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Horses of Oman

Historically, Oman has been famous for its purebred Arab horses. Some historians date the origin of Arab horses in Oman to the time of Prophet Suleiman who presented an Azd delegation with the famous stallion Zad-Arr-akib, from whom all the Arab horses in Oman have descended. Oman has been renowned for possessing the best pedigree of Arab horse with the reputation of being very reliable and healthy. Horse breeders knew how to preserve and maintain bloodlines by specifically breeding only top class animals, believing that the horse is the image of his master and a reflection of his courage, stamina and ability.

The Omanis studied the pedigrees of their horses as closely as they studied the ancestry of their tribes. Horse breeding was a main source of income for centuries and large numbers were exported to India and Mauritius, particularly during the reign of Said bin Sultan in the 19th century who presented a grey mare to William IV and a black stallion to Queen Victoria of Great Britain.

However, during hard drought spells which became more common over the last few centuries, the number of horses decreased dramatically. In 1970, with His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said's accession to the Omani throne, new directives were implemented pertaining to the breeding and care of Arab horses. The Royal Stud Farm was built in the mid-70's in Salalah as a department of the Royal Stables designed to breed the best quality horses with the emphasis on Arabs and thoroughbreds. The Royal Stud continues to play an important role in horse breeding each year.

The perfect Arabian horse has a small head, proportionate to the rest of its body; large eyes; small, pointed, erect ears; and a short, wide back. Due to their pure bloodlines, Arab horses maintain good health and rarely succumb to illness. They eat less than other breeds and have great endurance for long journeys. Arab horses come in a variety of colours, but the most prized is the white. Each horse is given an Equine Passport by the Omani Horse Register (OHR) which is the equivalent of its identity card. Every horse has an unique name and Omanis go to great pains to ensure that each name is different.

The Oman Equestrian Federation was formed in 1983 to promote equestrian events such as dressage and show jumping. The Federation organises a national show jumping competition each winter, which attracts entries from the Royal Stables, the Royal Oman Police, who operate a mounted division within the force, the Royal Guard of Oman, and private stables. The show jumping events take place at Enam Equestrian show ground in Seeb, which has been described as one of the top riding arenas in the world. In December 1991, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip participated in a horse carriage event at Enam.

Oman is keen to contribute and cooperate with regional and international horse organisations such as the World Arab Horse Organisation (WAHO) to which end, the Royal Stables ensure separate records of pedigrees are maintained for each horse. There are 52 member countries in WAHO and Oman was one of the founder members, joining in 1978. The Royal Equestrian Show is held every five years and there is an Annual Royal Meeting during which the Royal Stables competes with other horse owners in the Sultanate. 

Culture:- Overview Oman Culture in focus National Dress-Men National Dress-Women The Traditional Dhow Shabab Oman Omani Food Folk songs & Dances Horses of Oman Traditional crafts

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