Being beautiful, intelligent, easy to train, flamboyant in movement and always eager to please – these are just some of the qualities of Arabian horses that have made them a passion for breeder Greg Egan.
Greg, who owns the Myth Haven Arabian Farm at Seven Oaks, near Kempsey, says he has been mad about horses since childhood, and back then he had his bedroom plastered with pictures of Arabian horses, as they were the most beautiful of all.
However he has now narrowed his focus to Egyptian Arabians, with 24 of them currently on his eight-hectare property. Greg operates the stud in his spare time, fitting it in with his full-time day job.
“All the horses at the farm are of Egyptian lineage,” he says. “Egyptians are one of several labels within the Arabian breed. Some of the popular labels of the breed include Polish, Spanish, Russian and Crabbet lines.
“Egyptian Arabians were chosen for the farm because of the fascination of their history, their lines descending from excellent families from the deserts of Egypt, their kings and pashas.
“The history of these horses is most interesting.
“The horses of the farm were chosen for a number of reasons. Their incredible beauty, their excellent temperaments, their pedigrees and how the families breed.
“But it is most important that these horses have a use and the ability to be highly functional in any discipline – to be sound, reliable riding horses.”
Greg has been breeding Egyptian Arabians at Myth Haven for 20 years, and says that long period of studying Arabian horses, their pedigrees, their uses and their history is bearing fruit for the stud.
Myth Haven recently sold three Straight Egyptian Arabian youngsters – a colt and two in-foal mares – to the Philippines, where their buyer plans to establish a new Egyptian breeding program.
“The farm consist of a number of quality mares who all breed to the specific type we desire to breed for the future,” Greg says.
“There are, at the beginning of 2015, twenty Straight Egyptian Arabians – 17 mares and four stallions and a young colt – plus two Egyptian Related horses including the beautiful mare Pearsons Valeeah and her mate, the impressive bay stallion Simeon Safsal.”
Horses from Myth Haven have been used for activities such as endurance, show riding, pleasure riding and breeding.
“We rarely stand the stallions at stud due to work commitments, however we always know that our love for the breed includes sharing them with others,” he says. “We enjoy others being successful with what our horses have to offer and more recently we have had increased demand for the stallions to be bred to other breeds such as Thoroughbreds to breed good quality Anglo Arabians, very popular in the show ring and for endurance.
“Several Pony mares have visited to breed Arabian Ponies. These crosses produce very good-looking horses, horses that move very well for endurance or the show ring.”
Greg has specialised in four Egyptian Arabian family bloodlines and says with the mares and stallions in the stud he could continue breeding for 20 years without encountering inbreeding problems, although he is always ready to bring in a new stallion if a standout animal becomes available.
Egyptian Arabians sell from about $5000, he says, but the better the horse the higher the price – with some to animals fetching hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Arabian horses “have very good, kind temperaments, they are easy to work with, they are smart and easy to train, they always like to please and their personalities are a delight every day to be in the presence of,” he said.
“They can participate in shows for led and ridden classes. They can be used by all the family for any discipline – sporting, jumping, showing, pleasure riding, riding groups, natural horsemanship and pony club.
“They are great all-round horses and they have that advantage of having the joy of riding something incredibly beautiful.”
Specifically, Greg points to their “beautiful faces and distinctive ears”, their “flamboyance” of movement and “beautiful tail carriage when they move”.
“Arabian Racing is taking place in several locations so if you have that passion for beauty and racing, an Arabian horse could certainly fulfil your dreams, but every day I say that an Arabian can fulfil any dream you wish to have with a horse in your life.”
As you might have gathered, Greg Egan is pretty keen on Arabian horses.