Sunday, April 29, 2007

Hold Your Horses


One of the first things to hit me on my first visit to Cairo in 1976 was the sheer number of horses that I saw working in the streets, pulling carts, pulling carriages, even being ridden. And on top of that they all were Arabs. To a horsenut from North America, this was better than heaven. Later I learned that most of the Arabian horses in many parts of the world passed through Cairo at various times during the discovery of Arabs by horsemen in Europe and North America. The Egyptian Agricultural Organisation is probably the worst-named stud in the entire world. In the Ain Shams area of Cairo, its shady paddocks contain hundreds of beautiful Arabian horses who can track their ancestry back to the deserts of Arabia. Some of these ancestors were captured in battle during the 1800's. These days the EAO is the site of a horse show every fall that attracts horses from Europe and the Arab countries each trying to win a trophy in its age group for being the most beautiful. That much loveliness is hard to take.

7 comments:

Kate said...

What an amazing pleasure it must be to be around all those horses.

Abraham Lincoln said...

That is a beautiful horse. Bred to perfection and fetching an admiring eye and price.

Mandi said...

What a gorgeous horse!

Charrie said...

One of my most favourite things to do while a resident of Doha, Qatar, was to go to the annual Horse Show.... spectacular animals from some of the best studs in the region. Your photo was a sharp and poignant reminder of that pleasure...thank you! Also for the history lesson; I did not know that.

Anonymous said...

nice color on the horse however it's too high in the butt and it's back is too long, also those halter bred horses are not always good under saddle, they tend to be too hyper and inatentive, this horse's confromation will make it hard to collect and do any sort of advanced dressage movements. Also it's back will probably end up hurting where the saddle goes and be arched back as it gets older.

Cherine said...

Hello...just a correction - Egyptians are not Arabs. No matter that Gamal Abdel Nasser named the country "the Arab Republic of Egypt". We are no more Arab than the Libyans or the Sudanese, however we share many common cultural and religious traits and traditions.

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

I think that the only Arabs being referred to here are equines. I had to check back to my post to see if I'd been talking about any people but no. The horse owners from the Arab countries (Saudi, UAE, and so on) do like to compete at the EAO, however.