Gina McKnight, Author, Freelance Writer, Equestrian, Blogger, and Poet! Welcome to my international blog about horses, writers, authors, books, cowboys, equestrians, photographers, artists, poets, poems, and more horses.
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Sunday, January 27, 2013
Amalâ and Asâ
Amalâ and Asâ:
Marwari Fillies of Can Riu, Spain
By Gina McKnight
Going Gaited 2011
17, 2011, new filly, Amalâ, entered this world at the beautiful Can Riu Stud
Farm. Following on May 23, her half-sister, Asâ, was born. Amalâ and Asâ are from
India’s indigenous royal Marwari horse breed.
They are two of the few fillies born outside of India. The fillies are
owned by Mario Calcagno, equestrian and proprietor of Can Riu Stud Farm. They are healthy, happy and enjoying the rolling
hillsides and warm Mediterranean breezes. Amalâ (meaning pure) and Asâ (meaning
hope) are adorable; big brown eyes, lovely lashes, and wobbly legs!
located 60 km north of Barcelona, is nestled in the beautiful Montnegre Natural
Park region. Calcagno’s secluded stud
farm stables two Marwari mares, Chamunda and Mirabai, as well as the spirited
Marwari stallion, Nazarullah. In October
2009, Calcagno acquired all three horses from America’s famous Marwari horse
breeder, Francesca Kelly. In 2000, Kelly
imported the first Marwari horse to America and continues to play a vital role
in Marwari promotion and preservation.
Mirabai and Nazarullah, Amalâ is the first Marwari filly at Can Riu. Asâ, the second filly, foaled by Chamunda,
also sired by Nazarullah. Both fillies
mimic their mare’s disposition and coloring.
“Nazarullah, the stallion, is 7 years old, pie (color) practically
black. He is now in the Pyrenees (high
mountains) training for endurance.
Chamunda (bay) and Mirabai (pie black and white) are both 4 years old,” Calcagno
said. “The newborn fillies are really fine;
both practically exact copy of their mothers, not only in color but also in
their personality. Amalâ, from Mirabai,
is very active and curious, and her mother spends all the time running after
her. Asâ is more timid, and stays all
the time close to her mother, Chamunda.”
extinction in the 1930’s Marwari are currently considered ‘threatened’ by the
Indian Government. Great efforts have
been taken to bring the breed back into population. Centuries ago, only a few thousand purebred Marwari
existed. Due to the efforts of India’s
great equestrians, Marwari are being repopulated. However, the exportation of Marwari from
India has been banned. In 1997, the Indigenous
Stud Book Society was created to register and census India’s native horses. The Society is paneled by equine experts and
horse breeders who are committed to protecting the breed.
Marwari are a result of years of selective breeding to produce the ultimate
‘war’ horse – a combination of speed, stamina and courage. Mr. Gajjar, Indian horse breeder and
Marwari expert states, “Many years ago, Arabian horses were bred with ponies
from north-western India, creating the Marwari. They found a place in the
Rajput Cavalry and were used for war.”
Today, Marwari are known worldwide for their war-like maneuverability;
consummate gait and legendary stance.
the distinguishing features of the Marwari is their arching ears, sometimes
compared to an ancient lyre, delicately curving inward. “When annoyed their ears lay back like every
other horse. When alert the ears turn forward and usually touch at the tips
forming an arch,” says Gajjar. Arching
ears are just one of their natural traits. They are also revered for their
quiet ride, gentle disposition and resilient nature. There is no parallel for
the Marwari. They are the perfect companion;
dignified, powerful and the subject of India’s great horse anthologies.
states that the birth of the fillies in Europe “is a positive step forward in
increasing the number of Marwari horses around the world.” Calcagno also agrees that “the access of
Marwari horses to foreign countries will definitely contribute to the
preservation of the breed and motivate local breeders in India to improve the
quality and care of the horses.”
is excited about the two new additions and plans for future foals by stallion
Nazarullah. Increasing the number of
Marwari in Europe helps to protect the lineage and increase awareness of this
Marwari have found a complacent home in the quaint European countryside. Today,
the fillies are almost four months old and are content as the center of
attention at Can Riu. Their lineage,
agility, beauty and grace will assure them a lifetime of protection and optimum
care. The natural surroundings of the
Montnegre Natural Park region support the perfect setting for the new royalty;
loving owners, quiet woodlands and seaside excursions. Calcagno takes great pride in his ability to
preserve and protect the Marwari.
to Calcagno and the family of horses at Can Riu!