Hamdan

  • Foaled: 13 September 1936, Kafr Farouk Stud

  • 1939-1952: Herd sire at King Farouk’s Inshass Stud 

  • 1952-1956: Under control of the revolutionary government 

  • 1956-1966: Herd sire at Hamdan Stables, Tahanoub, Egypt 

  • 1967: Returned to El Zahraa Arab Stud of the Egyptian Agricultural Organization 

  • Died: July 1967

  • Foaled: 13 September 1936, Kafr Farouk Stud

  • 1939-1952: Herd sire at King Farouk’s Inshass Stud 

  • 1952-1956: Under control of the revolutionary government 

  • 1956-1966: Herd sire at Hamdan Stables, Tahanoub, Egypt 

  • 1967: Returned to El Zahraa Arab Stud of the Egyptian Agricultural Organization 

  • Died: July 1967

We dedicate this volume to Hamdan The Thankful. 

Thankful that he graced our stables. Thankful that through his sons & daughters his spirit lives on. 

and Thankful to God the most Merciful and most Compassionate for his many blessings and creations such as Hamdan.

Ahmed Hamza

Hamdan History

 Hamdan became a part of Egyptian history on September 13, 1936. His sire, Ibn Rabdan, was 19 years old at the time Hamdan’s birth; his dam, bint Radia, was 16. He was one of an illustrious family. His full, sister, Samira foaled in 1935, was judged the most beautiful mare in Egypt at one of the Royal Agricultural Society shows. His full brother, Shahloul, born in 1931, became a senior sire of great elegance at the Royal Agricultural Society’s Kafr Farouk farm, while the other full brother, Radwan, born in 1934, stood at one of the Agricultural colleges. All four were foaled chestnuts with stars; all four became grays. Hamdan’s life was closely entwined with the political events in Egypt.

 

 Hamdan was born at the Kafr Farouk Stud Farm of the Royal Agricultural Society, near Ein Shams , East of Cairo. At that time, the intention of the Kafr Farouk Stud was the collection and preservation of the finest Arabian horses of the Middle East, and each acquisition – weather acquired as a gift or a product of stock already on the farm – was a triumphant step forward in the program.

It wasn’t long before the fame of Egypt’s Arabian horses was spreading around the globe once again. It is said that a group of South Africans visited Kafr Farouk in 1939 and offered a great price for Hamdan.

King Farouk, even then obsessive collector of rare and precious items, heard of the value placed on the stallion and claimed his monarchical right to have the precious animal in his own collection. The Royal

Agricultural Society had no choice and in April 1939 gave Hamdan to as a coronation gift to the king. Three mares accompanied Hamdan: Hagir, Foaled by El Derre x fayza (Ibn Rabdan x Samiha) : Yasmeena , born 1937, by Awad x Bint Dalal ( Hamran x Dalal). Yaquota, foaled 1937, by balance X Bint Rissala (Ibn Yashmak X Risala).

 

The king’s khassa contained about 160 horses of which the notable sires were: Hamdan, El Belbesi, Adham, Gamil, Nader, Zareef and Nasir. El Moez , an influential stallion and sire of the famous Sameh, was sold from Inshas in 1945 to the Souh Africans at a price listed as 10,000 pound Sterling. Nader (Mekdam X Mahasen) and Zaher (Ibn Fayda X Zahra) also accompanied him. The veterinarian at Inshass was a young man named Dr. Mohamed Rasheed, who must have been a remarkable individual, as well as gentle, kind and brilliant in his field. He waited until Hamdan was fully mature before putting him to stud, and the first foal was not born until 1941.

On July 23, 1952, while the king and his courtiers slept in the cool summer palace of Montazah in Alexandria on the Mediterranean, the revolutionary government took control of cairo. There was no bloodshed and no resistance.

One can imagine the army moving, by truck and tank, into Inshass and the soldiers appearing noisily and efficiently in the kennels, the barns, the administrative buildings, and the stables.  One can also imagine that the Arabian horses in their stalls must have recognized the sounds of the tanks and trucks and of the groups of men, and must also have felt an inherent sense of alarm- for the Arabians of the desert were bred to be alert to the approach of hostile parties. Undoubtedly Hamdan and his stablemates were fretful and upset, and paced in their stalls.

But the expense of maintaining luxury animals, as they were in that time of critical priorities, was too great for the new government, and it ordered the auction of the king’s horses.

The auctions of the king’s horses continued, and then prices dropped lower and lower. Dr. Rasheed’s stud book, so carefully and finally maintained, has every record of purchaser and price paid, written in red ink at the bottom of each page. The only exception is Hamdan-nothing is noted. 

The story is that he was ill, desperately ill and dying. He was sent to the SPCA for care, where he was kept for several months. Then he went on the auction block in 1956. His price was 50 pounds, or about $125.The great stallion, then 20 years old his marvelous strong almost 16-hands frame, was down, dying.

Ahmed Pasha Hamza, once a minister of Agriculture under Farouk and a superb horse-breeder, bought him “I bought him to bury him, ” he explains. Hamza Pasha left a man with Hamdan to tend him to his last breath. He must have been a very special man, for Hamdan took food and drank, and finally struggled to his feet, giving hope for his recovery. He was taken to Hamza Pasha’s country estate at Tahanoub, where he indeed did recover and, during the next decade, sired most of the top racing horses of the country.

The Hamdan progeny who survived the ordeal and went to E.A.O. were : Rooda, Ghorra, Gharbawia, Hafiza, Ameena, Shahbaa, Yasmeena and Anter (Antar).

Hamdan lived quietly at Tahanoub, much loved by Hamza Pasha and well treated and cared for (witness his great age). He was apparently forgotten-an aging but contented exile in his own country, while his sons (their breeding apparently not noticed by the new racing attendees) excelled on the track.

 

In 1961 the government “sequestered” (took into receivership) many profitable ventures which were privately owned (often by non-nationals), such as factories, hotels, racing stables, and so forth. The individuals so deprived fled Egypt for their home countries. The trend against visible wealth increased. Ahmed Hamza was sequestered and it was a struggle for him to continue his horse-breeding and racing operation. But his horses were excellent and did well on the track and he did continue, as few were able to. It was during this period of time that my husband and I arrived in Egypt.

Talal was our first acquisition, purchased in February 1965 after many months of searching for “the right horse.” 

Within a week I recognized the qualities which made me an eternal Arabian devotee. Fakher el Din was my next effort, though it was more than a year before he finally came to us. And, finally, Hamdan fell into desperate circumstances and I was able to help, and I came to know him well. These three stallions, each so different, but each kind of crystallization of the genetic evolution of the qualities necessary for survival , share a full spirit of wisdom, self-sufficiency, courage, love and a universal pulse of life. The Arabian horse, in his own country, accepting the hardships, doing his job until the day his body absolutely cannot meet the demands of his spirit, retaining his sweetness of disposition and his willingness to try-this to me is an almost mystic thing.

In May 1966 a new disaster struck. A new and surprising severe wave of sequestrations was imposed. The newspapers termed them”security sequestrations“ and their applications was widespread. Ahmed Hamza was confined to his Cairo home and the usual strict measures were applied to his properties. I visited tahanoub in September 1966,having prepared myself for days for the sight. Hamdan had eaten halfway through his door. fakher el Din, who is with me now in America, was a frail and exquisite wisp. The mares were aborting from malnutrition, and foals were a shocking sight. There was nothing anyone could do about it; the sequestration office allotted $12 per month per horse for care and that amount could not pay for grain, clover, bedding or grooms.