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A doniis

BY GARI DILL-MARLOW


A doniis J

U LY O F 2 0 0 3 WA S B E A U T I F U L I N M O R G A N , U TA H ,

with crystal-clear blue skies, soft breezes, and a temperature no more than a dry 80 degrees. The ranch boasted some of the finest Arabians to be found anywhere in the world, beautiful mares and fabulous foals. For Gary McDonald, it was one of the more enjoyable aspects of being a trainer as well as breeder. Gary’s folks had been breeding Arabians long before he was born. So when he came to look at potential candidates for the 2004 show season, it was with a true professional’s eye always on the lookout for something special. At the ranch of famed plastic surgeon Dr. Stephan L. Ralston — whose barn has been graced with such luminaries as Basks Maria and Galizja Of Rohan — the promise of a number of fine candidates was usually fulfilled. This time Dr. Ralston had something special for Gary to see. Bowled over is probably too tame a description to measure Gary’s surprised reaction. “I’d expected something good but nothing like what I saw that morning! “Adoniis (Baske Afire x Coladina by Wisdom) was then about two months old. He followed his dam out of the stall and into the aisle of the barn. The first thing that struck me was how large, black, and expressive his eyes were. I’d never seen anything like them, especially in a young chestnut,” says Gary. “Next, I noticed his extreme shoulder and length of neck as he arched and bowed up to investigate his visitors. His neck was (and still is) so thin, so vertical, so loose to bend and flex in every direction — it is very special. After this close scrutiny, I asked If I could see him bounce around outside. They walked the mare out of the barn into the summer air, and Adoniis as a two-month-old colt, placed his tail perfectly straight,

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pointing up to the sky and strutted a few laps around his dam. Suddenly, he froze in a stance for what felt like an eternity, then trotted off with such fluid motion, heading straight to the mare motel, which was a few blocks away. He had no concern for his dam. This barely two-month-old colt was so confident that upon reaching the breeding mares he began to tease them like a mature stallion. He was striking in the air, snorting and full of testosterone — and he was so amazingly beautiful. Adoniis is one of those that even at such a young age fully mesmerized and captivated the onlooker. “Several months later,” Gary continues, “when we brought Adoniis to our ranch in Scottsdale, the spouse of one of our more illustrious movers and shakers saw him getting off the

trailer.” The speed with which Arabian horse fact and rumor spreads is unparalleled. The CIA and FBI would be thrilled to get verifiable intel so quickly! “Within 30 minutes of Adoniis’s stepping off the trailer, we had an offer to purchase, sight unseen! In under an hour, his owner, Dr. Ralston, was contacted by another industry legend with an even more astronomical price!” Gary spoke with Dr. Ralston, who told him how much he wanted for the colt and agreed to give Gary several weeks to come up with the asking price. At this point Gary called his father, Ross McDonald, and told him about the colt. “Gary was so excited, we knew the colt had to be something special — so we immediately agreed to the idea of buying into

