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Member Report from Iran

REPORT AT 2014 WAHO CONFERENCE:

Mrs. Sharzad Amir Aslani, Iran: Mr. President, Executive Committee members, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Shery Amir Aslani and I shall now present Iran’s short report on behalf of our Equestrian Federation.

With regard to the keeping of our studbook, I am happy to say that we have recently finished Volume 4, containing the horses from 2004 to 2008. We are confident that volumes 5 and 6 will follow very shortly. New software has facilitated the registration of our horses and despite the high number of foals, we are up to date as to the registration of new-borns. All foals are now microchipped before 6 months of age, and after completion of the parent verification by DNA, passports are issued. Passports will be mandatory from 2015. We still do not use Artificial insemination, nor do we allow Embryo transfer. Since a few years ago, Iran has started importing Arabian horses from all over the world, and now more than 200 horses are imported annually into our country.

Regarding our activities, Iran now has 8 ECAHO-affiliated shows each year held in different regions, and our National Championship is held in Teheran, normally with more than 200 entries. Racing has been very popular for our breeders and horse owners, and this year Iran has had the opportunity to become a member of IFAHR, which hopefully will lead our racing to higher standards. More than 37 weeks of racing are organized, with the participation of more than 400 purebred Arabians. I think that, economically speaking, in the future racing will remain the most important activity for our purebred Arabian horses.

Endurance rides are also very popular, we have 6 to 7 national rides in different regions throughout the year, depending on the time of the year, and of course we have qualification rides arranged by the organizing committees in each region. Endurance rides have always been a traditional activity in Iran, it is probably the oldest riding discipline in our country.

Each year, Iran has awarded the WAHO Trophy to remarkable horses which have had a profound influence on the breed. This year the WAHO Trophy will go to an outstanding mare, and the reasons for her choice will be published later on the WAHO website. Thank you very much for your attention.

REPORT AT 2011 WAHO CONFERENCE:

Mrs. Sharzad Amir Aslani, Islamic Republic of Iran: Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Amir Aslani and I will be giving our report on behalf of the Equestrian Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I am pleased to say that for the first time the head of our Federation is present at the Conference, Mr. Mahmoud Heidari, and we are all very pleased that he is attending the WAHO Conference. I would like to thank the State of Qatar for their kind hospitality and for the opportunity to enjoy their wonderful horses. I would also like to thank the Executive Committee for their continuous efforts to maintain the wellbeing and the well-keeping of the Arabian horse.

Contrary to the other countries, the popularity of the Arabian horse has grown very strong in Iran, and the births of foals have been unprecedented in numbers, and the participation in different events as well, they have increased dramatically. We are pleased to say that the Equestrian Federation has finally achieved Volume 3 of our national studbook, covering the period of 2000 to 2003 and it will be available to be distributed for the WAHO members. We are currently working on volume 4 which will be ready by the end of 2011 and which will cover 2004 to 2009, which will finally update us regarding the registrations. We have adopted the use of microchips for additional identification, since 2001. All horses have been parentage tested before registration, using DNA. We have noticed a tremendous growth in breeding and the numbers of foals born in 2010 was above 480. This is a very, very high number considering that Iran has many other local breeds, very popular in their own right, such as the Caspian Pony, the Kurdish Horse, the Dareshouri and the Turkoman, which is like a smaller sized Akhal-Teke.

Artificial Insemination is not used in Iran, and mares are live covered. Embryo transfer is also not permitted. Iran has had a very high number of imports during the past 3 years, with more than 300 horses entering our country. The need for a new infusion of blood in order to be able to compete internationally was imperative.

As for the events, racing is also very popular, with seasonal races held in different regions depending on the climate. Khuzestan has been hosting races for a decade and every year the number of participants is increasing. The regional races begin in the month of January, followed by 5 weeks of national races. Then Yazd, for the fourth consecutive year, holds races in April and May with 6 weeks of national races with more than 80 horses taking part, mostly bred in Yazd. However the big event is the 8-week long Thoroughbred and Arabian horse racing season in Tehran, which is always very important, and I have to say that for the first time in the last week, which was the 8th week of racing, we had the same number of races for Arabians as the Thoroughbreds, which as I am sure everybody knows is very important. As for the shows, since Iran’s addition to ECAHO, shows have also grown in popularity with more than 170 entries in Khuzestan and Yazd, and in other regions. We had 4 ECAHO shows, and 2 regionals in Khuzestan, and also the National Championships which was a month ago.

Endurance has also been a very popular sport in Iran, attracting riders from different regions with traditional nomadic lives. Many qualifying rides are held regularly in the regions, followed by a few national rides and one FEI ride every year. I would like to thank everybody for their attention. Thank you.

REPORT MADE AT 2009 WAHO CONFERENCE.

