Breed Name: Arabian
Origin: Middle East
From the ancient deserts of the Middle East evolved the oldest known breed of riding horse, the Arabian. Over the centuries, the Bedouin tribes zealously maintained the purity of the breed. Because of their limited resources, breeding practices were extremely selective. Such practices, which eventually helped the Arabian become a prized possession throughout the world, have led to the beautiful athletic horse we know today, which is marked by a distinctive dished profile; large, lustrous, wide-set eyes on a broad forehead; small, curved ears; and large, efficient nostrils.
Now one of the most popular breeds in America, the Arabians’ incredible energy, intelligence and gentle disposition allow riders to excel in most equine sports and activities. Today, Arabian horses spend as much time on the trail as they do at horse shows and other competitive events.
Nathan Harrison of Virginia imported the first Arabian stallion in 1725. This horse reportedly sired 300 foals from grade mares. Our first President, George Washington, rode an Arabian horse. The first breeder of consequence, however, was A. Keene Richard. He journeyed into the desert in 1853 and 1856, subsequently importing several stallions and two mares. However, his breeding program fell victim to the Civil War and nothing survived.
In 1877, General Ulysses S. Grant visited Abdul Hamid II, His Imperial Majesty the Sultan of Turkey. There, he was presented with two stallions from the Sultan’s stable, Leopard and Lindentree. Leopard was later given to Randolph Huntington who in 1888 subsequently imported two mares and two stallions from England . This program, limited as it was, must be considered as the first purebred Arabian breeding program in the United States.
In 1908, the Arabian Horse Club of America was formed (today known as the Arabian Horse Association) and the first stud book published. Recognition of the Arabian stud book by the U.S. Department of Agriculture established the Registry as a national registry and the only one for the purebred Arabian breed. Seventy-one purebred Arabians were registered at that point.
The high intelligence, trainability, gentle disposition and stamina of the Arabian enable it to excel at a wide variety of activities popular today. Arabians are excellent on the trail as well as in the show ring. Show classes in English and western pleasure, cutting and reining, even jumping and dressage provide opportunities for fun and enjoyment at both all-Arabian events and open breed shows alike. As an endurance horse, the Arabian has no equal. The top prizes at endurance events almost always go to riders of Arabians.
The breed became recognized by United States Equestrian Federation in 1951. Today, the USEF Rule Book contains a full division of rules governing the sport of showing Arabian, Half Arabian, and Anglo Arabian horses. The Arabian Horse Association (AHA), serves as the breed affiliate organization to the United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
Some of the larger Arabian events in the United States include the U.S. National Arabian/Half Arabian Championship, AHA Youth National Championship, the Scottsdale Arabian Show, the Arabian and Half-Arabian Sport Horse Nationals, and the AHA Convention.
Now one of the most popular breeds in America, the Arabians’ incredible energy, intelligence and gentle disposition allow riders to excel in most equine sports and activities. Arabians are excellent on the trail as well as in the show ring. Show classes in English and western pleasure, cutting and reining, even jumping and dressage provide opportunities for fun and enjoyment at both all-Arabian events and open breed shows alike. As an endurance horse, the Arabian has no equal.
*Aladdinn (the “*” means he was imported) was foaled in 1975 in Sweden, though he was a pure Polish lineage. He was bred by Eric Erlandson, who owned him when he earned his Swedish national champion stallion title in 1978. Dr. Eugene LaCroix of Lasma Arabians, imported him and syndicated him in February of 1980 after he was named U.S. National Champion Stallion in 1979. He was the first U.S. National Champion to also be named national champion of another country. *Aladdinn sired a lifetime total of 1,210 registered foals, the last born in 2000 when he was 31 years old. Of his get, 276 are champions and 71 are national winners. *Aladdinn is the only U.S. National Champion Stallion to sire four sons who won the same title.
*Bask++ (the “++” indicates a Legion of Merit and includes points in halter and performance)Forty-five years after his importation from Poland, he remains the only U.S. National Champion Stallion to also be a U.S. National Champion Park horse and he is the breed’s all-time leading sire of champions, national winners and national-winner producers. When *Bask’s importer, Dr. Eugene LaCroix first saw him in the fall of 1962 at the Janow Podlawki Stud, *Bask was just off a moderate four-year career at the racetrack and was for sale because the Poles did not want him for their breeding program.
Khemosabi++++// was foaled in 1967 and bred by small breeders Dr. Bert and Ruth Husband of Whittier, Calif. He was American breeding at its finest. Named after Tonto’s nickname for the Lone Ranger, meaning “faithful friend.” His show career spanned from 1968-1976, in both halter and performance, mainly in western pleasure, but also in harness. He had eight national wins over six years in halter and Western Pleasure and was syndicated in 1988. Khemosabi was cast in a tongue-in-cheek comic titled: The Exciting Adventures of Khemosabi, Superhorse of the 70s, which was illustrated by Hanna-Barbara and cartoon animator Karen Haus-Grandpre. According to AHA’s database, Khemosabi sired 1,264 purebreds and 14 Half-Arabians. He earned AHA’s lifetime achievement award, the Legion of Masters and was named the 2000 Arabian Sire of the Year by the American Horse Show Association. A Breyer Horse was modeled after him.
Breed Association: AHA, Arabian Horse Association
(Information provided by the U.S. Equestrian Federation and the Arabian Horse Association)