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The rescue of the Raja horse



In 1995, when Francesca Kelly made her first journey to India - for a luxurious horse drive - a girlfriend said: "Either you will like it or you will like it. "A49 year old with a slightly quadratic pine, indicating a hint of obstinacy and eagerness, Kelly is not the kind you would have expected to be falling in Love with India's random world.

However, she fell, first for an extravagant and despairing horse, the Marwari, and then for her vast outback. When Kelly purchased her first Marwari in 1995 with the intent of taking her to the United States, the horse was on a long listing of endangered races that were exported illegally.

India had just three years previously subscribed to a comprehensive bio-diversity treaty and proclaimed its domestic farm animals a "national asset". "Then, as India's researchers estimated that only 500 or 600 Marwaris would remain untouched by the crossing, the chances of getting the India administration to turn their back.

No, not Kelly. A steppe-daughter of Sir Harold Beeley, the UK Embassador to Cairo from 1961 to 1964 and again from 1967 to 1969, she was raised in Washington, D.C. and lived much of her early life where her favourite memory of galloping in the sand around the family's deserts retreat was a large Bedouin marquee full of colourful drapery and carpets.

Almost three years later, looking into the eye of Shanti, her feral stallion filly was like looking into this past. However, first she had to be on an equal footing with some rather fierce adversaries - including the India administration and the US Department of Agriculture. In the end, she not only brought six Massachusetts stallions with her, but also started a notable campaign to save one of the oldest horse races in the underworld.

"Raghuvendra Singh Doddlod, better known as Bonnie, a descendent of the nobility of India. He was the one who managed this first powerful horse cruise and is now Kelly's associate in a horse breed and exports store.

There was a threat that lack of knowledge and random discipline would result in the destruction of the Marwari as an independent race, a general tendency. According to a 1997 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization survey, half of the animal races that were in existence in Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century are already dead, and almost half of the others are threatened or threatened.

The majority of recognised horse races are registered by family trees that retrace the lineage of the "pure" horses over the course of time. Several registers use breeding norms to identify pets suitable for the production of pedigree dog-offsprings. However, in the case of the Marwari there were no notes, no stud books and no encoded males.

The Marwari would continue to be very susceptible without a meaningful, coordinated explanation of the Marwari and the implementation of a system of register. The Marwari has a historical past. Ahotblood deserts horse with a thick, domed throat, elongated and flickering nose, the horse was breeded for combat by the Rathores, a wild Rajput Indian warrior or a royal ruleraste.

However, after 11 generation and many fights, the triad reigned a three time larger empire than Belgium and conquered most of the present state of Rajasthan in northwestern India. Pride of a mistake and above all in honour of a great deal of glory, these Hindus cultivated in the Marwari their spirited, conspicuous and irascible, but also brave and grandiose manner.

In the Marwari, they also cultivated its most striking bodily characteristic: the ear that bends inwards to a point and forms an almost imperfect bow at its top. Hindu-Rajputs opposed the Moslem conquistadors of India for centuries before they took over the moguls in the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. During this period of almost permanent conflict, the Rajputs used a bard minstrel to document their successes - in great horse lyrics and great male stories that make the Iliad Greeks and Trojans look as bloodthirsty as Quakers.

A tale exalts the horse of Amar Singh, a Rajput asked by a Mughal secretary to give a fine for failing a trial. When Singh's troops drove his intrepid horse over the 70-foot high walls of Agra Forte. Today there is a horse sculpture next to the fortress, a few kilometres from the Taj.

Over 400 years later the name of the stud is not only alive in innumerable racehorses, but also in a number of chektak bikes of the Indian Bajaj Auto Ltd. Since the emperors had long ago established a system of boxes for the horse and kept everyone except their precious relatives from possessing or ridin' the precious beasts, the race became a hateful emblem of Indian feudalism and repressive sectarianism.

