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December 04 2013

03:36

August 18 2013

00:58
8289 94e8 500

Assault is a horse that probably never should have been a champion. As a weanling, Assault stepped on a surveyor’s stake, driving it through his front right hoof. The hoof was permanently damaged and Assault developed a limp. This injury provided the source of his future nickname, “The Club Footed Comet” but did not stop him from winning (there was no sign of the limp when he galloped).

Assault won the Kentucky Derby by eight lengths and was the favorite for the Preakness. The second leg of the Triple Crown did not go as smoothly for him; caught in traffic early on in the race, jockey Warren Mehrtens made his bid early and Assault tired in the stretch and was almost caught by Lord Boswell.

Horse and jockey redeemed themselves at the Belmont. After stumbling at the start and then trailing the field for most of the race, Assault made a huge run in the stretch and won by three lengths.

Assault was found to be sterile when he was retired to stud (although he did manage to impregnate a few Quarter horse mares, with whom he shared a pasture). He was raced until he was seven and then retired to King Ranch.

via Count Fleet | EQUINE Ink

August 17 2013

19:38
8290 da06

For a nation recovering from years of war, a little chestnut colt named Assault gave people hope and inspiration as he beat the odds to become the 1946 Triple Crown winner.

Born in the midst of World War II, the aptly named Assault showed the same courage and fortitude as the American servicemen fighting overseas. As a baby, Assault injured his foot so severely that he was almost destroyed. But Assault managed to recover, and although he forever walked with a limp, when he ran, no trace of his injury existed. Instead he flew with speed and grace, earning the nickname “the clubfooted comet.”

Raised on the vast expanse of King Ranch in South Texas, Assault became the pride and joy of the Lone Star State with his racing heroics. Author Eva Jolene Boyd, a native Texan, remembers seeing Assault at King Ranch when she was young, and she proudly tells the story of this courageous legend.

(via ExclusivelyEquine.com: Assault: Thoroughbred Legends #23)

July 07 2013

21:05
2914 515d 500

greyarabpony:

theawkwardblack3questrian:

solomon-9:

snowman. what a great horse

One of the greatest TBs of all time :)

I thought he was an auction horse of indeterminate breeding Harry de Layer picked up for $80 and used as a school horse.

20:44
2916 ec7a 500

greyarabpony:

Another chapter in the saga that is my horses’ pedigrees, this one from the Arabian Trakehner cross. This is the Arabian stallion Skowronek, a 1909 son of Ibrahim out of Jaskolka. Skowronek was bred by Count Jozef Potocki, owner of the Antoniny Stud in Poland. Skowronek was imported to England as a young horse by the painter Walter Winans, and changed hands several times but was later purchased by Lady Wentworth under confusing circumstances. Apparently, Lady Wentworth used an American exporter asa front for purchasing the stallion because she feared if the current owner knew a competing Arabian breeder was trying to purchase him, he would refuse to sell or increase the price. Whatever the reason was, Skowronek ended up in Lady Wentworth’s hands and became one of the foundation sires for Lady Wentworth’s Crabbet Arabian Stud. Skwronek was mainly used to cover the Mesaoud daughters and granddaughters and infuse fresh blood into the existing foundation Mesaoud lines. The outcross of Skowronek on existing Crabbet stock proved to be so successful the offspring were exported around the world. It is reported that Lady Wentworth tuned down an offer of $250,000 for Skowronek. 

The result of one such crossing between Mesaoud lines and Skowronek was Raseyn, a stallion imported to America by W. K. Kellog, and who became one of the most influential American stallions of the Arabian breed. Through Raseyn, Skowronek lines are responsible for such greats as Khemosabi, Bay-Abi, and Ferzon. However, Raseyn may never have gotten the chance to become so great because Raseyn’s older brother Raswan was considered to be Skowronek’s most beautiful son, and was imported alongside Raseyn by Kellog. However, Raswan had to be put down due to a hind leg injury after siring only three foals in England (all of which became very successful in breeding). Raswan’s misfortune allowed Raseyn to carry Skowronek’s legacy into the limelight in America. Other notable sons were Raffles and Naseem.

Skowronek died in 1930 at the age of 22, and his skeleton was donated to the British Museum in London. 