ADONIIS (BASKE AFIRE X COLADINA BY WISDOM) PICTURED WITH GARY MCDONALD

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A doniis

the partnership,” Ross says. “I’ve produced my first Adoniis foal that is already a star, MC Leonidas, born this year, who is extraordinary!” Indeed Marjeanne and Ross McDonald have bred their best mares to Adoniis and the results have been stunning. Gary notes, “They produced a superstar filly this year by the name of Aisha Aldebaran,who is out of a The Chief Justice daughter and is now owned by Gaurav Walia and Soniya Hayat of San Francisco, California. They also produced a colt out of the unanimous U.S. National Champion Filly Ames Jasmine (the aforementioned MC Leonidas) who has sold to Jack Maritz in South Africa. “BJ (Robert) and Donna Jensen of Paradise Valley, Arizona, were the first official members and supporters to sign up for the group ownership,” Gary adds. Indeed, the Jensens are delighted. “We will never forget the first time Gary and Holly McDonald presented Adoniis to us. His extreme beauty and swan-like neck took our breath away. His athletic ability, extreme presence, and impressive pedigree created a total package. Now as a sire Adoniis is passing on his strengths and proving himself as evidenced by the unusually high percentage of his get who have become show champions in such a short period of time. We are particularly pleased that Sharon Redman, DVM, of Fairland, Indiana, purchased a 2008 Adoniis breeding for her elegant, halter champion mare. We all are anxiously awaiting that 2009 foal!” Gary continues, “Steve and Judy Erickson have been undoubtedly Adoniis’s biggest fans and supporters! They don’t own any horses but saw him here, and they love to attend the shows.” Steve Erickson happily enthuses, “We spend our summers in Wisconsin and winters in Scottsdale, and a friend who owns horses took us to see the McDonalds. We were just bowled over by Adoniis — so we bought a part of him. Of course, we haven’t figured which part yet. But we love Gary and Holly and we just love Adoniis. We love his looks and he just has the greatest personality. He always remembers us and comes over for his carrots when we go to see him. He knows he is absolutely gorgeous because he tells us so!” Gary elaborates that Jane Wardlaw of Reno, Nevada, is one of their dearest friends. “She is a big proponent for Adoniis in the Region 3 area. Jane is thrilled with the beautiful colt by Adoniis born this year.” “Adoniis has the most exquisite head and level croup,” she says. “Just a tremendous beauty. We plan to breed one of our mares to him exclusively. We’ve been breeding Arabians for over a decade utilizing some of the breed’s top stallions, but Adoniis is just a standout!” Particularly gratifying to Gary is that “Cathy Shibata of Agua Dulce, California, is a collector of some of the finest breeding mares in the world, and we are so happy to have her as

ADONIIS FOALS:

TOP: ADONIIS AMBER ROSE (ADONIIS X AVIARA ROSE), 2008 SCOTTSDALE TOP TEN FILLY, AND REGION 14 RESERVE CHAMPION, OWNED BY TONY GARCIA AND SHOWN BY ROHARA ARABIANS. BOTTOM: EL FUEGO ROJO (ADONIIS X NAHRS SC ARLETLACE), 2009 COLT BRED BY MARK AND DEBRA SCHMUKER.

continued …

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ADONIIS (BASKE AFIRE X COLADINA BY WISDOM)

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A doniis ADONIIS FOALS:

a part of the Adoniis Group. Mark Davis and Cindy McGown of Royal Arabians are looking forward to using Adoniis as an outcross for their mares. Then there is the introduction of Mark and Debra Schmuker who had their first Adoniis foal this year and are expecting two more next year. “The other new members are Rod and Helen Hutchings who produced their first foal last year, the spectacular Amarii, who has just sold to Poland and will have a significant impact in Europe,” Gary says. Rod is a flooring contractor and had been doing some work for Gary and Holly when he first saw Adoniis and was totally taken with the stallion’s “electrifying intelligence and personality. I was so taken with his foals,” Rod says. “He just captivates me! Look at Amarii. He is out of Sonora Rose, our *Khadraj NA daughter, who boasts a star-filled pedigree in her own right and traces back to the great stallion producer, the Blunts’ Nasra, dam of 12 foals including the two greatest sons of Skowronek, Naseem and Naziri.” Rod is enjoying spending time with his daughter Kassandra, who is showing Rose and their other new mare, Jullya Bey Jamaal, Canadian National Reserve Champion and U.S. National Top Ten mare. Both of these mares are due to Adoniis in the spring of 2009. “Adoniis completely fits the ideal of what I feel the future of the Arabian breed needs,” Gary observes. “The breed has the chestnut, blond, tail-flagging competitor in our halter arena. The breed also has the athletic, trainable, conformationally enhanced performance horses. But there is little to no crossover. There are bloodlines in our mainstream American horses that the international market will not embrace. There are other halter bloodlines that the mainstream performance trainers discriminate against in their training programs. Adoniis fits the continued …

