CHARTING A NEW COURSE
VAN LENT JR. PHOTO
On the cover: His Highness The Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the founder of Al Shaqab Stud, with one of his most prized creations, the stallion Marwan Al Shaqab (Gazal Al Shaqab x Little Liza Fame).
C H A RT I N G A
N E W
C O U R S E
BY DENISE HEARST
At a recent show, we caught up with Al Shaqab’s breeding manager Sheikh Hamad bin Ali Al Thani, who was keeping one eye on the class while sharing his thoughts on the ascendancy of Al Shaqab over the course of 26 years. In nearly all of those years, Sheikh Hamad has guided the breeding program – an extraordinary run of breeding (and selection) genius. He takes his phone out and pulls up the color-coded breeding plan for 2019. Each stallion’s matings are assigned a color, and the chart of planned breedings will, God willing, result in over 150 foals. Sharing pictures of the 2018 foal crop, Sheikh Hamad cannot hide his delight. It’s easy to see why. But “how” is another question altogether. Here’s part of the answer. In recent history, Al Shaqab stands as one of the few Arabian breeding programs in the world that has the resources of bloodstock and treasure to breed on the scale of a state stud. In fact, Al Shaqab is a state stud now, owned by the Qatar Foundation. The budget comes from the government, but the breeding decisions are Sheikh Hamad’s.
AL SHAQAB > 1 < WORLD
“Because breeding horses requires time and continuity. The long view and patience. And numbers.”
Imperial Phanilah (Ansata Imperial
AL SHAQAB > 2 < WORLD
VAN LENT JR. PHOTO
x Imperial Phanadah).
As Sheikh Hamad says, “The small breeder cannot expect such results with only a couple of horses. That’s why we need the state studs of Poland to sur vive, and for Al Shaqab to sur vive. Because breeding horses requires time and continuity. The long view and patience. And numbers.” Arabian Horse World has been following the evolution of Al Shaqab in our pages since 1992, when we covered the first Qatar National Championships. That’s when Qatar still seemed to be a quaint outpost on the Arabian Gulf, and the Al Shaqab horses lived in the old and charming stables that evoked Arab for ts. This was the same year that HH The Heir Apparent Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani took over day-to-day running of the countr y from his father ; he became the Emir in 1995. With the blessing of vast natural gas and oil deposits, the next 20 years saw Qatar’s sleepy fishing villages and old towns swallowed up by glittering skyscrapers and tangles of new highways as Qatar sped towards industrialization and modernization. At the time, we repor ted that, “Most historians would be hard-pressed to match any previous five years against the planet’s last.” Such had been the pace of geopolitical change in the gulf region. The breathtaking transformation affected Arabian horse breeding too. This was also the year when HH The Heir Apparent made clear his desire to create an Arabian breeding program comprised of the very best horses, wherever in the world they might be. Sheikh Hamad bin Ali Al Thani, accepted the assignment and has been guiding the program ever since.
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A quartet of greatness — the stallions, from left to right, Gazal Al Shaqab (Anaza El Farid x Kajora), WH Justice (Magnum Psyche x Vona Sher-Renea), Marwan Al Shaqab (Gazal Al Shaqab x Little Liza Fame), and Al Adeed Al Shaqab (Ansata Halim Shah x Sundar Alisayyah).
“Here’s part of the answer. In recent history, Al Shaqab stands as one of the few Arabian breeding programs in the world that has the resources of bloodstock and treasure to breed on the scale of a state stud.”
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The First Qatar Nationals, 1992
The seven-year-old EAO-bred El Hilaly (Ikhnatoon x Enshad) Qatar National Reserve Champion Stallion, owned by HH The Heir Apparent Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
But back to that first show in 1992. Held at the charming old
In Arabian Horse World’s 1992 coverage,
showgrounds in the inner courtyard of the Qatar Racing and
we noted, “With the conclusion of its first
Equestrian Center, the atmosphere was festive, with the sea breezes,
national show, Qataris deserve to take pride
flowering trees, and the excitement of being at this inaugural event,
in the sheer accomplishment of the task.
where halter showing was introduced for the first time in Qatar.
