The bloody shouldered Arabian was exported from Aleppo in 1719 by Nathaniel Harley. In a letter to Lord Harley, dated 6 January 1719, he wrote: 'By Capt. Oliver I send a grey horse that I have had by me more than four years, and have two or three times attempted to send away, but have been disappointed... He is in the Gordeen breed, of which there's few now remaining, and is the chief cause of my sending him. He is of great spirit, but no great speed... I bought him of a bey of the Gordeens when he was only two years and a half old, and because you will observe a redish stain on one of his shoulders, which is now much wore out, but when I bought him was as red as blood... The owner told me, of the mare that brought this colt was a robber on the road and being much more wounded he learnr over his mare's neck and his blood ran down upon her shoulder and she being then with foal of this colt, he had the mark on his shoulder... I will say no more of him, but that he has a good body, a fine well-shaped neck, a pair of glistering eyes, and stands upon four good legs, which I hope make amends for any faults that may be found in him'.