence and respect.

"The Versatile Arabian" is a slogan of the breed. Arabians dominate the discipline of endurance riding, and compete today in many other fields of equestrian activity. They are one of the top ten most popular horse breeds in the world. Arabian horses are now found worldwide, including the United States and Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, continental Europe, South America (especially Brazil), and its land of origin, the Middle East.

Breed characteristics

Arabian horses have refined, wedge-shaped heads, a broad forehead, large eyes, large nostrils, and small muzzles. Most display a distinctive concave or "dished" profile. Many Arabians also have a slight forehead bulge between their eyes, called the "jibbah" by the Bedouin, that adds additional sinus capacity, believed to have helped the Arabian horse in its native dry desert climate.Upton, "Arabians"] Archer, "Arabian Horse", pp. 89-92] Another breed characteristic is an arched neck with a large, well-set windpipe set on a refined, clean throatlatch. This structure of the poll and throatlatch was called the "mitbah" or "mitbeh" by the Bedouin, and in the best Arabians is long, allowing flexibility in the bridle and room for the windpipe.

Other distinctive features are a relatively long, level croup and naturally high tail carriage. Well-bred Arabians have a deep, well-angled hip and well laid-back shoulder. Most have a compact body with a short back. Some, though not all, have 5 lumbar vertebrae instead of the usual 6, and 17 rather than 18 pairs of ribs.Edwards, "The Arabian", pp. 27-28] Thus, even a small Arabian can carry a heavy rider with ease. Arabians usually have dense, strong bone, sound feet, and good hoof walls. They are especially noted for endurance.cite web |url= |title=Arabians are beautiful, but are they good athletes? - The Versatile Arabian"|accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= AHA Website |publisher=Arabian Horse Association] Edwards, "The Arabian", pp. 245-246]

Some people confuse the refinement of Arabians with having weak or too-light bone. [cite web |url= |title=The Arabian Horse Breed: Why the Hate? |accessdate=2008-06-09 |author= Citizen Horse |work= Citizen Horse Website |publisher=Citizen Horse] However, the USEF breed standard requires Arabians have solid bone and correct conformation, and the superiority of the breed in endurance competition clearly demonstrates that well-bred Arabians are strong, sound horses with good bone and superior stamina. At international levels of FEI-sponsored endurance events, Arabians and half-Arabians are the dominant performers in distance competition worldwide. [cite web |url= |title=Arabians In Endurance |accessdate=2008-05-31 |author= Arabian Horse Society of Australia |work= AHSA Website |publisher=Arabian Horse Society of Australia] Another misconception confuses the skeletal structure of the sacrum with the angle of the "hip" (the pelvis or ilium), leading some to assert that the comparatively horizontal croup and high-carried tail of Arabians correlates to a flat pelvis and thus they cannot use their hindquarters properly. However, the croup is formed by the sacral vertebrae. The hip angle is determined by the attachment of the ilium to the spine, the structure and length of the femur, and other aspects of hindquarter anatomy, not necessarily the angle of the sacrum. Thus, the Arabian has conformation typical of other horse breeds built for speed and distance, such as the Thoroughbred, which properly includes the angle of the ilium being more oblique than that of the croup, the hip at approximately 35 degrees to a croup angle of 25 degrees.Edwards, "Anatomy and Conformation of the Horse", "Chapter 6: The Croup," pp. 83-98] The proper comparison of sacrum and hip is in length, not angle. All horses bred to gallop need a good length of croup and good length of hip for proper attachment of muscles, and the two do go together as a rule. The hip angle, on the other hand, is not necessarily correlated to the line of the croup. Thus, a good-quality Arabian has both a relatively horizontal croup and a properly angled pelvis with good length of croup and depth of hip (length of pelvis) to allow agility and impulsion. [Schofler, "Flight Without Wings", p. 8] Within the breed, there are variations. Some individuals have wider, more powerfully muscled hindquarters suitable for intense bursts of activity in events such as reining, while others have longer, leaner muscling better suited for long stretches of flat work such as endurance riding or horse racing. [Schofler, "Flight Without Wings", pp. 11-12]


The breed standard for Arabian horses, as stated by the United States Equestrian Federation, describes the Arabians as standing between 14.1 and 15.1 hands (convert|57|to|61|in|cm) tall, "with the occasional individual over or under."cite web |url= |title= Chapter AR: Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian Division Rule Book, Rule AR-102|accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= United States Equestrian Federation |work= 2008 Rulebook |publisher=United States Equestrian Federation|format=PDF] Thus, all Arabians, regardless of height, are classified as "horses," even though 14.2 hands (convert|58|in|cm) is the traditional cutoff height between a horse and a pony. [Plumb, "Types and Breeds of Farm Animals", p. 168] A common myth is that Arabians are not strong because of their size. However, the Arabian horse is noted for a greater density of bone than other breeds, short cannons, sound feet, and a broad, short back; all of which give the breed physical strength comparable to many taller animals. Clearly, for tasks where the sheer weight of the horse matters, such as farm work done by a draft horse, or team roping, any lighter-weight horse is at a disadvantage, but for most purposes, the Arabian is a strong and hardy breed of light horse able to carry any type of rider in most equestrian pursuits.Fact|date=May 2008


For centuries, Arabian horses lived in the desert in close association with humans.cite web |url= |title= The Arabian Horse Today |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= Arabian Horse History & Heritage |publisher=Arabian Horse Association] For shelter and protection from theft, prized war mares were sometimes kept in their owner's tent, close to children and everyday family life. Only horses with a naturally good disposition were allowed to reproduce. The result is that Arabians today have a temperament that, among other examples, makes them one of the few breeds for which the United States Equestrian Federation allows children to exhibit stallions in nearly all show ring classes, including those limited to riders under 18. [Stallions may be shown in most youth classes, except for 8 and under walk-trot: [ 2008 USEF Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian Division Rule Book, Rule AR-112]
Breeds not allowing stallions in youth classes include, but are not limited to, [ Rule 404(c) American Quarter Horse] ; [ Rule 607 Appaloosa] ; [ SB-126 Saddlebreds] ; [ PF-106 Paso Finos - no children under 13] ; [ MO-104 Morgans] ; [ 101 Children's and Junior Hunters] ; [ HP-101 Hunter Pony] ; [ HK-101 Hackney] ; [ FR-101 Friesians] ; [ EQ-102 Equitation - stallions prohibited except if limited only to breeds that allow stallions] ; [ CP-108 Carriage and Pleasure Driving] ; [ WS 101 Western division] .
Other breeds allowing stallions in youth classes include [ AL-101, Andalusians] , [ CO-103 Connemaras] and [ (WL 115 and WL 139 Welch pony and cob]

On the other hand, the Arabian is also classified as a "hot-blooded" breed, a category that includes other refined, spirited horses bred for speed, such as the Thoroughbred and the Barb. Like other hot-bloods, Arabians' sensitivity and intelligence enable quick learning and greater communication with their riders. However, their intelligence also allows them to learn bad habits as quickly as good ones, [Pavord, "Handling and Understanding the Horse", p. 19] and do not tolerate inept or abusive training practices.Rashid, "A Good Horse Is Never a Bad Color", p. 50]

Some people believe that it is more difficult to train a "hot-blooded" horse such as the Arabian, Thoroughbred, Barb and Akhal-Teke. However, most Arabians have a natural tendency to cooperate with humans, but when treated badly, like any horse, can become excessively nervous or anxious, though seldom become vicious unless seriously spoiled or subjected to extreme abuse. On the other hand, romantic myths are sometimes told about Arabian horses that give them near-divine characteristics.Edwards, "The Arabian", p.28]


The Arabian Horse Association recognizes purebred horses with the coat colors bay, gray, chestnut, black, and roan. [cite web |url= |title= How Do I... Determine Color & Markings? |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= Purebred Registration |publisher=Arabian Horse Association] Bay, gray and chestnut are the most common, black is less common. [Ammon, "Historical Reports on Arab Horse Breeding and the Arabian Horse", p. 152] True roan may not actually exist in Arabians; rather, roaning in the Arab could simply be a manifestation of the sabino or rabicano genes.Sponenberg, "Equine Color Genetics", p. 69] All Arabians, no matter the coat color, have black skin, except under white markings. Black skin provided protection from the hot desert sun. [Stewart, "The Arabian Horse", p. 34]

Although many Arabians appear "white," they are not. A white hair coat is usually created by the natural action of the gray gene, and virtually all "white" Arabians are actually grays. [cite web |url= |title= What Color Is My Horse? |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= Purebred Registration |publisher=Arabian Horse Association] There is an extremely small number of Arabians registered as "white" and having a white coat, pink skin and dark eyes from birth, possibly as a result of a nonsense mutation in DNA tracing to a single stallion foaled in 1996. [cite web |url=;jsessionid=17C1B6B83842B60171830F07474CAA3F |title=Allelic Heterogeneity at the Equine KIT Locus in Dominant White (W) Horses |accessdate=2008-07-08|author=Haase B, Brooks SA, Schlumbaum A, Azor PJ, Bailey E, ""|work=PLoS Genetics 3(11): e195 doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030195|Publisher=PLos Genetics]