Mrs. Sharzad Amir Aslani: I will now give the report for Iran.

Regarding our stud book, I am happy to inform you that Volume 3 of the Iranian stud book has finally been achieved, containing over 680 horses from the year 2000-2003 and the fourth volume will follow very shortly covering 2004 to 2008. Switching from blood-typing to DNA was a rather difficult task, because of the high number of living animals, but fortunately these problems were overcome and the registration of foals and DNA sampling is all now up to date. From now on, foals are registered and microchipped before 6 months of age, and after DNA sampling a passport is issued. Those which meet the criteria are now entering the national stud book. We still do not use Artificial Insemination nor do we allow Embryo Transfer. In 2007 and 2008 horses were imported from Italy, Germany, the UK, Qatar, the UAE and Poland.

Regarding activities, for shows Iran became a member of ECAHO last year and our first ECAHO-affiliated show took place in one of our Arabian horse populated regions, and 4 other shows were held in different regions. The main activity however, is racing, which is very popular between breeders and owners. More than 35 weeks of racing were organized last year with the participation of more than 300 purebred Arabians. There is also a very big interest in endurance, as Iran is a nomadic country. We have more than 6 big endurance competitions organized by the Equestrian Federation in different regions, and one FEI ride. Endurance is open to other breeds as well, as Iran is well known for its other local breeds, and we are hoping to improve in number and quality of rides for the future. Thank you.

REPORT MADE AT 2007 WAHO CONFERENCE: In brief, the total number of registered purebred Arabian horses in Iran is 1,714, of which 748 mares and 159 stallions have been used for breeding. Approximately 100 foals are registered annually. We have imported 2 horses from Qatar in 2005, and 1 stallion from Turkey in 2006. We moved to the DNA and micro-chip system in 2005. Over 800 samples were sent to Newmarket in 2006 for DNA typing and parentage tests, and our current stud book Volume 3 will be published next year. Neither Artificial Insemination nor Embryo transfer are allowed.

Regarding our activities, the number of flat races has increased from 52 to 78 in 2006. We had 3 shows, 6 endurance rides and for the first time an FEI endurance ride at CI level was organised in December 2006 in Khuzestan.

Trophy Winners


MAHROKH – 2015 WAHO Trophy Winner – Iran

MAHROKH, Bay mare, *1990 (Fakeh / Abr)
Breeder: Shahpour Shehabpour, Owner: The Shehabpour Family
Strain: Nesmani

Mahrokh in her younger days at the racetrack

Mahrokh in her younger days at the racetrack




Mahrokh, 2015 WAHO Trophy Winner of Iran

Mahrokh, 2015 WAHO Trophy Winner of Iran

(Full citation to follow)


NARDANEH – 2014 WAHO Trophy Winner – Iran

NARDANEH, Grey Stallion, 1991 (Samarquand / Cheharshanbeh).
Breeder: The late Mary Leila Gharagozlou, Rockbestan Stud.
Owner: Mr. Abbas Amrollahi.
Strain: Wadnan Khersan Mir Mostoffi (Khersani b. Mostoffi)

photo and citation to follow


ZARRAFEH – 2013 WAHO Trophy Winner – Iran

ZARRAFEH , Chestnut Mare, 1981 (Insiatur / Piraste).
Breeder: Asil Stud Khuzestan.
Owner: Mrs. Shery Amir Aslani.
Strain: Wadne Khersani Mir (Khersani Mir Sardar I)

ZARRAFEH - 2013 WAHO Trophy Winner, Iran

ZARRAFEH – 2013 WAHO Trophy Winner, Iran


citation to follow


KOWSAREH – 2012 WAHO Trophy Winner – Iran

KOWSAREH, Bay mare, *1987 (Dieve/Chechmeh) breeder: Mr. Kowsari. Owner: Mrs. Sharzad Amir Aslani Strain: Nesmani S. Karam.

The winner of Iran’s 2012 WAHO Trophy, chosen unanimously, is the lovely 26-year old bay mare, Kowsareh. She has quite a romantic history. No money could have bought her dam Chechmeh, who only changed hands when a big pistachio farm in the region of Kerman was promised to her owner in return. Kowsareh was bred by a famous breeder who was one of late Mrs. Mary Gharagozlou’s friends, and Mary acquired her after her breeder passed away. Her lont-time owner Sharzad Amir Aslani was able to buy her from Mary 20 years ago.

Kowsareh is of all old Iranian bloodlines, she has bred beautiful offspring who in turn are producing very well. In fact she was chosen as the WAHO Trophy winner in recognition of her achievements as a broodmare, because her daughters and granddaughters, sons and grandsons have all proven themselves, in almost every event. Amongst her offspring, her daughter Hourinaz is mother to many champions and her son Zakaria raced very well and is now being used for breeding in Khuzestan.

