More about the Asil, the Modern Persian Arabian

Persian Arabs (Asils) By : Shirin Salartash

Horsereporter thanks Shirin Salartash for this translation of news about the modern Persian Arabian horse.

Persia has had horses for thousands of years. If you go to Persepolis you can see the carvings of the horses and Persian kings. The carvings inside the caves show the presence of horses in the Iranian plateau 2500 years ago and even older.

Modern Persian Arabs, which are the descendants of these horses in the west of Iran, are well-known for their unique ability to tolerate long distances in different climates and tracks.

One of the prominent characteristics of these horses is their very good temperament and courage; this makes them very safe in long distances. Their intelligence is also obvious to anyone who rides them. Unfortunately due to some rules it is impossible and sometimes if possible very difficult to send them to Europe in endurance rides.

In the years 1979, 1978 and 1989, the late Mrs. Mary Leili Gharagozlou, who was the founder of the Iranian National Stud book, exported some horses to Austria, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Holland. Unfortunately because Iran underwent many happenings, there is no trace of many of them but those that went to Austria and Holland have been found and their progeny are active in endurance with a lot of spectacular records.



UntitledAbu Khamseh 75 percent Persian Arab (Asil)

2006 in September he beat the world champion Miguel Vebla in a CEI **** (200K)

2006 in Copa del Rey in Spain he gained the title of the best Arabian horse of the year

(8 days – 460 kilometer) ride.



The champion of TREC with his owner who also rode him








UntitledHarfa 50 percent Persian Arab, finished the ride in Copa Del Rey with Abu Khamseh.







Aanis al Saltaneh, straight Iranian (Persian Arab) now in Holland.

She has done endurance rides in Holland with her owner.  Unfortunately we don’t have any records of her achievements but her progeny have had a good record in racing . She is now around 30 years old.


Mary’s Old stables in Hamdan, Varkaneh



Persian Arabs in Hamadan, Varkaneh

Photo courtesy of Ali Zeli

The late Mary Gharagozlou made the migration from the south of Iran Khuzestan which is hot in summer to the western city, to Hamedan, which is cool is summer on these Persian Arabs for about 6 years until 1979 when the revolution happened in Iran. There is a movie “Migration to Survive” about this extraordinary transfer of the Persian arabs all the herds including the foals covered a distance of 460 kilometers in about 2 weeks including resting periods that she wanted to give to her horses and riders.


In modern Iran The Persian arabs are in both shows and endurance.

The interesting fact about these horses is that a show horse is also endurance champion the beauty and correct conformation is accompanied by power, stamina and courage.


The Straight Iranians as we call them  if they have no imported blood, can be champions in the show ring and at the same time endurance and very comfortable and sure footed riding horses. They are very courageous and attentive especially in the mountainous areas. This unique characteristic is not found in many of the horses bred for show. 
Zoljanah , chestnut, straight Iranian Persian Arab Show winner and a 110 k National endurance horse.


Courtesy of Sadra Jafaryazdi

Charis, a straight Iranian mare, a very sure footed riding horse as well as a brood mare now and she was qualified for 40 k endurance in Iran. The handler is also an endurance rider of 110 national rides in Iran and breeder of Persian Arabs which all can participate in shows and endurance rides. They are receiving the prize by Zaldi saddles. Photo Courtesy of Hamzeh KarbasiUntitled 2


Monar, 20 years old, standing by stable wall, is a straight Iranian Persian Arab, champion of the national show in 2009, winner of 110 K National rides in Kerman.


Photo courtesy of Iran Asil Association


Endurance 2010 spring, Iran. The track is mostly stony and the Iranian horses tolerate this hard track very well.

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