The Bedouin had assorted beliefs about color, including several myths about the so-called "bloody-shouldered" horse, which is actually a particular type of "flea-bitten" gray with localized aggregations of pigment. [cite web |url= |title= Grey |accessdate=2008-07-01 |author= Equine Color |work= Color Information |publisher=Equine Color] One tale states that a gray mare carried the Prophet Mohammed in battle when he was wounded. The faithful mare carried her bleeding master back to his tribe's camp. The blood from his wound stained her coat, and her shoulder permanently bore the mark. From then on, goes the myth, Allah marked the finest horses with the "bloody shoulder." [cite web |url= |title= The Arabian |accessdate=2008-07-01 |author= Cibery, Liana |work= Bloodlines |publisher=International Pedigree Association & Bloodline Research]


One spotting pattern, sabino, does exist in purebred Arabians. The sabino gene (or gene-complex), produces white markings such as "high white" above the knees and hocks, irregular spotting on the legs, belly and face, white markings that extend beyond the eyes or under the chin and jaw, and occasionally, roaning.cite web |url= |title= Horse Coat Color Tests |accessdate=2008-01-11 |author= UC Davis |work= Veterinary Genetics Laboratory |publisher=University of California - Davis] Many Arabians meet the definition of having minimal to moderately expressed sabino characteristics,cite web |url= |title= Rules & Regulations |accessdate=2007-04-01 |author= Sabino Arabian Horse Registry |work= SAHR Website |publisher=Sabino Arabian Horse Registry of America]

Some groups consider a "Maximum" Sabino to be a horse that is over 50% white. Today, some researchers call horses that are over 90% white (with pink skin) "Sabino-white." In either case, studies at the University of California, Davis indicate that the gene (or genes) which produces sabino in Arabians do not appear to be the autosomal dominant gene "SB1" or "Sabino1," that often produces completely white horses in other breeds. [cite web |url= |title= Introduction to Coat Color Genetics |accessdate=2008-01-11 |author= UC Davis |work= Veterinary Genetics Laboratory |publisher=University of California - Davis]

Rabicano or roan?

There are very few Arabians registered as roan, and some geneticists suggest that roaning in purebred Arabians is actually the action of rabicano genetics. Rabicano is a partial roan-like pattern. Unlike a true roan, a rabicano horse's body does not have intermingled white and solid hairs over the entire body, nor are the legs or head significantly darker. Another area of confusion is that some people confuse a young gray horse with a roan because of the intermixed hair colors common to both. However, a roan does not change color with age, while a gray does. [cite web |url= |title= Roan Horses |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Horse Genetics |work= The Horse Genetics Web Site |publisher=Horse Genetics]

Colors that do not exist in purebreds

There is pictorial evidence from pottery and tombs in Ancient Egypt suggesting that spotting patterns may have existed on ancestral Arabian-type horses in antiquity.Edwards, "The Arabian", p. 5] However, purebred Arabians today do not carry genes for pinto or Appaloosa spotting patterns, except for sabino. Spotting or excess white was believed by many breeders to be a mark of impurity until DNA testing for verification of parentage became standard. For a time, horses with belly spots and other white markings deemed excessive could not even be registered, and even after the rule was softened, excess white was sometimes penalized in the show ring. Purebred Arabians also never carry dilution genes.Beaver, "Horse color", p. 98] Therefore, purebreds cannot be colors such as dun, cremello, perlino, palomino or buckskin.Gower, "Horse Color Explained", p. 30]

To produce horses with some Arabian characteristics but coat colors not found in purebreds, they have to be crossbred with other breeds. [cite web |url= |title= The Arabian Derivative Horse |accessdate=2008-06-30 |author= Arabian Horse Society of Australia |work= Derivative Standard 2004 |publisher=Arabian Horse Society of Australia|format=PDF] Though the purebred Arabian produces a limited range of potential colors, they also never carry the frame overo gene ("O"), and thus a purebred Arabian can never produce foals with lethal white syndrome. In fact, Arabian mares were used as a non-affected population in some of the studies seeking the gene that caused the condition in other breeds. [ [ Walker, Dawn, "Lethal Whites: A Light at the End of the Tunnel." "Paint Horse Journal", February 1997.] Web page accessed January 11 , 2008] Nonetheless, partbred Arabians can, in some cases, carry these genes if the non-Arabian parent was a carrier. [Parry, "xc overo/lethal white", "Compendium", pp. 945-950]

Genetic diseases

There are six known genetic diseases in Arabian horses, two are inevitably fatal, two are not always fatal but usually result in euthanasia of the affected animal, the remaining conditions can be treated. Three are thought to be autosomal recessive conditions, which means that the flawed gene is not sex-linked and has to come from both parents for an affected foal to be born. The others currently lack sufficient research data to determine the precise mode of inheritance.Goodwin-Campiglio, "et. al." "Caution and Knowledge," pp. 100-105] Arabians are not the only breed of horse to have problems with inherited diseases; fatal or disabling genetic conditions also exist in many other breeds, including the American Quarter Horse, American Paint Horse, American Saddlebred, Appaloosa, Miniature horse, and Belgian.

Genetic diseases that can occur in purebred Arabians are the following:
* Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). Similar to the "bubble boy" condition in humans, an affected foal is born with no immune system, and thus generally dies of an opportunistic infection, usually before the age of five months. There is a DNA test that can detect healthy horses who are carriers of the gene causing SCID, thus testing and careful, planned matings can now eliminate the possibility of an affected foal ever being born. [cite web |url= |title= SCID |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= VetGen |work= List of Services |publisher=VetGen]
* Cerebellar abiotrophy (CA or CCA). An affected foal is usually born without symptoms, but at some point, usually after six weeks of age, develops severe incoordination, a head tremor, wide-legged stance and other symptoms related to the death of the purkinje cells in the cerebellum. Such foals are frequently diagnosed only after they have crashed into a fence or fallen over backwards, and often are misdiagnosed as a head injury caused by an accident. Severity varies, with some foals having fast onset of severe coordination problems, others showing milder symptoms. Mildly affected horses can live a full lifespan, but most are euthanized before adulthood because they are so accident-prone as to be dangerous. Though clinical signs are distinguishable from other neurological conditions, the only way to verify a diagnosis of CA is to examine the brain after euthanasia. [cite web |url= |title= Cerebellar Abiotrophy |accessdate=2008-05-29|author= UC Davis |work= Veterinary Genetics Laboratory |publisher=University of California - Davis] There is currently no direct carrier test for CA, but an indirect prediction analysis that identifies DNA markers associated with CA is available. [cite web|url= | author= Johnson, Robert S.|title=Test Allows Arabian Breeders to Scan for Inherited Neurologic Disorder|work= The Horse online edition |publisher=Blood-Horse Publications|date=2008-09-23|accessdate= 2008-10-01]
* Lavender Foal Syndrome (LFS), also called Coat Color Dilution Lethal (CCDL). The condition gets it name because most affected foals are born with a coat color dilution that lightens the tips of the coat hairs, or even the entire hair shaft. Foals with LFS are unable to stand at birth, often have seizures, and are usually euthanized within a few days of birth. There is currently no genetic test for LFS. [cite web |url= |title= Lavender Foal Syndrome Fact Sheet |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= Bird, Helen |work= James A Baker Institute for Animal Health |publisher=Cornell University] Fanelli, [ "Coat Color Dilution Lethal"] , "Equine Veterinary Education", pp. 260-263]
* Occipital Atlanto-Axial Malformation (OAAM). This is a condition where the cervical vertebrae fuse together in the neck and at the base of the skull. Symptoms range from mild incoordination to the paralysis of both front and rear legs. Some affected foals cannot stand to nurse, in others the symptoms may not be seen for several weeks. This is the only cervical spinal cord disease seen in horses less than 1 month of age, and a radiograph can diagnose the condition. There is no genetic test for OAAM, and the hereditary component of this condition is not well researched at present. [Watson, [ "Familial congenital occipitoatlantoaxial malformation (OAAM) in the Arabian horse"] , "Spine", pp. 334-339]
* Equine juvenile epilepsy, sometimes referred to as "benign" epilepsy or "idiopathic" epilepsy, is not usually fatal. Foals are born normal and appear normal between epileptic seizures, usually outgrowing the condition between 12 and 18 months. Affected foals may show signs of epilepsy anywhere from two days to six months from birth.Equus Staff, "Good news about recovery from foal epilepsy," "Equus"] Symptoms of the condition can be treated with traditional anti-seizure medications, which may reduce the severity of symptoms. [cite web |url= |title= Lavender Foal Syndrome |accessdate=2006-11-24 |author=Judd, Dr. Bob, DVM |work= Texas Vet News |publisher=Veterinary Information Network] Though the condition has been studied since 1985 at the University of California, Davis, the genetic mode of inheritance is unclear, though the cases studied were all of one general bloodline group. Some researchers have suggested that epilepsy may be linked in some fashion to Lavender Foal Syndrome due to the fact that it occurs in similar bloodlines and some horses have produced foals with both conditions.
*Guttural Pouch Tympany (GPT) occurs in horses ranging from birth to 1 yr of age and is more common in fillies than in colts. It is thought to be genetic in Arabians, possibly polygenic in inheritance, but more study is needed. [cite web |url= |title= Populationsgenetische Analyse der Luftsacktympanie beim Fohlen" (En: "Population genetic analysis of guttural pouch tympany in foals") |accessdate=2007-12-03 |author= Blazyczek, Ingild Astrid |work= Dissertation |publisher=Hannover, Tierärztliche Hochschule] Foals are born with a defect that causes the pharyngeal opening of the Eustachian tube to act like a one-way valve. Air can get in, but it cannot get out. The affected guttural pouch is distended with air and forms a characteristic nonpainful swelling. Breathing is noisy in severely affected animals. [Marcella, [ "The mysterious guttural pouch"] , "Thoroughbred Times"] Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and radiographic examination of the skull. Medical management with NSAID and antimicrobial therapy can treat upper respiratory tract inflammation. Surgical intervention is needed to correct the malformation of the guttural pouch opening to provides a route for air in the abnormal guttural pouch to pass to the normal side and be expelled into the pharynx. Foals that are successfully treated may grow up to have fully useful lives. [Blazyczek, [ "Inheritance of Guttural Pouch Tympany in the Arabian Horse"] , "Journal of Heredity", pp. 195-199]

