Member Report from Saudi Arabia
REPORT AT 2014 WAHO CONFERENCE:
Mr. Mohammed Al Dosary, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: (The report was made using a visual presentation with text, film footage, stills and music. Much of the report below is taken from this presentation). Greetings to all delegates and attendees. My name is Mohammed Al Dosary, I am representing the King Abdulaziz Arabian Horse Center, KAAHC on behalf of Mr. Sami Al Nohait, Assistant Deputy Minister of Animal Resources Affairs and Supervisor General of KAAHC and my co-delegate today is Mr. Khaled Abdullah Al Thoum. Firstly, on behalf of Saudi Arabia, I would like to thank the State of Qatar for hosting such an exceptional event as the WAHO Conference. This short video presentation will highlight the role of the King Abdulaziz Arabian Horse Center, which is the Official Registering Authority for Arabian Horses in the Kingdom, and all the activities concerning the Arabian Horses in our Country.
The King Abdulaziz Arabian Horse Center at Dirab got its name in honour and memory of King Abdulaziz who unified the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the back of a desert-bred Arabian horse. The Center has been founded under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. In 1991, after becoming an official WAHO recognized Organization, our first Stud Book was published and now, in 2014, our 9th volume of our studbook is in preparation. More than 16,000 horses have been registered in total. All foals are parent verified using the latest DNA-typing analysis and the Registry issues both passports and registration certificates. A record of living and dead registered horses is also kept. As the numbers that I will present you now can show, the amount of Arabian Horses registered in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is growing exponentially, together with the activities that surround them. In 2011, the Center registered 1,156 foals, 468 were imported and 66 exported. In 2012, the Center registered 1,379 foals , were imported 508 and exported 66. In 2013, the Center registered 1,775 foals, were imported 610 and exported 29.
In Saudi Arabia there are minimum of 4 ECAHO affiliated Arabian Horse Shows per year, with five planned for 2015, and KAAHC is the Official Organization Authority. The shows organized in the Kingdom are one international A Show hosted in the Center’s beautiful facilities which is the King Abdulaziz Arabian Horse Center Championship Show, one International Title Show recognized worldwide which is the Prince Sultan Abdulaziz International Arabian Horse Festival, as well as two B Shows which are the Saudi National Championship Show held in Al Asha and the Makkah Arabian Horse Show held in Makkah, together with one C Show, the Saudi Breeders Cup held in Taif.
Each year, approximately five flat races and eight endurance competitions are also organized. KAAHC has been sponsoring many International Events every year, dedicated to all disciplines involving Arabian Horses. To name a few these include the Austrian Championship Arabian Horse Show, the King Abdulaziz Cup in Germany, the World Championship Show in Paris and it is also a main sponsor of ECAHO.
The KAAHC is also active in numerous traditional events in the Kingdom where it participates with its Desert Bred and Arabian Horses ridden and displayed in hand, with traditional costumes. The main events are at the Janadriyah Cultural Festival which attracts over one million visitors, at the Eid Celebration held for the first year in 2014 with 20 displayed ridden and in hand horses, at the King Abdullah Park for Heritage and Productive Families Festival and during our National Day. Furthermore many VIP guests from all over the world visit the Center every year and for them a special visit of all facilities is offered, together with an exciting horse display of the Center’s beautiful horses. KAAHC also participated in International Exhibitions such as in Kentucky for the major exhibition entitled “A Gift from the Desert: the Art, History and Culture of the Arabian Horse” in 2010; in the British Museum in “The Horse: From Arabia to Royal Ascot” in 2012 and there is also a beautiful Gallery in the KAAHC itself, displaying many historical pieces and manuscripts regarding the Arabian Horse.
The KAAHC with the collaboration of the FAO, a branch of the United Nations, also leads the project on the genetic conservation and improvement of the Arabian Horse in its homeland. The main missions of the King Abdulaziz Arabian Horse Center are: to breed and maintain the Pure Desert Bred Arabian and Pure Arabians from different bloodlines; to promote the Arabian Horse Industry; to help the owners, breeders and specialists in equine fields from the country, and to inform about welfare of the horse in general, giving a living example with its facilities and its 230 horses resident in the Center. For this reason many training courses for local breeders, owners and local veterinarians are organized and hosted by the Center, such as: DC and Judges courses for Arabian horse shows; Ringmaster course; Handler’s course; Bio-security course; General Infectious Diseases course; FEI – Endurance course; Microchip and horse-markings course; Farriers’ course.
