Baghdad – The breeding of purebred Arabian horses in Iraq has recently begun to see an increase in reviving the heritage of the ancestors, as horses represent a sign of chivalry and courage, as well as being linked to a strong relationship with their owners, to the to the extent that some called them the names of some of their sons.
The purebred Arabian horses are distinguished by their distinctive head, high tail and graceful body, and they are one of the oldest and best horse breeds in the world, in addition to their ability to run long distances and their striking beauty, which has earned them internationally. fame.
Horses are also a wealth and part of the ancient history of the Arab peoples, stretching back thousands of years and being a symbol of heroism and power in the wars they fought.
“The horses we have are purebred Arabian horses registered with the British-based International Arabian Horse Organization, and all horses are within international and Iraqi standards,” Bakr Farouk, a veterinarian in charge of the Arabian Horse Care Division in Al- Zawra Park, told Xinhua.
In order to maintain communication and exchange of information about horses, I established Iraqi Arabian Horse Organization It has a website on Facebook with the aim of preserving the Arabian horse, pure and healthy in its origin and clear in its breeds, and this organization is the only body responsible for maintaining the purity of the blood of Arabian horses registered with him, and it is the internationally accredited body in this field.
Farouk recalls his efforts in 2003 before the American occupation, which led to the rescue of a group of the rarest purebred Arabian horses in the Arabian Knights Club.
He confirmed that he had endangered his life when he evacuated the horses without government approval to the stables of the Equestrian Club in the Al-Amiriya neighborhood, west of Baghdad, to keep them away from the stables of the presidential palaces. (currently the Green Zone), which was expected to be bombed.
To preserve the origin of these horses after the entry of American forces, Farouk hid their records and documents in his house to preserve them during the looting period.
“Most of these horses were stolen or smuggled out of the country,” Farouk said with a sigh and pain.
According to Farouk, some of the purebred horses were fetched despite the difficulties and temptations, indicating that attractive offers from inside and outside Iraq were made to them from inside and outside Iraq to smuggle these horses, but these offers were rejected because these horses a national wealth for the country.
With betting cards and pencils, dozens of men and young men arrive at the Equestrian Club in western Baghdad in groups at a temporary spectator stand or in a nearby hall overlooking one side of the dirt road, watching the jockeys in white shorts and colorful shirts on their horses race enthusiastically to reach the finish line.
Inside the hall overlooking the racetrack, discussions and exchanges of information about the horses were heated, and suddenly the voices and cries of young and old rose as the horses took off at one of the races.
Amid the noisy atmosphere inside the hall, Dhia Al-Khafaji, a horse breeder, said: “I have been here as long as there is a horse race, because I have been in love with horses since I was a child and I have this passion from me father inherited. and grandfather. ”
He added, “There is a profit aspect in breeding horses through buying and selling, as well as racing, due to the presence of financial prizes,” noting that he has participated in many horse races and won many prizes. has.
Al-Khafaji showed a picture of his “leader” horse, which he loved very much, even though he died a few years ago, and said: “He was like my son, and I cherish him and love him. him, because he is an authentic and unique Arabian horse. He has won 14 times in the first place and 12 times in the second place. “
Horse lovers and gamblers gather every Saturday and Tuesday on the club’s horse track to bet and encourage for the horses they prefer.
The Iraqi Organization of Arabian Horses has set up a website for it on Facebook with the aim of preserving the Arabian horse, pure and healthy in its origin and clear in its bloodlines.
The horse race flourished in Baghdad, and it is one of the most successful races in the Middle East, in which the beautiful Arabian horses take part, taking the city’s elite to the former site in the luxury Mansour district of the capital, which was local, attracted. called “The Race” and is held three times a week.
Horse racing in Iraq has been affected by wars, 13 years of economic sanctions and more than 30 years of ban on international horse racing due to Iraq’s failure to meet the conditions set by the World Organization for Animal Health, and these races were also negative affected after many breeders left the country and many horses died.
Jamal Rashid, 55, a veterinarian and director of the Arabian Horse Registration Division at the Iraqi Equestrian Club, said: “The sanctions and wars that Iraq has seen have had a negative impact on club and horse breeding.”
He added, “We still have a lot to do to rehabilitate the horse race as the club does not have a stadium and other infrastructure other than planting grass on the racetrack.”
Rasheed revealed the need for breeders to support, as many of them use the club’s stables, indicating that the club includes 146 stables, each with 16 studs.
He explained that the club is an independent and self-financing institution and has limited capabilities, and expressed his hope that the government will support the club and contribute to the restoration of part of the Iraqi national heritage.