The Arabian Horse Association in the United States has created a foundation that supports research efforts to uncover the roots of genetic diseases. [cite web |url= |title= HA President's Bulletin, December 2007 |accessdate=2008-01-21 |author= Krause, Myron |work= AHA Website |publisher=Arabian Horse Association] The organization F.O.A.L. (Fight Off Arabian Lethals) is a clearinghouse for information on these conditions. [cite web |url= |title= Arabian Foal Association Homepage |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= F.O.A.L |work= AFA Homepage |publisher=Arabian F.O.A.L. Association] Additional information is available from the World Arabian Horse Association (WAHO). [cite web |url= |title= GENETIC DISORDERS IN ARABIAN HORSES: CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS |accessdate=2007-10-23 |author= Goodwin-Campiglio, Lisa |work= WAHO Website |publisher=World Arabian Horse Association]


Arabian horses are the topic of many myths and legends, particularly about their origins. One creation myth tells how Muhammad chose his foundation mares by a test of their courage and loyalty. While there are several variants on the tale, one common version states that after a long journey through the desert, Muhammad turned his herd of horses loose to race to an oasis for a desperately-needed drink of water. Before the herd reached the water, Muhammad called for the horses to return to him. Only five mares responded. Because they faithfully returned to their master, even though desperate with thirst, these mares became his favorites and were called "Al Khamsa," meaning, "the five." These mares thus became the legendary founders of the five choice "strains" of the Arabian horse. [cite web |url= |title= Al Khamsa The Five |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= Al Khamsa |work= History and Legends |publisher=Al Khamsa, Inc.] Archer, "Arabian Horse", pp. 92-93] Although the "Al Khamsa" are probably fictional horses of legend, some breeders today claim the modern Bedouin Arabian actually descended from these mares. [Schofler, "Flight Without Wings", pp. 3-4]

Another tale claims that King Solomon of Ancient Israel was said to have been given a pure Arabian-type mare named Safanad ("the pure") by the Queen of Sheba. Another version says that Solomon gave his renowned stallion, Zad el-Raheb or Zad-el-Rakib ("Gift to the Rider") to the Banu Azd people when they came to pay tribute to the king. This legendary stallion was said to be faster than the zebra and the gazelle, and every hunt with him was successful, thus the Arabs put him to stud and he became a founding sire of legend.Chamberlin, "Horse", pp. 166-167]

Yet another creation myth puts the origin of the Arabian in the time of Ishmael, the son of Abraham.Archer, "Arabian Horse", p. 2] In this story, the Angel Jibril (also known as Gabriel) descended from Heaven and awakened Ishmael with a "wind-spout" that whirled toward him. The Angel then commanded the thundercloud to stop scattering dust and rain, and so it gathered itself into a prancing, handsome creature - a horse - that seemed to swallow up the ground. Hence, the Bedouins bestowed the title "Drinker of the Wind" to the first Arabian horse. [Raswan, "The Raswan Index and Handbook for Arabian Breeders", Section: "The Kuhaylat", p. 6.]

Another Bedouin story states that Allah created the Arabian horse from the four winds; spirit from the North, strength from the South, speed from the East, and intelligence from the West. While doing so, he exclaimed, "I create thee, Oh Arabian. To thy forelock, I bind Victory in battle. On thy back, I set a 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." [cite web |url= |title= The Arabian Horse and the Nabataeans |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Nabataean History |work= |publisher=Nabataean History] Verify credibility|date=May 2008 Other versions of the story claim Allah said to the South Wind: "I want to make a creature out of you. Condense." Then from the material condensed from the wind, he made a "kamayt"-colored animal (a bay or burnt chestnut) and said: "I call you Horse; I make you Arabian and I give you the chestnut color of the ant; I have hung happiness from the forelock which hangs between your eyes; you shall be the Lord of the other animals. Men shall follow you wherever you go; you shall be as good for flight as for pursuit; you shall fly without wings; riches shall be on your back and fortune shall come through your meditation." [Sumi, "Description in Classical Arabic Poetry", p. 19]


Arabians are one of the oldest human-developed horse breeds in the world. The original wild progenitors, the Oriental subtype or "Proto-Arabian" was a horse with "oriental" characteristics similar to the modern Arabian. These horses appeared in rock paintings and inscriptions in the Arabian Peninsula as far back as 2,500 B.C. [cite web |url= |title= Preserving the Arabian Horse in its Ancestral Land |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia |work= Spring 2007 Publication |publisher=Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia] In ancient history, throughout the Ancient Near East, horses with refined heads and high-carried tails were depicted in artwork, particularly that of Ancient Egypt dating to the expulsion of the Hyksos invaders, in the 16th century, B.C.Edwards, "The Arabian", p. 2]

Desert roots

There are different theories about where the wild ancestor of the Arabian originally lived. Most evidence suggests the "proto Arabian" or "Oriental" horse came from the area along the northern edge of the Fertile Crescent.Bennett, "Conquerors," pp. 4-7] Others argue for the southwestern corner of the Arabian peninsula, in modern-day Yemen, where three now-dry riverbeds suggest good natural pastures existed long ago, though perhaps as far back as the Ice Age.Edwards, "The Arabian", pp.6-7] cite web |url= |title= Arabian |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Kentucky Horse Park |work= International Museum of the Horse |publisher=Kentucky Horse Park]

Some scholars of the Arabian horse theorize that the Arabian came from a separate subspecies of horse,Edwards, "The Arabian", p. 27] known as "equus caballus pumpelli". However, other scholars, including Gladys Brown Edwards, a noted Arabian researcher, believe that the "dry" oriental horse of the desert, from which the modern Arabian developed, was more likely one of the four foundation subtypes of "Equus caballus" that had specific characteristics based on the environments in which they lived, rather than being a separate subspecies. Horses with similar, though not identical, physical characteristics include the now-extinct Turkoman Horse, the Marwari horse of India, the Barb of North Africa and the Akhal-Teke of western Asia.

The Arabian horse prototype may have been domesticated by the people of the Arabian peninsula known today as the Bedouin, sometime after they learned to use the camel, approximately 4,000-5,000 years ago. [Lumpkin, [ "Camels: Of Service and Survival"] , "Zoogoer"] However, other scholars, noting that horses were common in the Fertile Crescent but rare in the Arabian peninsula prior to the rise of Islam, theorize that the breed as it is known today only developed in large numbers when the conversion of the Persians to Islam in the 7th century A.D. brought knowledge of horse breeding and horsemanship to the Bedouin. [cite web |url= |title= Introduction - Part 2: The Origin and Relationships of the Mustang, Barb, and Arabian Horse |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Bennett, Deb |work= The Spanish Mustang |publisher=The Horse of the Americas Registry]

Regardless of origins, climate and culture ultimately created the Arabian. The desert environment required a domesticated horse to cooperate with humans to survive. Humans were the only providers of food and water in certain areas, and even hardy Arabian horses needed far more water than camels in order to survive (most horses can only live about 72 hours without water). Where there was no pasture or water, the Bedouin fed their horses dates and camel's milk.Edwards, "The Arabian", p. 24] The desert horse needed to thrive on very little food, and have anatomical traits to compensate for life in a dry climate with wide temperature extremes from day to night. Weak individuals were weeded out of the breeding pool, and the animals that remained were honed by centuries of human warfare.Archer, "Arabian Horse", pp. 2-4]

In return, the Bedouin way of life depended on camels and horses: Arabians were bred to be war horses with speed, endurance, soundness, and intelligence.cite web |url= |title= Arabian Type, Color and Conformation |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= FAQ |publisher=Arabian Horse Association] Because many raids required stealth, mares were preferred over stallions because they were quieter and would not give away the position of the fighters. A good disposition was critical; prized war mares were often brought inside family tents to prevent theft and for protection from weather and predators. [Schofler, [ "Daughters of the Desert"] , "Equestrian Magazine"] Though appearance was not necessarily a survival factor, the Bedouin bred for refinement and beauty in their horses as well as for more practical features.

trains and pedigrees

), selling most, and culling those of poor quality.Edwards, "The Arabian", pp. 24-26]

