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Home >> Society >> Horse breeding

Breeding of horses in Egypt

The Egyptian Arabian horse is one of the outstanding and most expensive horses in the world. It is also considered the most beautiful of its kinds that exist worldwide. Its body form is considered magnificent in beauty and proportion; its height ranges form 150cm to 160cm; its color is a sort of grayish, brown, black or blond, and its origins come from five kinds " Keheylan, Al-Agouz, Al-Sakalawi, Al-Hamadani and Al-Hadban.

The Islamic conquest of Egypt in the year 20th of Hijra contributed in the entry of the Arabian horse breed to North Africa, which is considered the finest, the most beautiful and speedy of their kinds. They are characterized by beauty of form, proportions and smartness as well as good adaptability and easy-to-control and breed.

The Egyptian horse topped the most beautiful horse competition in France, as the most beautiful horse in the world. It is considered the lightest of its breeds in the world. The Egyptians have been known for their taking care of horses by granting them names to maintain their blood origins.

A historical background on horse breeding in Egypt:

Showing interest in horses in Egypt dates back to remote history. The ancient Egyptians had known much about horses ever since the Stone Age, as shown in rock drawings. Moreover, at the advent of the 19th century Mohamed Ali Pasha, Egypt’s ruler at that time (1769-1848), imported horses from the Arab Peninsula. Most of the Egyptian horse breeders were from the royal family such as Khedive Abbas Helmi II, Prince Ahmed Kamal and Prince Kamal-el-din Hussein and others.

In 1908, the Animal Breeding Department of the Royal Agricultural Society was assigned to undertake the breeding of the genuine Arabian horses at Bahtim farm. In 1928, the society bought about 60 feddans of land in Ein Shams desert east of Cairo to create almost natural infrastructure for breeding Arabian horses. In 1970, Egypt, along with five states (mainly the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the USA and Egypt), paricipated in setting up a world organization of Arabian horses (WAHO). The number of members in this organization reached now 68.

In Egypt, there are about 230 farms for breeding Arabian horses, and the Egyptian Agricultural Agency issues birth origin certificates till the six generation for all horses exported to other states. It also prepares all official documents necessary for export operations.

Moreover, an annual competition is held in November, where a number of horse breeders from different parts of the world are invited. There is an economic value from holding world festivals and competitions which are held in Egypt, for such activities boost touristic influx and the sale of horses is encouraged.

Outstanding traits of the Egyptian horse

Most striking features of the Egyptian horse is the head, from which its genuine breed and history are known. The best heads of Arabian horse are the ones that take the shape of a pyramid its base upward and its top downward. The eyes of the Egyptian horse are pure and its neck is well-proportioned with its body. It has strong muscles and its broad forehead displays a striking beauty.

Advantages of the Egyptian horse

The Head
1- A wide forehead as compared to the size of the head with a sticking out eyes.
2- The eyes are set far apart and are large, lustrous, and, when aroused, extremely attentive. They are set more nearly in the middle of the head. It is interesting to note that the distance from the top of the head to the top of the eyes is often within one inch of the distance from the lower eyelid to the top of the nostril. The overall appearance of the Arabian head is frequently enhanced by a slight protrusion over the forehead and extending to just below the eyes, called the "Jibbah", and greatly prized.
3- The dry lachrymal canals which are free-of-hair.
4- The big size of cheek.
5- Smallness and straightness of the bridge of the nose.
6- The nostrils are long, thin, delicately curled, running upward, and projecting outward. In action or when the horse is excited, the nostrils may become greatly dilated.
7- The lips are fine and thin which facilitate eating fodders.
8- The ears, smaller in stallions and of good size in mares, are pointed, set evenly together in an upright position, and of great flexibility.

The Neck
1- The neck is long and arched, set on high, and run well back into the withers.
2- The cheek bones spread wide apart at the throat, often between five or six inches, enabling the muzzle to be drawn in without compressing the windpipe, and permitting the animal to breathe easily when running.
3- Flexibility of the neck movement like as the Andalusi horses (local Spanish).
4- Little fats, sticking out windpipe and strong muscles of neck.

The Withers
It is the connecting point between the neck and top of the up back. The Egyptian horse is characterized by:
1- Solidity.
2- Sticking out.
3- Length.

The Shoulder
It is also called the wings of the horse on which the movement of the horse’s forearms is based.
1- It should be sticking out.
2- Form a right angle (90) between the upper arm and shoulder.
3- To be fully inclined to the back with a (45) angle.
4- The shoulder bone shall be long to indicate the speed and lightness of the horse.
5- The upper arm shall be long.

The Back
It is also called the horseback extended form the withers to the loin on which the saddle is put.
1- It shall be very short.
2- It shall be wide.
3- Inclining to straightness.

Colors of the Arabian horses
Simple: Including one color such as white, blond, grayish and with black hair.
Compound: Including more than one color such as white and black "Al-Ashhab".
• In color, Arabians are bay, gray, chestnut and black, with an occasional roan. Common markings are stars, strips or blaze faces, as are also snip noses, a white foot or more, or white stockings.
• Arabians that appear white are actually gray, since white looking Arabians have black skin. White hair on horses grows out of pink skin as can be found under an Arabian’s white markings.

Characteristics of the horse
1- Smartness.
2- Loyalty.
3- Dancing while walking.
Fodder of horses

Nourishment represents one of important factors in breeding and taking care of horses. Fodders must provide horse with vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates and different mineral elements. Needs of horses from fodders depends on their kinds.

Types of fodder using for feeding horses
A- Berseem: It is considered as one of the best types of fodder for horses. It is preferable to be dry.
B- Carrots and fodder beet: Useful, healthy and delicious fodders.
C- Green grass: Represents the basic fodder for horses if available.
D- Barley: Provides horses with higher energy and power and used as immersed in boiled water to be more useful.
E- Soya bean: One of seeds full of proteins.
F- Linseeds: Provides skin of horses with brightness.
G- Straw: A type of fodder such as bean, barley, and wheat hay.


Date of publication:Monday, 20 July 2009
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