WA O CONFERENCE OMAN 2
the south, to the narrow palm-lined wadis, deep riverbeds carved through the rock, which transform to life-threatening raging torrents following heavy rain on the inland mountain ranges. For centuries, even under he 2009 World Arabian Horse Portuguese control, Muscat was a haven Organization Conference for traders from India and Africa or further will go down in history as afield, and this cosmopolitan heritage is the happy occasion that welcomed the woven into the spirit of the Omani people, United States back into the WAHO fold. and can be seen in their friendliness and For this reason it is perhaps timely to look hospitality as well as their love of music, at what goes on and why WAHO and its dance, and color quite different from other future are important to the global Arabian Gulf States. community. The conference was held in the The Sultanate of Oman, this year’s The Shangri La Group’s idyllic Barr Al host country, is arguably the greatest Jissah Resort, which was recently built jewel of the Arabian Gulf. It is a land of in a hideaway cove looking out on the dramatic scenery, from the towering cliffs Indian Ocean about 40km from Muscat. that drop sheer into the emerald green It could also be highly recommended for Indian Ocean to the massive rolling red a relaxing and luxurious break away from dunes of the Wahiba sands or the rich the bustle of the modern world. Needless semitropical coastal plain around Salalah in to say throughout our stay our hosts,
story by Deirdre Hyde photos by doris melzer and richard bryant
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The Barr Al Jissah Resort where the conference was held in Muscat.
The Royal Cavalry and The Royal Court Affairs under the patronage of HM Sultan Qaboos, made sure we experienced the traditional hospitality of Arabia, which made this WAHO Conference yet another unforgettable occasion. Conferences are held every two years so that business discussed and examined by the Executive Committee throughout
that time can be presented to the General Assembly which is attended by official Registry delegates and the non-voting ordinary (observer) members of WAHO. Throughout the conference individual Registries can meet in private with the Executive Committee to discuss particular issues and problems. The affair provides rich pickings for anyone interested in 3 â–Ş OMAN â–Ş WORLD
broadening their knowledge of the Arabian horse and meeting up with the fantastic wealth of personalities from all corners of the globe. Evenings provide ample time for renewing old friendships and making new ones as well as enjoying the various other entertainments arranged by our hosts. I am tempted to think there are few other forums on earth where so many
barriers of religion, culture, and politics are overcome through the pursuit of a common passion for the Arabian horse. This is one of WAHO’s greatest strengths. Of course another major attraction is the opportunity to visit a country one might not otherwise consider and to be received as an honored guest in places definitely and normally private. The conference was formally opened by HH Sayyid Haytham bin Tariq Al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture, and got off to a flying start with the beautifully presented documentary film “Fursan” produced by Mr. Isa Al Shabany for the Royal Cavalry and Royal Court Affairs. The film demonstrated the important place given to the Arabian horse in Omani culture and the efforts being made to educate the country’s children in equestrianism. This was followed by the nuts and bolts reports from the 45
different countries whose Registries were attending; each Registry makes a report about its activities as well as providing statistical information on its work. This is very interesting information, as it demonstrates how things are developing and changing around the world. It also comes as no surprise that the majority of Registries continue to report a drop in registrations: for example, the AHR delegate provided some interesting and telling statistics for the United States which showed that registrations are continuing their downward slide from an all-time high of 30,004 in 1985 to 6,120 in 2008! The current economic climate aside, this is a worrying situation for the supply of horses in the years ahead. While the majority of Arabians appear to be used for breeding or pleasure, halter shows, which are still probably the major public activity around the world, are
OMAN For centuries, even under Portuguese control, Muscat was a haven for traders from India and Africa or further afield.
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Above: This bedouin horseman, dressed in typical Omani fashion, wears the traditional kohl around his eyes to protect against the harsh desert sun. It is said the original strain of Arabian horses were called Koheilan because the black skin around their eyes resembled kohl.