20:24
2918 63a3 500

greyarabpony:

Another chapter in the saga that is my horses’ pedigrees, this one from the pedigree of my Arabian Trakehner cross. This is Raseyn, sired by Skowronek and out of Rayya, a Mesaoud granddaughter. Unfortunately, breeding was all Rayya had going for her; it is reported that she was downright ugly, being poor of both conformation and type. Raseyn was foaled in 1923 and imported to the US by W. K. Kellog in 1926. Raseyn’s breeding legacy in the United States is directly responsible for such horses as Khemosabi, Bay-Abi, and Ferzon. However, this stallion almost never got the chance to reach his full potential. He was imported alongside his older brother Raswan, considered by some to be the most beautiful Skowronek son. Raswan came to an unfortunate and untimely end through a series of strange events.

W. K. Kellog had sent his farm manager Carl Schmidt (who later became the writer Carl Raswan) to England to deal with Lady Wentworth. Soon after Schmidt’s return with Raseyn, Raswan, and twelve other horses, he and Kellog parted ways. Unfortunately, when Schmidt left he rode off on Raswan, claiming Lady Wentworth had gifted him the stallion. Naturally, Kellog demanded the stallion back. Before any serious debate could come of this theft, Raswan injured a hind foot and had to be put down. Kellog’s side of the story was that - under Schmidt’s care - Raswan had broken way from a fence to which he was tied and ran across a field, injuring his foot in the flight. Schmidt claimed that Kellog had a groom hamstring Raswan’s leg out of jealousy to keep Schmidt from establishing a breeding program and collect on an insurance policy. However, being that Kellog was worth millions, a $10,000 insurance policy in exchange for the destruction of an extraordinarily beautiful horse he still wanted back is a highly illogical exchange and Kellog’s version of events is most likely the accurate one. 

Raswan’s tragic end allowed Raseyn to reach his full potential. His blood can be found in many top performers of todays circuits and he remains one of the most influential Arabian stallions in America.

May 20 2013

01:29
01:19
9913 74e4

horsesornothing:

sisterinthemiddle:

Snowman

Such a good picture of him!

Is it weird that I assume all the pictures of Snowman must be in B&W cause his story is from the 1950’s? haha

Reposted bysiriusminervamolotovcupcake
01:09

April 02 2013

06:22
8916 4666 500

laphamsquarterly:

TRUSTY STEEDS

Half the horses on our list of famous mounts (including those belonging to Robert E. Lee and Napoleon Bonaparte) are on display in museums!

Grab your copy of ANIMALS and plan your field trip!

March 26 2013

20:24
4390 bf9b

letstalkhorses:

Credit

Origins

Arabians are one of the oldest human-developed horse breeds in the world.[23] The progenitor stock, the Oriental subtype or “Proto-Arabian” was a horse with oriental characteristics similar to the modern Arabian. Horses with these features appeared in rock paintings and inscriptions in the Arabian Peninsula as far back as 2500 BC.[71] In ancient history throughout the Ancient Near East, horses with refined heads and high-carried tails were depicted in artwork, particularly that of Ancient Egypt in the 16th century BC.[72]

Some scholars of the Arabian horse once theorized that the Arabian came from a separate subspecies of horse,[73] known as equus caballus pumpelli.[74] Other scholars, including Gladys Brown Edwards, a noted Arabian researcher, believe that the “dry” oriental horses of the desert, from which the modern Arabian developed, were more likely Equus ferus caballus with specific landrace characteristics based on the environments in which they lived, rather than being a separate subspecies.[9][74] Horses with similar, though not identical, physical characteristics include the Marwari horse of India, the Barb of North Africa, the Akhal-Teke of western Asia and the now-extinct Turkoman Horse.[74]

Desert roots

There are different theories about where the ancestors of the Arabian originally lived. Most evidence suggests the proto-Arabian came from the area along the northern edge of the Fertile Crescent.[74] Another hypothesis suggests the southwestern corner of the Arabian peninsula, in modern-day Yemen, where three now-dry riverbeds indicate good natural pastures existed long ago, perhaps as far back as the Ice Age.[75][76]

