by Jenny Lees
To friends we already know and those we are yet to meet, welcome to the new website of Pearl Island Arabians. Many of you visiting this site will know of us and about our unusual horses but for those who don't I will give a brief outline of what goes on at Pearl Island Arabians here in the depths of the English countryside.
The name Pearl Island Arabians was chosen in honour of the island of Bahrain. Set in the turquoise blue waters of the Arabian Gulf, the Kingdom of Bahrain is home to the ancestors of the asil (pure desert bred) Arabians that make up the nucleus of our Pearl Island stud. Bahrain is renowned for the exquisite Pearls found in the seas around its shores hence it is often referred to as the Pearl Island.
There is a story that has been told over the years of a Sheikh visiting Bahrain as a guest of the Ruler. The visitor saw a young colt playing in the Palace courtyard and he could not take his eyes off him, it was the most beautiful animal he had ever seen.
The Ruler saw the appreciation in his guest's eyes and immediately gave him the colt. The visitor was overjoyed and asked to see its dam.
The Ruler asked for the colt's mother to be brought into the Palace courtyard. A few minutes later a groom arrived with a very plain, unattractive looking mare on a headcollar. The guest could not hide his surprise and asked how such an ordinary mare could be the mother of his colt. The Ruler smiled and said, "My friend take a lesson from the Oyster, who would think from looking at the outside that there would be so much beauty within."
We are a young stud, formed in 1996, but our foundation stock is from the oldest, purest bloodlines found in the world today. The Royal Stud of Bahrain was established in 1783 long before Lady Anne Blunt founded Crabbet Park and her ambition was to include horses from Bahrain in her breeding programme. This she did with the Jellabieh Feysul line and the Dahman Shawan. Lady Anne Blunt was not as lucky as I was, she had to get her Bahraini blood via Abbas Pasha whilst mine comes directly from the source.
We do not breed a large number of foals per year and if we breed a pure Bahraini then it will be kept here at the stud or possibly returned to its homeland. Our breeding programme has been so exciting as we try the different combinations; Bahraini x Crabbet, Bahraini x Polish etc. When asked what I am trying to achieve my response is always the same, "At Pearl Island we breed good tempered horses that are tough, sound and good all rounders." A word that is often thrown at me and which I will never quite understand is "typey". Whatever this means it seems my horses don't fall into this category. But the horses of Bahrain, and therefore my horses, are of a "type" that fought battles with their masters, carried them for hundreds of miles soundly and in comfort, played gently with their master's children around the campsite and lay down by their side at night. That's the "type" of horse I want to breed and if you look at some of our photographs you will agree we are on the right track.
The two stallions Al Reeh Janoob and Shuwaiman Al Bahrain ride shoulder to shoulder
Many of the vets at Endurance rides have examined our horses and only at the last 'glance' noticed they were handling a stallion. For 2011 we have decided to stand five of Pearl Island's stallions at stud and to offer A.I.
I hope you enjoy our website, if you have any questions concerning our horses please contact me.
Stud owner Jenny Lees with the three Kray fillies which have reinstated
the Kray family line.