Antheia Arabians, in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, California, is owned by Diane Brown. Her lifelong love of the Arabian horse led to her fulfilling a dream and owning her own farm. Having vowed never to have a stallion, Diane fell under the spell of Om El Benicio, an eight-year old stallion who captured her heart and her imagination. With his first foals already on the ground, Om El Benicio is proving to be the dream sire for Diane and the mares of Antheia Arabians. Read on to find out more about our latest cover star.
Bred by Om El Arab, a farm with whom Diane has a long affinity as well as a great friendship with owners the late Sigi Siller and her daughter, Janina Merz, Om El Benicio is a fairy tale stallion. He was unanimous US National Champion Stallion AOTH with Janina as well as Silver Senior Male Champion in Las Vegas and Bronze Senior Male Champion in Scottsdale, Diane fell in love with him. “Om El Benicio has the most beautiful temperament, and he is just a lovely horse to live with,” she smiles. “He is also of from one of my favourite damlines at Om El Arab, and to have him here with me is just a joy.”
Om El Benicio being ridden at home – Diana’s dream versatile stallion
Om El Benicio is from the Om El Beneera (Sharem El Sheikh x Estopa) family, being out of out of Om El Benecia, a daughter of Om El Benedict (Sanadik El Shaklan x Om El Beneera) and by Om El Shahmaan (Sanadik El Shaklan x Om El Shaina). Om El Benicia is the last daughter of Om El Benedict, and a full sister to Om El Bellissimo, who was leased by the Polish State Studs. Om El Benicio is Om El Benecia’s first foal, being by the ‘champion-maker’ WH Justice (Magnum Psyche x Vona Sher-Renea), who stood at Om El Arab while leased by Aljassimya Farm.
A gleaming white-grey, Om El Benicio is both typey and correct, and he has presence in spades – yet is also gentle and the perfect companion for Diane and her family. A huge mover, when he shows off Om El Benicio is full of snort and blow. “For me, Om El Benicio is the very essence of that classic Arabian type that I love so much,” says Diane. “He is structurally correct, perfectly in proportion, and also truly beautiful. His large, dark, expressive eyes are like pools that enable you to look into his soul, and he combines both strength and gentleness. Om El Benicio is truly a noble stallion – and he is passing all these amazing traits on to his progeny.”
Diane’s golden cross with Om El Benicio is with her mare, Gloria Apal (Psytadel x SA Misha Apal). “Nothing could have prepared me for the results of this cross,” says Diane. “I literally don’t have the words! Gloria Apal blessed Antheia Arabians with a colt and a filly in 2020, both of whom are beautiful. The filly, particularly, is my dream Arabian – she is pure poetry. Both will be retained for my breeding programme, and I am anxiously awaiting my 2021 foal from this cross.
Gloria Apal’s 2020 colt foal by Om El Benicio. Credit Diane Brown
“We already have a beautiful 2021 filly on the ground out of our mare Om El Barakah Dream (Dreamcatcher SMF x Om El Bandeira) and again, she has exceeded all our expectations. She’s just all there! After seeing this filly, Janina decided to breed the dam’s sister, who she bred and owns, to Om El Benicio for a 2022 baby. “We are so delighted!”
Not only is Om El Benicio proving himself as a sire, but he has also shown himself to be a truly versatile Arabian as he is excelling under saddle. “Om El Benicio was backed last year and is already exceeding all our expectations under saddle,” explains Diane. “He has natural balance and perfect cadence that, combined with a sound, trainable mind and great Arabian intelligence, makes him an absolute dream to work with. He loves his work, and we also ride him bridle-less, something that he enjoys. Om El Benicio willingly gives 100% of himself every time we ask him to do something – what a special horse he truly is.
“Every time I watch him being ridden, I realise more and more that he is my fairy tale white Arabian stallion. He is everything that I ever look for in an Arabian horse. I always swore that I would never, ever have a stallion – but Om El Benicio won me over! He is, without doubt, the horse of my dreams.”
Find out more about Om El Benicio and Anthiea Arabians on their website.
Lead photo by April Visel