The proto-Arabian horse may have been domesticated by the people of the Arabian peninsula known today as the Bedouin, some time after they learned to use the camel, approximately 4,000–5,000 years ago.[76][77] Other scholars, noting that horses were common in the Fertile Crescent but rare in the Arabian peninsula prior to the rise of Islam, theorize that the breed as it is known today only developed in large numbers when the conversion of the Persians to Islam in the 7th century brought knowledge of horse breeding and horsemanship to the Bedouin.[78]

Regardless of origin, climate and culture ultimately created the Arabian. The desert environment required a domesticated horse to cooperate with humans to survive; humans were the only providers of food and water in certain areas, and even hardy Arabian horses needed far more water than camels in order to survive (most horses can only live about 72 hours without water). Where there was no pasture or water, the Bedouin fed their horses dates and camel’s milk.[79] The desert horse needed the ability to thrive on very little food, and to have anatomical traits to compensate for life in a dry climate with wide temperature extremes from day to night. Weak individuals were weeded out of the breeding pool, and the animals that remained were also honed by centuries of human warfare.[80]

The Bedouin way of life depended on camels and horses: Arabians were bred to be war horses with speed, endurance, soundness, and intelligence.[80][81] Because many raids required stealth, mares were preferred over stallions as they were quieter, and therefore would not give away the position of the fighters.[80] A good disposition was also critical; prized war mares were often brought inside family tents to prevent theft and for protection from weather and predators.[82] Though appearance was not necessarily a survival factor, the Bedouin bred for refinement and beauty in their horses as well as for more practical features.[81]

Strains and pedigrees

For centuries, the Bedouin tracked the ancestry of each horse through an oral tradition. Horses of the purest blood were known as Asil and crossbreeding with non-Asil horses was forbidden. Mares were the most valued, both for riding and breeding, and pedigree families were traced through the female line. The Bedouin did not believe in gelding male horses, and considered stallions too intractable to be good war horses, thus they kept very few colts, selling most, and culling those of poor quality.[83]

Over time, the Bedouin developed several sub-types or strains of Arabian horse, each with unique characteristics,[84] and traced through the maternal line only.[85] According to the Arabian Horse Association, the five primary strains were known as the Keheilan, Seglawi, Abeyan, Hamdani and Hadban.[86]Carl Raswan, a promoter and writer about Arabian horses from the middle of the 20th century, held the belief that there were only three strains, Kehilan, Seglawi and Muniqi. Raswan felt that these strains represented body “types” of the breed, with the Kehilan being “masculine”, the Seglawi being “feminine” and the Muniqi being “speedy”.[87] There were also lesser strains, sub-strains, and regional variations in strain names.[88][89] Therefore, many Arabian horses were not only Asil, of pure blood, but also bred to be pure in strain, with crossbreeding between strains discouraged, though not forbidden, by some tribes. Purity of bloodline was very important to the Bedouin, and they also believed in telegony, believing if a mare was ever bred to a stallion of “impure” blood, the mare herself and all future offspring would be “contaminated” by the stallion and hence no longer Asil.[90]

This complex web of bloodline and strain was an integral part of Bedouin culture; they not only knew the pedigrees and history of their best war mares in detail, but also carefully tracked the breeding of their camels, Saluki dogs, and their own family or tribal history.[91] Eventually, written records began to be kept; the first written pedigrees in the Middle East that specifically used the term “Arabian” date to 1330 AD.[92] As important as strain was to the Bedouin, modern studies of mitochondrial DNA suggest that Arabian horses alive today with records stating descent from a given strain may not actually share a common maternal ancestry.[93]

Historic development

Role in the ancient world

Fiery war horses with dished faces and high-carried tails were popular artistic subjects in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, often depicted pulling chariots in war or for hunting. Horses with oriental characteristics appear in later artwork as far north as that of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. While this type of horse was not called an “Arabian” in the Ancient Near East until later, (the word “Arabia” or “Arabaya” first appeared in writing in Ancient Persia, c. 500 BC)[94] these proto-Arabians shared many characteristics with the modern Arabian, including speed, endurance, and refinement. For example, a horse skeleton unearthed in the Sinai peninsula, dated to 1700 BC and probably brought by the Hyksos invaders, is considered the earliest physical evidence of the horse in Ancient Egypt. This horse had a wedge-shaped head, large eye socket and small muzzle, all characteristics of the Arabian horse.[95]

