Sunday, January 27, 2013

Amalâ and Asâ

Amalâ and Asâ: 
New Marwari Fillies of Can Riu, Spain
By Gina McKnight
1st Publication Going Gaited 2011
 On May 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!

Can Riu, 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.

Born to 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.”
Facing 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.

The 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.

One of 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.

Gajjar 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.”

Calcagno 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 magnificent breed.
The 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.

Congratulations to Calcagno and the family of horses at Can Riu!

Follow Mario Calcagno @ Can Riu

2013 Update: The fillies are currently owned by Elsa Treuil from Marwari France. 

Gina McKnight is a freelance writer from USA.
Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved.


Holly James said...

They are so beautiful! My horse is pregnant and I was wondering what your thoughts on horse supplements are. Are they beneficial or a waste of money? Thanks for sharing and congratulations!

Gina said...

Hi Holly! Sandra Parker has a great commentary on what to feed a pregnant mare. This is the link...
Best of luck! Keep us posted!