The term used by the Bedouins for themselves. Today, in international usage, it means “of pure race, genuine, noble”, and it replaces the word ‘atiq (noble), which was the word originally used in Arab terminology.
Additionally, the following must be noted:
The term “Asil” Arabian is today no longer identical with the terms “pure-bred” Arabian, Arabian, and Arabian horse, because internationally the original definition of purity - a pure-bred Arabian is a horse that must trace all of its ancestors to the Bedouin breeding of the Arabian peninsula - cannot be maintained due to the crossbreeding with other breeds. In order to characterize the Asil Arabians (less than 2 % of all horses accepted internationally as pure-bred Arabians) and to safeguard them in the interests of their preservation, we now use the term “Asil Arabian”.
The Asil Club defines its binding breeding objective as follows:
"The term ASIL ARABIAN applies to a horse whose pedigree traces exclusively to Bedouin breeding with no admixture of non-Arabian horses at any time. To be fully-accepted by the Asil Club, the horse must be registered in a stud book recognized by the WAHO. “Asil” (Arabic, pronounced “asseel”) means pure, true, noble, unspoiled. The ASIL ARABIAN horse should have the riding qualities and the characteristics of type which distinguish the desert Arabian."
Arab Horses may be recognised as Asil Arabians and – when the owners' join the Association/Club – can be included in the stock list of the Asil Arabian Documentation under the following conditions:
- Their parents must be recognized by the Asil Club or must conform to the above definition.
- All other horses must
a) be registered in a stud book recognised by the World Arabian Horse Organization (WAHO),
b) trace back directly to the Arabia Deserta1 or the original breeding areas, respectively, with no admixture of foreign blood or go back in every line of their pedigree to the breeding programs of the EAO2 or those of the private studs controlled by this organisation.
The ASIL CLUB particularly promotes the ancient breeding traditions of the Bedouins, and guards the asil blood lines as to foster and preserve with utmost care the outstanding qualities of the Arabian horse. The ASIL CLUB strives to maintain or establish friendly relations with Arab countries.
1 The horse in question or its ancestors must be registered in the stud book of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Iran, Iraq.
2 With the exception of the descendants of the horses Registan (Skowronek / Riz), Sharkasi, and Ibn Galabawi.