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2017 – The Year that Was

2017 – The Year that Was

As this year draws to a close, it is time to reflect on the year that was. From the highs of the WAHO Conference in Bahrain and the crowning of the World Champions last month to the incredibly sad passing of Dr Nasr Marei and Padrons Psyche, this year has seen so much happen for all those that live in this wonderful world of the Arabian horse.

There have been so many moments from this year that deserve to be shared – but to do so would take months to write, in order to do the pieces justice. The horses that need to be acknowledged, the people so pivotal to the Arabian world, the things that truly are important and that matter. So, instead, I have asked a variety of people around the world to share their moment – their highlight – and to include that they are looking forward to for 2018. Please enjoy this by-no-means definitive round up of the year, but it truly does give a flavour of the wonderful variety that we have within our beloved breed.

Marion Richmond, Simeon Stud, Australia
When asked to reflect on the past year at Simeon, I can honestly say that it has been most generous to our farm.

The quality of the foals continues to be outstanding, with some of the best foals we have ever bred. We have an amazing Immesmerize (Imtaarif x Bint Mareekh Amir) colt from Simeon Samira (Simeon Shifran x Mussallah) that I am keeping. He embodies the best qualities of his pedigree, from his father of course, and also the recent German blood on his dame side, along with Asfour (Malik x Hanan), Anaza Bay Shahh (Shaikh Al Badi x Bint Deena) and 27 Ibn Galal V (Ibn Galal x 10 Hosna).

I am enjoying greatly the process of watching our homebred stallions – Simeon Shifran (Asfour x Simeon Shavit), Simeon Sahron (Imperial Madaar x Simeon Setavi) and Simeon Shanun (Imperial Madaar x Simeon Safran) – turning into the magnificent white stallions they always promised to become. Pure bliss.

I have found great enjoyment in sharing the excitement of new owners who have purchased Simeon horses. Selling Simeon Salit (Asfour x Simeon Shavit) to the USA was difficult for me; however, it was time her exquisite beauty was shared with the world. She will be missed, as will all the horses we sold this year, and we wish their owners all the happiness their horses can bring.

Marion with Simeon Marei
Marion with Simeon Marei. Credit Stuart Vesty.

I was delighted to be in Egypt and meet my clients, and to be part of the Cairo Culture television that helped promote Arabians to the world. The Breeders Conference was great fun, and it was very interesting to speak with like-minded, and those with a different point of view, all about horses. It was an honour for me to present and talk about my farm.

While I was in Egypt I was thankful to catch up with my dear friend Nasr Marei. An amazing man, an amazing breeder and an amazing friend. Upon my return to Australia, Wed Albadeia (Farid Albadeia x Momtazat Albadeia) foaled her best filly yet by Simeon Shifran and in honour of this great man, no longer with us, we have named her Simeon Marei.

Dawn Martin, Albidayer Stud, UAE
The highlight of our year was Mozn Albidayer (SMA Magic One x Mattaharii) winning the triple crown of Gold Champion Junior Filly at Menton, Aachen and Paris. We have always believed in her, as have so many others, and she has matured into one of the most beautiful Arabians in existence today.

Mozn Albdiayer
Mozn Albidayer takes Gold in Paris. Credit Claire Reigneaud.

For 2018 we are looking forward to seeing some of the first foals by Raoud Albidayer as we have bred a few very special young mares to him and are excited to see what he can produce. He is the combination of SMA Magic One with DL Marielle (Marwan Al Shaqab x RGA Kouress), the full sister to Marajj and the dam of champion-producing stallion Kanz Albidayer (by Ajman Moniscione). Raoud is not only a multiple-champion himself but his pedigree is full of champions and World Champion quality producers.

The goal of any breeder is not only to produce winning horses, but for the horses you have bred to continue breeding on. Some of these will be second generation Albidayer foals and this gives us a lot to look forward to!

Cindy McGown, Royal Arabians, USA
2017 was an amazing year for Royal Arabians in so many ways, beginning the year with a bang and finishing with a boom!

In the performance division with Head Trainer Justin Cowden, Royal Arabians accomplished at the United States National Competition the following were victorious and it was with great pride that there was the victory of Royal Maestro, homebred by Royal Arabians: 

Cecilia CA, US National Champion Half Arabian Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse
Afires Knight, Reserve National Champion Half Arabian Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse
FVF Bucarrdi (KM Bugatti x Major Primadonna), US National Champion Arabian Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 55 & Over
Royal Maestro (Pershahan El Jamaal x Aria Marchestra), US National Champion Arabian Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse

The halter division, led by Rodolfo Guzzo, was also amazing with the Las Vegas World Cup Gold Championship awarded to Royal Asad (El Tino x Lumiar Ethna) and also a wonderful US Nationals Competition especially with the marketing by Royal Arabians of Bella Duchessa GA (JJ Bellagio x Duchess of Marwan) who was United States Reserve National Champion Year Filly and was purchased by our great client Suz Vince prior to her win. Also to Perry and Suzanne Perkins on their amazing win with Da Vinci’s Ebony GA (Da Vinci FM x Ebony by Valention) and her win of United States National Champion Open Stock/Hunter Type mare and United States Reserve National Champion Half Arabian Futurity Filly.

