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"On the shores of the Caspian Sea in Northern Iran there exists a breed of small pony which I have never seen described in books, and which is practically unknown outside its own territory"
-- Louise Firouz, 1965

Louise Firouz In 1957, Louise Laylin, an American-born Cornell graduate, married fellow student Narcy Firouz, an aristocrat linked to the former Shah of Iran. Louise returned with him to his native country. Subsequently, she and her husband had three children and established the Norouzabad Equestrian Center for children of families living in the country's capital of Tehran. One of the difficulties she faced, that of providing appropriate mounts for some of the smaller riders, proved a catalyst for her pursuit of what were rumored to be very small horses in the remote villages above the Caspian sea. Her work would soon result in the rediscovery and preservation of an ancient lost breed - the Caspian Horse.

Rock Carving Louise and her husband lived close to the ancient Persian Capitol, Persepolis. On the walls of this ancient palace, she had seen rock relief carvings of the Lydian Horse, which had a small prominent skull formation found in many other artifacts resembling the small Caspian. Her knowledge of these artifacts combined with her first sighting of a Caspian Horse in a remote region of Iran, resulted in the historical rediscovery of the ancient, lost breed of the royals - the Caspian Horse!

From the beginning until now, Louise has fiercely faced many obstacles and hardships in her uphill fight to preserve this ancient breed. However, the first signs of her incredible courage and dedication surfaced on her initial expedition in search of this little horse in 1965. Although very uncustomary for a woman in Iran to travel alone, especially on horseback, Louise went to treacherous and remote areas of Iran, at great physical risks, to search for the lost royal horse of Persia. Many subsequent trips followed at equally great risk.

Louise Firouz

Louise, still living in Iran, has painstakingly built and nurtured several Caspian foundation herds since 1965, only to have them confiscated during the revolutionary war. She has been imprisoned on several occasions and went on a hunger strike to gain her release. She has survived her beloved Caspians being run across land mines, used for food, attacked by wolves on their escape to foreign countries in hopes of survival. Her continued optimism and commitment is ever present in her work.

She has worked side by side with leading researchers and has presented papers to worldwide audiences of scientists and archaeologists. She recently was the guest speaker for the first International Caspian Conference held in Houston, Texas. Louise is still actively involved with the Caspians in Iran, helping to manage the herd currently owned by the government, the Ministry of Jehad. Although extremely difficult at best, she persists in attempting to export more bloodlines to the rest of the world.

There are several manuscripts being developed telling the complete story of Louise Firouz and her remarkable journey. Additionally, a documentary is being produced, with filming in Iran, U.S., Britain, and Australia. There are also several Hollywood directors and screenwriters who are interested in presenting her story as well.

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