On the outskirts of the bustling city of Abu Dhabi lays the peace and tranquillity of the Al Firas Stud, a place where the horses graze on rich grass paddocks and an air of calm surrounds the stables. The farm was born five years ago and is the vision of businessman Firas Mashal. Quietly, during this time, he has observed and studied the Arabian horse industry before putting his dreams into action. As an active rider himself, he understands the conformation and functionality of a horse. Naturally, the broodmares are the cornerstone of any great breeding stable and in an unhurried fashion, bloodlines from different parts of the world have been sourced to create a solid foundation for the next generation of Al Firas horses. “Each stud has their strong damlines that consistently produce better and better, so I wanted to bring in a representative from a few of these respected families” smiles Firas as he watches his mares relaxing in the cool desert breeze.
The quality and purity of the Egyptian lines was a key ingredient when seeking the glorious stallion Ramses Mashaal Nadir (Mishaal x Ramses Minx), the Egyptian-related mare Phaleanopsis (Al Safir AA x El Adiya Al Rumaiya) as well as the charismatic Louna GCA (Khalil al Shaqab x Loubana), whose pedigree blends some of the finest blood. Also added to the programme were the much-admired SA Al Raadiya (Al Ayal AA x Al Duqa AA) brings in Polish lines through her maternal granddam Dumka (Laheeb x Dabrowa), along with Rohara Sophisticate (El Nabila B x MFA Chocolate Lily), a winner at the Arabian Breeders’ World Cup in Las Vegas and who brings in the blood of the world-renowned Bábolna State Stud of Hungary. The Padrons Psyche/Bey Shah cross has been so consistent that the celebrated Breanna Psy (Padrons Psyche x Takmy Breath Away) and her maternal great-niece Jawaher Al Firas (PCF Vision x Breath of Spring Psy) also came to Al Firas Stud. In 2017, Jawaher produced Nayef Al Firas (by Ever After NA) and this royally-bred young colt will expect his first foals in 2020. The foundations to build upon a dream are in place.
The two-year old filly Lubna Al Firas (Marajj x SS Lady Diva) was named unanimous Gold Yearling Filly Champion at Montefalco International Arabian Horse Festival in Italy. This marked the first step for a homebred horse to be sent outside of the UAE to promote the name Al Firas Stud. At the All Nations’ Cup in Aachen, she won her class among strong competition, to secure Al Firas Stud’s name as breeders of note.
Firas Mashal with SS Lady Diana (Ajman Moniscione x Psychic Lady)
“I love to go to the shows, not only see these amazing horses bring joy to their owners but, more importantly, it is a learning curve to see living proof of which bloodlines mix and gel together the best,” smiles Firas. “I have a book filled with ideas and notes of many stallions that I admire, but I do think that it is sad that most of the winning horses utilise the same bloodlines out of the hundreds of horses that history has given us. Sometimes I believe that breeders need to take a step backwards to in order to jump forwards.” This is a man whose thought process isn’t rushed or fashioned by fads.
While a small collection of superlative treasures, the foundations are firmly in place. With the advice and help from Manager Barry Shepherd, and a little bit of luck, Al Firas Stud will soon become a name synonymous with some of the most beautiful Arabian horses in the world.