now being challenged by the popularity of endurance riding at all levels. This should not be a surprise given that it remains the field where our breed reigns supreme. It is a sport that can be enjoyed by all, from the professional at World Cup level to the weekend recreational rider. What seems sad to me is that so few of our societies and breeders have paid attention to this sport, which has jumped up and run away with a life of its own, leaving only reflected glory for the breed and little or no incentive for those who partake in endurance to acknowledge the Arabian or to ensure horses remain registered throughout their
careers. It was therefore good news to learn that WAHO has been supporting this sport for the last three years through the World Young Endurance Horse Championships at Compiègne in France. We were shown a short film of the 2008 Championships, attended by Dr. Hans Nagel, President of WAHO, and several other Executive Committee members. The French are to be commended on the way they have developed their endurance riding. Not surprisingly, France has been a leading producer of endurance horses, and their riders and teams are at the forefront of most major competitions. 5 ▪ OMAN ▪ WORLD
The Australian delegate made an impassioned plea for continued vigilance of our show horses and policing of the treatment they receive. He pointed out it was the responsibility of all to stand up against what is unacceptable, stating “directly or indirectly we all share in their welfare. WAHO has no authority over horse shows but does take an interest in the welfare of Arabians.” His speech was roundly endorsed and applauded. On the welfare front it was very encouraging to hear the report of Mrs. Lutfieh M. Aref on the new welfare organization she has formed in Syria and her aim to encourage
similar organizations throughout the Middle East. Many animals in these parts still need as much help as can be given them. Veterinary care is often very basic and beyond the pockets of many people. There is also a great deal of ignorance of general horse care in places where the tradition has been lost. Since 1998 the conference has been hosting the World Registrars Meeting, chaired by an independent chairman, in this instance Mr. Kees Mol, who has worked with the Dutch, British, and Qatar registries. He now compiles the Saudi Arabian stud book and has a wealth of experience. These meetings serve two main purposes: first, they provide an opportunity for all registrars to meet each other and discuss their mutual problems, and second, they act as an advisory body to the Executive Committee. They cannot make or change rules — this can only be done by the Executive — but the input of the registrars is taken very seriously and their recommendations are generally put into practice. This year 38 registries were represented, and to give an idea of the diversity of their experience there was Chrissie Tupper from Belize, a country
with about 28 Arabians, and at the opposite end of the scale Deborah Fuentes of the U.S. registry with about 300,000 living horses. There are registries that are government departments such as in France, or part of the Jockey Club as in Argentina, or there are small ones run by one or two people in their spare time, sometimes from a room in their own home. Each has a voice and a contribution to make as all have an interest in recording and preserving the pure Arabian horse. Among the main topics of discussion was the correct use of the WAHO Semen Collection and Insemination Report form. There appears to be a diversity of systems for registration of foals got by imported semen. However, as no standardization was suggested or agreed upon, those using imported semen should be certain that they know their country’s rules and that of the exporting country to make the registration process easier. Ignorance is not bliss! Much of the other discussion revolved around different forms of horse identification, from a report on the Unique Equine Life Number (UELN) obligatory in Europe, to the use of passports and which countries now use them, to microchipping
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which is required by law for all horses in Europe, and while it is recommended by WAHO is not mandatory. Export certificates also came under scrutiny. These have evolved over time to incorporate the various means for verification of a horse’s identity. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for horses to be correctly exported, and any first-time exporter or importer would be well advised to contact their Registry prior to shipping to make sure they understand the procedures and to use a respected agent to help them. For example, many endurance horse owners find out too late and to their cost that an FEI passport is not recognized by WAHO as a registration document let alone an export certificate, yet it is often the only document that travels with an endurance horse. It is a WAHO rule that all countries provide one another with up-to-date stud books, but the EC agreed that in this electronic age it is no longer obligatory to print stud books. Registries can now maintain an up-to-date database online or produce a stud book on disc, or carry on printing their stud books as suits their (Continued on page 9)
by Cynthia Culbertson
A MAGICAL MYSTICAL TOUR
