From The Khamsat Vol 9, Num 4, Nov/Dec ’92
excerpted from The Arab Horse
Spencer Borden, New York, 1906
Maidan is the last of the great horses that came to England from Arabia through India, whose name can have our especial attention. Many who knew him, including Lady Anne Blunt and the Hon. Miss Dillon, place him even above Kismet, and the opinion is concurred in by others who knew him only by his offspring. Maidan was foaled in 1869 in Nejd, a chestnut (as was Kismet), said by some to have been a Manakhi Hedruj, though this was doubted by others because of his great beauty, the Manakhi being a family of rather plain appearance, though great race horses He was brought to Bombay by Abdur Rhaman in 1871, and sold to Captain Johnstone, who immediately commenced racing him, though the colt was but two years old. Captain Fisher and Major Brough were also interested in Maidan; and as these English officers had tested him they were free in taking the long odds which were laid against him by the Australian sports who came to the races and were ready to lay against an untried colt. It is said that after Maidan won the Punjab Cup, the Australians had hardly money enough left to pay their passage home. For three years, from 1871 to 1874, Maidan continued his winning career, until no further matches could be made for him. Then, at 5 years of age, he was sold to Lieut. Col. Brownlow of the 72d Highlanders, as a charger. Brownlow was a heavyweight of nineteen stone (266 lbs.) with his equipment, yet Maidan carried him for twelve years in campaigns through the mountainous regions of India and Afghanistan, until the soldier was killed in the fight at Kandahar, at the end of the famous forced march of Lord Roberts’s Army from Cabul, three hundred miles distant. After carrying Brownlow for ten years Maidan won the Ganges Hog Hunt Cup, and also a four mile steeplechase across difficult country. At seventeen years of age, on the death of Brownlow, Maidan was bought by Lord Airlie who again put him to racing where he won a number of races both on the flat and steeplechases. He was then sold to Captain the Hon. Eustace Versey, who bought him to take to England. Leaving India on the troopship Jumna Maidan got as far as Suez, where the ship met the expedition going to the relief of Suakim, where Osman Digna was harassing the garrison, and was pressed into service as a transport for troops to Massowah, near the lower end of the Red Sea.
So it happened that the old race horse and charger had his journey lengthened, to the degree that he stood on his feet one hundred days without once lying down, before he reached Marseilles. Yet Capt. Vesey raced him successfully at Pau, and afterward in England. He won a steeplechase when twenty-two years of age. When he had to be destroyed, because of a broken leg, at twenty-three, he was absolutely sound. In 1890 he was described in the London Live Stock Journal, as “fresh and well, with immense bone below the knee (he measured eight inches) and as clean in the legs as a four year old, notwithstanding the fact that he was hunted in Suffolk last year.”
[ED NOTE: Maidan is an Al Khamsa Foundation horse. He is the sire of the imported mare *Nazli (x *Naomi) who was imported by Randolph Huntington in 1893. That same year Mr. Huntington also imported *Nimr, a son of *Nazli sired by the Al Khamsa Foundation horse, *Kismet. Mr. Huntington proceeded to line breed to *Nazli and her blood forms a strong basis for the Drissula family in Al Khamsa breeding (See Khamsat Anthology, page 28). The foundation horse information on Maidan in Al Khamsa Arabians (1983) is as follows:
1869 chestnut stallion, imported in 1871 to India by the agheyl, Abd Ar-Rahman. Imported in 1885 to England by the Hon. Eustace Vezey. Sire: db, Dam: a Mu’niqiyah-Hadrujiyah. Strain: Mu’niqi- Hadruj. Maidan is the sire of *Nazli.
According to the registration application for *Nazli at the Arabian Horse Registry, Maidan was said to be a “Managhi-Hedruj.” This agrees with Randolph Huntington, who imported *Nazli, and Carl Raswan. No strain is given for Maidan in the General Stud Book, which does give the following transfers of ownership: purchased “of Abd er Rahman, of Bombay, by Colonel Brownlow in 1871 … He was then sold to Major Brough, who sold him to Captain Fisher. He won the Kadir Cup (the blue ribbon of Pigsticking in India), and was then purchased by Lord Airlie. He was three years in Afghanistan, and was imported into England by the Hon. Eustace Vezey.” HUNTINGTON ancestral element.]