Asil horses of Bahrain bred by
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Sulman Alkhalifa

The island of Bahrain has been ruled since 1783 by the Alkhalifa family who originated in central Arabia. They were renowned for the quality, fearlessness, speed and stamina of their war horses. On Bahrain since 1783, the year of the conquest, the Royal Family have carefully bred according to traditional Bedouin customs to keep the absolute purity of their Asil horses. Bahrain's Royal Studs have more pure strain Arabian horse families than anywhere else in the world. Because these horses have never been bred commercially, changing fashions have never dictated their breeding programme, which has endured since the time of the great conquests of the Arab nations in the 7th and 8th centuries AD.

The foundation stock of two mares and one stallion at Pearl Island were bred in Bahrain by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Sulman Alkhalifa. Sheikh Mohammed's horses were given to him by his father His Highness Sheikh Sulman Bin Hamed Alkhalifa who was Ruler of Bahrain from 1942 to 1961.

By taking a personal interest in the breeding programme Sheikh Mohammed has preserved the ancient bloodlines and his stock are still of the old warhorse stature. Tall, good bodied horses with excellent conformation and limbs, great presence and the most excellent of temperaments. To appreciate these fabulous horses you have to meet them, either in their homeland or maybe even here at Pearl Island.

It is impossible to capture, on camera, the excitment and feelings conjoured up by seeing horses that step straight out of the history books.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Sulman Alkhalifa of Bahrain

Saidan Lazaz

Saidan Gharib (M124)

Jellaby Kher (M45)

Ma'anghy Nadeem (M26)

Rabdan Alwasmy (M19)

Jellaby Alahmar Montasir (M23)

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Sulman Alkhalifa with a favourite stallion Jellaby Kher

Jenny & Tony Lees, Mill Farm, Preston-on-Wye, Herefordshire, UK, HR2 9JU • Phone: 01981 500225

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The following photos are reproduced with permission and include some of my own amatuer attempts at taking just a little of their beauty home with me for a rainy day.His Highness Sheikh Mohammed made a wonderful comment: standing quietly beside me, and seeing the admiration on my face as I was was shown his stallions, he leaned forward and said " You can take their pictures, but do not steal them with your eyes."