envision the Arabian Peninsula as an endless sea of sand dunes are vastly mistaken. But for the visitors who wanted a taste of the desert sands a day in the beautiful red-hued Wahiba dunes provided the consummate desert experience, complete with camels, Bedouin camps, and a night under the stars listening to traditional Arabic music. For those with the “you only live once” philosophy, a wild ride across the sands, popularly known as “dune-bashing,” was an exhilarating option. Legend says that Sinbad the Sailor hailed from Oman, and the sea has played an important role in Omani history. A visit to a village fish souk helped the visitors appreciate the bounty of seafood that comes daily from the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. The traditional dhows are still in evidence along the coast and the town of Sur, an important trade center in the era when the Omanis ruled Zanzibar, is famous for building these graceful and sturdy boats. Interestingly, Sur is also known for Arabian horses and horsemen who practice the Omani tradition of standing atop a steed at full gallop. Although the schedule was packed with activities, several tour participants chose to travel late at night to the Ras Al Jinz wildlife reserve, famous for nesting turtles. Green turtles, loggerheads, leatherbacks and hawksbills are found in the waters near Oman and thousands nest each year along its shores. These ancient marine reptiles take four decades After a wonderful sojourn in Muscat, most tour or more to mature before the females return to shore to lay their eggs. participants headed by plane to Salalah, the capital The guides were not overly optimistic that visitors would witness this rare of the Dhofar region. With a dramatic location on the Arabian Sea, the area is framed by mountains and boasts spectacle, since it was not the prime season, but those who skipped a full night’s sleep were rewarded with the spectacular sight of giant green turtles gorgeous beaches and lush groves of coconut palms, date palms, and bananas. Yet a great part of the allure of this laying eggs and tiny hatchlings making their way to the surf. Everyone region is its fascinating role as the source of frankincense, who witnessed this primordial event described it in a single word: “Unforgettable.” a prized commodity from ancient times until today. A visit to Wadi Dauqah, a UNESCO National Heritage Site, enabled the tour members to see how this precious resin is extracted from the tree. Other highlights of The beautiful the area included the stunning Mughsail beach where red-hued Wahiba dolphins frolicked in the turquoise sea, schools of sardines dunes. darkened the waters, and flamingos waded in the shallows. The tour also included a visit to the beautiful Royal Stables and the visitors enjoyed a traditional parade of mares and stallions, many in colorful native costume. Some tour participants also traveled to Mirbat, the historic port where thousands of Arabian horses were once exported to India and then visited the ancient ruins of the palace of the legendary Queen of Sheba. The rugged mountains, lush oases, and spectacular canyons and waterfalls of Oman prove that those who irlines should add a warning announcement prior to landing in the Sultanate of Oman: Prepare to be enchanted! The WAHO members who took advantage of a variety of postconference tours found themselves not only in a state of enchantment but amazed, delighted and overwhelmed by the marvels of this beautiful country and its welcoming inhabitants.
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OMAN Historic forts and castles are found throughout Oman, including several UNESCO World Heritage sites. The group visited the picturesque old mud-brick village of Al Hamra, as well as Jabreen Castle near the historic oasis of Nizwa, an important city in Oman’s history famous for its date palms, irrigation system, colorful souk, and impressive fort. But perhaps the most dramatic features of the Omani countryside are the wadis — desert canyons wedged between rugged mountains that teem with birdlife, graceful date palms, and crystal-clear turquoise waters. In terrain that seems impossible for human habitation, a mountain pass will open up to reveal a tiny village lost in time. The tour participants enjoyed several of these villages on a whiteknuckle journey through the jagged Hajar Mountains where Oman’s highest peak, Jabel Shams, is found. In a caravan of four-wheel drive vehicles, skillful drivers maneuvered through the mountain passes to reach the plains of the Batinah coast and back to Muscat, pausing for the visitors to enjoy heart-stopping views and imperial eagles circling overhead. While Arabic is the official language of Oman, and the majority of the population are Ibadi Muslims, Oman’s long history of trade with India and Africa ensured the country has interesting cultural influences that make it unique in the Gulf region. Outside of the major cities, most Omanis prefer traditional dress. For men this means full-length dishdashas and a small intricately embroidered cap called a kumah or the marvelous turban called mussar. On more formal occasions their dress is adorned by a belt holding the
Top right: the jagged Hajar Mountains. Bottom left: A traditional curved dagger known as a khanjar. 8 ▪ OMAN ▪ WORLD
A MAGICAL MYSTICAL TOUR (Continued)
beautiful curved daggers known as khanjars. Women wear colorful long dresses and a variety of veils depending on the region. Despite differences in dress, the Omani people encountered by the tour participants had one thing in common – all wore smiles, shy or bold, and the children waved happily at the occupants of every vehicle. With dramatic deserts and mountains, beautiful beaches, rare wildlife and fascinating archaeological sites, Oman is a magical destination for anyone. But for those who love Arabian horses the attraction is even greater – legend says the Arabian breed originally came from the southern regions of the Peninsula. One thing all the tour participants agreed upon is that one visit is simply not enough. We all plan to return, insha’allah.
