Michael Byatt Arabians
Dreams are made
Legends are real
Michael Byatt Arabians
s the 2012 breeding season opens it’s fitting to revisit this Texas farm and to acknowledge the unparalleled influence the horses in residence have had on the world of Arabian showing and breeding. Maybe it’s something in the air, or the soil, or the water, or maybe it’s the touch of a master breeder, but a breathtaking number of foals who take their first wobbly steps under these big skies, later move through the world finding fame and glory. “Years ago, Michael and I were hired to evaluate the Monogramm foals in Poland,” says fellow trainer Greg Knowles. “It was apparent that Michael had an amazing eye and a true love for Arabian type, and that he was destined to be a great breeder. He loved type, he loved carriage. It’s more to him than just showing horses. It’s being a breeder. For the past 30 years, Michael’s basically been a breeder who shows halter horses.” Perhaps that’s the best way to describe Michael’s unique place in the Arabian breed. For decades Michael has been lending his guidance to high-profile breeders around the world, and now takes pride in the fruits of those contributions. Take the 2011 World Championships, for example. The 2011 World Champion Stallion Marquis CAHR (*Marwan Al Shaqab x Rohara Magnifica) traces to three mares that Michael marketed. Start with Kajora whom he marketed to Al Shaqab, who then bred her to Anaza El Farid to produce *Gazal Al Shaqab, Marquis’s grandsire. Next, Michael marketed Little Liza Fame to Al Shaqab, who, bred to Gazal, produced *Marwan Al Shaqab. Michael also sold Rohara Magnifica to Marquis’s breeder, and later sold Marquis, as well as his dam to Al Khalediah in Saudi Arabia. The 2011 World Champion Colt Kahil Al Shaqab also speaks of Michael’s sense for potential. He selected the colt’s dam, OFW Mishaahl, for Al Shaqab in 2006. She has since produced another colt, Wadee Al Shaqab, who was 2011 Qatar National Champion Colt.
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*Gazal Al Shaqab (Anaza El Farid x Kajora by Kaborr).
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“I view my life with Arabian horses as a process. It began with a blank canvas to fill in as I saw fit. Over the past several decades, I have added elements to that canvas and continue to try and make the vision complete and more beautiful. When people view my canvas, my body of work, as a success, that is one of the great pleasures that I have today. As old fashioned as it may be, I am really gratified by the success of people around me.” Chief among the residents at Michael’s New Ulm, Texas, farm are the stallions *Gazal Al Shaqab (Anaza El Farid x Kajora) and his son *Marwan Al Shaqab (x Little Liza Fame), both owned by Al Shaqab, Qatar. They have so totally dominated the international showrings that it is not a question of whether their get or grandget will be decorated with medals at a given show, but rather, how many. For example, at the 2011 World Championships in Paris, the Gold, Silver, and Bronze stallions were all sired by Marwan, as were the Gold Champion Colt and Filly, and many other winners, netting Marwan the top sire of the show distinction. Again. Both stallions stand to the public, as well as breed Al Shaqab’s mares, many of which also reside at Michael’s farm. They draw a steady stream of visitors from around the world. “There have never been any more important or significant horses in the breed, certainly not in the history of Michael Byatt Arabians, than Marwan and Gazal,” says Michael. “All Arabian breeders around the world are forever indebted to Al Shaqab for sharing these stallions. The energy and respect that surrounds those horses is phenomenal.”
*Marwan Al Shaqab (*Gazal Al Shaqab x Little Liza Fame).
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Joining them is the 1997 U.S. National Reserve Champion Stallion *Parys El Jamaal (Ali Jamaal x FF Pavielle by Gdansk), bred by Lenita Perroy in Brazil. In early 1997 Ray and Nora Tatum and Michael bought Parys. He was later sold to Count Federico Zichy-Thyssen in Argentina, but he wasn’t the right fit for that program, and the Tatums and Michael eventually bought him back. “Aside from siring the stallion *Besson Carol, Parys’s most important contribution to my program is the Jamaal flavor he brings — the ears, the Jamaal look that is so beautiful and artistic,” says Michael. “And he was the first Jamaal blood we owned.” Parys sired U.S. National Champion Junior Mare Shalina El Jamaal (x Shahlina by Bey Shah) who produced U.S. National Champion Futurity Colt and Reserve Champion Junior Stallion Marhaabah (by *Marwan Al Shaqab). Another Parys daughter, Serenata El Jamaal (x MP Serenata by JK Amadeus), who was Canadian National Champion TwoYear-Old Filly, in turn produced U.S. National Reserve Champion Yearling Filly True Desire LL by Ames Charisma.
