Illinois Arabian horse breeder seeks deal with Saudi buyers

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FREEBURG, Ill. (AP) _ The owner of a southwestern Illinois farm is breeding Arabian horses in an unlikely bid to sell the animals to buyers in Saudi Arabia.

Rodger Davis owns the 300-acre Riding Center near Freeburg, just east of St. Louis. Davis tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he’s been meeting with Saudi officials in hopes of striking a long-term business deal to breed his horses ith the country’s dwindling stock.

Davis says he was contacted by Hussain Abul Pharaj in 2017 after the farm’s Desert Bred Arabian horse breed caught his eye. Davis says Pharaj had been visiting facilities around the U.S. to find Arabian horses to breed with the declining Saudi stock of about 3,500 horses.

Davis and his head trainer plan to return to Saudi Arabia in March for a final decision.

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