Over time, the Bedouin developed several sub-types or "strains" of Arabian horse, each with unique characteristics. The strains were traced through the maternal line, not through the paternal.Derry "Bred for Perfection" pp. 104–105] According to the Arabian Horse Association, the five primary strains were known as the Keheilan, Seglawi, Abeyan, Hamdani and Hadban. [cite web |url= |title= Horse of the Desert Bedouin |accessdate=2006-04-25 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= Arabian Horse History & Heritage |publisher=Arabian Horse Association] There were also lesser strains, sub-strains, and regional variations in strain names. [cite web |url= |title= Iranian Asil Horse |accessdate=2008-01-15 |author= Arabian Horse Legacy |work= |publisher=The Arabian Horse Legacy|format=PDF] Thus, many Arabian horses were not only "Asil", of pure blood, but also bred to be pure in strain as well, with crossbreeding between strains discouraged, though not forbidden, by some tribes. Purity of bloodline was very important to the Bedouin, and they also believed in telegony, believing if a mare was ever bred to a stallion of "impure" blood, the mare herself and all future offspring would be "contaminated" by the stallion and hence no longer "Asil."Edwards, "The Arabian", p. 22] Carl Raswan, a promoter and writer about Arabian horses from the middle of the 20th century, held the belief that there were only three strains, Kehilan, Seglawi and Muniqi. Raswan felt that these strains represented body "types" of the breed, with the Kehilan being "masculine", the Seglawi being "feminine" and the Muniqi being "speedy". [Archer, "Arabian Horse", p. 92]

This complex web of bloodline and strain was an integral part of Bedouin culture. The Bedouin knew the pedigrees and history of their best war mares in detail, via an oral tradition that also tracked the breeding of their camels, Saluki dogs, and their own family or tribal history.cite web |url= |title= Is Purity the Issue? |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= World Arabian Horse Organization |work= WAHO Publication Number 21, January 1998 |publisher=World Arabian Horse Organization] Eventually, written records began to be kept; the first written pedigrees in the Middle East that specifically used the term "Arabian" date to 1330 A.D.cite web |url= |title= Egyptian Arabians: The Mystique Unfolded |accessdate=2006-05-10 |author= Lewis, Barbara S. |work= Arabians |publisher=Pyramid Arabians] However, as important as strain was to the Bedouin, studies of mitochondrial DNA suggest that modern Arabian horses recorded to be of a given strain may not necessarily share a common maternal ancestry. [Bowling, "A pedigree-based study of mitochondrial d-loop DNA sequence variation among Arabian horses," "Animal Genetics", p. 1]

Historical development

Role in the ancient world

Fiery war horses with dished faces and high-carried tails were popular artistic subjects in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, often depicted pulling chariots in war or for hunting. Horses with oriental characteristics appear in artwork as far north as that of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. While the horse wasn't called an "Arabian" in the Ancient Near East until later, (the word "Arabia" or "Arabaya" only first appeared in writings by the ancient Persians, circa 500 B.C.,] ) these "proto-Arabian" or "Oriental" horses shared many characteristics with the modern Arabian, including speed, endurance, and refinement. For example, a horse skeleton unearthed in the Sinai peninsula, dated to 1700 B.C., is considered the earliest physical evidence of the horse in Ancient Egypt. It was probably brought by the Hyksos invaders. This horse had a wedge-shaped head, large eye socket and small muzzle, all characteristics of the Arabian horse.

In Islamic history

Following the Hijra in A.D. 622 (also sometimes spelled Hegira), the Arabian horse spread across the known world of the time, became recognized as a distinct, named breed, [Bennett, "Conquerors," p. 130] and played a significant role in the History of the Middle East and of Islam. By A.D. 630, Muslim influence expanded across the Middle East and North Africa. By A.D. 711, Muslim warriors had reached Spain, and controlled most of the Iberian Peninsula by 720. Their mounts were of various oriental types, including both Arabians and the Barb horse of North Africa.Fact|date=May 2008

Another way Arabian horses spread to the rest of the world was through the Ottoman Empire, which rose in 1299, and came to control much of the Middle East. Though it never fully dominated the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, this Turkish empire obtained many Arabian horses through trade, diplomacy and war. The Ottomans ecouraged the formation of private stud farms in their territories in order to ensure a supply of calvalry horses.Derry, "Horse and Society", p. 106] Ottoman nobility, such as Muhammad Ali of Egypt also collected pure, desert-bred Arabian horses. An early record of importations and horses occurs with the stud farm of El Naseri, or Al-Nasir Muhammad, an Egyptian Sultan (1290-1342) who imported and bred numerous Arabians in Egypt. A record was made of his purchases, which describes many of the horses as well as their abilities. The record was deposited in his library, forming a source for later study.Archer, "Arabian Horse", p. 6] Greely, "Arabian Exodus", pp. 26-27]

From the Middle East to Europe

Muslim invasions were not the only way Arabians reached Europe. During the Crusades, beginning in 1095, European armies invaded Palestine and many knights returned home with Arabian horses as spoils of war. As the knights and the heavy, armored war horses who carried them obsolete, Arabian horses and their descendants were used to develop faster, agile light cavalry horses that were used in warfare into the 20th century.cite web |url= |title=The Anglo-Arabian Story|accessdate=2008-05-31 |author= Starstruck Farms |work= Anglo-Arabians: The Ultimate Sport Horse |publisher=Starstruck Farms] Probably the earliest horses with Arabian bloodlines to enter Europe came indirectly, through Spain and France. Others would have arrived with returning Crusaders. Under the Ottoman Empire, Arabian horses often were sold, traded, or given as diplomatic gifts to Europeans and, later, to Americans.

One major infusion of Arabian horses into Europe occurred when the Ottoman Turks sent 300,000 horsemen into Hungary in A.D. 1522. Many Turks were mounted on pure-blooded Arabians, captured during raids into Arabia. By 1529, the Ottomans reached Vienna, where they were stopped by the Polish and Hungarian armies, who captured Arabians from the defeated Ottoman cavalry. Some of these horses provided foundation stock for the major studs of eastern Europe. Harrigan, [ "The Polish Quest For Arabian Horses"] , "Saudi Aramco World"]

Polish and Russian breeding programs


European horse breeders also obtained Arabian stock directly from the desert or via trade with the Ottomans. For example, Count Alexey Orlov of Russia obtained many Arabians, including Smetanka, an Arabian stallion who was a foundation sire of the Orlov trotter.cite web |url= |title= History of the Russian Arabian |accessdate=2006-05-09 |author= Troika |work= Russian Arabians |publisher=Mekka Consulting] Greely, "Arabian Exodus", p. 178] Orlov provided Arabian horses to Catherine the Great, who in 1772 owned 12 pure Arabian stallions and 10 mares. To meet the need to breed Arabians as a source of pure bloodstock, two members of the Russian nobility, Count Stroganov and Prince Shcherbatov, established Arabian stud farms by 1889.cite web |url= |title= Russian Arabians |accessdate=2008-06-30 |author= Himes, Cheryl |work= Arabian Horse - Bloodlines |publisher=Arabian Horse Association]

Notable imports from Arabia to Poland included those of Prince Hieronymous Sanguszko (1743-1812), who founded the Slawuta stud.Greely, "Arabian Exodus", p. 172] Poland's first state-run Arabian stud farm, Janow Podlaski, was established by the decree of Alexander I of Russia in 1817.cite web |url= |title= History of the Stud |accessdate=2008-06-03 |author= Krzysztalowicz, Andrzej |work= Janow Podlaski Website |publisher=Janow Podlaski Stud.] By 1850, the great stud farms of Poland were well-established, including Antoniny, owned by the Polish Count Potocki (who had married into the Sanguszko family); later notable as the farm that produced the stallion Skowronek.Archer, "Arabian Horse", pp. 56-57] Derry, "Bred for Perfection", pp. 107–108]

Western and Central Europe

The 18th century marked the establishment of most of the great Arabian studs of Europe, dedicated to preserving "pure" Arabian bloodstock. The Prussians set up a royal stud in 1732, originally intended to provide horses for the royal stables, but soon more were established animals were bred for other uses, including the Prussian army. The foundation of these breeding programs was the crossing of Arabians on native horses, and by 1873 some English observers felt that the Prussian calvalry mounts were superior in endurance to the British mounts. The observers credited the Arabian basis of the breeding program for this superiority.Derry, "Horses in Society", pp. 107-108]

Other examples included the Babolna Stud of Hungary, set up in 1789,Greely, "Arabian Exodus", p. 162] and the Weil stud in Germany (now known as Weil-Marbach or Marbach stud), founded in 1817 by King William I of Wurttemberg.Greely, "Arabian Exodus", p. 155] Arabians were also introduced into European racehorse breeding, especially in England via the Darley Arabian, Byerly Turk, and Godolphin Arabian, the three foundation stallions of the modern Thoroughbred breed, who were each brought to England in the 1700s.Archer, "Arabian Horse", pp. 104-109] King James I of England imported the first Arabian stallion, the Markham Arabian, to England in 1616.Derry, "Horses in Society", p. 31] Other monarchs obtained Arabian horses, often as personal mounts. One of the most famous Arabian stallions in Europe was Marengo, the war horse ridden by Napoleon Bonaparte.cite web |url= |title= Changing the World 1784-1904: Key Objects |accessdate=2008-06-03 |work=National Army Museum Exhibitions: Changing the World 1784-1904 |publisher=National Army Museum ]