TOP: MC LEONIDAS (ADONIIS X AMES JASMINE), RECENTLY PURCHASED BY JACK MARITZ OF SOUTH AFRIC A. BOTTOM: ANJLIK PASSION (ADONIIS X TR PASSIONETEDREAM), PURCHASED BY STRYDOM STUD OF SOUTH AFRIC A. 8 ▪ ADONIIS ▪ WORLD


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A doniis ADONIIS FOALS:

ideal of being the complete package. He is sired by the Afire Bey V son Baske Afire, and out of the pure Polish Wisdom daughter Coladina. Conformationally, he has short cannon bones, perfect hooves, an extremely short back, high withers, fluid motion, a clean shapely neck, and perfect balance — the perfect performance build. Nevertheless, his structure is so stunning that he was awarded 2006 Canadian National Top Ten Futurity Colt and National Top Ten Open Stallion in the same year. He has sired halter winners with every different cross of mare imaginable. He has a beautiful head — very dry, with romantic eyes — short ears, with an all-boy masculine but nevertheless sweet disposition. “The Adoniis foals consistently inherit the amazing tail carriage, an abundant amount of energy and enthusiasm, great length of neck, and a unique sense of balance,” Gary adds. “The colors seem to be across the board, and they range in height from 14.3 to 15.3 — and that is remembering that his oldest offspring are only two years old. MC Adoniia, who was purchased by Ernie Patterson of Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, is certainly a standout. She is out of a pure Spanish mare from Marieta Salas’s breeding program in Palma de Mallorca. Adoniia has been a Scottsdale Top Ten Yearling filly (fifth out of 18) as well as a Regional Reserve Champion Mare as a two-year-old. Amarii, purchased by Zbigniew Binkiewicz of Poland, has also been a Scottsdale Top Ten and Regional winner out of 14 shown. He already has a fan club in Poland and a host of breeders that are eagerly awaiting his arrival in Poland!” Today’s American showring is undergoing significant alterations. Until this last year judging was comparative; now, with the introduction of the point system, the quality of the

continued …

TOP: MC SOPHIIE (ADONIIS X SONORA ROSE), BRED BY HOLLY MCDONALD. BOTTOM: AMARII (ADONIIS X SONORA ROSE), 2008 SCOTTSDALE TOP TEN COLT, AND REGION SEVEN RESERVE CHAMPION, BRED BY ROD AND HELEN HUTCHINGS, AND OWNED BY ZBIGNIEW BINKIEWICZ, IMPERIAL ARABIANS, POLAND. 10 ▪ ADONIIS ▪ WORLD


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individual has to be as close to perfect in its own right rather than something that can be held up to the next horse in the ring. As Gary notes, “Our current system, with the new judging and exhibiting rules and regulations, seems to be in a constant state of change. In such an unstable environment, the only way that a breeder can produce foals that are competitive, marketable, and that he is proud to own, is to produce foals that embrace both the halter and performance worlds simultaneously.” To date Adoniis has been 2004 Regional Reserve Champion Sweepstakes Colt, 2006 Regional Reserve Champion Stallion, 2006 Canadian National Top Ten Futurity Colt, 2006 Canadian National Top Ten Stallion, and 2008 Scottsdale Top Ten Stallion. Research shows him to be a Top Ten sire of Yearling Sweepstakes winners in 2007. Gary feels that it is important that a stallion be shown. “A stallion does not need to be the champion every time to be of significant value. In fact, to ‘cherry-pick’ where he will be shown and who he will show against is a disservice to the stallion. Everyone has a different opinion about what constitutes perfection. That a stallion is taken out to be seen and compared is good and it says volumes when he is always placing at or close to the top. “The goal of the Adoniis Group is to be the caretakers for the future of Adoniis,” Gary continues. “Our primary focus is on selectively choosing the right mares for him and keeping the breeding numbers low so that the resale value of his foals will be strong. We’ve received countless phone calls from people looking to buy sons of his that can bring his rarities into their breeding program. Because of this watchful eye and close guardianship, Adoniis has only a handful of foals, yet his influence is felt throughout America, Canada, England, Poland, and South Africa with ownership in each of these countries. In his first foal crop of eight foals, two sold to international ownership, and of the remaining foals, six have accumulated enough wins to place Adoniis on the 2007 Top Ten Sweepstakes Sire list (ahead of his peer age group of DA Valentino and Pprovidence, and ahead of his seniors Padrons Psyche, Versace, and Odyssey SC). The international sales to Poland and South Africa came about when Polish breeder Zbigniew Binkiewicz came to Arizona and purchased a mare at Gary and Holly’s, saw Adoniis, and fell in love with him. South African breeder Jack Maritz found out about Adoniis, called Gary and told him he was looking for an older yearling or two-year-old son of Adoniis for his breeding program. When he saw pictures of the

