A Study of White Horses -- Not What They Seem!
by Leslie Kathman
Many historians on the breed have noted that there were pink-skinned white horses in the desert. In the mid-1800s, Sheik Fatouh el-Badjirmi wrote a treatise on "descriptions of praised horses", and named fifty-two different colors. Among these were the al ashab al qortasi, which was described as being "so intense it was not mixed with any other color". The skin was said to be white (pink), and that he could have two blue eyes or just one. If he had dark eyes, he was called ashab akhal. In a letter dated April of 1881, Lady Ann Blunt writes of seeing a bay mare with a white foal, both of which were purebred Arabians.
There was also a white mare imported in the 1930s by Arthur Ball. She had pink skin and dark eyes and was taken from the desert, but the AHCA would not register her (whether due to problems with her paper and her color, it is not known). Her name was Sea Foam, and she went on to become an influential mare in the American White breeding programs of Karen Wales (Westwind). Sea Foam did produce whites when bred to purebred Arabians, but in a personal conversation with Ms. Wales, I was told that whites were "very difficult" to breed for, and that they did not produce anything like 50%, which would be expected if the horses were indeed Dominant White.
More recently, a white stallion -- Boomori Simply Stunning -- was registered in Australia. Like many white horses, he wasn’t completely white at birth (he had chestnut on the ears and poll) although most people considered him white. His first owner claimed that he shed out entirely white, but more recently he has developed chestnut "ticking" in his coat and has chestnut hairs in his tail. He is registered as a sabino, which is probably quite accurate. As of 1994, he had produced five white foals, but three of them displayed birth defects and were euthanized. Of the remaining two, one was born with chestnut on the poll and ears, and the other was white with chestnut on the poll, ears, and body. Both fillies shed out mostly white, and have dark eyes. Simply Stunning’s 100% color production rate is highly unusual, but the numbers are too small to tell how he will breed. It should be noted that Simply Stunning is 100% Crabbet -- a breeding group known to produce the high white associated with the sabino pattern.
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BINT SAFIERA 2000 Bay mare
SHAMS EL BINA 2002 Bay mare
NAKHDA AL SHAIB 2004 Grey Gelding<---- AL
SIHR JAWHER 2006 Bay Stallion
NADEERAH ALIAH 2006 Bay mare
ZAHRAN HAMRAH 2006 Grey mare
IMANA 2006 bay mare
MALIK AL AASIF 2007 Grey Colt
AL RAZEEL 2010 Chestnut colt for sale
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