Royal Arabians foal Aston X GC Merpsydita
Royal Arabians foal by Aston out of GC Merpsydita. Credit Kelly Campbell.

Not to mention an amazing year in the marketing of the incredible Arabian horse resulting in millions of dollars in sales domestically and around the globe and being name Marketer of the Year by the Arabian Horse Times Readers Choice Awards.

But probably the most exciting moment for Royal Arabians personally was the breeding of the filly Royal Apona (Royal Invictus x Phaedra PR), who was named Gold Champion Weanling Filly at the Scottsdale Arabians Breeders’ Finals.

All in all, 2017 was amazing year in all aspects and divisions with too many great memories to count, and we are blessed for all of those who support us and call themselves our clients but most importantly our friends. We salute them all with the highest level of respect and give sincere thanks.

Caroline Sussex, Binley Stud, UK
My plans for the coming year are to breed two or three mares to Binley Ronaldo (Arfaja Robard x Arfarja Silver Mist), show my two two-year olds, as they will be, hopefully at some shows in various classes. On 13 January, I am going to the BEF Sport Horse Breeders Dinner in London to receive the award for the BEF Futurity Endurance section, Best Yearling, which I am looking forward to. This is for Binley Silver Tahlian (Silvern Prince x Summertime Blues), and this piece includes a photograph of her at the Futurity where she just missed elite by 0.6, gaining 89.4 marks which I was thrilled with. I hope there may be an announcement as to the future of these evaluations at the Dinner.

Binley Silvern Tahlia at the BEF Futurity
Binley Silvern Tahlia at the BEF Futurity. Credit Kevin Sparrow.

As for the highlight of my year, that is hard. Binley Silvern Tahlia was In-hand RASS Champion at the Wessex Summer Show on her first time out while Binley Silver Sunset (Binley Ronaldo x Sa’ira) was Supreme Champion of the Crabbet Show Equifest and winner against all ages Sports Horse Class. A few definite highlights in 2017!

I am also looking forward to competing at the AHS Nationals in 2018, although I am as yet undecided on which horses to take!

Roxann Hart, Rohara Arabians, USA
The highlights of the year were making exports to wonderful farms and breeding programmes in Sweden, Jordan and Palestine.

I am looking forward to the foals by QR Marc (Marwan Al Shaqab x Swete Dreams) and SM Azraff (Faraa Al Shaqab x LC Psychesfinesse) out of some of Rohara’s best mares. In the upcoming year, Rohara will be using the stallions QR Marc, A Jericho (A Jakarta x Destiny VF), Elite AF (DA Valentino x Aria Elita) and Pavorotto KA (QR Marc x Palanga).

Rohara Sophia
Roxann with Rohara Sophia and resident Rohara trainer, John Rannenberg.

2018 celebrates 50 years of Rohara Arabians, and we look forward to our future.

Katherine Bertram, Avonbrook Stud, UK
In a year that started with Marcus Aurelius (Aurelian x Fiesta Magica) escorting mother around the streets of London for the London New Year’s Day Parade, 2017 gradually turned its focus to Marcus’ offspring and their escapades. This past year saw two of Marcus’ sons, Avonbrook Odin (ex April) and Avonbrook Silver Augury (ex Caveland Calypso), jump their first British Showjumping Senior Newcomers (1.10-1.20) tracks as well as compete in the National School’s Equestrian Association (NSEA) qualifiers throughout the spring and summer.

Avonbrook Odin at the NSEA Championship.
Avonbrook Odin at the NSEA Championship. Hoofprints Photography

The highlight of the year was qualifying for the NSEA 115cm Advanced Championship with Odin, where we finished in the top 20 among some of the best riders under the age of 18 in the country. Other memorable moments of 2017 included qualifying for and competing at the RASS finals with Annia Aurelia (Marcus Aurelius x Bint Zaehaebi) in her successful first showing season, and competing at Hickstead for the NSEA Eventer Challenge Finals with Marcus Aurelius and Avonbrook Odin.

I am looking forward to competing in my first BS Senior Foxhunter classes (1.20-1.30) in 2018 as well as hopefully qualifying for the Senior Newcomers second rounds while continuing my studies at the University of Birmingham.

Danny Tucker, Gold Coin Arabians, USA
Watching my new Ruminaja Ali (Shaikh Al Badi x Bint Magidaa) granddaughter, who I got specifically for breeding to Al Mouhareb (Ansata Nile Echo x Imperial Baasimah), step off the trailer.

Gold Coin mare 

Marilyn Sweet, Sweet Photography, UK
My 2017 highlight has to be riding Karen Dewey’s stallion Calimeer (Edeon x Calamintha) to win the Golden Oldies at the British Nationals at Malvern in the ring where my late husband, Pete, photographed the ridden classes for many years. That day achieved a secret ambition of 40+ years!

Marilyn and Calimeer
Marilyn winning at the British Nationals Calimeer. Credit Sweet Photography. 