Halter showing was successfully introduced in
The show was staged in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Emir’s ascension and, thus, was a fitting time to pay tribute to one of the country’s finest native treasures: the Arabian horse. At that time the Arabian horse population in Qatar was 500. (By 2017, the number of registrations had risen to 8,850). For most Qatari Arabian breeders it was the first time they had been involved in a competitive equine show.
the country as a form of equine competition, and the long-term benefits will undoubtedly reflect themselves in the quality-conscious breeding programs of Qatar. The wins of two Qatari-bred youngsters give proof positive that the nation will someday be capable of producing export quality Arabians … The pride of breeding horses that are sought
HH The Heir Apparent Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani already
after by other nations has long made the
had a growing band of Arabians, and some were entered, including
Arabian horse world go round, constantly
his stallion, the seven-year-old EAO-bred El Hilaly (Ikhnatoon x
reestablishing the benchmark of quality which
Enshad), who was named Reserve Champion.
the Bedouins defined many centuries ago.”
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The 1994 Qatar Nationals
Little Liza Fame (Fame VF x Katahza), 1994 Qatar National Reserve Champion Senior Mare, whose addition to the Al Shaqab family would bear championship fruit in her son Marwan Al Shaqab.
Imperial Phanilah (Ansata Imperial x Imperial Phanadah), 1994 Qatar National Champion Senior Mare.
HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani with the 1994 Qatar International Champion Stallion Sabiell (Nabiel x AK El Sanaa).
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Kamassayah (Imperial Al Kamar x Sundar Alisayyah), 1994 Qatar
G Tamim (Pilot x Shahteyna), 1994 Qatar National Champion
National Champion Junior Filly and 1996 Champion Mare.
The next two years brought huge improvements in quality. Of the 1994 show, we noted, “Al Shaqab, owned by His Highness the Heir Apparent Sheikh Hamad bin Ali Al Thani, had raised its game imeasurably. Indeed it could be argued that no farm anywhere in the world spent more on
“But it was the 1996 show at which Al Shaqab competed with a homebred horse who would change the world of Arabian breeding as we knew it.”
Arabian show and breeding stock in a 12-month period. Al Shaqab’s director Sheikh Hamad bin Ali Al-Thani, acquired sizable packages of Arabians from Imperial Egyptian Stud, Ansata Arabians, the Gucci herd, and some unique individuals such as the seven-year-old Little Liza Fame, a many-time halter and performance champion in the U.S., and Sabiell (Nabiel x AK El Sanaa) the Supreme Champion Stallion of the 1993 U.S. Egyptian Event. When the dust had settled after the last class, Al Shaqab clearly deserved the “Leading Farm” award as its entries claimed a clean sweep of the trophies in the four championship classes: Junior Female Champion, the two-year-old filly Kamasayyah (Imperial Al Kamar x Sundar Alisayyah), Junior Male Champion, the 1993 yearling colt G Tamim (Pilot x Shahteyna), Senior Female Champion Imperial Phanilah (Ansata Imperial x Imperial Phanadah), who went on to be named 1994 World Champion Mare, and Senior Male Champion Sabiell, who was later named World Reserve Champion Stallion. All four were bred in the U.S. and were recent acquisitions by the stud.”
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1996 and 1997 Qatar Nationals Superstars Emerge But it was the 1996 show at which Al Shaqab competed with a homebred horse who would change the world of Arabian breeding as we knew it: the yearling Gazal Al Shaqab (Anaza El Farid x Kajora), who was named Junior Champion Colt. And it was ultimately this
Al Adeed Al
horse, more than any other,
Shaqab (Ansata Halim Shah x Sundar Alisayyah),
that cemented Al Shaqabâ€™s
1997 Qatar National
status as one of the most
Champion Colt, at the age
influential breeding programs
of two years.
in modern times.