In Islamic history

Following the Hijra in AD 622 (also sometimes spelled Hegira), the Arabian horse spread across the known world of the time, and became recognized as a distinct, named breed.[96] It played a significant role in the History of the Middle East and of Islam. By 630, Muslim influence expanded across the Middle East and North Africa, by 711 Muslim warriors had reached Spain, and they controlled most of the Iberian Peninsula by 720. Their war horses were of various oriental types, including both Arabians and the Barb horse of North Africa.[citation needed]

Arabian horses also spread to the rest of the world via the Ottoman Empire, which rose in 1299. Though it never fully dominated the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, this Turkish empire obtained many Arabian horses through trade, diplomacy and war.[97] The Ottomans encouraged formation of private stud farms in order to ensure a supply of cavalry horses,[98] and Ottoman nobles, such as Muhammad Ali of Egypt also collected pure, desert-bred Arabian horses.[97]

El Naseri, or Al-Nasir Muhammad, Sultan of Egypt (1290–1342) imported and bred numerous Arabians in Egypt. A stud farm record was made of his purchases describing many of the horses as well as their abilities, and was deposited in his library, becoming a source for later study.[97][99] Through the Ottomans, Arabian horses were often sold, traded, or given as diplomatic gifts to Europeans and, later, to Americans.[76]

Egypt

Historically, Egyptian breeders imported horses bred in the deserts of Palestine and the Arabian peninsula as the source of their foundation bloodstock.[100] By the time that the Ottoman Empire dominated Egypt, the political elites of the region still recognized the need for quality bloodstock for both war and for horse racing, and some continued to return to the deserts to obtain pure-blooded Arabians. One of the most famous was Muhammad Ali of Egypt, also known as Muhammad Ali Pasha, who established an extensive stud farm in the 19th century.[101][102] After his death, some of his stock was bred on by Abbas I of Egypt, also known as Abbas Pasha. However, after Abbas Pasha was assassinated in 1854, his heir, El Hami Pasha, sold most of his horses, often for crossbreeding, and gave away many others as diplomatic gifts.[101][102][103] A remnant of the herd was obtained by Ali Pasha Sherif, who then went back to the desert to bring in new bloodstock. At its peak, the stud of Ali Pasha Sherif had over 400 purebred Arabians.[102][104] Unfortunately, an epidemic of African horse sickness in the 1870s that killed thousands of horses throughout Egypt decimated much of his herd, wiping out several irreplaceable bloodlines.[102] Late in his life, he sold several horses to Wilfred and Lady Anne Blunt, who exported them to Crabbet Park Stud in England. After his death, Lady Anne was also able to gather many remaining horses at her Sheykh Obeyd stud.[105]

Meanwhile, the passion brought by the Blunts to saving the pure horse of the desert helped Egyptian horse breeders to convince their government of the need to preserve the best of their own remaining pure Arabian bloodstock that descended from the horses collected over the previous century by Muhammad Ali Pasha, Abbas Pasha and Ali Pasha Sherif.[106] The government of Egypt formed the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) in 1908,[107] which is known today as the Egyptian Agricultural Organization (EAO).[108] RAS representatives traveled to England during the 1920s and purchased eighteen descendants of the original Blunt exports from Lady Wentworth at Crabbet Park, and returned these bloodlines to Egypt in order to restore bloodlines had been lost.[107] Other than several horses purchased by Henry Babson for importation to the United States in the 1930s,[109] and one other small group exported to the USA in 1947, relatively few Egyptian-bred Arabian horses were exported until the overthrow of King Farouk I in 1952.[110] Many of the private stud farms of the princes were then confiscated and the animals taken over by the EAO.[108] In the 1960s and 1970s, as oil development brought more foreign investors to Egypt, some of whom were horse fanciers, Arabians were exported to Germany and to the United States, as well as to the former Soviet Union.[111][112] Today, the designation “Straight Egyptian” or “Egyptian Arabian” is popular with some Arabian breeders, and the modern Egyptian-bred Arabian is an outcross used to add refinement in some breeding programs.[106]