Many thousand ponies were killed, neutered or given to the farmer as draught cattle. The local horse keeping was mostly done by the country people. Marwari's possible rescue was sowed in the 1980' as India's tourism industries began to develop. With their new wealth, some took up interest in an old pastime: horse-raising.

However, when Kelly and her man James first came to India for their horse safaris in 1995, the attempt to preserve the horse - in contrast to pure studding - was still pending. Like many horse breeder everywhere, the breeder of native animals had no common race conservation policy.

The only move the Marwari had taken to obtain them was to ban their export. But when Kelly found out that her filly and two other Marwaris she had bought would not come home with her, she was destroyed. However, after a single or two days, she put her pine and chose to deal with these animals, even if this participation could be limited to India.

"They were all bound to my heads and back like servants, my noses in the crib, no place to breathe," she remembers. "She and her associate Dundlod promised to do something about it. "This horse's destiny lies both outside and inside India," she said.

In order to dull the argument that transporting Kelly's fistful of Marwaris to the United States would exhaust the genetic resources, Kelly and Dundlod began to breed high-value ponies in Rajasthan. They co-founded the Indian Horse Society of India in 1999, the only nationally based organization of its kind that works with the Indian authorities on nature protection programmes, raising Marwari consciousness and encouraging growers to use more advanced techniques.

In 2000, the couple won the 100-kilometre long distance event at the Olympic horse shows, persuaded the Ecuestrian Federation of India to sanctify the first domestic show for native horse and published a photo volume Marwari: Legends of the American Horse - this is still the most comprehensive English language survey of the horse-breeding.

On the way Kelly travelled to so many auction and horse shows in isolated cities across the Punjab and Rajasthan that the Mirasi horse traders' class began to call her Ghorawalli: the rider. Through the interest of the Indian riding world in horses through shows, contests and shows, Kelly and Dundlod affected the markets and breedings.

With no effort to find the ancestor of the race, who, if possible, would have thought about documentation and consulted horse dealers for years, they began to register the best examples of Stallions, whose immediate stallions and mothers could be located. In early 2002, when I first saw Kelly and Dundlod, India seemed to have almost as many breeders' federations as there had been a few of them.

Some of the federations have already said they have a plan to create breeding standard and to establish their own stud books. It was important for Kelly, who was hoping to interest a large US grower in the promotion of the Marwari in the United States, that they all work with the same handbook and one of these days have the same family tree.

However, the other Marwari breeder hesitated to relinquish full responsibility for the recording and evaluation of their own horse - especially to a group of foreigners headed by a minor noblewoman who did not even come from Marwar. The Marwar Horse Society had started to organize the first nationwide race standard meeting in the Jodhpur town to take the next steps in the formation of a government and lay its own claims to leadership.

So Kelly and Dundlod headed for Jodhpur in October 2002. Since 1459, the capitol of the town of Jodhpur and the town from which the horse trousers (and shorts ) adopted by the British in the nineteenth cent. take their name, Jodhpur seemed to be the obvious centre for the move to rescue the horse of Mervari.

However, soon after the start of the standard race meeting, with a Hindu benediction and a succession of superfluous politician addresses, it began to dissolve. Kelly, who appeared in slim jodhpurs and high ridingboots, her wounded coat and tied in a lump behind her forehead, gradually lost her coolness.

" "You have to say more than that," contradicted M. P. Yadav, manager of the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, "or it doesn't mean anything! "Every jargon, whether "refined", "long", "straight", "broad", "large", "well developed" or "well placed" and whether used on the forehead, face, eyes, breast, hindquarters or tails, did not bring the group nearer to any agreement on an optimal, theoretic horse.

When the three days of meetings ended, it had produced a pointless account that would have been suitable for any horse, but for something about arched eyes. Later Kelly said grimly: "We will develop our own race standart further. "Over the next few month, she and Dundlod and tribal Horse Society specialists have been defining their own race norms and translating them into Hindi.