Many will remember the late actor Patrick Swayze showing the gentle Kajora (Kaborr x Edjora), with such respect at an early Qatar National Championship show. But of course, all of us will remember her as the dam of Gazal Al Shaqab.
Gazal Al Shaqab (Anaza El Farid x Kajora), 1996 Qatar National Champion Junior Colt, as a yearling. Gazal would go on to become Al Shaqabâ€™s first homebred World Champion.
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The 2001 Qatar Nationals – A First Glimpse of Greatness
“Marwan remains his male masterpiece, a stallion whose achievement stands unchallenged in the world today.”
Marwan Al Shaqab (Gazal Al Shaqab x Little Liza Fame) made his debut as a yearling, winning 2001 Qatar National Champion Colt.
Five years later, at the 2001 Qatar Nationals, Gazal’s yearling son Marwan made his show debut, winning Junior Champion Colt. Those of us lucky enough to have witnessed this show will never forget Marwan’s beauty and completeness even at that age. And we knew we would be hearing more ... much more, from him. Kaamil Batal (Ruminaja Ali x Amiri Jaliya), Qatar National Reserve Champion Stallion 1996
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Three Generations of World Champions The quartet comprised of Gazal Al Shaqab, his son Marwan Al Shaqab and Marwan’s sons Kahil Al Shaqab and Wadee Al Shaqab — an unprecedented case of three generations achieving World Champion titles.
At the 2001 World Championships in Paris, Gazal Al Shaqab (Anza El Farid x Kajora), left, and Marwan Al Shaqab (Gazal Al Shaqab x Little Liza Fame), took home the Senior and Junior Male Championships, respectively. Marwan won Junior World Champion in 2002 and would go on to win the senior Championship in 2008.
Wadee Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab x OFW Mishaahl), continued the family tradition in 2017, claiming the World Champion Senior Stallion title in Paris.
Kahil Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab x OFW Mishaahl), followed in his sire and grandsire’s footsteps when he captured the 2014 World Gold Champion Stallion title at Paris after winning the Junior Stallion Championship title there in 2011.
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Hariry Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab x White Silkk). 2017 U.S. National Champion Senior Stallion, 2017 Scottsdale International Breeders Classic Champion Senior Stallion, 2015 World Gold Champion Stallion, 2015 Menton Gold Champion Stallion, 2013 U.S. National Champion Junior Colt and Champion Three-Year-Old Colt, 2012 U.S. National Champion Colt, and 2012 Scottsdale Champion Colt.
Fadi Al Shaqab (Besson Carol x Abha Myra). 2017 Las Vegas World Cup Gold Supreme Champion Senior Stallion, 2013 World Gold Champion Senior Stallion, 2012 Champion Stallion at the Qatar International and Al Khalediah International Arabian Horse Festival, and 2010 Champion Colt at Menton and Al Khalediah.
In fact, from 2010 to 2017, every Senior World Champion stallion has been a Marwan son, with the exception of 2013 â€“ and that was Fadi Al Shaqab, a Marwan grandson!
From 2001 to today, we have seen the meteoric rise of a dynasty of champions unlike anything ever before. It began with the incredible double win of Gazal and Marwan at Paris in 2001, where they took the senior and junior World Championship, respectively. From there, Gazal went on lease to the Polish state studs, where he was to leave a rich legacy of outstanding daughters, among them three World Champion mares: Emandoria, Pinga, and the unbeaten and unforgettable Pianissima. Marwan remains his male masterpiece, a stallion whose achievement stands unchallenged in the world today. A L S H A Q A B > 11 < W O R L D
“After a year of relative quiet on the show scene, Al Shaqab is poised to introduce its next generation.” He is not only one of the select few horses
Abha Qatar, and EKS Alihandro, all of
who were named World Champion both
them World Champions. In fact, from
as a colt and as a stallion, he also sired two
2010 to 2017, every Senior World
full brothers, Kahil Al Shaqab and Wadee
Champion Stallion has been a Marwan
Al Shaqab, who did exactly the same thing.