(Continued from page 6)
individual situation. At the moment several countries have their stud books online, including Australia, France, Sweden, the United States, and Canada, and others are following suit. After the Registrars Meeting we were presented with several papers with particular reference to the Arabian horse in Oman. Dr. Hamood Al-Derghesy’s paper was entitled “The Intimate Relationship of the Arab People and the Arabian Horse”; Mr. Hamad Salim Rashid Al Belushi spoke on the history of Arabian horses in the Sultanate of Oman; and Dr. Salim Hamad Al Mahrooqi spoke on the untold story of horses in Arabia. Historically the horse has had a long tradition in Oman, with evidence from stone carvings as far back as 3,000 B.C., while as recently as 200 years ago horses were regularly part of gifts to European royalty. Queen Victoria in particular received several beautiful horses from the Sultan, which were painted by the
artist John Frederick Herring. Sadly this heritage was lost a number of years ago and the Arabians now recognized by WAHO in Oman are of relatively recently acquired “Western” bloodlines. Nevertheless, it is encouraging that Omanis are once more studying and appreciating their past. Another interesting illustrated talk by the talented painter Ali Al Mi’mar “The Horse in Art,” gave us a glimpse into what has inspired his art, and the exhibition of his work in the foyer provided many with that special gift to take home. The subject of art was not far from the presentation by Bob Fauls and Howard Pike on the Arabian Horse Galleries being constructed by the Purebred Arabian Trust at Kentucky Horse Park’s International Museum of the Horse. This will be a state-of-the-art permanent exhibition dedicated to the Arabian horse, aimed at reaching out to a wider public for our beautiful horses. In 2010, a unique and long overdue separate exhibition,
The Bimmah Sinkhole.
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“Gift from the Desert: the Art, History, and Culture of the Arabian Horse,” generously sponsored by Saudi Arabia as co-curator, will coincide with the opening of the Arabian Horse Galleries. Cynthia Culbertson and filmmaker Jo Franklin brought us up-to-date on these arrangements. At the same time, the United States will be hosting the World Equestrian Games, so this will obviously be the place to be. (Note also that the world’s top Arabian endurance horses will also be competing at this event — yet another reason to be there). Over the years veterinary-related lectures have been features of WAHO conferences with presentations on up-tothe-minute research on subjects ranging from the DNA of the horse, to embryo transfer, to genetic diseases. This year, Dr. Ross Williamson lectured on practical, safe, nutritional programs for the Arabian with particular reference to the climate. The Middle East, especially the Gulf, is extremely
A visit to the Royal Stables in Salalah was included in the post-conference tour.
challenging to the horses, and it is to be hoped that much of what was said reached home. It always seems strange to me that we are happy as humans to adopt modern ways but our poor horses must live as our grandparents decreed because that is the way it has always been done, despite evidence of the harm that can come to the horses. “What is WAHO?” was the title of Executive Committee member Freddie Garcia Brum’s presentation from which I have shamelessly plundered. Basically WAHO is the umbrella for all Registering
Authority Members and under its authority mutually acceptable rules and regulations for the registration of Arabians and the production of stud books have been agreed upon, so that horses can be exchanged freely among these countries without being refused registration. It all started 42 years ago when nine nations were invited to meet in London to discuss the idea of forming an International Arabian Horse Society. Three years later, in 1970, The Arab Horse Society of Great Britain hosted a second meeting with representation from Australasia, 10 ▪ OMAN ▪ WORLD
Denmark, Egypt, the German Federal Republic, Hungary, Israel, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States (both AHRA and IAHA) to see what ideas had been produced. From these beginnings a truly international organization was born; its name, World Arabian Horse Organization, was suggested by Dr. Ameen Zaher of Egypt; the now familiar abbreviation WAHO came from Claes Lewenhaupt of Sweden; Gladys Brown Edwards of the U.S. created the now famous logo; and an international
steering committee chaired by Jay Stream was appointed to formulate its bylaws, objectives, and purposes; and lastly, WAHO was established as a Registered Charity in the United Kingdom. Over the next two years, the steering committee worked on formulating the constitution and the rules known as “Requirements for Establishing and Keeping a Stud Book” were drawn up. The first full WAHO Conference was held in Seville, Spain, in 1972, where representatives of 22 countries and 25 societies voted to ratify the Constitution and nominate and approve the first Executive Committee. In 1974 in Malmö, Sweden, the official definition of a purebred Arabian was proposed and approved, namely “A Purebred Arabian Horse is one which appears in any Purebred Arabian Horse stud book or register listed by WAHO as acceptable.” The WAHO definition and its acceptance are absolutely fundamental to