*Parys El Jamaal (Ali Jamaal x FF Pavielle by Gdansk).
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*Parys 7 ▪ BYATT ▪ WORLD
Also standing at Michael’s is the handsome grey with the bloody shoulder markings, Shakir El Marwan (*Marwan Al Shaqab x Om El Shadina by *Sanadik El Shaklan), 2008 U.S. National Top Ten Futurity Colt. Shakir has already sired a National Champion halter filly in South Africa. “He’s an interesting horse in that he sires a little more of the *El Shaklan type with a modern Marwan look in the neck. He breeds a lot internationally; people in the Middle East have been using him. He’s been a really good breeding horse.” Michael is gratified by the fact that these stallions are siring winning performance horses as well as halter champions. “It’s an important part of what I want to do and what I want the farm to be about,” he says.
Shakir El Marwan (*Marwan Al Shaqab x Om El Shadina by *Sanadik El Shaklan).
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*Shakir 2011 South African Champion Junior Filly EKS Shakira (Shakir El Marwan x Phaeddra).
The Besson son Megga Starr (x AR Belle Starr by Desperado V), was 2007 Canadian National Champion and U.S. National Reserve Champion Western Pleasure Junior Horse. He followed up those titles with 2009 Canadian National Reserve Champion Western Pleasure and then moved into the AAOTR divisions, winning 2010 Canadian National Reserve Champion Western Pleasure AATR 40 and Over and Top Ten AOTR 40 and Over, and 2011 U.S. National Top Ten Western Pleasure AAOTR 55 and Over and Canadian National Top Ten Western Pleasure AATR 40 and Over. Another Besson son, Resstitution (x Ekkatarina by Neposzar), won 2011 U.S. National Top Ten Western Pleasure Junior Horse and 2011 U.S. National Champion Western Pleasure Maturity AAOTR and Top Ten Western Pleasure Junior horse. In 2010 he was U.S. National Champion Western Pleasure Futurity. Trainer Tommy Garland says of the young stallion, “He’s an athletic horse, a good mover, good-minded, and trainable. He’s got a presence about him, which I like, and so far he’s done everything I’ve asked him to do. Plus he’s got the Fabio thing going on with all that mane and tail. We bought him for Natalie Hunt to show in the Maturity, and now we’ll bring him back and I’ll show him in Junior Horse.” While training for the Scottsdale Celebrity Reining class last year (which he ultimately won), Michael became enamored of the sport, and now he has two Besson geldings in reining training with Crystal McNutt. “They’re the first Bessons I’ve ever had,” says Crystal. “They’re really pretty, very athletic, they’re put together well. They have good attitudes; they really want to please. They came to me in October and my plan is to show them in Scottsdale in reining junior horse. They’re both bay with silvery manes and tails. One is really tall and leggy, and I wasn’t sure if that was going to work, but he has surprised me. He tries incredibly hard. They both have great work ethics. Just really nice horses.” Marwan, too, had winners in performance at the Nationals this year. The Marwan daughter Milannia (x Faith EF by Sundance Kid V) was 2011 U.S. National Top Ten Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 55 and Over. And Brett Becker rode the three-year-old colt PA Marco (x Cassandra SS) to the 2011 U.S. National Reserve Champion Western Pleasure Futurity. “Marco is beautiful,” says Brett. “He has substance and a phenomenal neck and carriage. He’s really a strong horse. I was fortunate enough to work for Bill Melendez when he had Little Liza Fame so I remember her as a beautiful horse — it’s coming through. Marco is good-minded; very charismatic — he puffs up. Easy to be around, easy to work with. He’ll go to Scottsdale in the Signature Sire class.”
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GIGI GRASSO PHOTO
Top: Fadi Al Shaqab (*Besson Carol x *Abha Myra by *Marwan Al Shaqab). Bottom: HB Bessolea (*Besson Carol x Credit To Society by *Enchanter Magic FHP).
