Institute for the Desert Arabian Horse
Program Description for IRS Form 1023
Part II Attachment A
Planned Institute Activities
During the first two full years of operation, the Institute will organize and sponsor symposia to identify research areas and conservation projects, using the general model of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The first symposium will be held first calendar quarter 2005 in Arizona; the second will be held in mid-2006 at an international location (probably Germany in cooperation with the European non-profit Asil Verein). The purpose of the first two symposia is to draw on historians, researchers, scientists, veterinarians, and breeders to help identify the most important research, education, and conservation projects and frame these into a 10-year plan. The initial symposia have both U.S. and foreign locations to assure the integration of knowledge from experts abroad.
Subsequent symposia will be held bi- or tri-annually to share results of Institute projects and results of collateral efforts by historians, researchers, scientists, and others. Attendance will be open to the public; results, including papers, poster session abstracts, etc. will be publically available on-line and/or in printed proceedings of the Institute. The Institute may seek co-sponsorship with universities or non-profit organizations of allied interests (e.g. Kellogg Library at the University of California, Pomona).
For 2005-06, about 20 percent of time will be spent on the Symposia. This large commitment is needed to establish the long-term research plan. In the out-years, time needed for the Symposia will drop to 10-15 percent in years when a Symposium is scheduled, with little or no time in years during which none is planned.
Each Symposium will be organized by an ad hoc committee of volunteers, led by a designated member of the Board of Directors, with additional volunteer support provided by members of the Advisory Panel (see bylaws for details regarding this panel of experts).
The Institute will use multiple channels to communicate with researchers, historians, educators, and members of the general public who are interested in the work of the Institute. In November 2004, the Institute will publish an introductory periodical as a section in “Arabian Horse World” – the most widely read magazine devoted to the Arabian horse. This periodical will feature the purpose, goals, and activities of the Institute; interview with historian Peter Upton; retrospective on Lady Anne and Wilfred Blunt (breeders from the 19th century); analysis of the contribution of the Blue Catalog movement to conservation of the desert-bred horse; and review of two historical books. Bound overruns will be provided to interested persons and will be used for development (fundraising).
Beginning in January 2005, the Institute will publish an on-line newsletter available to the public on the Institute’s web-site. The proceedings of the 2005 and 2006 Symposia will be published, either as stand-alone documents or as supplements to established periodicals. As time and funds permit, the Institute may produce an anthology of historical articles and a book providing the historical and scientific significance of the Al Khamsa horse.
All publications will be produced by volunteers, with editorial oversight provided by the Board of Directors. The founding Board is fortunate to have 3 directors having experience as published authors and/or editors of major publications.
The purpose of all these activities is to share widely, among the equine community and general public, the work of the Institute and to generate support for Institute activities.
About 20 percent of time will be devoted to production of on-line and print materials for educational purposes.
3. Scientific research
The initial research project will be to develop a database census of the available genetic pool of Al Khamsa horses. The purpose of developing a census of historic and contemporary horses to provide a valid basis for scientific and historic research and for conservation projects. In 2005 the focus will be on horses located in North America; in 2006 the focus will be on developing a strategy to identify such horses as remain in Europe, the Middle East, and other countries abroad. The Institute may seek a grant from the National Science Foundation, Office of International Science and Engineering, to help fund this work.
The database will comply with scientific data set management and data curation standards of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Database design will be by a volunteer, advised by information technology professionals. The identification of data elements will be done by a committee with expertise in various historic blood-line groups. The Arabian Horse Association (U.S) and Canadian Arabian Horse Association have agreed to contribute, without cost, historical information for this effort. Population of the database will be controlled by an Institute committee designated by the Board of Directors. The data will be maintained in a secure server environment with off-site backup and data warehouse. Initially, the database will be made available to researchers. Broader access will be possible when the database is more complete, with on-line access targeted for 2007.
As much as 20 percent of the Institute’s time will be needed for database design and population. After 2006, the time needed to maintain the database will decrease considerably, with resources re-directed to other scientific, education, and historic projects identifed in the 10-year plan developed through the Symposia (as described above).