son, with the exception of 2013 – and that
With Gazal, Marwan, Kahil, and Wadee, as
was Fadi Al Shaqab, a Marwan grandson!
well as the Marwan son Hariry Al Shaqab
Marwan is also the grandsire of Excalibur
and grandson Fadi Al Shaqab, Al Shaqab
EA, Emerald J, and FA El Rasheem. All of
has bred, and owns, three generations of
these are household names to anyone
World Champions. It would seem the
even remotely interested in Arabian
fourth is only a matter of time . . . Nor
horses. It is safe to say that Marwan
are these the only major champions and
Al Shaqab has influenced the Arabian
sires to emerge from this amazing dynasty.
industry more than any other now-living
Marwan Al Shaqab is also the sire of QR
stallion, and there is no sign that this will
Marc, Marajj, Marquis CAHR, Baanderos,
change any time in the near future.
Enotri EEA (Shanghai EA x Enjoi E), on lease to Al Shaqab. His first foals for Al Shaqab will arrive in 2019.
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MARWAN AL SHAQAB AND HIS 2018 FOALS (Gazal Al Shaqab x Little Liza Fame).
After a year of relative quiet on the show scene, Al Shaqab is poised to introduce its next generation. For Sheikh Hamad bin Ali, it has been a three-year process of introducing new blood aimed at moving ever forward, his quest to improve upon each successive generation. Filly out of Mashoora Al Shaqab.
Colt out of Durra Al Rayyan.
In his view, the Shaqab horses needed an infusion of type, and he sought more of the grey coat color. The heavy use of Gazal and Marwan created a stable of supreme show horses of the strong, powerful, bay type. Hamad knew it was time for a shift.
Colt out of Wijdan Al Shaqab.
Filly out of VA Ahlam. A L S H A Q A B > 13 < W O R L D
Shuaa Al Shaqab filly out of Al Farida Al Shaqab.
Duraid Al Shaqab colt out of Mayyasa Al Shaqab.
S.M.A. MAGIC ONE AND HIS 2018 FOALS (Psytadel US x Majidah Bint Pacha).
Al Abjer Al Shaqab colt out of Methayl Al Shaqab.
“They know who I am the moment I approach them. And I know who they are: a gift from God.”
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Siwar Al Shaqab filly out of Abha Myra. Duba Al Shaqab filly out of Sultanat Al Shaqab.
Filly out of Halimas Jaddani. Aqil Al Shaqab colt out of Faten Al Shaqab.
Three years ago he brought in outcross stallions, leasing WH Justice (Magnum Psyche x Vona Sher-Renea) and S.M.A. Magic One (Psytadel US x Majidah Bint Pacha), and this year Enotri EEA (Shanghai EA x Enjoi E) has been added to the line-up. They each bring their own flare. WH Justice, was used mostly
Afrin Al Shaqab colt out of Shama Al Shaqab.
with Marwan-bred mares, with the goal of Hayyan Al Shaqab colt out of Joseph Just Emotion.
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getting the type, along with the conformation of Marwan.
Daasah Al Shaqab filly out of Marieta Al Shaqab.
WH JUSTICE AND HIS 2018 FOALS (Magnum Psyche x Vona Sher-Renea).
And Sheikh Hamad did things that he knew would shock people — like breeding the Al Rayyan straight Egyptian mares to Marwan. “Some people may think I’m crazy for breeding all the Egyptian mares to Marwan. But look at the results!” he says. “And look what Magic One has done for us with the Egyptian-related mares. We got the grey and the type.” Soon, the rest of the world will see what Sheikh Hamad has been up to, as the first results will be shown in Qatar in early 2019, before their trek to training barns in Europe and the U.S. Darin Al Shaqab filly out of Venetzia. A L S H A Q A B > 16 < W O R L D
Fahar Al Shaqab colt out of Vanessa Al Shaqab.
