Horses have existed in the Arab region as long as recorded life, roaming the desert sands and tamed by the Bedouins who lived alongside them. Scholars may argue the genetic purities of the Arabian breed – but none deny that the earliest records of domesticated horses exist in Arabia and Asia.
History traces the spread of the Arabian horse around the globe, by war and by trade. From the battles of the crusades, to the conquering of the New World, this especially light, fleet-footed breed was prized above all others for its intelligence, stamina and courage.
The bloodlines of these desert horses persist today in the thoroughbred racehorse. Almost all modern thoroughbreds can trace their decent back to one of three special horses: the Byerley Turk, the Darley Arabian, and the Godolphin Arabian. The Godolphin Arabian – from which the Godolphin racing stable takes its name – was known as the ‘father of the turf’ and sired many Classic winners.