Arrival in Europe

Probably the earliest horses with Arabian bloodlines to enter Europe came indirectly, through Spain and France. Others would have arrived with returning Crusaders[97]—beginning in 1095, European armies invaded Palestine and many knights returned home with Arabian horses as spoils of war. Later, as knights and the heavy, armored war horses who carried them became obsolete, Arabian horses and their descendants were used to develop faster, agile light cavalry horses that were used in warfare into the 20th century.[76]

Another major infusion of Arabian horses into Europe occurred when the Ottoman Turks sent 300,000 horsemen into Hungary in 1522, many of whom were mounted on pure-blooded Arabians, captured during raids into Arabia. By 1529, the Ottomans reached Vienna, where they were stopped by the Polish and Hungarian armies, who captured these horses from the defeated Ottoman cavalry. Some of these animals provided foundation bloodstock for the major studs of eastern Europe.[113][114]

Polish and Russian breeding programs

With the rise of light cavalry, the stamina and agility of horses with Arabian blood gave an enormous military advantage to any army who possessed them. As a result, many European monarchs began to support large breeding establishments that crossed Arabians on local stock, one example being Knyszyna, the royal stud of Polish king Zygmunt II August, and another the Imperial Russian Stud of Peter the Great.[113]

European horse breeders also obtained Arabian stock directly from the desert or via trade with the Ottomans. In Russia, Count Alexey Orlov obtained many Arabians, including Smetanka, an Arabian stallion who became a foundation sire of the Orlov trotter.[115][116] Orlov then provided Arabian horses to Catherine the Great, who in 1772 owned 12 pure Arabian stallions and 10 mares.[115] By 1889 two members of the Russian nobility, Count Stroganov and Prince Shcherbatov, established Arabian stud farms to meet the continued need to breed Arabians as a source of pure bloodstock.[111][115]

In Poland, notable imports from Arabia included those of Prince Hieronymous Sanguszko (1743–1812), who founded the Slawuta stud.[117][118] Poland’s first state-run Arabian stud farm, Janów Podlaski, was established by the decree of Alexander I of Russia in 1817,[119] and by 1850, the great stud farms of Poland were well-established, including Antoniny, owned by the Polish Count Potocki (who had married into the Sanguszko family); later notable as the farm that produced the stallion Skowronek.[118][120]

Central and western Europe

The 18th century marked the establishment of most of the great Arabian studs of Europe, dedicated to preserving “pure” Arabian bloodstock. The Prussians set up a royal stud in 1732, originally intended to provide horses for the royal stables, and other studs were established to breed animals for other uses, including mounts for the Prussian army. The foundation of these breeding programs was the crossing of Arabians on native horses; by 1873 some English observers felt that the Prussian calvalry mounts were superior in endurance to those of the British, and credited Arabian bloodlines for this superiority.[121]

Other state studs included the Babolna Stud of Hungary, set up in 1789,[122] and the Weil stud in Germany (now Weil-Marbach or the Marbach stud), founded in 1817 by King William I of Württemberg.[123] King James I of England imported the first Arabian stallion, the Markham Arabian, to England in 1616.[124] Arabians were also introduced into European race horse breeding, especially in England via the Darley Arabian, Byerly Turk, and Godolphin Arabian, the three foundation stallions of the modern Thoroughbred breed, who were each brought to England during the 18th century.[125] Other monarchs obtained Arabian horses, often as personal mounts. One of the most famous Arabian stallions in Europe was Marengo, the war horse ridden by Napoleon Bonaparte.[126]

During the mid-19th century, the need for Arabian blood to improve the breeding stock for light cavalry horses in Europe resulted in more excursions to the Middle East. Queen Isabel II of Spain sent representatives to the desert to purchase Arabian horses and by 1847 had established a stud book; her successor, King Alfonso XII imported additional bloodstock from other European nations. By 1893, the state military stud farm, Yeguada Militar was established in Córdoba, Spain for breeding both Arabian and Iberian horses. The military remained heavily involved in the importation and breeding of Arabians in Spain well into the early 20th century, and the Yeguada Militar is still in existence today.[127]

This period also marked a phase of considerable travel to the Middle East by European civilians and minor nobility, and in the process, some travelers noticed that the Arabian horse as a pure breed of horse was under threat due to modern forms of warfare, inbreeding and other problems that were reducing the horse population of the Bedouin tribes at a rapid rate.[128] By the late 19th century, the most farsighted began in earnest to collect the finest Arabian horses they could find in order to preserve the blood of the pure desert horse for future generations. The most famous example was Lady Anne Blunt, the daughter of Ada Lovelace and granddaughter of Lord Byron.[129]