Bayan Al Shaqab filly out of Tibrah Al Shaqab.
Yabreen Al Shaqab filly out of Wijdan Al Shaqab. SINAN AL RAYYAN AND HIS 2018 FOALS (Ansata Sinan x Al Wajba Al Rayyan).
What will follow in the coming years, will be crossing the 2018-2020 females back to sires like Fadi Al Shaqab (Besson Carol x Abha Myra), Kahil Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab x OFW Mishaahl), and Wadee Al Shaqab. Sheikh Hamad says his breeding ideas come from a “feeling.” Something he senses is “right.” But what he doesn’t mention is his encyclopedic knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of a vast number of pedigrees, specific horses and family groups. And the hours, over many years, that he spent in deep conversations with the master breeding directors of the Polish State Studs. But perhaps his greatest gift as a breeder is the simplest: love. “I love the horses, they’re in my heart,” he says. “You know, I go in their stalls and talk to them. They feel me. They know who I am the moment I approach them. Colt out of Al Wajbah Al Shaqab.
And I know who they are: a gift from God.” A L S H A Q A B > 17 < W O R L D
AI Adeed Al Shaqab: An Appreciation 1995-2018 1995 was a very special year for Al Shaqab. It saw the birth of not just one, but two colts that were to become the foundation pillars of the breeding program and household names throughout the industry. One of them was named Gazal and the other, Al Adeed. While there can be little doubt that on a global scale, Gazal Al Shaqab’s influence rules supreme, Al Adeed was special in several ways. For one thing, he was the most successful straight Egyptian show horse in the world — and we’re not just talking specialized Egyptian shows here. This was a top-level competitor who won gold at all
BY BETTY FINKE
ECAHO title shows he was eligible to compete in, meaning everything but the European Championships. He also inherited a suddenly vacant throne. In 1994, Al Shaqab, doing things properly and starting at the top, purchased the arguably most significant straight Egyptian sire in the world at the time: Ansata Halim Shah. A true world traveller who had begun his career at Dr. Nagel’s Katharinenhof in Germany where he bred mares from two major European state studs, then returned home to take his rightful
Two friends who shared a special bond, Sheikh Hamad bin Ali Al Thani and Al Adeed Al Shaqab .
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place as chief sire at Ansata in the U.S. HaIim Shah was 24 years old when he came to Qatar. Perhaps it was a little late for another major change. In any case, the stallion who revolutionized straight Egyptian breeding the world over died not long after he came to Qatar and his first and last foal crop at Al Shaqab was born in 1995. Among them was a little grey colt born to Sundar Alisayyah, a daughter of Ruminaja Ali out of a mare from the AI Badeia Stud, tracing back to the Hadban Enzahi strain. This family, descended from the desertbred mare Venus, has been noted for producing outstanding stallions. The most distinguished among them was the great Nazeer, who appears in Al Adeed’s pedigree no less than 11 times. Al Adeed grew up into a classically beautiful Arabian, blessed, like many of Halim Shah’s get, not only with exquisite type, but also with great movements. He launched his show career by being named Qatar National Champion Colt in 1997, aged two. Two years later, he was named Middle East Champion Stallion, and in 2000 Qatar National Champion Stallion, followed a year
Al Adeed Al Shaqab (Ansata Halim x Sundar Alisayyah). His notable wins include 2008 Qatar International Champion Stallion, 2005 U.S. Egyptian Event Champion Stallion, 2003 World Champion Stallion, 2003 Qatar International Champion Stallion, 2002 All Nations Cup Champion Stallion, 2002 Qatar International Champion Stallion, 2001 Qatar National Champion Stallion, 2000 Qatar National Champion Stallion, 1999 Middle East National Champion Stallion and 1997 Qatar National Champion Colt.