KAAHC is proud to show the continuous development of its facilities including the restoration and renovation of existing stables and paddocks to improve the welfare of its horses, show ground used for the courses and for National and International Events, show stables, the project of a new state of the art quarantine to be an example of excellence in the country and the project of a new Center in Thomamah. Furthermore the Center has a state of the art Equine Clinic for its horses, which is fully operational and able to perform any kind of medical and surgical procedure such as colic surgeries and intensive care for foals. In addition since 2014, the newly built state of the art Breeding Center is performing on-site artificial insemination, embryo transfer and semen freezing. This led to the creation of a frozen semen bank to preserve the genetic heritage of the Center’s main stallions. The semen of its stallions is available and distributed to the breeders of the Kingdom.
Thank you for your attention and thanks again for the great hospitality on behalf of King Abdulaziz Arabian Horse Center and Saudi Arabia.
REPORT AT 2011 WAHO CONFERENCE:
Mr. Mohammed Al Dosary, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: (report partially read over a visual presentation which showed text and related photographs, with music): Fellow delegates, greetings from Saudi Arabia. Firstly I wish to express my thanks to the State of Qatar for their kind hospitality in hosting the WAHO Conference. My name is Mohammed Al-Dosary and I am here with my colleagues Abdulaziz Al-Ghamlas and Mr. Ahmed Al-Otaibi on behalf of the Director General of the King Abdul Aziz Arabian Horse Centre, Mr. Sami Al-Nohait, to relate to you the activities taking place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We wish to show you a short presentation which explains better than words what is taking place in our country. Greetings to all WAHO delegates from Executive Committee member Sami Al-Nohait, Director General of the King Abdul Aziz Arabian Horse Centre, Saudi Arabia.
Under the command of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the King Abdul Aziz Arabian Horse Centre, Dirab, is the Arabian Horse Registration Organization for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The first studbook was issued in 1991 and we are now into our seventh edition with volumes 8 and 9 under progress, volume 8 should be ready by the middle of 2012. So far we have registered 10,268 purebred Arabian horses. In 2010 we registered 900 foals and we had 350 imported horses and 54 exports. We organize four shows a year, flat racing, and we have 8 endurance competitions. We present the WAHO Trophy every year. We have so far 2,115 breeders and owners. All foals are DNA-typed and we issue passports and certificates at registration.
A herd of pure Desert Bred Original Arabs descended from the herd of the founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdul Aziz, resides at the Centre. Here the mare Ghala Dirab is shown, one of the current pure Desert Bred Original Arabs, she was born in 2009. Also at the King Abdul Aziz Arabian Horse Centre is a herd of international Arabian horses with bloodlines from Egypt, Russia, United Kingdom, Poland, United States, Spain and Germany. The King Abdul Aziz Arabian Horse Centre is also a breeding centre, registration centre and show coordinator for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In addition, the centre has just opened a new equine hospital. The hospital also hosts facilities for artificial insemination and embryo transfer. The centre holds regular training courses from its state of the art lecture facilities. In 2011 courses were held in farriery, horse identification, and veterinary techniques, all relating to the Arabian horse. To promote the Art, History and Culture of the Arabian horse, the King Abdul Aziz Arabian Horse Centre has its own Gallery which hosts regular diplomatic, cultural and NGO visits. The centre also assists in the organisation of international exhibitions promoting the Arabian horse. In 2010 the King Abdul Aziz Arabian Horse Centre featured its own gallery at the International Museum of the Horse, Lexington, Kentucky, for the ‘Gift from the Desert’ exhibition.
Each year the centre participates at the Janadriyah Cultural Festival, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which attracts over one million visitors each year. Annually we also hold the week-long Al Khalediah Arabian Horse Festival, featuring a 120 km Endurance Race, five Arabian horse races, an Arabian horse auction, and a 3-day ECAHO ‘A’ class Arabian Horse Show. It is televised live every day throughout the Middle East to millions of homes. The Kingdom holds between 3 and 4 ECAHO ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C: shows per year. The King Abdul Aziz Arabian Horse Centre has produced many international ‘A’ and ‘B’ ECAHO class show winner and champions. (photographs of various show horses and champions followed).
Thanks to the State of Qatar for their organization and hospitality of this most magnificent Conference.
REPORT MADE AT 2009 WAHO CONFERENCE:
I am Engineer Ahmed Halil Al-Otaibi, Registrar of the Saudi Arabian Registry, representing Saudi Arabia in this 2009 WAHO Oman Conference on behalf of Mr. Sami Suleiman Al Nohait, Director General of the King Abdul Aziz Arabian Horses Centre, Saudi Arabia.
