Dear WAHO Members, Friends and fellow lovers and caretakers of the Arabian horse,

It gives me great pleasure to renew my invitation to you all to attend the WAHO 2022 Conference to be held in Amman, Jordan this October. After the unforeseen circumstances that forced so many of us to be so far apart, we open our arms to welcome you all.

Jordan has been involved with WAHO from its very early days and was, I believe, the first Arab country after Egypt – a founding Member thanks to the late Dr Amin Zaher -to become a full Member with a recognised Stud Book in 1980. It was considered a great feat back in those early times, and all the more precious for the stringent inspections of animals, paperwork and historical support that were required. That first stud book contained extensive details of the horses from the long-standing breeding programme of The Royal Jordanian State Stud. To this day, The Royal Stables takes care to preserve the foundation male and female lines that are unique to Jordan.

Jordan’s current horses are known worldwide, but what is perhaps less widely known is that they feature and have had significant influence on many other breeding programmes through horses which were sent abroad in the early to mid-1900s. They feature in the bloodlines of the Yeguada Militar of Spain, the EAO and private stud farms of Egypt – perhaps most notably Shams el Asil of the late Wegdan el Barbary – and Dr Nagel’s Katharinenhof in Germany, and on through the breeding programmes of Ansata in the USA, Al Rayyan in Qatar, and the Simeon Stud in Australia, among others.

The Royal Stables of Jordan logo

In 1987 Jordan initiated the Festival of the Arabian Horse at Home in order to bring breeders from the Middle East together with their horses, as well as guests from around the world, to see examples of the region’s breeding programmes. Since those days, interest in the Arabian horse has reawakened and there are new breeders of both show and performance horses increasing yearly in number and quality. Our Arabians are mainly used for breeding, endurance, and pleasure riding, as well as showjumping. We also supply the Mounted Police with purebred horses for training, competitions, displays, such as tent pegging, and competing in various disciplines. With their gentle temperaments and exceptional empathy with people, especially children, our horses also provide invaluable support at Growing Together, our dedicated hippotherapy project for young people with special needs.

Arabian horses have been an integral part of Jordan’s culture and history since time immemorial, and we are very proud that in this modern age we still have so many excellent representatives of the very qualities for which our local Arabian horses were famous. During the Conference week, we plan to showcase some of our horses in a special parade. We will also offer a variety of tailor made tours, including visits to stud farms and Al Ma’wa Reserve for Nature and Wildlife. We will do our utmost to ensure that during your time with us here in Jordan, you will enjoy our traditional Jordanian hospitality to the full.

Hlayyil Ramadan grey Arabian stallion
Hlayyil Ramadan (Kamar el Zaman x Haboub), World Champion and bred by The Royal Stables

I do hope that many of you will join us here in Amman later this year to experience all that Jordan has to offer at first hand. I very much look forward to sharing our country, our culture, our history and our horses with you.

HRH Princess Alia Bint Al Hussein
HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein

Planning for the WAHO Jordan Conference in October 2022 has now been restarted. Due to the ongoing effects of the worldwide pandemic, the Conference Brochure and registration forms will be sent out to you all later than normal – we anticipate this will be around six months in advance of the event itself. All the necessary Covid protocols that we assume will still be applicable will be followed to ensure your health and safety.

The General Assembly itself is planned for two consecutive full days, slightly different than at our previous Conferences. At the time of writing, the Conference venue hotel has not yet been selected, but of course our WAHO Members will be informed of all the details and proposed costs as soon as these are available.

A dedicated and experienced Conference and Tour Organiser will ensure that everything goes smoothly from your arrival to departure. In the meanwhile, and as we know that many of you like to plan your trip well in advance, below is the draft schedule for the event to give you some idea of what our hosts are proposing.

Preliminary Schedule of Events

Saturday 8 October
Registration desk opens at Conference Venue hotel.
Half day and Full day tours with lunch and/or dinner.

Sunday 9 October
Registration desk open.
Half day and Full day tours with lunch and/or dinner.
WAHO Executive Committee Meeting.

Monday 10 October
Registration desk open.
Half day tours with lunch.
WAHO Executive Committee Meeting.
*WAHO World Registrars Meeting with lunch.
*Welcome reception and dinner.

Tuesday 11 October
*WAHO General Assembly. Full day with lunch.
*Dinner and social event.

Wednesday 12 October
*WAHO General Assembly. Full day with lunch.
*Dinner and social event.

Thursday 13 October
*Visit to The Royal Stables. Private Breeders Parade and lunch.
*Gala Dinner.

Friday 14 October
Post Conference Tours start. 3 and 5 day tours are expected.

*included in Conference registration fee

A variety of tours are being planned to take advantage of the wealth of sightseeing opportunities available. You will be offered the chance to see all the major sites in Jordan, covering everything from the natural environment to history and culture. We hope to arrange visits to some of the private breeders’ farms. The shorter tours will include the historic sites and museums in and around Amman, as well as day trips to famous sites such as Madaba, Mount Nebo, the Dead Sea and Petra.

The longer Post Conference tours will give the chance for a more leisurely exploration of Jordan’s wonderful heritage in more detail, staying longer at places such as Petra and the Dead Sea, and will also include visits to the deserts of Wadi Rum and the Red Sea resort of Aqaba.

Sign to The Dead Sea with a camel in the background

We are also hoping to plan visits to some less well known but fascinating nature reserves and conservation projects such as our Al Ma’wa Reserve for Nature & Wildlife, and we hope to organise the possibility of desert rides with camels or horses, and an overnight stay in a tented camp in the desert.

Tour prices will be inclusive of all meals, experienced guides, transport and accommodation where relevant. Full details will be sent to all our Members with the Conference Brochures and Registration forms.

Petra The Treasury

To find out more, e-mail waho@btconnect.com / thewahooffice@gmail.com or visit the WAHO website.

First appeared in The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine Volume VI Issue I
For more features, click here.



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