Laheeb Al Nasser (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Bint Saida Al Nasser), 2002 Stallion. 2014 Austrian National Champion Stallion, 2013 Frankfurt Orientalica Gold Champion Stallion, 2013 Elran Cup Gold Champion Stallion, 2013 Tulip Cup Gold Champion Stallion.
Farhoud Al Shaqab (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Johara Al Shaqab), 2008 Stallion, 2010 U.S. Egyptian Event Supreme Champion Male and Champion Junior Stallion, and 2009 Egyptian Event Europe Reserve Champion Colt.
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later by becoming 2001 Qatar International Champion Stallion. Having won everything there was to win back home, Al Adeed, having matured into a snow-white fairy-tale stallion that was a perfect picture-book illustration of an Arabian horse, set out to conquer the world. And conquer he did: he was All Nations Cup Champion Stallion at Aachen in 2002, World Champion Stallion at Paris in 2003, and Champion Stallion at the U.S. Egyptian Event in 2005. His last major title was, once again, Qatar International Champion Stallion in 2008. After that, he made the occasional special appearance outside of competition, for example at the gala evening at Aachen in 2007 to celebrate 25 years of the All Nations Cup.
Amina Al Shaqab (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Amwaj Al Shaqab), 2014 Egyptian Event Champion Senior Mare, 2012 Berlin Cup Champion Filly. Amirat Al Shaqab (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Imperial Phanilah), 1998 Straight Egyptian Mare, 2012 Berlin Cup Champion Mare, 2006 and 2002 Qatar International Champion Mare, 2006 Sharjah International Reserve Champion Mare, 2001 Qatar National Reserve Champion Filly, 2000 Qatar National Champion Filly.
As a sire, Al Adeed also left his mark, both in the Middle East and throughout the world. Among his international sons are Laheeb Al Nasser (x Bint Saida Al Nasser), a champion sire and multiple international champion for Nayla Hayek of Switzerland; Kamal Ibn Adeed (x NF Bint Sajha) in the U.S.,
whose son Haizoom Al Asil has won titles in Europe; Naseem Al Rashediah (x Nabawiyah Ezzain) of Bahrain, Champion Colt at the Egyptian Event Europe, and Silver Champion Junior Colt at Menton; Jadaan Al Shaqab (x Torfa Al Shaqab) at Jadem Arabians in Belgium; and the Australianbred Redwood Lodge Artique (x Redwood Lodge Romantik), now residing in France, a sire of champions in his own right. The heir apparent at AI Shaqab is his 2008 son Farhoud Al Shaqab (out of Johara AI Shaqab), who was Supreme Male Champion at the 2010 U.S. Egyptian Event. His daughters of note include Amina Al Shaqab (x Amwaj Al Shaqab), Champion Filly at the Berlin Cup 2012, Amirat Al Shaqab (x Imperial A L S H A Q A B > 20 < W O R L D
Hooria Al Shaqab (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Hanouf), 2006 Straight Egyptian Mare. 2013 Berlin Cup Silver Champion Mare, 2012 U.S. Egyptian Event Champion Mare, 2011 UKIAHS Reserve Champion Mare.