In 2018 we are looking forward to the launch of our new website, which will still be at www.sweetphotography.com.

With best wishes to all for 2018 from myself and our daughters, Natalie and Joanna.

Christie Metz, Silver Maple Farm, USA
2017 was an eventful year for me and the highlight is definitely finishing my first book, The Breed Characteristics of the Arabian Horse. Since owning Arabians since 1989 and becoming a breeder in 1991, they have become a life passion. These magical horses inspired me to write about them as a breed and their unique characteristics, and also to illustrate how they have influenced humans in art and literature over the centuries; all because of their profound ability to connect with us on a very deep level. They connect, I believe, with our souls and we are richer for that experience. I was blessed to have been a breeder for so many years and the Silver Maple Farm Arabians will become a part of the global continuum. How special is it to be a part of that?

Christie book 
Buy your copy of Christie’s book in The Arabian Magazine Shop.

Glenn Jacobs, Al Naif Stud, Qatar
2017 has been a busy year with some new horse members to our family. One of the highlights was to acquire Pashmina (Salaa El Dine x A lIttle Passion by Ansata Nile Pasha) from her breeder, Delyth Gamlin. I have always admired both Pashmina’s dam and pedigree. Now my patience is being tested big time as I look very much forward to her foal in 2018. Pashmina didn’t have that many babies yet in her life, so it is extra special.

Pashmina. Credit Glenn Jacobs.

I equally look forward to the foal out of our other mare Hadiya Al Shahania (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Johara Al Naif by Ansata Shalim). Both are pregnant by one of my favourite straight Egyptian stallions, Naseem Al Rashediah (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Nabaweyah Ezzain), bred and owned by Al Rashediah Stud.

Monica Sax, Sax Arabians, Germany
The Sax Arabians highlights in 2017 was definitely the Gold Champion title at the International B Show in Wels and the Gold Champion title at the German Nationals in Aachen for our great colt Lamandro (EKS Alihandro x Lamana), proudly presented by our trainer Simon Kelly.


Esskhija Bint Essteema (Khidar x Essteema) won her class and was Silver Champion Mare in Wels. Of course, it was great to get the Silver Champion title but this time, for me, it was just a heart-breaking decision that changed our mind about which shows we will visit and how many horses we will present for the whole of the 2017 show season.

The colt Mahil Al Marenga (Kahil Al Shaqab x Miss Marenga) was also class winner and Bronze Champion in Wels. Meanwhile, our beautiful black filly Marnica (Martice X Marni) was class winner and Bronze Champion Filly at the International B -Show in Milan.

In 2018, Sax Arabians celebrates 30 years! Hopefully with an amazing group of outstanding Lamandro foals, because we have bred nearly 15 mares to our homebred multiple champion colt.

Also in 2018, those going to the shows will be able to see our black princess Marnica as well as our white beauty, Aahira (Baahir El Marwan x Al Justyra), the lovely grey yearling filly Ella (Marshan x Elena Bint Europe) and our elegant bay yearling filly Kahilah (Kahil Al Shaqab x of Marshani). We look forward to seeing you!

Cindy Reich, judge and breeding specialist, USA
I have to say the highlight of my year was doing a two-day conformation clinic at Om El Arabians last July.

Janina is very much into education and having the extraordinary horses at Om El to work with… Well, it doesn’t get better than that!

This is a seminar I do for owners and breeders, not for judges, and we also did live judging with several classes. Of course, the hospitality given by Om El and the quality of the horses made this a sell-out seminar in a short period of time. In fact, we set a firm cap of 50 participants and still ended up with 60 plus!

Cindy presents at Om El Arab
Cindy presents at Om El Arab. Credit Darryl Larson.

Everyone had a fabulous time, saw beautiful horses and the participants went back with I hope a better ‘eye’ for a horse and a better understanding of form to function as it pertains to the Arabian!

I am looking forward to doing another seminar at Om El in March, on breeding management, while Janina will talk about pedigrees and breeding philosophies along with Doug Dahmen. It will be wonderful!  

My own highlight

Looking back on the year, my own special memory has to be the 2017 WAHO Conference in Bahrain. This was my first conference and I fell in love with the notion of all these people who love the Arabian horse getting together for the good of the horse, rather than because of a show. The undoubted standout moment for all that were there was the visit to The Royal Arabian Studs of Bahrain. Home to an extremely unique collection of Arabian horses, the families of which have been preserved on the island for over 200 years by the ruling Al Khalifa family, with the most recent being His Majesty King Hamada Bin Isa Al Khalifa, this was a magical day. You can read my blog about the day and also enjoy the video coverage of the morning here:

As I shared at the time in my live commentary, as well as later in the pages of The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine:

The thing that stuck me the most, watching these amazing horses, was how these they had more true Arabian type within them than I see in the modern show-ring. We need to be aware of just how we are losing the genuine essence of the Arabian horse – the element that made them so truly great and coveted the world over for centuries – all in the name of a modern perception of perfection.

If we take one thing forward to 2018 from this year, I would hope that it would be these words.

Wishing everyone around the world a wonderful and bright New Year. 

Samantha Mattocks 



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