Book Review

Return and Renaissance of the Arabian Horse to the Arabian Peninsula is the title of a brand new book. The Arabian horse came from the Arabian Peninsula and it is precisely here - after a period of migration of almost 100 years - that it is experiencing its renaissance. In other words, the Arabian horse, the Orient's world heritage, has returned to the place of its origin after an almost complete exodus to the Occident. And it is doing it with a vengeance.
How did this happen? And is it still the Arabian horse it once was?
The book gives answers to these questions.

All photos by Gigi Grasso

Three experts with various different backgrounds joined forces and realised the "Return and Renaissance" project together.
Mohammed Jassim Al-Marzouk, a passionate breeder of Arabian horses from Kuwait and publicist of an important book on the Bedouin's horse-breeding traditions, is the book's editor and sponsor.
“"I wanted a book to be produced in which we described to the whole world, but particularly to the Arabian world, how the Arabian horse could be won back for our culture and way of life."

Turkiya Al Rayyan (Safir x Rababa)
All Rayyan Stud/Qatar

Dr. Hans Nagel, a world-famous German breeder of Arabian horses is the author of the book. He already published one of the best books on breeding Arabian horses ("Hanan").
"I met Mohammed Al-Marzouk in Kuwait and we spoke about the gene potential of those Arabian horses which can be found once again in the studs on the Arabian Peninsula. Are the Arabian horses of today still the same as those horses which left the country hundred of years ago? We thought that this could be the subject for a book project."

Gigi Grasso - Italian world-famous equine photographer, enthusiastic breeder of Arabian horses and publicist of important pictorials - made the splendid photos.
"It was an amazing idea to create this book with this team. Its presentation as a whole unites Arabian pride, culture, and generousity. The issues and breeding concepts will be of interest to breeders all over the world. I thank Mohammed Al-Marzouk for making it at all financially possible to produce it."

Royal Stables of Oman - breeding devisions

The fact that, over the last ten years, horses from Arabian countries have won many World Champion titles and were successful on the racetracks as well, has made many breeders in the USA and Europe reflective. Until recently, Arabian horses were still an export hit from the USA and Europe into Arabian countries. So much was bought, almost higgledy-piggledy, that from the outside no unified breeding goal was recognisable.

Bint Saida Al Nasser (Imperial Mahzeer x Saida)
Nasser Stud/Qatar

However, in a very short time the horses from Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia became prominent in the show ring and also in long distance riding. Money alone could not be the cause of this quick success. In the USA and Europe, many people had already tried to force breeding success by buying up champions. This failed, as a rule, as a collection of beautiful horses has nothing to do with a breeding programme at all. All of this is a long journey, however, and the question remained: Which short-cuts had our friends from the Orient taken in order to achieve their goals so quickly?
The grandchildren of the Bedouins paid careful attention. Perhaps they inherited the "breeder's gene" and reached new shores quicker than the usual Arab horse enthusiasts? Or is it the geological factor playing an important role? An Arabian horse flourishes better in the desert than in the long lush alfalfa of the Rhine meadows.

Ansata Al Murtajiz (Ansata Hejazi x Ansata Samsara)
Ezzain Arabians/Kuwait

When asked about his own breeding targets, Mohammed Al-Marzouk replies:
"I want to get back to the real Arabian horse. I see it in the pictures of Adam, Vernet and other painters. It is a horse with a refined and noble charisma, who moves elegantly but also has power and endurance in the way they cope with life. When I have succeeded in breeding such a horse, I don't have to take it to the World Championships in Paris. I am also proud and content to have it at home."
Have the Arabian breeders already overtaken us in this sense?
The book gives the answer to this question.

RN Marwa (Ansata Halim Shah x Baheyat Albadeia)
Al Jazira Stud/Kuwait

The book is of supreme quality. Made of the finest blue leather with gold intaglio and real hand-woven piece of carpet affixed. 270 pages with a good 150 photos and an exciting written style (in English only) which coherently provides the answers to many questions. Also, top points for the price, which, at 90 Euros, shows that the book's subsidies really do benefit the customers. Schukran - Thank you!

Monika Savier

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