Desert Arabian Heritage Groups in the West

During the past 50 years, groups of breeders have focused on certain bloodlines, each constituting a sub-group of Desert Arabian horses. Geneticists call these “heritage groups” because they focus on perpetuating particular traits or descendants of a limited number of foundation animals. These groups are important reservoirs of genetic material that would be lost more quickly if the entire population of Desert Arabians were bred together.

A generalized description of each group follows. For a more detailed explanation of how the Heirloom, Sheykh Obeyd, and Pyramid Society Straight Egyptian foundations relate, go here.

Al Khamsa

Horses in North America descended entirely from foundation horses researched by Al Khamsa, Inc. that are “reasonably assumed” to descend entirely from Bedouin-bred horses. [More…]

Asil Club

German-based organization that identifies asil horses from every country that meet its criteria as being of exclusively Bedouin origin. [More…]

Association du Cheval Arabe Bédouin

A recently-formed organization, ACAB focuses generally on asil horses in France. [More…]

Blue Star/Blue List

Horses that trace entirely to those identified by Mrs. John Ott and Miss Jane Ott in the 1960s Blue Arabian Horse Catalog that were imported to the US and have no recorded Muniqi blood (Blue List are horses from the Catalog that have Muniqi blood). [More…]


Horses that descend entirely from Homer Davenport’s breeding, mostly from 15 of 27 horses brought from the desert in 1906. [More…]


“The Heirloom taproot horses are the Al Khamsa Foundation Horses and their predecessors exported from Arabia Deserta before 1914 from which the Root Mares and Root Stallions of the RAS descend.” Two variants add El Deree or Badouia. [More…]

Sheykh Obeyd

Descending entirely from horses of seven breeders, six of which were in Egypt, the seventh being the Blunts, who maintained studs in both Egypt (Sheykh Obeyd) and England (Crabbet). [More…]

Straight Egyptian

Generally used to refer to horses of interest to The Pyramid Society and tracing entirely to horses bred in Egypt and meeting the Pyramid Society definition. [More…]