Capturing the beauty, grace and power of these steeds of the desert, Jithesh Ramachandran trains his lens on the 7th Oman Arabian Horse Show in this photo essay special.
The pure white stallion is as iconic an image of Arabia as the undulating sand dunes themselves. A symbol of desert life for more than 3,500 years, these majestic animals were bred and raised by the Bedouin tribes of the region, into the breeds we recognise today – symbols of cultural history now intertwined with wealth, with some purebreds carrying price-tags in the millions of rials.
For spectators in attendance at the 7th Oman Arabian Horse Show held on January 13th at the Al Rahba Racecourse in the Wilayat of Barka, it was these elite specimens of horsepower that took part in a nail-biting eight rounds of racing. Marking the start of Oman’s equestrian season, six rounds were allocated for pure-bred Arabian horses, and two to thoroughbreds. Kicking off in Barka, races throughout the season will take place as far as Nizwa and Dhofar as Omanis gather in cultural solidarity to celebrate the Sultanate’s love for horses and the long-standing Omani tradition of equestrianism.
Here, Jithesh Ramachandran captures their majesty.