Libyan Forces Recover 38 Captured Thoroughbreds, Including Raise A Grand

A six-month period of waiting and hoping took a major step toward closure this week when 38 of the 59 horses stolen in a raid of Al Shaab Stud in Libya were recovered by the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord and returned to the farm, per Al Shaab Stud general manager Dr. Amad Ashaab.

Al Shaab Stud, the largest Thoroughbred operation in Libya, was seized in January by a group tied to the insurgent Libyan National Army, taking stallions and pregnant mares off the property, killing two horses, and looting the property. Located near the capital city of Tripoli, the farm had been in danger of being engulfed in the country’s civil war well before the raid, having lost horses in air strikes in June 2019.

The Libyan National Army militia returned to the farm in April to further raid the property and kill two more mares and a week-old foal. The Government of National Accord regained control of the property later that month, and used it as a base of operations to stage an attack on the nearby city of Tarhuna, where the kidnapped horses were correctly believed to be kept.

“Today I feel a sense that I cannot describe to you, except that I want to thank all of Libya and those around the world without exception for their overwhelming joy in describing the return of this heritage,” Ashaab wrote on social media after the successful recovery of the horses.

The actions to reclaim cities and property from the Libyan National Army and leader Khalifa Haftar are part of the Government of National Accord’s Burkan Al Ghadab operation, presented to the English-speaking press as “Operation Volcano of Rage.”

The most recognizable name among the horses returned to Al Shaab Stud was Raise a Grand, a Group 3 winner in England by Grand Lodge who began his stud career in 2001 and was sold to Libya in 2010. Other stallions recovered included Brut Force, a Giant’s Causeway horse who raced in New Zealand and became a top sire in Libya, and Metternich, renamed Al-Multazim, a Pennsylvania-bred son of Seeking the Gold.

The 21 horses still missing include stallions Eavesdropper, a Grade 3-placed stakes-winning half-brother to A.P. Indy by Kingmambo; Churchill Downs, a an Australian-bred stakes-winning son of Danehill who finished third in the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes; and Backdraft, an Australian-born stakes-winning son of Testa Rossa.

Read more at Racing Post.

Read more at BloodHorse.

By the grace of God and the steadfastness of the Libyan people who support GNA forces,38 horses out of 59 horses from the hijacked horses were released.The stallion is committed and has not yet been found on Churchill Downs, Evsdropper, Back Draft.✌️✌️✌️✌️✌️✌️

— AMAD (@amadedin) June 8, 2020

The post Libyan Forces Recover 38 Captured Thoroughbreds, Including Raise A Grand appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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