weanling MC Leonidas, Maritz flew over to see him in the flesh and purchased him on the spot. “I wanted an Adoniis son for my breeding program because I wanted an athlete who would not compromise the type currently in my program,” Maritz says. “The U.S. has many wonderfully athletic stallions, but Adoniis is the only one that had the beauty that I was looking for. Upon my arrival at McDonald Arabians, I found that the Adoniis foals all possess the presence, attitude, movement, and beauty I was searching for.” “I own a mare named Fire And Lace CAHR, who has previously been a Scottsdale Reserve Champion,” says Binkiewicz, of Imperial Arabians in Krakov, Poland. “I loved the photographs and videos of Adoniis and came to see him personally for breeding this mare. I hoped that Adoniis would give my mare his short back, and compact body, while preserving his uniquely long neck and great movement. While I was there, I saw several of the Adoniis offspring. One of them was a weanling colt named Amarii. I purchased the breeding to Adoniis for Fire And Lace CAHR, who is due to foal this coming January. A month later, I inquired of Gary about the possibility of purchasing Amarii, and he made it happen. “Amarii has grown to exceed my hopes,” Binkiewicz continues. “He is so tall — the tallest yearling that I have ever seen! He is so smooth and showy, with a unique look all his own, and superior attitude that dominates every horse in the show arena. He is one of the rare horses who can show at the end of the class with the same enthusiasm as he did in the beginning. He never tires. “Amarii will be at Scottsdale in 2009 to again dominate that arena. He will be a major contender at the U.S Nationals when he is a three-year-old. Along with his U.S. show schedule, I am also eager to import him to Poland to begin to campaign him on the European show circuit as well. He will be shown at all the major shows here: The All Nations Cup, the Polish Nationals, and Paris. “Amarii already has several mares booked to him, both in the U.S. and with my fellow breeders in Poland. My personal mares trace to Eldon, Ganges, Arbil, Wachlarz, among others, and Amarii will be the perfect cross for them. He brings back the strength of the *Bask lines (similar to the impact that Monogramm had), with an overwhelmingly consistent pedigree filled with lines to Skowronek. These genetic strengths and their predictability are then complemented by his modern look,

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height, neck-set and shape, and wonderful trainability. I am very excited about his future.” “What makes the Group work so effectively is that Adoniis’s well-being is first in our hearts,” says Gary. “The group is united in ensuring that each Adoniis foal has the quality, attention, and opportunities to be successful — that every owner of his offspring will feel the support system that is by their side, ensuring their success. The group denounces and has refused the opportunities of making a quick buck by wholesaling a

large number of breedings to flood the market and pretend to be popular. We are proud of the fact that breeders desire a son or daughter of Adoniis for their programs and we are equally proud that their search is often difficult because there are so few Adoniis foals available for purchase. “A well-known trainer once said that if he were to be reincarnated it would be his hope to be reincarnated as a great breeding stallion. Reading about Adoniis, it is not difficult to imagine what a wonderful life that would be!”

ADONIIS (BASKE AFIRE X COLADINA BY WISDOM)

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Adoniis  

by Gari Dill-Marlow

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