*Besson Carol (*Parys El Jamaal x Classic Krystall by *Simeon Shor) 11 ▪ BYATT ▪ WORLD
“Because the art of breeding is a dynamic process, I am always trying to think forward, always trying to find new ingredients to add to our program,” Michael says. To that end, two junior stallions arrived at Michael Byatt Arabians last November: the 2007 bay *ZT Marwteyn (*Marwan Al Shaqab x ZT Ludjteyna [Ludjin El Jamaal x Shahteyna]) from Argentina and the 2009 grey *Abha Sadiki (WH Justice x Abha Maharani [*Marwan Al Shaqab x Abha Ghazali]) from Mallorca. While gauging the potential of a breeding animal is a risky business, Michael seems to have been gifted with a sense, a feel, for what a horse may become. So when he heard about an exotic young Marwan son at Count Federico Zichy-Thyssen’s farm in Argentina, he had to see him. “Greg Knowles judged in Argentina last year and told me he’d seen a Marwan son that he thought was absolutely incredible. And the week before Aachen last year I was in Italy and I saw a filly by that stallion at Gigi Grasso’s that was just about the most beautiful foal I’d ever seen — absolutely a knock-out. So the week after Aachen I flew down to Count Federico’s to see for myself. All it took was for Marwteyn to come out of the stall and I was completely, totally, on board. But then I saw his foals there and they were just so beautiful and so buggy-eyed and charismatic. “His length of leg, the importance of his pedigree, and his foals, told me he was the one. His body structure is very much like Ludjin’s, very square, very tall. The foals have that neck, that fineness that defines the Marwan look that I love so much. What I’ve seen so far gives me hope that he’s going to be a dominant sire in those areas. So he’s different, yet still in synch with what’s important as we move the breeding program forward. “We’re just letting him hang out here for the moment, and getting to know him. He’s very masculine, very energetic, very kind. He’s a noble horse; he’s a charismatic horse; he’s got a lot of personality but he’s also easy to be around and doesn’t have a negative thought in his head. “We plan to use him a lot in breeding this year, so we’re freezing semen and making sure we have enough to accommodate our future needs and dreams, plus that of the people who have purchased breedings. So that’s first, and then we’ll address showing.” When Greg Knowles first saw Marwteyn, he says, “I was stunned. He is absolutely beautiful. He’s good enough to win anywhere. He is his father in every way. He has an amazing dam, ZT Ludjteyna (Ludjin El Jamaal x Shahteyna), who in turn had an amazing dam. She’s a big, stretchy, beautiful mare of the highest quality. *Marwteyn has a little brother by *ZT Magnanimus who is just beautiful which tells me there’s real consistency in the dam line. His foals were beautiful, one after another. The best foals on the place.”
Alfabia Akiabara (*ZT Marwteyn x ZT Ludbectra by Ludjin El Jamaal), 2011 filly, owned by Halsdon Arabians, UK.
*ZT Marwteyn (*Marwan Al Shaqab x ZT Ludjteyna [Ludjin El Jamaal x Shahteyna]).
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*Abha Sadiky 14 ▪ BYATT ▪ WORLD
In a different part of the world, Michael has had his eye on a different type of colt. “I’ve known Abha Sadiky since he was born at Marieta Salas’s Ganaderia Ses Planes in Mallorca. We own him in partnership. I really love his happy character, his carriage, and his high tail-set. Every time he takes a step his tail is over his back and he’s got really big, black, buggy-eyes. He’s what you would imagine from WH Justice/El Perfecto horses; all that tail carriage, masculinity and neck, and scope and throatlatch. He’s always been really joyous and entertaining to look at because of the way he conducts himself — like a big joyful bubble. I want that tail carriage and that spirit, that happiness. Take a step and turn, tail up in the air, and snort and sling your head and be excited by life. I really like the fact that he’s grey because I do like to have the possibility of getting a grey horse. He’s really a good horse everywhere but I wanted an ingredient that would amplify my opportunities to have that kind of carriage and personality.” While these two young stallions aren’t total outcrosses to Michael’s existing program, he predicts that they will add another dimension, new accents. “I can see things in both of them that are unique, and parts of their pedigrees that will help us continue to grow.
*Abha Sadiki (WH Justice x Abha Maharani [*Marwan Al Shaqab x Abha Ghazali]).
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“Our senior stallions are irreplaceable in my eyes and are certainly the most important stallions in my world. There’s been an amazing buzz and energy and activity around Marwteyn. I haven’t seen such a response to a horse in my life since Marwan first arrived on the scene. I feel as though these two junior stallions may well lead us forward to a style of horse we haven’t yet seen. So the journey continues, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.”
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M I C H A E L B Y AT T A R A B I A N S 7716 Red Bird Road, New Ulm, Texas 78950 · phone 979.357.2614 · fax 979.357.2613 www.MichaelByat tArabians.com
M I C H A E L B Y AT T A R A B I A N S 7716 Red Bird Road, New Ulm, Texas 78950 phone 979.357.2614 路 fax 979.357.2613 www.MichaelByat tArabians.com
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