Regarding our stud book, last year we published Volume 6, soon we will publish Volume 7. During the year 2008 we registered 750 purebred Arabian horses, with a total of 6,950 purebred Arabian horses registered so far, of which approximately 5,000 are living. We imported 216 horses during 2008, and exported 110. The number of living Arabians has increased considerably due to well managed studs and the increased interest from breeders and buyers to bring in more and more horses for breeding, showing, endurance and so on.
To make the registration procedures more professional, we are using international standard (ISO) for microchipping our horses (Trovan identification systems). Moreover we have a huge database with around 5,000 DNA profiles. This year we are planning to upgrade the whole system with the latest programmes and technologies, including a website.
Further I would like to inform you that we allow and have been using Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transfer successfully during the last years and also we allow multiple foals per mare per year by Embryo Transfer. In the near future we have plans to make a new ultra-modern Equine Hospital for treatment and surgery, specially for the beautiful Arabian horses in their homeland of Saudi Arabia.
Regarding the activities, we represent the Official Government Registry of Saudi Arabia. All movement of horses including export, import, shows, endurance, selection of judges for the shows, and visas, are controlled by the King Abdul Aziz Arabian Horse Centre and Registry as per Royal decision in Saudi Arabia. Though Arabian Flat Races and Endurance are under a different authority in Saudi Arabia, they are using the Saudi Registry for the tasks. This year we have 3 shows, of which one is International. In addition to this we hold an Exhibition every year at Janadriya, Riyadh, for the public to learn more about Arabian Horses and the latest equestrian trends. In addition to this National Exhibition we also plan to conduct a major International Exhibition next year, entitled “A Gift from the Desert” at the Museum of the Horse in Kentucky, USA. You will hear more about this later in the Conference.
Every year we arrange many television broadcasts including documentaries, news reports and live broadcasts of horse shows through Saudi National Television medias. People from all walks of life including National Colleges, Schools and other Associations visit our Centre to learn more about Arabian horses. We have plenty of leaflets for distribution to the visitors, who are really interested in Arabian horses. Moreover we are now coordinating with the United Nations for a Project in the Preservation and Improvement of Arabian Horses in its Homeland. Further, I look forward to even more cooperation among WAHO Registries.
REPORT MADE AT 2007 WAHO CONFERENCE:
Saudi Arabia is in the process of issuing Volume 6 of our official Stud Book which takes us through to 2,773 horses registered purebred Arabians, and we are currently collecting the data for Volume 7. We have to date registered a total of 4,930 purebred Arabian horses up to April 2007. 410 foals were registered in 2005, and so far we have 284 registered for 2006. The switch to DNA has slowed the registration process slightly, because many horses have to be re-rested or newly tested. We expect this changeover to be completed soon, and a database is in the process of being established to further ease the registration process. We estimate that about 80 to 90 stallions are being used for breeding and probably over 400 mares are in production. In 2005 and 2006 combined, 520 Arabian horses were imported from 20 different countries and 70 Arabian horses were exported to 11 countries. The popularity of the Arabian horse is increasing dramatically, which is shown by these numbers.
Parent verification is mandatory for registration. All horses are microchipped using the Trovan system. We allow Artificial Insemination and import and export of transported frozen semen. Embryo Transfer is permitted, multiple foal registrations are allowed but only with the Saudi Desert-Bred horses as a means of increasing their number in order to preserve their important heritage in our country.
Periodic National Championship Shows are organized by the King Abdul Aziz Arabian Horse Centre and some independent shows have also been held in accordance with the ECAHO regulations and under the control of the Centre. There has been an increase in showing of horses that directly correlates to the rise in interest in the Arabian horse in the Kingdom. Endurance competitions are also very popular in Saudi Arabia. The King Abdul Aziz Arabian Horse Centre works with the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation to conduct some of these events, and we hope to start flat racing sometime in the future.
Everything is going well for the Arabian horse in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Arabian horse remains very popular in its homeland. The King Abdul Aziz Arabian Horse Centre has worked with several local museums and historical foundations to educate the public about the Arabian horse in its homeland. We are presently involved in an international project to promote the purebred Arabian horse world-wide. We are proud of our Arabian horses and are dedicated to preserving their important heritage.
In 2007, Saudi Arabia registered 420 foals. There were 90 exported horses, and 306 imported horses in the same year.