the Organization. The next major step took place in 1982 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, with agreement on how to accept Arabian horses from their Middle East countries of origin, the modern original Arabs. It was decided that the Western-style five-generation pedigrees would not be required for these horses, but that WAHO inspection and investigation committees would visit all the relevant countries when they applied for WAHO membership, and their reports on these investigations
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would be presented to subsequent WAHO conferences. An initial period of 10 years was granted for application, but as a greater understanding developed of the problems and work this involved for the various countries, this was later extended to 2004. It was in this year at the WAHO Conference in Warsaw, Poland, that a majority of delegates voted to close the World Arabian Horse Stud Books to any horses that do not trace in every line to horses in previously recognized WAHOapproved stud books. Meanwhile, in 1998
at the Bahrain Conference, Delegates had voted unanimously to reconfirm the WAHO definition and make its application mandatory. This means that all horses in all WAHO-recognized stud books must be mutually recognized and accepted on a pedigree basis. This has perhaps been WAHO’s most important achievement. For those who are new to the breed, 1996 and the Abu Dhabi conference saw the suspension of the Arabian Horse Registry of America (AHRA) following their refusal to fully accept the definition and to give up their right to accept or reject other member countries’ horses as they saw fit. Two years later, in 1998, as the matter had still not been resolved AHRA, Canada (CAHR) and Mexico, for whom AHRA was the registering authority, left WAHO and for those involved in import and export a difficult time lay ahead. However this was eased somewhat by the formation of the Purebred Arabian Horse Registry (PAHR), which carried out the necessary work to register, import, and export horses according to WAHO rules. Despite the excellent work done by PAHR, no one was really happy with the situation
and in recent years much work was going on behind the scenes to fully reunite these countries with WAHO. Reunification was finally achieved in 2008, and the U.S. is now represented by the Purebred Arabian Trust and the Arabian Horse Association. Consequently, we were able to celebrate the coming together of all the world’s registries, and for the first time each and every Arabian horse registered in “each and every WAHO-accepted Stud Book is fully accepted by each and every WAHO Registering Authority Member.” The full slide show presentation of this history of WAHO can be viewed online on the WAHO Web site (www.WAHO.org). The General Assembly was brought to a conclusion by two important announcements, the first of which was the incredibly generous donation of $100,000 by HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said to be used for the completion of the WAHO World Pedigree Database, which will be available free to all WAHO members. Second, Mr. Sami Jassim Boenain, general manager of the Qatar Race and Equestrian Club, was able to announce that Qatar would be hosting the next WAHO conference in
Doha in November 2011. We can be sure that the hospitality will be spectacular. Outside the conference hall we experienced some special entertainment. One of the highlights was the Arabian Horse Show at the beautiful Madinat AlAdiyat, home of the Royal Cavalry Stables and racetrack. Here we were privileged to see a version of the spectacle enacted every New Year for HM Sultan Qaboos. Known as “Royal Race Day,” it is unrivaled as an amazing feat of organization with several hundred horses, handlers, and riders being involved. Different forms of equestrianism are celebrated through colorful cavalry parades in all their glory, each wave of horses and riders seeming more magnificent than the one before. Then short displays, such as mounted horseball, show jumping, and Arabia’s answer to Cossack riding, the “Rakd Al Ardhah.” The latter is an amazing demonstration of speed and temperament from the horses and bravery and athleticism from the riders including the girls, one of whom galloped passed us at full tilt standing on her horse’s back — no mean achievement on an Arabian.
OMAN A Bedouin stallion.
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1: The 2009 WAHO Conference was formally opened by HH Sayyid Haytham bin Tariq Al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture. 2: WAHO President Dr. Hans Nagel of Germany and HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein of Jordan. 3: Abdullah Nayef Al Braihi of the Kuwait Arabian Horse Registry. 4: Izabella Pawelec-Zawadzka of Poland and behind her on the right is Dr. Georg Olms, and Dr. Georg Thierer of the Asil Club. 5. HRH Princess Alia Ali Hussein of Jordan with Danah Al Khalifa, who compiled Bahrain’s first stud book. 6: Salim Suleiman Al Mahrooqy, Deputy Director General of the Royal Cavalry, Oman. 7: Brigadier Rames bin Jumaan Al Awairah, Director General of Music, Royal Guard of Oman.
8: Seated is Ibrahim Zagloul, a member of the WAHO Executive Committee, former director of the EAO, and now consultant at the EAO and the Amiri Stables in Bahrain. Standing behind him is his eldest son Alaa I. Zaghloul, and right is Basil Jadaan of Syria, also a member of the WAHO Executive Committee. 9. Pictured from left to right: HE Mr. Nassr bin Humood Al Kindi, Head of Financial Affairs and Supplies of Oman and Chairman of the Organizing Committee; Mohamed Nabolsi, Lebanon; and Dr. Mohamed Machmoum, Morocco.