During the mid-1800s, the need for Arabian blood to improve the breeding stock for light cavalry horses in Europe resulted in more excursions to the Middle East. Queen Isabel II of Spain sent representatives of the crown to the desert to purchase Arabian horses and by 1847 had established a stud book. Her successor, King Alfonso XII imported additional bloodstock from other European nations. By 1893, the state military stud farm, Yeguada Militar was established in Cordoba, Spain for breeding both Arabian and Iberian horses. The military remained heavily involved in the importation and breeding of Arabians in Spain well into the early 20th century, and the Yeguada Militar is still in existence today.cite web |url= |title= Spanish Arabians |accessdate=2007-10-02 |author= Campiglio, Elizabeth G. |work= Arabian Horse - Bloodlines |publisher=Arabian Horse Association]

This period also marked a period of considerable travel to the Middle East by European civilians and minor nobility, and in the process, some travelers noticed that the Arabian horse as a pure breed of horse was under threat due to modern forms of warfare, inbreeding and other problems that were reducing the horse population of the Bedouin tribes at a rapid rate.Edwards, "The Arabian", p. 23] By the late 1800s, the most farsighted began in earnest to collect the finest Arabian horses they could find in order to preserve the blood of the pure desert horse for future generations. The most famous example was Lady Anne Blunt, the daughter of Ada Lovelace and granddaughter of Lord Byron.Wentworth, "The Authentic Arabian Horse"]

The rise of the Crabbet Park Stud

Perhaps the most famous of all Arabian breeding operations founded in Europe was the Crabbet Park Stud of England, founded 1878.Archer "Arabian Horse" pp. 11-15] [cite web |url=|title= Crabbet Arabians |accessdate=2008-05-28|author= Arabian Horse Association |work= Arabian Horse - Bloodlines |publisher= Arabian Horse Association] Starting in 1877, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt and Lady Anne Blunt made repeated journeys to the Middle East, including visits to the stud of Ali Pasha Sherif in Egypt and to Bedouin tribes in the Nejd, bringing the best Arabians they could find to England. Lady Anne also purchased and maintained the Sheykh Obeyd stud farm in Egypt, near Cairo. Upon Lady Anne's death in 1917, the Blunts' daughter, Judith, Lady Wentworth, inherited the Wentworth title and Lady Anne's portion of the estate. She obtained the remainder of the Crabbet Stud following a protracted legal battle with her father, Wilfrid. Lady Wentworth expanded the stud, added new bloodstock, and exported Arabian horses worldwide. Upon Lady Wentworth's death in 1957, the stud passed to her manager, Cecil Covey, who ran Crabbet until 1971, when a motorway was cut through the property, forcing the sale of the land and dispersal of the horses. [Archer,"et al.", "The Crabbet Arabian Stud: Its History and Influence"]


Historically, Egypt was known for importing horses bred in the deserts of Palestine and the Arabian peninsula rather than as a source of native bloodstock. By the time that the Ottoman Empire dominated Egypt, the political elites of the region still recognized the need for quality bloodstock for both war and for horse racing, and some continued to return to the deserts to obtain pure-blooded Arabians. One of the most famous was Muhammad Ali of Egypt, also known as Muhammad Ali Pasha, who established an extensive stud farm in the 19th century.Edwards, "The Arabian", p. 268] Greely "Arabian Exodus" pp. 27-33] After his death, some of his stock was bred on by Abbas I of Egypt, also known as Abbas Pasha. When Abbas Pasha was assassinated in 1854, his heir, Elhami Pasha, sold most of his horses, often for crossbreeding, and gave away many others as diplomatic gifts. A remnant was obtained by Ali Pasha Sherif, who then went back to the desert to bring in new bloodstock. At its peak, the stud of Ali Pasha Sherif had over 400 purebred Arabians. [Jobbins, "Straight Down the Line", "Al-Ahram Weekly Online"] Unfortunately, an epidemic of African horse sickness in the 1870s that killed thousands of horses throughout Egypt decimated much of his herd and wiped out several irreplaceable bloodlines. Late in his life, he sold several horses to Wilfred and Lady Anne Blunt, who exported them to Crabbet Park Stud in England. After his death, Lady Anne was able to gather many remaining horses at her Sheykh Obeyd stud.Greely, "Arabian Exodus", p. 41]

Meanwhile, the passion brought by the Blunts to saving the pure horse of the desert helped Egyptian horse breeders convince their government of the need to preserve the best of their own remaining pure Arabian bloodstock that descended from the horses collected over the past century by Muhammad Ali Pasha, Abbas Pasha and Ali Pasha Sherif.cite web |url= |title= Egyptian Arabians |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Lewis, Barbara |work= Arabian Horse - Bloodlines |publisher=Arabian Horse Association] Therefore, the government of Egypt formed the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) in 1908.Greely, "Arabian Exodus", p. 137] Today, the RAS is known as the Egyptian Agricultural Organization (EAO).Greely, "Arabian Exodus", p. 149]

To rebuild some bloodlines that had been lost, RAS representatives traveled to England during the 1920s and purchased eighteen descendants of the original Blunt exports from Lady Wentworth at Crabbet Park and returned these bloodlines to Egypt. Other than several horses purchased by Henry Babson for importation to the United States in the 1930s,Greely, "Arabian Exodus", p. 139] and one other small group exported to the USA in 1947, relatively few Egyptian-bred Arabian horses were exported until the overthrow of King Farouk I in 1952.Fact|date=June 2008 After that, many of the private stud farms of the princes were confiscated and the animals taken over by the EAO. After that, as oil development brought more foreign investors to Egypt, some of whom were horse fanciers, Arabians were exported to Germany and the United States, as well as to the former Soviet Union, then an ally of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. Following the death of Nasser in 1970 and the rise of a less Soviet-oriented government, even more Egyptian-bred Arabians were exported. Today, the designation "Straight Egyptian" or "Egyptian Arabian" is popular with some Arabian breeders, and the distinct "dry" look of the modern Egyptian-bred Arabian is an outcross used to add refinement in some breeding programs.Fact|date=May 2008

Early 20th century

In the early 20th century, the military was involved in the breeding of Arabian horses throughout Europe, particularly in Poland, Spain, Germany, and Russia. In addition, private breeders developed a number of breeding programs.Fact|date=June 2008 Significant among the private breeders in continental Europe was Spain's Cristobal Colon de Aguilera, XV Duque de Veragua, a direct descendant of Christopher Columbus, who founded the Veragua Stud in the 1920s.Greely, "Arabian Exodus", pp. 198-199]

Modern warfare and its impact on European studs

During the course of World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, many historic European stud farms were lost. For example, in Poland, the Antoniny and Slawuta Studs were wiped out except for five mares.Greely, "Arabian Exodus", p. 176] Notable among the survivors, however, was the Janow Podlaski Stud. The Russian Revolution, combined with the effects of World War I, destroyed most of the breeding programs in Russia. But by 1921, the Soviet government reestablished an Arabian program, the Tersk Stud, on the site of the former Stroganov estate, which included Polish bloodlines as well as some importations from the Crabbet Stud in England.Greely, "Arabian Exodus", pp. 182-184] The programs that survived the war re-established their breeding operations and some added to their studs with new imports of desert-bred Arabian horses from the Middle East. Not all European studs recovered. The Weil stud of Germany, founded by King Wilhelm I went into considerable decline and by the time the Weil herd was transferred to the Marbach State Stud in 1932, only 17 purebred Arabians remained. [cite web |url= |title= History of the Stud |accessdate=2007-10-02 |author= Cowell, Christine |work= Haupt- und Landgestüt Marbach website |publisher=Haupt- und Landgestüt Marbach]

The Spanish Civil War and World War II had a devastating impact on horse breeding throughout Europe. For example, the Veragua stud was destroyed, and its records lost. The only survivors were the broodmares and the younger horses, who were rescued by Francisco Franco.Greely, "Arabian Exodus", pp. 199-201] Other European studs such as Crabbet Park, Tersk, and Janow Podlaski survived. Both the Soviet Union and the United States obtained valuable Arabian bloodlines as spoils of war, which they used to strengthen their breeding programs. The Soviets had taken steps to protect their breeding stock at Tersk Stud, and by utilizing horses captured in Poland they were able to re-establish their breeding program soon after the end of World War II. The Americans brought Arabian horses captured in Europe to the United States, mostly to the Kellogg U.S. Army Remount station, the former W.K. Kellogg Ranch in California.