Company enrollment is now mandatory for anyone wishing to be an exporter or participate in the nation's native horse show, and the HISAR Natural Research Centre for Equine Research, India, and most other vets divisions have adopted and approved Kelly and Dundlod breeding stan-dards. After Jodhpur I again saw Dundlod at the yearly horse and camp in Pushkar, Rajasthan, one of the most important places of sanctuary of the Hindus.

In the same month, several thousand peasants and shepherds, some of whom were on the road up to 100 kilometres on foot, built their camps outside the city and formed a vast open-air stock raising shed and the biggest meeting of horse ranchers in the area. However, since they raised most of the marwaris who earned their livelihood by supplying award winning Hindus for wedding ceremony, no group was more important for survival.

On the top of the mountain, the best horse bearings were near a Ferris wheels. Most of the animals were lean, their skeleton clearly recognizable under the hide. A group of farmers drove to Dundlod for the next three nights, where they offered horse. While they seemed to be selling eagerly, it was also clear that they were experienced salespeople, for which Kelly and Dundlod were certainly at least partially at work.

These higher awards largely mirror Kelly's $50,000 for Dilraj, her US colt, four years ago - a small part of the $150,000 routine demand for top quality thoroughbred stallions from mature blood lines, but an incredible amount for India's rural-breeder. The prize announcements, first posted on their Marwari Bloglines website (www.horsemarwari.com), were spreading fast.

Since Kelly and Dundlod started exporting their first horse in 2000, the cost of the top marwaris in India has risen from about $500-600 to $3,000-4,000. I have seen first-hand how hard it can be to sell internationally expansive horse on the Chappaquiddick stables off the Massachusetts coastline and not far from the East Beach," said Mr Dunn, adding that the higher pricing, coupled with the government's choice to revoke the embargo on exports, has given local breeder a powerful stimulus not only to maintain their own horse, but also to keep record and maintain blood lines to further enhance the breed's value. I have seen first-hand how hard it is to tra destabilize internationally expansive horse breeds when I saw Kelly's shed on Chappaquiddick and the Massachusetts coastline near the East Beach.

"Kelly said on my first trip to the Isle in December 2002, "The big thing about being on the Isle is these animals. "As they couldn't go to England, we began to build a horse ranch here, and everything fit together. It was no bother for me to imagine the shocks Kelly's first six Marchari ponies must have gone through here, far away from the Rajasthani deserts, during her first hibernation in 2000.

The logistic for their first delivery of marwaris in 2000 was even more complex. Doorside to doorside, veterinarian dues, transportation costs and isolation, the consignment was more than $10,000 per horse, even if the six were shipped in groups of three, the airlines transportation palette capability.

Though all their ponies were declared fit before they left India, when they arrived in America a filly was positively checked for pyroplasmosis, a tick-borne infections that harms reddish corpuscles. When the vet of the US Department of Agriculture refused Kelly's horse, it was not accepted by any other state. Kelly had spent ten long wars to keep the vet from putting the filly to sleep by throwing up the spectre of an unknown sting.

Finally, the veterinarian directed her to Dr. Ralph Knowles, an pirouette specialist who set up the Venezuelan pirouettes, costing Marwari Bloodlines another $15,000. He has worked hard to support the Marwari in the United States by placing ads in breeders' registers, working with Bob Langrish, a top horse photography stud, to photograph them for use in advertising and breeding encyclopaedias, and at domestic horse shows with exhibits of tents, a Rajera craft in which galopping horsemen try to impale a four-inch horsemat.

She even tried her luck in the horse-friendly theater play Ride, in which a troop of classical educated female choreographers shared the ring with one of Kelly's semi-wild Marwari mothers. Based on information collected from growers of Andalusians in Spain - another scarce race that has become more and more famous in America - Kelly says that the spread of the Marwari in this land will take at least another five years.

She now goes to India about three days a year, and in early 2004, at the National Indigenous Horse Show (in Jaipur), she saw an inspiring sight: bourgeois breeder, as well as royal and indigenous horse dealers who came from all over Rajasthan to be there.

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