Phanilah), Qatar National Champion Ma re 2 0 0 6 a n d In t er n a t i o n a l Champion Mare at Berlin 2012, Dawlah Al Shaqab (x Badawieh Al Shaqab), Egyptian Event Europe Reserve Champion Filly 2010, Hathfa Al Shaqab (x Kajora), Qatar National Champion Mare 2003, Hooria Al Shaqab (x Hanouf AI Shaqab), several times international reserve champion mare, Laian Al Shaqab (x Meseda AI Shaqab), U.S. Egyptian Event Supreme Female Champion 2011, Mayyasa Al Shaqab (x Alhambra El Dakar), Qatar Emirâ€™s Cup Champion Filly 2009, and Nouf Al Shaqab (x Meseda Al Shaqab), Qatar National Champion Mare 2011. His sons, daughters, and grandget are found in straight Egyptian breeding programs throughout the
Mayyasa Al Shaqab (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Alhambra El Dakar), 2006 Mare. 2009 Qatar Emirâ€™s Cup Arabian Show Champion Filly. Laian Al Shaqab (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Meseda Al Shaqab), 2011 Egyptian Event Supreme Champion Egyptian Mare and Senior Champion Egyptian Mare, 2011 Egyptian Event Europe Reserve Champion Junior Mare, and 2010 Egyptian Event Reserve Champion Junior Filly.
Middle East and, indeed, the world. Al Adeed Al Shaqab retired from the show ring after the 2008 season, having nothing left to prove. His last public appearance was two years ago during a special presentation at the Egyptian Event Europe, after which he returned to Al Shaqab for good and enjoyed a life of quiet retirement and breeding mares, well looked after and cared for by his special friend Sheikh Hamad bin Ali and the staff at Al Shaqab. When the news of his death went public, breeders the world over mourned the passing of a legend. But his legacy is sure to continue and expand during the coming years. The final chapter has not yet been written.
Kamal Ibn Adeed (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x NF Bint Sajha), 2009 Stallion. 2012 U.S. Egyptian Event Champion World Class Three-Year-Old Colt, 2010 U.S. Egyptian Event Champion Yearling Futurity Colt 2010 U.S. Egyptian Event Champion World Class Yearling Colt.
Naseem Al Rashediah (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Nabaweyyah Ezzan), 2016 Egyptian Event Europe Champion Junior Colt and Best in Show Male, and 2017 Menton Silver Champion Junior Colt.
Nouf Al Shaqab (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Meseda Al Shaqab), 2009 Egyptian Event Europe Champion Junior Filly, and 2011 Qatar National Champion Mare.
A L S H A Q A B > 21 < W O R L D
Believe to Breed
BY BIANCA LANDOLFI
This year, Al Shaqab introduced a new project, “Believe to Breed,” designed to support motivated breeders in Europe. It is based on the belief that passion deserves an opportunity. Al Shaqab is inviting European breeders to share their stories —why they started with Arabians and what motivates them to pursue their dreams as breeders. The winning essays will earn a free breeding to one of Al Shaqab’s stallions.
DIEGO DI CARO
In Italy we interviewed five local breeders, catching up with them at the Italian Nationals in Cattolica, a beautiful location near the sea. Several breeders talked about the importance of family in their horse activities. “The whole family is involved. When we travel to a show we are more than 15 people. The kids are already very competent. They know about horses almost instinctively,” says Gaspare Moscarelli, from MG Arabians. The mindset of starting at a young age is also shared by breeder/ trainer Angelo Bacarino of BM Arabians. “As kids, together with my brother, we used to play with ponies as if they were show horses,” he said. Those early days drove the two brothers to base their activity on teamwork: Angelo is the manager while Andrea is the trainer and handler of BM Arabians. In terms of breeding, the vet Davide Bona emphasizes the importance of genetics and the crucial role of the dam line when choosing a sire or analyzing a bloodline. Regarding Al Shaqab, grooms Desiree Faraone and Rosario Miuccio share a close experience with quality horses such as Sultanat Al Shaqab, Farhoud Al Shaqab, and others. “It’s something that doesn’t happen every day and that we don’t take for granted,” they say. Diego Di Caro, a newcomer to Arabians talks about passion when sharing his view about Al Shaqab. “I believe that Al Shaqab’s main strength is passion. Whether you are a big important breeder, when you put passion in what you do, you always give the best version of yourself,” he says. BELGIUM
The Believe to Breed project started with Belgium. During the Elran Cup show we met breeders from Italy, Germany, Malta, and Belgium. One of the firsts breeders showing interest in the project was Domenico D’Onza. Mimmo has been breeding his mares with several Al Shaqab stallions, obtaining great results. For Mimmo breeding Arabians is a family affair, “Our conversations always lead to Arabian horses. A L S H A Q A B > 22 < W O R L D
GEERT VAN DE VELDE
Now I have two grandsons that don’t want a pony, they want an Arabian!” Our participants referred to the elegance and beauty of the Arabian breed. Belgian breeder Bart Beckers sees these qualities in the Al Shaqab stallions: “There is no doubt that they would create another dimension for our stud farm.” On a similar line, Julia Dohmen from Germany comments, “Al Shaqab means only one thing to me — high quality.” Conversations about breeding often carry a lot of emotions. “The excitement that an Arabian horse can give you is unique,” says Francis Fenech who breeds Arabians purely for passion.