In the postwar era, Poland,Derry "Bred for Perfection" pp. 117–118] Spain,Derry "Bred for Perfection" pp. 143–144] and Germany developed or re-established many well-respected Arabian stud farms.Derry "Bred for Perfection" pp. 126–127] The studs of Poland in particular were decimated by both the Nazis and the Soviets, but were able to reclaim some of their breeding stock and became particularly world-renowned for their quality Arabian horses, tested rigorously by racing and other performance standards.Archer, "Arabian Horse", pp. 58-61] During the 1950s, the Russians also obtained additional horses from Egypt to augment their breeding programs.Greely, "Arabian Exodus", p. 185]

After the Cold War

While only a few Arabians were exported from behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, those who did come to the west caught the eye of breeders worldwide. Improving relations between eastern Europe and the west led to major imports of Polish and Russian-bred Arabian horses to western Europe and the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. The collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991, greater political stability in Egypt, and the rise of the European Union all increased international trade in Arabian horses. Organizations such as the World Arabian Horse Association (WAHO) created consistent standards for transferring the registration of Arabian horses between different nations. Today, Arabian horses are traded all over the world.Verify credibility|date=August 2008 [ [ World Arabian Horse Organization] ]

In America

. [Dobie, "The Mustangs"] Verify credibility|date=June 2008

Early imports

Colonists from England also brought horses of Arabian breeding to the eastern seaboard. One example was Nathaniel Harrison, who imported a horse of Arabian, Barb and Turkish ancestry to America in 1747.One of George Washington's primary mounts during the Revolutionary War was a gray half-Arabian horse named "Blueskin," sired by the stallion "Ranger," also known as "Lindsay's Arabian," said to have been obtained from the Sultan of Morocco. [Hur, [ "Washington's Best Saddle Horse"] , "Western Horseman"] [cite web |url= |title= Frequently Asked Questions: Military/Government |accessdate=2006-11-21 |author= University of Virginia |work= The Papers of George Washington |publisher=University of Virginia] Other Presidents are linked to ownership of Arabian horses. In 1840, President Martin Van Buren received two Arabians from the Sultan of Oman, and in 1877, President Ulysses S. Grant obtained the Arabian stallion, Leopard and the Barb Linden Tree, as gifts from the "Sultan of Turkey."cite web |url= |title= Introduction of Arabian Horses to North America |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= Arabian Horse History & Heritage |publisher=Arabian Horse Association] Archer, "Arabian Horse", p. 71] A. Keene Richard was the first American known to have specifically bred Arabian horses. He traveled to the desert in 1853 and 1856 to obtain breeding stock, which he crossed on Thoroughbreds and also breed purebred Arabians. Unfortunately, his horses were lost during the Civil War and have no known purebred Arabian descendants today.Edwards, "The Arabian", p. 29]

Leopard is the only stallion among the early imports who left known purebred descendants in America.cite web |url= |title= Arabian horses in America: *Leopard |accessdate=2006-05-15 |author= Bell, Becky |work= Arabian Horse History |publisher=Equine Post] Archer, "Arabian Horse", p. 72] In 1888 Randolph Huntington imported the desert-bred Arabian mare *Naomi, and bred her to Leopard, producing Leopard's only purebred Arabian son, Anazeh. Anazeh then sired eight purebred Arabian foals, four of whom still appear in pedigrees today.Edwards, "The Arabian", p. 30]

Development of purebred breeding in America

In 1893, the Hamidie Society exhibited 45 Arabian horses from what today is Syria at the World Fair in Chicago. Some remained in the United States and caught the interest of American breeders, who traveled abroad to obtain more.Derry, "Horses in Society", pp. 137-139] By 1908, the Arabian Horse Registry of America was established, recording 71 animals. By 1994, the number had reached half a million. Today there are more Arabians registered in North America than in the rest of the world put together. [cite web |url= |title= Country Stats |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= Arabian Horse Statistics |publisher=Arabian Horse Association]

Major Arabian importations to the United States were made by breeders such as Homer Davenport and Peter Bradley of the Hingham Stock Farm, who purchased several stallions and mares directly from the Bedouin in 1906. [Davenport, "My Quest of the Arabian Horse"] Spencer Borden of the Interlachen Stud made several importations between 1898 and 1911;Archer, "Arabian Horse", pp. 72-73] and W.R. Brown of the Maynesboro Stud, interested in the Arabian as a cavalry mount, imported many Arabians over a period of years, starting in 1918. [Brown, "The Horse of the Desert"] Another wave of imports came in the 1920s and 30s when breeders such as W.K. Kellogg, Henry Babson, Roger Selby, James Draper, and others imported Arabian bloodstock from Crabbet Park Stud in England, as well as from Poland, Spain and Egypt.Archer, "Arabian Horse", pp. 73-76] The breeding of Arabians was fostered by the U. S. Army Remount Service, which helped spread Arabian blood through the standing of purebred stallions at public stud at a reduced rate.Derry, "Horses in Society", p. 236]

Several Arabians, mostly of Polish breeding, were captured from Nazi Germany and imported to the U.S.A. following World War II.Edwards, "The Arabian", pp. 111-114] Other importations came from the Crabbet Stud following the death of Lady Wentworth.Greely, "Arabian Exodus", p. 79] As the tensions of the Cold War eased, more Arabians were imported to America from Poland and Egypt. In the late 1970s, as political issues surrounding import regulations and the recognition of stud books were resolved, Arabian horses were also imported in greater numbers from Spain and Russia.Archer, "Arabian Horse", pp. 78-80]

Modern trends

In the 1980s, Arabians became a popular status symbol and were marketed as "living art."Fact|date=June 2008 Some individuals also used horses as a tax shelter.Derry "Bred for Perfection" p. 129] Prices skyrocketed, especially in the United States, with a record-setting public auction price for a mare named NH Love Potion, who sold for $2.55 million in 1984, and the largest syndication in history for an Arabian stallion, Padron, at $11,000,000. [cite web |url= |title= What's New at Midwest |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Midwest |work= What's New |publisher=Midwest Station II] The potential for profit led to over-breeding of the Arabian. When the Tax Reform Act of 1986 closed the tax-sheltering "passive investment" loophole, limiting the use of horse farms as tax shelters,cite web |url= |title= Frequently Asked Questions on Horse Slaughter |accessdate=2006-11-24 |author= Equine Protection Network |work= Horse Slaughter Awareness Campaign |publisher=Equine Protection Network] [cite web |url= |title= What's a Tax Shelter?|accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Johnson, Calvin H |work= Tax Notes |publisher=Tax Analysts] Derry "Bred for Perfection" pp. 129–138] the Arabian market was particularly vulnerable due to over-saturation and artificially inflated prices, and it collapsed, forcing many breeders into bankruptcy and sending many purebred Arabians to slaughter. [cite web |url= |title= Radio Program 05/09/2002: Reaganomics on the Hoof: The Arabian Horse Industry in the 1980s |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Redkey, Lizzie |work= Talking History Web Archive |publisher=Talking History] Prices recovered slowly, with many breeders moving away from producing "living art" and towards a horse more suitable for amateur owners and many riding disciplines. Today, the vast majority of Arabian horses in America are owned for recreational riding purposes. [cite web |url= |title= HA Arabian horse owner's survey results, 2003 |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Josephs, Steve |work= Windt im Wald Farm Website |publisher=Windt im Wald Farm]

In Australia

Early imports

Arabian horses were introduced to Australia in the earliest days of European Settlement. Early horse imports included both purebred Arabians as well as light Spanish “jennets” from Andalusia. Many Arabians also came from India. Based on records describing stallions "of Arabic and Persian blood," the first Arabian horses were probably imported to Australia in several groups between 1788 and 1802. About 1803, a merchant named Robert Campbell imported a bay Arabian stallion, Hector, from India. Hector was said to have been owned by Arthur Wellesley, who later became known as the Duke of Wellington.Barrie, "The Australian Bloodhorse", p. 96] In 1804 two additional Arabians, also from India, arrived in Tasmania one of whom, White William, sired the first purebred Arabian foal born in Australia, a stallion named Derwent.

Throughout the 19th century, many more Arabians came to Australia, though most were used to produce crossbred horses and left no recorded purebred descendants.Fact|date=June 2008 The first significant imports to be permanently recorded with offspring still appearing in modern purebred Arabian pedigrees were those of James Boucaut, who in 1891 imported several Arabians from Wilfred and Lady Anne Blunt's Crabbet Arabian Stud in England.Greely, "Arabian Exodus", p. 121] Purebred Arabians were used to improve racehorses and some of them became quite famous as such. About 100 Arabian sires are included in the Australian Stud Book (for Thoroughbred racehorses). The military also was involved in the promotion of breeding calvalry horses, especially around World War I. They were part of the foundation of several breeds considered uniquely Australian, including the Australian Pony, the Waler and the Australian Stock Horse. [Gordon, [ "A Condensed History of the Arabian Horse Society of Australia"] , "Arabian Lines"]

In the 20th and 21st centuries

In the early 20th century, more Arabian horses, mostly of Crabbet bloodlines, arrived in Australia. The first Arabians of Polish breeding arrived in 1966, and Egyptian lines were first imported in 1970. Arabian horses from the rest of the world followed, and today the Australian Arabian horse registry is the second largest in the world, next to that of the United States. [cite web |url= |title= Member Statistics |accessdate=2008-06-03 |author=Arabian Horse Society of Australia |work=Arabian Horse Society of Australia Web Site |publisher=Arabian Horse Society of Australia ]

Modern breeding

Arabian horses today are found all over the world. They are no longer classified by Bedouin strain, but are informally classified by the nation of origin of famed horses in a given pedigree. Popular types of Arabians are labeled "Polish," "Spanish," "Crabbet," "Russian," "Egyptian", and "Domestic" (describing horses whose ancestors were imported to the United States prior to 1944, including those from programs such as Kellogg, Davenport, Maynesboro, Babson, Dickenson and Selby). In the USA, a specific mixture of Crabbet, Maynesboro and Kellogg bloodlines has acquired the copyrighted designation "CMK."cite web |url= |title= Introduction |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= Arabian Horse Bloodlines |publisher=Arabian Horse Association]

Each set of bloodlines has its own devoted followers, with the virtues of each hotly debated. Most debates are between those who value the Arabian most for its refined beauty and those who value the horse for its stamina and athleticism. There are also a number of breeders who specialize in preservation breeding of various bloodlines. There are also various controversies over the relative "purity" of certain animals. Breeders argue about the genetic "purity" of various pedigrees, discussing whether some horses descend from "impure" animals that cannot be traced to the desert Bedouin.Derry "Bred for Perfection" pp. 139–155] The major factions are as follows:

*The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) states, "The origin of the purebred Arabian horse was the Arabian desert, and all Arabians ultimately trace their lineage to this source." In essence, all horses accepted for registration in the United States are deemed to be "purebred" Arabians by AHA.
*The World Arabian Horse Association (WAHO) has the broadest definition of a purebred Arabian. WAHO states, "A Purebred Arabian horse is one which appears in any purebred Arabian Stud Book or Register listed by WAHO as acceptable." By this definition, over 95% of the known purebred Arabian horses in the world are registered in stud books acceptable to WAHO. [cite web |url= |title= Arabian Horse Definition 2007 |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= World Arabian Horse Organization |work= WAHO Website |publisher=World Arabian Horse Organization] WAHO also researched the purity question in general, and its findings are on its web site, describing both the research and the political issues surrounding Arabian horse bloodlines, particularly in America.
*At the other end of the spectrum, the Al Khamsa organization takes the position that "The horses of primary interest to Al Khamsa, which are called “Al Khamsa Arabian Horses,” are those horses in North America that can reasonably be assumed to descend entirely from bedouin Arabian horses bred by horse-breeding bedouin tribes of the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula without admixture from sources unacceptable to Al Khamsa." [cite web |url= |title= The Roster of Al Khamsa Arabian Horses |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= Al Khamsa |work= Al Khamsa Website |publisher=Al Khamsa, Inc.] Only about 2% of all registered Arabian horses qualify as "Al Khamsa Arabian Horses."Fact|date=May 2008
* "Blue Star" designation is the most rigid, accepting only horses who qualify as Al Khamsa, and have no lines to the "Mu'niqi" strain, which some claim was "contaminated" by crossbreeding with Turkoman Horses about 300 years ago. Horses who otherwise meet this standard except for Mu'niqi blood are sometimes referred to as "Blue List." [cite web |url= |title= Arabian Preservation Breeding |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= Goddard, Betti |work= Windt im Wald Farm Website |publisher= Windt im Wald Farm] [cite web |url= |title= Why Pick on the Mu'niqi Strain? |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= Nadara Arabians |work= Blue List |publisher=Nadara Arabians]
*Ironically, some pure-blooded desert-bred Arabians in Syria had enormous difficulties being accepted as registrable purebred Arabians because many of the Bedouin who owned them saw no need to obtain a piece of paper to verify the purity of their horses. [Sannek, "Desert Legacy"] However, eventually the Syrians developed a stud book for their animals that was accepted by the World Arabian Horse Association (WAHO) in 2007. [cite web |url= |title= 2007 WAHO Conference - Damascus – SYRIA |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= Wyk, Marie-Louise van |work= International - World Arab Horse Organization |publisher=Arab Horse Society of South Africa]

Influence on other horse breeds

Because of the genetic strength of the desert-bred Arabian horse, Arabian bloodlines have played a part in the development of nearly every modern light horse breed, including the Thoroughbred, Orlov Trotter,Archer, "Arabian Horse", pp.113-114] Morgan,Archer, "Arabian Horse", p. 115] American Saddlebred, [Arabian influence via the Thoroughbred: [ "About The American Saddlebred Horse Association"] ] American Quarter Horse, and Warmblood breeds such as the Trakehner.Archer, "Arabian Horse", p. 114] Arabian bloodlines have also influenced the development of the Welsh Pony, the Australian Stock Horse, Percheron draft horse, [cite web |url= |title= History of the British Percheron Horse Society |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= British Percheron Horse Society |work= British Percheron Horse Society website |publisher=British Percheron Horse Society] Appaloosa, [cite web |url= |title=*LEOPARD the Arab and *LINDEN TREE the Barb |accessdate=2008-07-20|author=Bowling, Michael |work=Arabian Horse World, July, 1979 |publisher=Arabian Horse World ] and the Colorado Ranger Horse. [cite web |url= |title= CRHA History |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Colorado Ranger Horse Association |work= CRHA Website |publisher=Colorado Ranger Horse Association]

Today, people cross Arabians with other breeds to add refinement, endurance, agility and beauty. In the USA, Half-Arabians have their own registry within the Arabian Horse Association, which includes a special section for Anglo-Arabians (Arabian-Thoroughbred crosses). [cite web |url= |title= Quick Facts |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian Registration |publisher=Arabian Horse Association] Some crosses originally registered only as Half-Arabians became popular enough to have their own breed registry, including the National Show Horse (an Arabian-Saddlebred cross), [cite web |url= |title= 2008 National Show Horse Registry Rules & Regulations |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= National Show Horse Registry |work= Breed Rules |publisher=National Show Horse Registry] the Quarab (Arabian-Quarter Horse), [cite web |url= |title= What Is A Quarab? |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= International Quarab Horse Association |work= IQHA Website |publisher=International Quarab Horse Association] the Welara (Arabian-Welsh Pony), [cite web |url= |title= American Welara Pony Registry |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= American Welara Pony Registry |work= AWPR Website |publisher=American Welara Pony Registry] and the Morab (Arabian-Morgan).cite web |url= |title= History of the Morab Breed |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= Morab Horse Association |work= The Morab Horse Association and Register |publisher=Morab Horse Association] In addition, some Arabians and Half Arabians have been approved for breeding by some Warmblood registries, particularly the Trakehner registry. [cite web |url= |title= Thoroughbred and Arab Mare Inspection for Breeding Approval |accessdate=2008-05-29 |author= American Trakehner Association |work= Frequently Asked Questions |publisher=American Trakehner Association]

There is intense debate over the role the Arabian played in the development of other light horse breeds. While the complete tale will cannot be verified until more genetic studies are performed, it is thought that all modern domesticated horse breeds descended from one of four Wild prototypes, one of which was the light, "dry," oriental horse adapted to the desert climate, the prototype of the modern Arabian. Because of the location of the Middle East as a crossroads of the ancient world, as well as one of the earliest locations of domestication of the horse, oriental horses spread throughout Europe and Asia both in ancient and modern times. Thus, there is little doubt that "oriental" blood was crossed on that of other wild prototypes to create light riding horses; the only actual controversy is at what point the "oriental" prototype could be called an "Arabian," how much Arabian blood was mixed with local animals, and at what point in history.Fact|date=September 2008 For some breeds, such as the Thoroughbred, Arabian influence of specific animals is documented in written stud books. ["General Stud Book", p. 442]

For older breeds, dating the influx of Arabian ancestry is more difficult. For example, mitochondrial DNA studies of the modern Andalusian horse of the Iberian peninsula and Barb horse of North Africa, present convincing evidence that both breeds crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and influenced one another. [Royo, [ "The Origins of Iberian Horses Assessed via Mitochondrial DNA"] , "Journal of Heredity", pp. 663-669] While outside cultures, and the horses they brought with them, influenced the predecessor to the Iberian horse in both the time of Ancient Rome and again with the Islamic invasions of the 8th century, it is difficult to precisely trace the details of the journeys taken by waves of conquerors and their horses as they traveled from the Middle East to North Africa and across Gibraltar to southern Europe. Though the studies did not compare Andalusian and Barb mDNA to that of Arabian horses, there is evidence that horses resembling Arabians, whether before or after the breed was called an "Arabian," were part of this genetic mix. Arabians and Barbs, though related to one another, are quite different in appearance, particularly in tail carriage, and horses of both Arabian and Barb type were present in the Muslim armies that occupied Europe. There is also historical documentation that Islamic invaders raised Arabian horses in Spain prior to the Reconquista. [cite web |url= |title= Spain |accessdate=2007-01-08 |author= Encyclopædia Britannica |work= Encyclopædia Britannica Online |publisher=Encyclopædia Britannica] Furthermore, the Spanish documented imports of Arabian horses in 1847, 1884 and 1885 that were used to improve existing Spanish stock and revive declining equine populations.


