Published: June 09, 2019
Fears are growing for Libya's thoroughbred population as war threatens the country's racing industry.
One horse has already been killed and Dr Amad Ashaab of the Libyan Horseracing Authority has expressed grave concern for his horses at Al Shaab Stud.
The Libyan National Army of commander Khalifa Haftar, which controls eastern Libya, has tried to seize Tripoli from the internationally recognised Government of National Accord in a two-month offensive.
Earlier this week tanks were said to be just 3km from the stud, whose eight resident stallions include Brut Force, Libya's leading sire, and AP Indy's half-brother Eavesdropper.
Bombing is already reported to have left one thoroughbred dead and others injured.
Ashaab reported by email: "Unfortunately the horses were displaced and died because the areas and cities that are fighting are one of the most popular breeding areas for horses in Libya.
"From about 20 days I couldn't go to the farm because there are concentrations of forces. It's reported that there are tanks that are three kilometres away from the stable, following the forces of Tarhuna belonging to the Haftar militias.
"Horses cannot be evacuated because of the large number and most areas are unsafe. Al Shaab stallions are a national treasure and must be maintained."
Thoroughbred racing is more popular than Arab racing in Libya, which has a recognised stud book and is part of the European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation.
Libyan studs have been frequent visitors to Tattersalls in Newmarket in recent years, building up stock as the thoroughbred industry has been heavily supported by the government in the midst of economic recovery.
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