She also originates from the Nesmani strain, less well known in the west, which breeders in Iran value highly. She is a particularly sweet natured mare, a wonderful mother and very people oriented.


Kowsareh, centre, flanked by two of her offspring, Hourinaz and Zakaria, both by Assad.

Postscript: Sadly, Kowsareh passed away before she could attend her Trophy presentation. She is greatly missed.


BARFIN – 2011 WAHO Trophy Winner – Iran

BARFIN, Grey stallion, *1995 (Mobarak / Jem).
Breeder: Mrs. Mary Gharagozlou. Owner: Zia Vakil Sadaat.
Strain: Kehailan Ajuz (Berenji, 1966)

The beautiful stallion Barfin has been officially awarded the 2011 WAHO Trophy. He was bred by Mary Gharagozlou, by the imported Straight Egyptian stallion Mobarak bred by Dr. Nagel in Germany, out of a particularly lovely mare called Jem, herself by the imported American-bred stallion, Aegian Rooz out of the Iranian-bred mare, Berenji. Right from the beginning, the little chestnut/grey colt showed great potential. At that time, young Hilly Benjamin took a fancy to the gorgeous snow white mare Jem who was also the dam of her beloved colt, Patan. The four of them were quite a sight, Hilly riding Jem out on those beautiful hills surrounding Mary’s property, followed by the 2 years old Patan and little Barfin.

Barfin was 2 years old when a major breeder from Yazd, Zia Vakil Sadat, bought him – not knowing yet what an important impact he was to have in their region. In his new ownership, Barfin was raced successfully for 2 consecutive years and after that began his siring duties. The resulting foals were of great quality and he would upgrade most of the mares bred to him.

To date Barfin has sired more than 300 foals and most of them were not only successful on the racetrack but they have also been winning at shows. Just to name a few of his offspring who have also been breeding with great results: Khaghan (out of Akhtan) was the most awarded race horse in Iran, Roham (out of Azizeh), Khordad (out of Parvaz), Zamzam, Chaman Soltan, Hafez, Chalderan, Sharareh, Zolfaghar, Rudabeh, and the list goes on.

Barfin has had a great influence in Iran, and especially in the region of Yazd which has at present more than 300 breeders. He is a very worthy winner of the 2011 WAHO Trophy for his country of birth. The important WAHO Trophy Award Ceremony in his honour is planned to take place during the Arabian Show in Yazd in May 2012.

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Barfin, WAHO 2011 Trophy winner Iran, photo credit Saman Moradi


YAFTEH – 2010 WAHO Trophy Winner – Iran

YAFTEH, Chestnut stallion, *1992 (Fakeh/Bazyafteh).
Breeder & Owner: Khosrow Ghazpiaz.
Strain: Wadnan Khersan Haji Shehab (Eglim, 1957, tracing to Khersani Mir Sardar II)

Yafteh, a stallion of totally Iranian pedigree, has been proudly chosen as Iran’s first WAHO Trophy winner for the year 2010. He was selected not only because he has been a great producer himself, but also because he comes from one of the best dam families in our country.

There is a beautiful story surrounding the birth of his dam, Bazyafteh and how she got her name which means “found again”. Her dam Eglim, one of the best mares of her time, was being offered to the Royal stables by the Bakhtiari rulers. During her journey to the Royal stables, she foaled a stunning and striking filly by Karoun and, as nothing was stipulated on the paperwork, the tribe decided to keep her. In those days, it was not greed or economic reasons that would explain such a gesture but just love for a correct and fine looking filly.

Many years passed until one day, during a visit to her owners, the late Mary Gharagozlou – who knew Eglim and her later progeny very well – came across a beautiful mare which reminded her of Eglim. Puzzled by the resemblance, she kept questioning until finally she was told the truth. She then named her Bazyafteh, found again.

Yafteh himself, now 20 years old (in 2012) was bred by Khosrow Ghazpiaz from the region of Shustar and the family, a branch of the Bakhtiaris, feel it is a big honor for their stallion to be recognized as the winner of the WAHO Trophy. Throughout the award ceremony, which was held during the National show in Kuzhestan, there were mixed emotions of pride and joy as the whole tribe, dressed in their native costumes, followed Yafteh into the ring.

Yafteh has sired many race champions and most of his offspring have also been winning in shows. His son Shaghran has been an undefeated race horse and a show winner in every single show he has been entered in. Yafteh is also father to beautiful daughters that have in turn produced very well.

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Yafteh, Iran 2010 Trophy Winner


2005 WAHO Trophy Winner – Iran

Unfortunately, the WAHO Trophy sent to Iran did not arrive at the Arabian Stud Book Office of the Equestrian Federation of Islamic Republic of Iran. Therefore it has not been possible to award it yet. As soon as the delivery problems have been overcome, it will be awarded and details will be published here in due course.