Arabians are versatile horses that compete in many equestrian fields, including Horse racing, the horse show disciplines of Saddle Seat, Western Pleasure, and Hunt seat, as well as Dressage, Cutting, Reining, Endurance riding, Show jumping, Eventing, youth events such as equitation, and others. They are used as pleasure, trail riding, and working ranch horses for those who are not interested in competition.cite web |url= |title= The Versatile Arabian |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= AHA Website |publisher=Arabian Horse Association]


Arabians dominate the sport of Endurance riding because of their stamina, where they are the leading breed in competitions such as the Tevis Cup that can cover up to convert|100|mi|km in a day. [cite web |url= |title= Distance Riding |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= Competitions |publisher=Arabian Horse Association] They also participate in FEI-sanctioned endurance events worldwide, including the World Equestrian Games. [cite web |url= |title=FEI World Individual Endurance Championship|accessdate=2008-05-31 |author= Dubai Equestrian Club |work= FEI World Equestrian Games Aachen 2006 |publisher=Dubai Equestrian Club|format=PDF]

There is an extensive series of horse shows around the United States and Canada for Arabian, Half-Arabian, and Anglo-Arabian horses, sanctioned by the USEF in conjunction with the Arabian Horse Association. Classes offered include Western pleasure, reining, hunt seat and saddle seat English pleasure, and Halter, plus the very popular "Native" costume class. [cite web |url= |title= Horse Shows |accessdate=2008-05-28 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= Frequently Asked Questions:"What types of classes are seen at Arabian horse shows?" |publisher=Arabian Horse Association] [cite web |url= |title= Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show |accessdate=2008-07-01 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= Canadian Nationals |publisher=Arabian Horse Association] "Sport horse" events for Arabian horses are also becoming popular in North America, particularly the Arabian Horse Association began hosting a separate Arabian and Half Arabian Sport Horse National Championship in 2003 [cite web |url= |title=Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show|accessdate=2008-07-01 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= Sport Horse National |publisher=Arabian Horse Association] that by 2004 grew to draw 2000 entries [cite web |url= |title=Arabian Western 2004 National Champions, 2005 Shows|accessdate=2008-07-01 |author= Roberts, Honi |work= EquiWire News |publisher=Source Interlink Media, LLC] This competition draws Arabian and part-Arabian horses that perform in Hunter, Jumper, Sport Horse Under Saddle, Sport Horse In Hand, Dressage, and Combined driving competition. [cite web |url= |title=2008 Sport Horse Nationals Class List|accessdate=2008-07-01 |author= Arabian Horse Association |work= Sport Horse National |publisher=Arabian Horse Association|format=PDF]

Other nations also sponsor major shows strictly for purebred and partbred Arabians, including Great Britain [cite web |url= |title= AHS National Show - Malvern |accessdate=2008-07-01 |author= Arabian Horse Society of Great Britain |work= Events Calendar |publisher=Arabian Horse Society of Great Britain] France, [cite web|url= |title=World Arabian horse championship|accessdate=2008-07-02|work=SkyTeam events guide|publisher=Delta Airlines "see also" [ du Cheval web site (in French)] Spain, [cite web|url= |title=SPANISH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS SHOW RESULTS |accessdate=2008-07-02|author=Goodwin-campiglio, Lisa|publisher=Spanish Arabian Horse Society] Poland, [cite web|url=|title=Arabian horse shows|author=Pawlowski, Lidia and Wieslaw| work=Janow Podlaski Web site|publisher=Janow Podlaski stud] and the United Arab Emirates. [cite web |url= |title= Show Results |accessdate=2008-07-01 |author= Emirates Arabian Horse Society |work= EAHS Website |publisher=Emirates Arabian Horse Society]

Purebred Arabians have excelled in open events against other breeds. One of the most famous examples in the field of western riding competition was the Arabian mare Ronteza, who defeated 50 horses of all breeds to win the 1961 Reined Cow Horse championship at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA. [cite web |url= |title= Ronteza at the Cow Palace |accessdate=2006-04-25 |author= Varian, Sheila |work= Varian Arabians Website |publisher=Varian Arabians] Edwards, "The Arabian", p. 247] Another Arabian competitive against all breeds was the stallion Aaraf who won an all-breed cutting horse competition at the Quarter Horse Congress in the 1950s. ["America's First Lady of Arabs", "Women and Horses", pp. 21-25] In show jumping and show hunter competition, a number or Arabians have competed successfully against other breeds in open competition,including the purebred gelding Russian Roulette, who has won multiple jumping classes against horses of all breeds on the open circuit. [cite web |url= |title=Arabians Over Fences at Scottsdale|accessdate=2008-05-31 |author= Dance, Priscilla |work= Bridle&Bit Website |publisher=Bridle&Bit] In eventing, a purebred Arabian competed on the Brazilian team at the 2004 Athens Olympics. [cite web |url= |title=Arabians In Eventing|accessdate=2008-06-30 |author= Arabian Horse Society of Australia |work= AHSA Website |publisher=Arabian Horse Society of Australia]

Part-Arabians have also appeared at open sport horse events and even Olympic level competition. At the 1952 Olympics, the French rider Pierre d'Oriola won the Gold individual medal in show jumping on the Anglo-Arabian Ali Baba. [cite web |url= |title=The Thoroughbred Roots of Modern Show Jumpers|accessdate=2008-06-09 |author= Haberbeck, Andreas |work= Historic Sires |publisher=Thoroughbred Heritage] The Anglo-Arabian Harpagon was ridden to a team gold medal and an individual silver in dressage at the 1948 Olympics. Another Anglo-Arabian, Tamarillo, ridden by William Fox-Pitt, represents the United Kingdom in FEI and Olympic competition, winning many awards, including first place at the 2004 Badminton Horse Trials. [cite web |url= |title=William Fox-Pitt:Eventing|accessdate=2008-05-31 |author= Team GBR |work= Team GBR Website |publisher=Team GBR] [cite web |url= |title=British Eventing Award Winners|accessdate=2008-05-31 |author= The Equestrian |work= The Equestrian Website | Ltd.] Most recently a gelding named Theodore O'Connor, nicknamed "Teddy," a 14.1 (or 14.2, sources vary) hand pony of Thoroughbred, Arabian, and Shetland pony breeding, won two gold medals at the 2007 Pan American Games and was third at the 2007 Rolex Kentucky Three Day CCI competition. [cite web |url= |title= Karen O'Connor and 'The Pony' Theodore O'Connor Wow The Crowd, Finishing Third |accessdate=2007-06-21 |author= Phelps Equine World |work= horsedaily News |publisher=Phelps Hathaway Enterprises, Inc.] [cite web |url= |title= Little Teddy O’Connor Wows Them with His Jump |accessdate=2007-08-30 |author= Phelps Equine World |work= horsedaily News |publisher=Phelps Hathaway Enterprises, Inc.]

Other activities

Arabians are involved in a wide variety of activities, including fairs, movies, parades, circuses and other places where horses are showcased. Arabians have been popular in movies, dating back to the silent film era when Rudolph Valentino rode the Kellogg Arabian stallion Jadaan in 1926's "Son of the Sheik". [Roeder, [ "Jadaan, The Sheik, and the Cereal Baron"] , "The Cal Poly Scholar", pp. 99-103] Arabians have been seen in many other films, including "The Black Stallion" featuring the stallion Cass Ole, [cite web |url= |title= The Movie - The Black Stallion (1979) |accessdate=2008-06-30 |author= Kael, Pauline |work= Movies |publisher=The Black Stallion, Inc] "The Young Black Stallion", which used over 40 Arabians during filming, [cite web |url= |title= About the "Young Black Stallion" Movie |accessdate=2008-06-30 |author= The Black Stallion, Inc |work= Movies |publisher=The Black Stallion, Inc] as well as "Hidalgo" [Francaviglia, et. al, "Lights, camera, history", p. 86] and the 1959 version of "Ben-Hur". [Cyrino, "Big Screen Rome", p. 63]

Arabians are mascots for football teams, performing crowd-pleasing activities on the field and sidelines. One of the horses who serves as "Traveler", the mascot for the University of Southern California Trojans, has been a purebred Arabian. "Thunder", a stage name for the purebred Arabian stallion J B Kobask, was mascot for the Denver Broncos from 1993 until his retirement in 2004, when the Arabian gelding Winter Solstyce took over as "Thunder II". [Train, "Thundering Down the Field," "Arabian Horse Magazine", pp. 94-101] Cal Poly Pomona's W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center Equestrian Unit has made Arabian horses a regular sight at the annual Tournament of Roses Parade held each New Year's day in Pasadena, California. [cite web |url= |title= Students, Horses Resume W.K. Kellogg Tradition as Cal Poly Pomona Equestrian Unit Returns to Rose Parade Lineup |accessdate=2008-06-30 |author= Bentley, Charles |work= News Release |publisher=California State Polytechnic University, Pomona|format=PDF]

Arabians also are used on search and rescue teams and occasionally for police work. Some Arabians are also used in polo in the USA and Europe, in the Turkish equestrian sport of Cirit (pronounced Jee-rit), as well as circuses, therapeutic horseback riding programs, and on guest ranches.Fact|date=May 2008



* "citing" cite journal |author= Aleman, Monica, DVM |date=November/December 2006 |title= Juvenile idiopathic epilepsy in Egyptian Arabian foals: 22 cases (1988-2005) |journal= Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine |volume= |issue= |url= |accessdate=
*cite journal |author= Goodwin-Campiglio, Lisa, Beth Minnich and Brenda Wahler, et. al. AHA Equine Stress, Research and Education Committee |date=August/Sept 2007 |title= Caution and Knowledge |journal=Modern Arabian Horse |publisher=Arabian Horse Association |volume= |issue= |url= | page=100-105|accessdate= 2008-10-01

Other Works


External links

Registries and related organizations

* [ Arabian Horse Association (USA)]
* [ Arabian Horse Breeders Alliance (USA)]
* [ Arabian Horse Society of Australia]
* [ Argentine Arabian Horse Association]
* [ Weatherbys (UK) Maintainer of the General Stud Book]
* [ World Arabian Horse Organisation]

Educational organizations and articles

* [ Al Khamsa Organization]
* [ CMK Arabians - historical articles]
* [ Frequently asked questions about Arabian horses]
* [ "History of the Australian Colonial Arabian"]
* [ "History of the Egyptian Arabian," The Pyramid Society]
* [ "Horse of the Desert Bedouin"]
* [ Korona Polish Arabian Breeders society]
* [ Spanish Arabian Horse Society]
* [ W.K.Kellogg Arabian Horse Library]

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