How Ada Lovelace’s Daughter Rescued the Arabian Horse from Extinction
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How Ada Lovelace’s Daughter Rescued the Arabian Horse from Extinction

October 30, 2019

Lady Anne Blunt is one of the most amazing
people you have never heard of. Her mother was Ada Lovelace – YES! That Ada Lovelace, the world’s first person
to write a computer program. And, as you know from watching my video on
the amazing Ada, that makes her grandfather the infamous poet Lord Byron. With a family heritage like that, Anne could
have been almost anything: a world class mathematician, inventor, novelist or poet. So what did she do? She followed her heart and went to Arabia. When Anne was young she loved languages, playing
the violin and horses! Along with her native English, she learned
to speak French, German, Italian, Spanish and Arabic, learned to create beautiful sketches,
and was really good with horses. With all this under her belt she was ready
for adventure. In the 1870s she sailed off to the Arabian
desert with her husband. It was not a happy marriage, but Anne made
the most of her travels. Lady Anne was the first European woman to
cross the northern Arabian Desert. During her travels, she kept a detailed diary,
created sketches and watercolor paintings of her interesting discoveries and incredible
adventures as the only woman on the desert caravans. Her observations were so important that mapmakers
later used them to create maps of the region. But it’s horses that she is now known for. During her caravan travels, Anne fed her passion
for horses by making detailed observations of the best Arabian horses owned by bedouin
tribes and sheikhs, recording their bloodlines and purchasing some for herself. When she returned, she published her writings
and sketches and set to work breeding Arabian horses. At the time, the bloodlines of the pure Arabian
horses were beginning to fade. Anne wanted to turn that around. After many missteps and disagreements with
her husband on how to manage the horses, Anne established a breeding program which was so
successful that 90% of the beautiful Arabian horses in Europe and the Americas came from
it. And remember how I told you she loved the
violin? It just so happened that during her amazing
life, she bought a Stradivarius violin. You’ve probably heard of those. They are the most famous violins ever and
were made in the 17th and 18th centuries by Antonio Stradivari. Today, Anne’s violin is known as the Lady
Blunt Stradivarius and is considered one of the best-preserved Stradivarius violins in
the world. It last sold for $15.9 million in 2011. Anne, you really lived an amazing life! Ready for my special Bonus Fact? Did you know that Arabian Horses actually
have fewer bones than any other horse breed and that’s part of what gives them their unique
appearance? Not only are they missing a rib bone, but
they also have one less backbone, and are missing two tail bones when compared to other
horse skeletons. Amazing!

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