4. Historical research and conservation of historical documents/artifacts
As part of the 10-year plan to be developed through the 2005 and 2006 Symposia, the Institute will identify and execute historical research and archiving projects. The purpose of such research is to resolve questions of fact regarding the importation and early breeding of some horses and whether these horses represent the historic desert-bred horse. Some of the issues to be addressed include the disposition of the Hamidie Society horses following the 1893 World’s Fair in New York, records of horses bred immediately following Homer Davenport’s death in the early 20th century, source of import of horses into France from the desert in the late 19th century, and resolution of translation ambiguities in records of several European studs (predominantly Germany, Poland, and Hungary).
Some collections of books and records, importation documents, letters and correspondence, and artifacts related to the desert-bred Arabian horse are available at the Arabian Horse Trust. However, information is becoming available through estates and government archives in the U.S. and abroad which should be evaluated by historians. The most recent example is the opening of the archives of Lady Anne Blunt and the availability of her breeding records from the late 1800’s. Many of the records of Richard Pritzlaff, Henry Babson, and other breeders of the early/mid 20th Century have been lost because there was no organization devoted to their preservation. Similar loss has occurred with Bedouin cultural artifacts brought out of the Arabian desert in the 19th and early 20th century. The Institute will identify the at-risk collections and provide archiving for them as a means to furthering its purpose of conserving historical informaion.
These efforts will take about 15 percent of the Intitute’s time, depending on the final recommendations in the 10-year plan and the availability/need to act to obtain at-risk items or to conduct research on newly-available materials.
5. Public demonstrations and events
The Institute will organize and sponsor one “live” public event lasting 1-2 days each year, highlighting the versatility and genetic importance of the historic desert horse. The event will provide education through speakers, demonstrations of historic legends, performance testing, and other programs. The purpose of these events is to inform horse owners and the general public and to generate support for the Institute. Topics may include “History of Bedouin Tribes and Development of the Desert-bred Horse,” “Cultural Traditions of the Bedouin,” “History of Conservation Efforts,” “Beginner’s Guide to Conservation of the Desert-Bred Horse.” The event may be held in conjunction with high-profile media events or other Institute activities. The event will be organized by an ad hoc committee designated by the Board of Directors.
The Institute will also make volunteer speakers available, without charge, to youth organizations such as 4-H and Pony Club and not-for-profit camps for inner-city youth to provide education about the historic desert horse and its contribution to the modern horse. Speakers will also be available for public equine events (e.g. commercial Horse Expos, university-sponsored equine events, major all-breed and Arabian horse shows, etc.). Speakers will be identified by the Advisory Panel (see bylaws) as having particular expertise and ability to communicate the work of the Institute to the target audience.
The Institute will initially devote about 10 percent of time to this effort, although the time will increase as other start-up projects are completed.
6. Conservation and international collaboration
Initial conservation efforts will be done in conjunction with the database development described above. As with international cooperation among zoos to preserve rare and endangered species, breeding of a small, closed gene pool must be done with consideration for inbreeding coefficients and preservation of population diversity. Conservation projects will be included in development of the 10-year plan. Initiallly these are expected to include designation of sub-groups, calculation of inbreeding coefficients, and identification of lines that need expansion to assure long-term genetic diversity. The Institute will develop cooperative relationships with other not-for-profit organizations that have allied or complementary purposes. The purposes of such relationships will be to share information, help locate horses both in the U.S. and internationally for conservation projects, etc. Information gained will be used to advocate conservation breeding projects. The Institute will not engage in any breeding activities. The work described above will be done on the advice and direction of a professor of veterinary science and expert in animal population genetics from the University of California, Davis.
The Institute will also evaluate historical conformation and performance attributes of the desert-bred horse and their applicability to contemporary breeding. The resulting conservation standards and practices will be made available to breeders who wish to undertake conservation projects.
The Institute will devote about 10 percent of time to this effort.
7. Other activities
The Institute will reserve 5 percent of its time to take advantage of opportunities that may arise that further the goals and purposes of the Institute and are consistent with its not-for-profit status. All activities would be undertaken only under the direction of the Board of Directors.