One of the most exciting farms that has come to the fore recently is Al Khor Stud from Qatar. Over the past year, Al Khor Stud has taken time to revisit its vision and move forward in a new direction. From its foundations ten years ago to their successes this year, Al Khor Stud continues to strive for excellence in all they do, including following their dreams of establishing a long-lasting breeding programme to preserve the Arabian horse.
Just a few miles north of Doha, Qatar’s capital, is Al Khor, a coastal town that has influenced the naming of this stud and is also the ancestral homeland of Al Khor Stud. It is this Qatari heritage of which the stud is so proud and, when combined with the relationship the country has with the Arabian horse, and its significance, it is little wonder that they have been working tirelessly to create their own unique breeding programme.
Many world-class Arabian horse breeding programmes call Qatar home, and they have influenced younger generations to continue to work on preserving the Arabian breed. These programmes have served as an educational perspective to both Al Khor Stud and many other young programmes, working on achieving their goals in breeding their ideal Arabian horse.
Ariella OS (Ajman Monisicone x Swana). Credit Lore Becker
Al Khor Stud began its journey with the Arabian horse ten years ago. From their initial ideas, they have taken their time to gain knowledge on the art of breeding Arabian horses, learning from peers, as well as from mistakes and successes. Al Khor Stud has now arrived at the point of refocusing their breeding programme to better serve their goals. With that in mind, they spent time looking for the right horses to enhance their programme and to take them a step closer to the vision they have in mind – of an Al Khor style Arabian horse.
As reported in the previous issue of The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine, part of these next steps including purchasing the beautiful filly Wilma PCF (Royal Asad x Sophie ELS by PA Gazsi), who was named 2021 US National Champion Yearling Filly and this year took Bronze in both the Scottsdale International and Arabian Breeders’ World Cup Junior Female Championships.
Wilma PCF (Royal Asad x Sophie ELS). Credit Avalon Photography
“As with all our horses, we look for an Arabian that will reach their potential both as a show horse and breeding horse – be that as a mare or a stallion,” say the team. “Whenever we add a new horse to Al Khor’s breeding programme, it is with the future in mind. Yes, the horse must have the charisma and the looks that we know and love in the Arabian breed, but they also must have the pedigree to back them up – one that is made for breeding.”
With the future in mind, Al Khor Stud has selected a beautiful group of mares to help realise their vision. The first of these is our cover star, Ariella OS, bred by the Osterhof Stud in Germany. Her sire is Ajman Monisicone (WH Justice x Anthea Monisicone by Padrons Ghibli), a stallion of international acclaim, while her dam is none other than the incredible grey mare, Swana. Swana combines straight Russian through her famed sire, Kubinec – son of the ‘horse of the century’, Balaton (Menes x Panagia by Aswan), and out of Kosmetika (Muscat x Karta by Arax) with straight Spanish through her dam, Belissa (Mel Nebli x Bookra by Hachio). Foaled in 2009, Ariella OS is a mare who combines power and beauty in one elegant package, she is already a proven broodmare with her daughter, Magesta OS (by RFI Farid by RFI Maktub out of RFI Fayara el Shiraz) named Silver Senior Female Champion at the 2020 Milan Show.
RL Serafina (RL Ecuador x of Redwood Lodge Safaanah). Credit Gregor Aymar
Also joining Al Khor Stud is another beautiful grey mare, this time RL Serafina, who comes from the barns of another significant breeder, Redwood Lodge Arabians in France. Sired by RL Ecuador (ZT Fa’aiq x Redwood Lodge Saffron by WH Justice) and out of Redwood Lodge Safaanah (Redwood Lodge Artique x Redwood Lodge Saffron), RL Serafina represents five generations of the Redwood Lodge breeding programme – one that has consistently bred Arabian horses with a lot of type and refinement. All at Al Khor Stud are very excited to include RL Serafina in their own programme, and to continue this proven bloodline.
Layali al Anwaar (Borsalino K x Eskarina). Credit Alessio
The third mare to join Al Khor Stud this year is another grey, Layali al Anwaar (by Borsalino K by Encore K out of Keepsake V), Bronze Yearling Filly Champion at the Bruges International Show in 2017. Layali al Anwaar is out of the mare Eskarina (by El Nabila B by Kubinec out of 218 Elf Layla Waylala B). Eskarina goes back to the beautiful Espadrilla (Monogramm x Emanacja by Eukaliptus) through her dam, Esmirna (by Werbum by Wojslaw out of Werda). Of course, Espadrilla’s maternal granddam is the legendary Emigracja (Palas x Emisja by Carycyn). When they first saw Layali al Anwaar, they fell in love with her as the horse before them, but also with her incredible, and proven, pedigree. One specific feature about Layali Al Anwaar that captured them are her most beautiful, large, deep black eyes, a feature that is true to the Arabian horse but has become scarce in recent years, and one that Al Khor Stud very much plan to breed on to their foals in the future.
Abha Palmyria (El Perfecto x Om El Amira Estopa). Credit Gigi Grasso
A special fourth addition is the beautiful grey 2006 mare Abha Palmyria by El Perfecto (Vallehermoso x Example by Barich de Washoe) out of Om El Amira Estopa (Sanadik El Shaklan x Bint Estopa by Estopa). This is a mare who descends from greatness, being from the golden cross of Spanish and Egyptian. “Abha Palmyria is bred by the renowned Ses Planes from Mallorca, Spain, owned by Marieta Salas,” says Al Khor Stud. “We don’t need to tell you about the effect this stud has had on the Arabian breed. Abha Palmyria brings us the opportunity to breed on from a programme that has time and time again bred horses of the highest quality. What makes her extremely important to us is that she is the daughter of El Perfecto, a stallion who had movement comparable to none, plus she is a granddaughter of the universal mare Estopa (Tabal x Uyaima by Barquillo) from another historic programme, Om El Arab in Santa Ynez, USA. We believe that Estopa might be the most influential mare in the recent history of the Arabian horse, and many decedents of this great mare have gone to become successful show and breeding horses. Her lines are also found in RL Serafina, and these four mares will be the heart of our revived breeding programme.”
Al Khor Stud has taken two paths in securing their future breeding goals as, other than adding mares with proven lines to their programme, they have also looked at acquiring embryos to introduce new bloodlines and new opportunities to their goals. Al Khor Stud has recently purchased an embryo to an eagerly anticipated foal, due in 2023, coming from the incredible globally acclaimed Polish mare Perfinka (Esparto x Perfirka by Gazal al Shaqab) and sired by the superstar stallion FA el Rasheem (eA El Shawan x Virtuosa MLR by Versace).
Wilma PCF. Credit Avalon Photography
It is clear Al Khor Stud has a vision that guides them, driving them to create a diverse pool of breeding pedigrees, each bringing specific elements that they would like to see in their future. Al Khor Stud is home to Spanish, Russian, Polish, and Egyptian bloodlines. The stud plans to be able to breed a horse that has the type and refinement everyone strives for at shows today – but not neglecting the other features that make a complete Arabian horse, such as eyes, movement, charisma, neck, and a strong, well-built structured body. The dream is to breed consistently a highly regarded Arabian horse that is true to the breed and carries the Al Khor breeding name for years to come.
Al Khor Stud is at a very exciting stage of their programme, and it is clear they have a bright future ahead of them. And while this beautiful group of mares has joined their stud, including the elegant cover horse Ariella OS, their search continues to add the very best to Al Khor Stud, through proven bloodlines that can help them breed the complete Arabian. We cannot wait to see what happens next with this exciting breeding programme influenced by the true heart of the Arabian horse.