unique understanding that happens between people and Arabian horses. “It’s the only breed that can be so close to the human being.” Similarly, Kristina Kragh talks about the beginning of her love affair with Arabian horses: “We bought him for the heart, not for the pedigree.” Passion however, doesn’t only mean love. Passion is also tied to sacrifice. This is the case for Evelyne Eschbach who, despite a full-time job outside the horse industry, works to develop her farm and breeding program. Another participant who combines breeding with other activities is Henrike Hörmann, a talented and well-known Arabian horse photographer. Our last encounter was with the British breeder Susan George, a woman with the enthusiasm of the newcomer and the competence of a veteran. “I breed from my eyes,” she says. “I always considered it fundamental to stay true to myself and true to my vision.” SPAIN
Geert Van De Velde makes an interesting comparison: “If someone asks you why you love your family? There is no answer, it’s in your blood. With Arabians it’s the same. It’s more than a show horse. You see the passion, you see the beauty, you see the fire, you see the love ... they are part of our family.” FRANCE
At the European Breeders Championship in Chantilly we had the pleasure of meeting the breeder of the Best French horse 2017, Chantal Rigat, from De Cartherey Arabians. Chantal talks about complicity, the kind of
For Spain we met at a brand new event for breeders hosted by the famous breeders Marieta Salas and Antonia Bautista. The atmosphere during “An Ode to Mallorca” was relaxed and friendly. As Alejandro Bastida said in his interview, “The passion for Arabian horses is a passion for all.” We also met a young couple who started recently to breed Arabians, Laia Pejoan and Jordi Corominas. Having jobs outside the horse industry, they moved to a rural area where they could keep their horses and carry out their breeding program. “Bringing your homebred horse to a show is thrilling, but until today, the best gift that we got from this breed is a daily life with them, being with the mares and seeing the foals growing at home,” says Laia. Another participant who combines his job with breeding is Oriol Roch, a young Spaniard, who apart from breeding, also trains and shows his own horses. To the question “Why do you do this?” he responds: “It’s a passion. Even if you don’t have time, you find time for horses. It’s something that you have inside.” It is thanks to Alfredo Capetillo, however, that we get really into a breeding conversation. “The ones who say that they never had a problem during foaling, mean that they always got there in the morning, when the foal was already born.” Sharp and energetic, Alfredo talks about the importance of being a horseman instead of a person who only goes to shows. Jaume Ximenis is the one who had more direct contact with Al Shaqab’s horses, especially with one of them. “I was very young when Marwan came to Ses Planes. I remember the exact day when he got here. I saw him again in the U.S., when I was 19. It’s special to meet a horse as a yearling and to see him again when he had become a stallion. Not just any horse, but Marwan Al Shaqab.” A L S H A Q A B > 23 < W O R L D
Sheikh Hamad bin Ali Al Thani Manager of Breeding and Show Department
Designed and produced by Arabian Horse World Âˇ 11/18
November 2018 issue cover story. At a recent show, we caught up with Al Shaqab’s breeding manager, Sheikh Hamad bin Ali Al Thani, who shared...