Within the Heirloom website are numerous names and words that may be unfamiliar to readers who are not versed in Egyptian Arabian horse history. Most of these terms are defined within their context. The remainder are underlined on the web pages and discussed briefly below for the reader's convenience.
Out of the Mists. Oil painting by Ruth Forbes Young (1903-1998), daughter of William H. Forbes who imported the first Heirloom Arabian horses to America in 1893.
Prince Mohamed Aly (1875-1955)
Brother of the Khedive Abbas Pasha Hilmi II who ruled Egypt at the turn of the century, Prince Mohamed Aly established a celebrated stud in Cairo using stock exported from the desert by earlier generations of his powerful family. Descriptions of his program are found in the journals of his friend, Lady Anne Blunt, as well as in his own book, Breeding of Pure Bred Arab Horses, Vol. I (1935). In the second volume of this publication, he presents English translations of some of the original pedigree books he inherited concerning the stud of his great grandfather Viceroy Abbas Pasha I.
Many bloodlines within the Heirloom herd trace to the Anazeh, one of the largest Bedouin horse-breeding tribes of Desert Arabia in the nineteenth century. All Al Khamsa Arabian horses descend entirely from horses bred by the nomadic tribes of the Arabian peninsula, including the Anazeh, Shammar, Muntifiq, Ajman, and the Muteyr. A succinct description of the Bedouin is given by Roger D. Upton in his book Gleanings from the Desert of Arabia, written shortly after his journey to Arabia in 1874: "The tribes of the Badaween are very numerous, some poorer, some very rich and powerful; collectively they are a great, free, rich, pastoral, and yet at the same time a warlike people, and have no exact parallel in history. The Badaween have laws of their own, a traditional code of morality strictly kept, a policy as between tribe and tribe, and a system of government in each tribe, and alliances, which are faithfully observed."
Asil: Arabic, "authentic".
Lady Anne Blunt (1837-1917) and Wilfrid Scawen Blunt (1840-1922)
The Blunts were intellectual and adventurous members of the British aristocracy. In 1873, they began their rugged explorations of the Middle East and Desert Arabia, traveling by camel and horseback. By 1877, they became determined to try to breed purebred Arabian horses on Wilfrid's ancestral estate at Crabbet Park. Ten years later, they also established a stud near Cairo. Many Heirloom bloodlines would not be extant today without the Blunts' exhaustive efforts to acquire and breed the finest individuals of pure bloodstock then available in the desert and Egypt. Moreover, our present knowledge about these early lines would be minimal without the careful records kept by the Blunts and published in their books and studbooks. (See Library) Their colorful personal history is portrayed in Archer, Pearson and Covey, The Crabbet Arabian Stud (1978).
William Robinson Brown
One of the premier Arabian horse breeders in America, Brown founded his Maynesboro Stud in 1912 with stock he purchased from the Davenport Estate and Spencer Borden, later importing Heirloom horses from the Crabbet Stud in England and the Manial Stud of Prince Mohamed Aly of Egypt. From 1918 to 1939, Brown served as the third President of the Arabian Horse Club, the first all-Arabian registry in the world. At the time of his retirement, the Club paid tribute to his contributions, including the fact that with "careful judgement and thorough preparation, he competed in the United States Endurance Tests with such success as to re-establish the peerless reputation of the Arabian Horse for endurance." Brown's broad knowledge about the Arabian horse, its history, nature, and propagation, is available today within the pages of his authoritative book, The Horse of the Desert (1929).
Col. John William Fippen (1922-1997)
Co-founder of the Heirloom Research Group, John Fippen began breeding Arabian horses in 1977, following his retirement from 33 years of distinguished military service. After high school, he entered pilot's training in the Army Air Corp in 1941, then graduated from the University of Illinois in 1949. He was recalled to active duty in 1951 and served two tours of duty flying surveillance flights for the Air Force from Wiesbaden, Germany. Upon returning stateside, he held Comptroller positions in Omaha, Vietnam, the Pentagon, and Chanute AFB. After retirement, Fippen and his wife Elizabeth devoted twenty years to the preservation of the asil Arabian horse. He served on the Board of Directors of Al Khamsa, Inc. and was frequently seen at horse farms across the country, videotaping the horses and interviewing their breeders. No project captured his imagination as much as his beloved Heirloom horses, inspiring both his own breeding program and his comprehensive book, Heirloom Egyptian Arabian Horses, 1840-2000 (2004).