10. Brigadier Abdulrazek bin Abdulqader Al Shahwarzi, Commander of the Royal Cavalry of Oman and Vice Chairman of the Organizing Committee. 11. Pictured from left to right: Claudia Starr, Executive Director of Al Shaqab at the Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar; Faisal Mahboob Hassan, Director General of the Royal Cavalry of Oman; and American breeder Judith Forbis. 13 ▪ OMAN ▪ WORLD
Omani folklore is rich with tales of
Arabian horses and their bond with man. Dr. Salim Hamad Al Mahrooqi compiled many of these tales for his presentation during the WAHO conference. Here is one: Once upon a time, there was a man who had a highbred horse to which he gave plenty of his love, time, and care. As time went on, there grew a special relationship between them that had never occurred between any human and an animal before. They would understand the tiniest gesture or sign of each other. One day, the man suddenly died. And the horse, feeling something wrong had happened to his owner and friend, turned completely sad and refused to eat or drink. When the people finished preparing the funeral and started escorting the deceased to his final resting place, the horse followed them. Some of them tried to get him back to his stable but it violently resisted them. At last, they gave up and left it. When the burial rituals were over, the horse moved on and stood still at his friend’s grave. So they decided to leave it to itself there. After that the horse didn’t leave the company of his deceased friend, eating no food and drinking no water, until it joined him.
OMAN There were parades of carriages from the Royal Coach House, immaculately turned out with paintwork and harnesses gleaming and all attendants in striking and varied liveries. Another interesting feature was the Parade of Horses from the Royal Stables, which included the stars of their show string along with many other different breeds of horse from Shetland to Shire to illustrate the wealth of the equine world. Each act was separated by a flat race for Arabians including also one for local girl jockeys, something highly innovative in this part of the world. Perhaps female participation is less surprising because jockeys from Oman were the first to come to train in the United Kingdom, and racing, whether on the flat or endurance track, is close to the Omani heart. The 14 ▪ OMAN ▪ WORLD
parade’s dramatic finale was a carriage pulled by 23 greys of mainly Arabian blood — a most incredible sight, especially the calmness of the horses during the whole proceedings. Music throughout the parade was provided by the Royal Guard of Oman Band and the Royal Cavalry and Royal Camels Band. Music is a great speciality of Oman, and it is also a passion of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. It was certainly one of the highlights of the conference, from the magnificent Big Band sound at dinner at the famous Al Bustan Hotel to the fabulous folkloric evening in the Al Feleij Fort. This lovely transformation of a traditional building to an outdoor theater is an excellent example of what is being undertaken in Oman to make use of its heritage architecture. And again the music and color lingers in the memory, not least because we found ourselves sitting with a group of Omani boys who were enjoying audience participation to the full, clapping, swaying, and singing along to the tribal beat of drums — you could not help but join in with them. The First Royal Music and Folklore Band are famous throughout
the region for their rich entertainment. Of course, in true Arabic style feasting plays an important part in any hospitality and the many banquets saw tables piled with delicious dishes making me think of that famous Oscar Wilde quotation about resisting anything but temptation! Last but not not least was the Gala dinner where a final film entitiled “The Royal Cavalry of Oman’s New Dawn” by Mr. Gerhard Skorianz was shown, and once more a world-class orchestra entertained us. The next day, while others prepared for the various additional tours and entertainments, I returned home pondering what WAHO has done. WAHO is not about competition, it is not about one country over another, it is about the Arabian in all its glorious variety, it is about people wanting to preserve this for future generations, it is about sharing knowledge, opening minds and treasuring the good from the past. Now that WAHO has completed its work of recording and recognizing the world’s Arabian horses, perhaps it can expand its role in education and bringing people together, opening doors and allowing us all to experience
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one another’s cultures with respect, and to appreciate the breadth of influence of the Arabian horse from the past into the present and through a strong WAHO carry on into a rich and healthy future.
OMAN Royal Cavalry
Salim Sulaiman Al-Mahrooqy Deputy Director General P.O. Box 70, PC 111 Seeb Sultanate of Oman Tel: 968.2442.0030 / 2442.3634 Fax: 968.2442.3262 GSM: 968. 9982.3634 / 9985.3634