AJ Azzam is no stranger to the spotlight, having taking the European Triple Crown title in 2015 when just one year of age. Bred and owned by HH Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi of the Ajman Stud, AJ Azzam very much represents the future of this world-renowned breeding farm, located in the United Arab Emirates.
Now three years of age, AJ Azzam is very much at the heart of the stud. His sire is Sheikh Ammar’s most influential homebred stallion, AJ Mardan a multiple champion in his own right. Sired by the great Vervaldee, (Versace x Giavanna by NV Beau Bey out of Precious as Gold), a stallion whose impact on the farm can never be underestimated. Bred in the US, Vervaldee was a prolific sire for the Ajman Stud and when crossed with the beautiful Felicia RLC (Shael Dream Desert x Camelia K by Donatello K out of Cameo Bey), AJ Mardan was the result. A tall and rangy stallion, he won countless titles across Europe and the Middle East, including the first Yearling Colt Championship at the All Nations’ Cup. Bred as a two-year old to Ysadora (Marwan Al Shaqab x Ysabela by Parys El Jamaal out of EA Moongyspy Echo), the result was AJ Azzam. From the moment this young colt was born, those close to the stud recognised the aura of his paternal grandsire in him, who had tragically passed away, and AJ Azzam began to fill the huge hole Vervaldee left at the farm.
In 2015, AJ Azzam dominated the European show scene. His first show was at the Tulip Cup, where he was named Silver Yearling Male Champion – the only time in this illustrious colt’s career where he was not named outright champion. At his next show, the Wels International Show, AJ Azzam was named Gold Yearling Male Champion, winning his class each time. He would repeat this at the Bruges International Show, the Elran Cup, and Al Khalediah European Arabian Horse Festival.
At the end of September that year, AJ Azzam contended the first of the Triple Crown shows, going to the All Nations’ Cup in Aachen. There, he won the Yearling Colt Championship in style and he would go on to repeat the success at the European Championships, held in Verona. Paris and the Salon du Cheval World Championships beckoned, where not only could AJ Azzam win the most coveted title in the world of the Arabian horse, but he could also become a European Triple Crown winner; this is the toughest challenge of any halter ring in the world, an achievement that can only be done by winning the gold title at the All Nations’ Cup, the European Championships and the Paris World Championships all in the same season. Of course, a fairytale horse has to have a fairytale ending and AJ Azzam succeeded, taking the Gold Yearling Male World Championship honours as well as being named European Triple Crown Champion.
Now, aged three years, this incredibly pretty and charismatic colt is returning to the show-ring once more, at the All Nations’ Cup in Aachen, as a second Triple Crown beckons. Only one horse has been a double winner of this illustrious title, the famed Pianissima (Gazal Al Shaqab x Pianosa by Eukaliptus out of Pinia), and to be among such acclaimed company would truly underline the qualities of this colt. AJ Azzam’s chances of adding his name to this elusive list are, surely, very high. His maturity is evident, and the proud look as he catches your eye coupled with a smooth body and an exotic face, makes for an imposing and impressive Arabian horse.
AJ Azzam truly is a colt with a promising future, and the best is yet to come as he, too, begins to sire his own offspring, creating his own legacy through his progeny. The Vervaldee influence, which is at the root of AJ Azzam’s sireline, is one that will endure down through the generations. AJ Azzam truly is a bright star, and there is so much more to come.