Rise of the Crabbet Park Stud

Perhaps the most famous of all Arabian breeding operations founded in Europe was the Crabbet Park Stud of England, founded 1878.[130][131] Starting in 1877, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt and Lady Anne Blunt made repeated journeys to the Middle East, including visits to the stud of Ali Pasha Sherif in Egypt and to Bedouin tribes in the Nejd, bringing the best Arabians they could find to England. Lady Anne also purchased and maintained the Sheykh Obeyd stud farm in Egypt, near Cairo. Upon Lady Anne’s death in 1917, the Blunts’ daughter, Judith, Lady Wentworth, inherited the Wentworth title and Lady Anne’s portion of the estate, and obtained the remainder of the Crabbet Stud following a protracted legal battle with her father, Wilfrid.[132][133] Lady Wentworth expanded the stud, added new bloodstock, and exported Arabian horses worldwide. Upon Lady Wentworth’s death in 1957, the stud passed to her manager, Cecil Covey, who ran Crabbet until 1971, when a motorway was cut through the property, forcing the sale of the land and dispersal of the horses.[134]

Early 20th century Europe

In the early 20th century, the military was involved in the breeding of Arabian horses throughout Europe, particularly in Poland, Spain, Germany, and Russia; private breeders also developed a number of breeding programs.[135][136][137][138] Significant among the private breeders in continental Europe was Spain’s Cristobal Colon de Aguilera, XV Duque de Veragua, a direct descendant of Christopher Columbus, who founded the Veragua Stud in the 1920s.[127][139]

Modern warfare and its impact on European studs

Between World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, many historic European stud farms were lost; in Poland, the Antoniny and Slawuta Studs were wiped out except for five mares.[140] Notable among the survivors was the Janów Podlaski Stud. The Russian Revolution, combined with the effects of World War I, destroyed most of the breeding programs in Russia, but by 1921, the Soviet government reestablished an Arabian program, the Tersk Stud, on the site of the former Stroganov estate,[111][111] which included Polish bloodstock as well as some importations from the Crabbet Stud in England. The programs that survived the war re-established their breeding operations and some added to their studs with new imports of desert-bred Arabian horses from the Middle East. Not all European studs recovered. The Weil stud of Germany, founded by King Wilhelm I, went into considerable decline; by the time the Weil herd was transferred to the Marbach State Stud in 1932, only 17 purebred Arabians remained.

The Spanish Civil War and World War II also had a devastating impact on horse breeding throughout Europe. The Veragua stud was destroyed, and its records lost, with the only survivors being the broodmares and the younger horses, who were rescued by Francisco Franco.Crabbet Park, Tersk, and Janów Podlaski survived. Both the Soviet Union and the United States obtained valuable Arabian bloodlines as spoils of war, which they used to strengthen their breeding programs. The Soviets had taken steps to protect their breeding stock at Tersk Stud, and by utilizing horses captured in Poland they were able to re-establish their breeding program soon after the end of World War II. The Americans brought Arabian horses captured in Europe to the United States, mostly to the Pomona U.S. Army Remount station, the former W.K. Kellogg Ranch in California.

In the postwar era, Poland,Spain,and Germany developed or re-established many well-respected Arabian stud farms.The studs of Poland in particular were decimated by both the Nazis and the Soviets, but were able to reclaim some of their breeding stock and became particularly world-renowned for their quality Arabian horses, tested rigorously by racing and other performance standards. During the 1950s, the Russians also obtained additional horses from Egypt to augment their breeding programs.

After the Cold War

While only a few Arabians were exported from behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, those who did come to the west caught the eye of breeders worldwide. Improved international relations between eastern Europe and the west led to major imports of Polish and Russian-bred Arabian horses to western Europe and the United States in the 1970s and 1980s.The collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991, greater political stability in Egypt, and the rise of the European Union all increased international trade in Arabian horses. Organizations such as the World Arabian Horse Association (WAHO) created consistent standards for transferring the registration of Arabian horses between different nations. Today, Arabian horses are traded all over the world.

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