Guarmani was sent to Desert Arabia in 1864 to acquire horses for Napoleon III. He wrote an intriguing account of his views on the Arab horse entitled, El Kamsa (1864), and two years later his description of the journey was published. An English translation of the latter appeared in 1938 under the title, Northern Najd; A Journey from Jerusalem to Anaiza in Qasim. Guarmani is but one of the many Europeans who ventured into Arabia for bloodstock in the nineteenth century. Earlier travelers' accounts were published by Karl Wilhelm Ammon in 1834. The Olms Presse produced an English translation of this essential source under the title Historical Reports on Arab Horse Breeding and the Arabian Horse (1993).
Heirloom Research Group
In 1993, John W. Fippen and Joan Schleicher began work together to research and document the Heirloom Arabian horse, adopting informally the name "Heirloom Research Group" (HRG) for their joint effort and the term "Heirloom Arabian Stud" for the bloodstock itself. The HRG grew to include many other people, including Debra Schrischuhn, who provided information and assistance to the project. After the primary goal of the HRG was fulfilled with the publication of the reference book, Heirloom Egyptian Arabian Horses, 1840-2000 (2004), HRG was disbanded in October 2004.
Sir Austin Henry Layard (1817-1894)
Layard is renowned as the archeologist who first explored the ancient Assyrian monuments and sent many significant artifacts to England. His major books, Nineveh and its Remains (1848-1849), and Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon (1853) contain anecdotes about the Bedouin and their horses at the time when the rootstock of the present Heirloom herd was being propagated by the tribes. Numerous later authors quote Layard for his reliable eyewitness reports from this era.
Carl (Schmidt) Raswan (1893-1966)
The most influential preservationist in the history of modern Arabian horse breeding, Raswan made his first trip to Desert Arabia in search of purebreds in 1912. A native of Germany, he emigrated to America in 1921. Between 1927 and 1936, Raswan made 13 journeys to Arabia and exported 91 desertbred Arabian horses for leading studs in Europe and America. He was a prolific writer for magazines and the author of informative books, including Black Tents of Arabia (1934), Escape from Baghdad (1938), Drinkers of the Wind (1941), and The Arab and His Horse (1955). Throughout his travels, he recorded what his Bedouin companions told him about their horses and also made copious notes about the individual animals he saw in studs outside the desert. In 1952, he began to organize all this information with the help of his wife Esperanza. During the last decade of his life, they produced the vast reference work on the asil Arabian horse entitled The Raswan Index.
Safinat: derived from safi, Arabic for "clear, pure."
Tree of Life (logo)
In the mythology of all times and cultures, the image of the Tree of Life symbolizes perpetual renewal and enduring vitality within the mortal world. In ancient Egypt, the Tree is signified by the djed pillar of Osiris. In Nordic lore it takes the form of Yggdrasil (steed of Odin) and in shamanic traditions it is pictured as the Axis Mundi. We see it in the Buddhist stupa, the Jewish Menorah, the Christmas Tree, and the Islamic Tuba, the tree of paradise. One of the oldest of its forms is the date palm, a species that is said to lose a frond every year and replace it with a new one, thereby providing an icon for a cosmological dynamic that can be experienced in many ways. For the conservation breeder, the Tree of Life is manifested in the unique genetic codes carried by a group of living animals and enduring through their offspring.
Major Roger D. Upton (1827-1881)
In 1874-1875, Major Upton traveled to Desert Arabia to obtain purebred horses from the tribes and export them to England apparently to be used for upgrading the British Cavalry stock. His book, Gleanings from the Desert of Arabia (1881) contains a detailed record of his journey and what he learned about the desert horse from his host Sulieman ibn Murshid, the high Sheikh of the Anazeh.