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Three weeks in the Middle East would hardly qualify me as an experienced traveler compared to the many travelers who have preceded me in the last several hundred years. However, when one reads about their journeys over time it gives some perspective when actually making such a journey and experiencing it personally.


Now, I was there, and somehow all that I had read about was jumping out of those old books into my reality. As you shall see in this overview some things have changed but discovering what hasn't changed was a most regenerating experience for me as a lover of the traditional Arabian horse.

Al Khamsa Arabians are defined as those horses in North America that can reasonable be assumed to descend entirely from asil bedouin Arabian horses bred by the horse-breeding bedouin tribes of the deserts of the Arabian peninsula, without admixture from sources unacceptable to Al Khamsa.

It is this definition which sets Al Khamsa Arabians apart from all others and which make these horses a cohesive group, even though there are individual modern breeding programs.

The key to the Al Khamsa concept lies with the bedouin tribes as the original source of the foundation horses without regard to any intermediary country, person or studfarm which may have acquired, or bred from descendants of these foundation horses.

In this fast paced information age of the internet one wonders if books are useful items to own and collect. The truth is that nothing can take the place of those stolen quiet moments at your leisure or late at night when you can curl up with a book and browse or read intensely with a greater energy and speed than even the fastest computer, by candle light even without electricity.

The Arabian horse is a fascinating subject covered in thousands of books almost as far back as when books were invented. For this reason books on this subject become not only sources of knowledge but sometimes valued collectibles. Given the scope of the subject where does one start? Well here are some simple suggestions for getting started.

Way back -- probably 1957 -- when I was trying to get started with Davenport breeding, I was contacted by an Elizabeth Paynter, who was trying to do the same thing. Elizabeth Paynter turned out to be a teen-age girl, still in high school.

She liked to be called “Liz.” She was one of those sweet, wholesome kids with a wonderful father and mother. There was no question that she was horse crazy. No doubt her folks liked horses, too, but I think their main interest was in participating in an activity with Liz. One or both of them would be along when she came for a visit. they actively took part in her horse projects. Betty, the mother, took care of the horses when Liz could not, and, of course, money had to come from somewhere. The Paynters were not wealthy people, but they took good care of their horses and paid their horse bills.

We received this touching story about the 20 year old Al Khamsa stallion Laurence (Ansata Ali Pasha x HMR Ballani) whose location was unknown until Mary Lou Raulerson, who aquired him, became familiar with Al Khamsa. His dam, HMR Ballanni, was bred by Howard Marks and is by Hallany Mistanny and is a daughter of Baba, one of the mares on the reference pedigree list of the Raswan collection.

Here is Laurence's story as told by Mary Lou Raulerson:"An old rock and roll song said...'to know, know, know him is to love, love, love him...' and in the case of Laurence it's true. That grand old horse has built up quite a fan club over the years in our area including children,women who always wanted a horse, owners of his get and even the vets who have treated him. His most ardent admirers are Walter Schimanski, who owns his 3/4 sister, Balima and, of course, me.

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