Friday, April 13, 2012

Royal Heritage - the story of Jordan's Arab Horses - book
by HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein and Peter Upton
Medina Publishing, July 2011
210 x 218 mm Portrait, 264pp hardcover
RRP £35
ISBN: 978-0-9564170-4-6

Illustrated throughout in colour and b&w with paintings, drawings and a wealth of recent and historical photographs.
Co-authored by HRH Princess Alia, the eldest daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, and the artist and author Peter Upton, Royal Heritage tells the story of the Arab horse in Jordan, from the early days of the Bedouin tribes to the 21st century, a story closely associated with the Hashemite family of Jordan, direct descendants of the Prophet.

The account also tells of the Arab Revolt of 1916, in which the Emirs Ali, Abdullah, Faisal and Zeid, with T E Lawrence, drove the Ottomans out of the region, and how some of the Hashemite mares became the foundation stock of the Royal Stud in Jordan. Royal Heritage covers many other adventures including the traumatic events which nearly led to the loss of the Stud's precious mares and describes how, despite these setbacks, the Royal Stud has flourished.

In 1987 Princess Alia, Director of the Royal Stud, organised the first Arab horse show to be held in Arabia entitled 'The Arab Horse at Home'. It was an event which inspired other Arab countries to organise horse shows of their own.

Princess Alia includes many fascinating personal reminiscences: about the horses she holds so dear, the people involved in the Stud through the years, the famous and infamous, family and friends, heads of state and handlers. The work is richly illustrated with paintings, drawings and rare photographs from old archives and private collections, as well as up-to-date portraits of the Stud and its horses.

Peter Upton gives an in-depth account of the horses themselves; the breeding, lineage and preservation of the hugely important Jordanian bloodlines.

A story of legend, romance and war, Royal Heritage tells with passion for the first time the remarkable saga of the Arab horse in Jordan.

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