Purebred Arabians

at the foothills of

 

the  

 

Swiss Alps

 

The Arabian horses were originally bred for the desert but their sturdiness makes them suitable for every environment – including Zürich’s grassland. Tanja Benz visited Gestüt Dachsegg to know more about this noble breed.

 

 Text Tanja Benz, photos Vera Hartmann

 

The sight is exotic and takes your breath away as 25 Arabian mares  fly like the desert wind in their sandy paddocks with the Zürich Lake as a backdrop. Agile and fast they gallop through the dust with fluttering manes as their high set tails look like brushes in the evening sun.  As  their pronounced muscles move under their shiny coats like a poorly masqued force in an a gracious body they resemble sculptures.

 

„My horses must fly; they must have fluid movements,“ tells the 56-year old breeder as she stands in the middle of her herd in her studfarm, Gestüts Dachsegg.

 

It is this unique and chiseled appearance that gives the Arabians their elegance and dignity; the tempered, arched neck that is held high on a compact and lithe body, the mane flying high. The concave shape of the head with wide open nostrils and large black eyes.

 

It is the harsh climate of the desert that has created a type of horse of intense beauty and great endurance.

The magnificence of these horses tell us about their history, and how they are lauded for their intelligence and grace as living works of art.

 

The Arabian thoroughbreds originate from the Northern  Arabian Peninsula where a proto type existed 2,300 B.C. In the seventh century, the people of the desert, these half nomads, tamed the horses. The mares lived with the Bedouin families in their tents and subsequently developed human characteristics.

The Bedouins soon realized the importance of purebred bloodlines to achieve the physical attributes needed for the desert and for wars.

 

Through history, the popularity of the horses went beyond such practical needs. In the pre-islamic era the horses were desired by sheikhs and paschas, royals and heads of State; while their poetic beauty inspired writers and artists.

 

It is the harsh climate of the desert that has created a horse of intense beauty and great endurance.

 

In Europe the reputation of these noble and enduring thoroughbreds came with the Arabian occupation of Spain. In the 19th century, Royal studs sent their best stud experts to the desert of the Arabian Peninsula to buy horses from the Bedouins.

Soon people from all over the world began to look for these specific traits  and characteristics of the world’s oldest race.

 

For the Swiss breeder, Ruth Mauer, it’s been a  20 year long passion. As a profesional monitor she started breeding with her mare, Elequance, an elegant, granddaughter of the famous Arabian stallion, Madkour I and the mare,  Rawayesh, giving her her sought after traits for breeding. 

With her Asile lineage – also known as a wonder of the world created by the Bedouin – it is possible to determine the family tree of the original Arabian.

Over 60 foals with noble pedigrees from all over the world come from the Gestüt Dachsegg.   Some of the most famous are descendants of Rumaya, Pharina, Aliah-Rè and Amira; the pure Asile daughter from Rawayesh, all worth their weights in gold.

 

Some years ago Ruth Maurer sold several mares to the Arabian Peninsula where the ruling families in the past decades have brought back some of the best horses to enrich their own studs.

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