These horses were shaped by the sands and sun of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia
The world’s oldest breeds of horse have their origins in some of the driest regions. Like the age-old stones, they were also finely chiseled by the desert winds and today boast a long legacy – the Arabian and the Akhal Teke. The former has played a major role in horse breeding through the centuries and is today one of the most popular breeds, while the latter is much rarer, but making a comeback. HQ asked breeders of both these breeds some pertinent questions about their horses and breeding programmes:
Richard and Henrihet Aucamp of Aucamp Arabian Stud, Kobus Lombard of Marok Arabians, Wiesmann Nel of Moolmanshoek Endurance Horses, and Pauline and Gerhard du Plessis of the Saruk Stud.
Mention your most important breeding goals:
Richard and Henrihet: We want to breed Arabian horses who can compete and win on the world stage. The focus of our breeding is to produce world class, beautiful, typey purebred Arabs capable of both a halter and performance career. My own personal ‘must have’ is a great throat. The key to success is the time-honoured formula of acquiring exceptional mares who possess individual quality combined with superb pedigrees. For us, the determining factor is the tail female line, as breeding programmes around the world have demonstrated time and time again the strength and consistency of certain female lines. This is strengthened by the super stallions we use with our mares.
Kobus: We strive to breed Asil Arabians with a refined typical Arabian wedge-shaped head, large black eyes, large nostrils and with a ’can drink out of a glass’ look. Looking from the side, the area between the eyes and the muzzle should have a concave or ’dished’ profile. The horse must have an arched neck to enable him to set well in the bridle. He must have a short back to carry a heavy rider, a level croup, high-set tail and naturally high tail carriage. He must have a strong and athletic body, strong straight legs and big hooves to enable him to be a good riding and endurance horse.
Wiesmann: We breed for good, solid bone structure and a sound mind. These are two important requirements for endurance horses.
Pauline and Gerhard: We cherish the Arabian’s speed, stamina, hardiness and temperament. We focus on the Bahraini desert bloodlines as they embody the original traits of the Arabian breed, especially the kind temperament and natural affinity for humans – so many of the Arabian horse legends are based on these traits. We strive to create a gene pool of proven bloodlines for future use of breeders and riders, not only for South Africa, but worldwide.