This article first appeared in The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine April 2021, where we celebrated the amazing achievements of the straight Egyptian stallion, Laheeb, who sadly passed away the following March. One year on, we share this brilliant feature by Tzviah Idan, for as the title says, Laheeb’s flame still burns brightly. You can order a copy of this magazine, to enjoy the article in full, by clicking here. Photography unless stated by Bar Hajaj
Sajida AA (Al Ayal AA x Safiyyah AA by Laheeb)
Ariela Arabians had prepared for Laheeb’s return by purchasing mares specifically with him in mind, in particular, the American-bred straight Egyptian Mishaal HP (Ansata Sinan x Mesoudah M) daughter Saniyyah RCA (ex My Shooting Star by Thee Desperado). Saniyyah’s tail female line is bred quite similarly to that of Laheeb’s, and the two nicked extremely well, producing the full sisters Safiyyah AA and Salsabil AA. Safiyyah was a Gold Champion Filly and is the dam of two straight Egyptian champion fillies, Sinaya AA (by Frasera Mashar) and Sajida AA (by Al Ayal AA), as well as the lovely Egyptian-cross fillies Sarai AA (by Jyar Meia Lua) and Sarah AA (by Emerald J). Her younger sister, Salsabil AA, has had a stellar show career, garnering prestigious Gold Champion Filly titles in Israel, Germany, and Belgium.
Baha (Al Ayad x Baraaqa AA by Laheeb). Credit Javan
Laheeb’s influence is also strongly felt through his progeny from The Vision HG’s Baahir (Ibn el Mareekh x GF Nasra Bataa) daughter Al Baraqai AA, producing offspring of enormous importance to the Ariela programme. Al Baraqai AA’s Laheeb daughter Baraaqa AA was bred to Al Ayad to produce the internationally acclaimed show stallion Baha AA, who won gold championship titles in Israel and Germany before going on to be named Supreme Champion at the USA Egyptian Event, Gold Champion at the European Egyptian Event, and Scottsdale unanimous Gold Champion at the International Egyptian Breeder’s Classic. Baraaqa AA is also the dam of Badriyah AA (by Nader Al Jamal), dam of the 2019 straight Egyptian World Champion Colt Baahir AA, sired by Al Ayal.
Badriyah AA (Nader Al Jamal x Baraaqa AA by Laheeb)
The Laheeb x Al Baraqai AA cross also produced the beautiful mares Basmah AA and Balqis AA. Basmah AA is a Gold Champion Filly in Israel and Silver and Bronze Medal winner in Europe and has established her own prolific family including foals sold to Italy, South Africa, and Qatar. Balqis AA is one of Laheeb’s youngest daughters, recently starting her broodmare career by foaling the lovely grey filly Bahiya AA by Kenz Al Baydaa (Jamil al Rayyan x Kareemah Saqr); she is currently in foal to Emerald J (QR Marc x Emandoria).
Basmah AA (Laheeb x Al Baraqai AA)
Bahiya AA (Kenz Al Baydaa x Balaqis AA by Laheeb)
The Laheeb daughter Malikah AA, an Israeli Bronze Champion out of Atiq Adara (Al Ayad x Alhambra B) established a valuable family at Ariela Arabians including Israel Egyptian Event Gold Colt Foal Mameluk AA (by Frasera Mashar) and full brothers Mahab Al Lahab and Marzuk AA (by Nader Al Shamal AA), before her sale overseas. The farm is retaining her daughters Nile Maha AA (by Ansata Nile Pharaoh) and Malikat AA (by Kenz Al Baydaa) to preserve her bloodlines in the Ariela herd.
Laheeb in 2011. Credit Shalomi Nissim
Another mare that crossed exceedingly well with Laheeb is Nashwah AA (Al Ayad x Insha Sha Latifa) out of the Ariela homebred Naffada (Imperial Imdal x Imperial Naffata); their first offspring was the colt Laheeb Al Nar, an individual of extraordinary charisma and quality, and presumably Laheeb’s heir apparent. Unfortunately, he was tragically lost very young after garnering several Israeli Gold Colt titles. His full sister, the ultra-exotic mare Nefertiti AA, placed at the prestigious European Egyptian Event as a yearling and awaits the start of her breeding career.
Nefertiti AA (Laheeb x Nashwah AA)
The Egyptian-cross mare Dafina AA (Al Bilal x Dumka by Laheeb) carries on the Polish branch of Laheeb’s progeny at Ariela Arabians. She is the dam of Daliyah AA (by Nader al Jamal), Durar AA (by Gazal al Shaqab), Israeli Silver Champion Mare Damdiyah AA (by Ajman Moniscione), Daania AA (by GT Shardh), and Dinarah AA (by Emerald J). Considered one of the farm’s finest mares, Israeli Silver Champion Damdiyah AA is the dam of two fillies: the overseas champion Despina AA (by Jyar Meia Lua) and the elegant Darine AA (by Emerald J).
Shams Al Din AA (Shams Sharav AA x Raliya by Laheeb). Credit Alessio Azzali
Finally, the exotic Shams Sharav AA (Simeon Sharav x Saniyyah RCA) son Shams al Din AA, out of the Laheeb daughter Raliya (ex Sahara PG by Botswana) is a Gold Champion both in Israel and South Africa, where he has just been leased to Eklasun Arabians. Shams al Din AA remains a valuable and irreplaceable element in Ariela’s future breeding plans and, with a little patience, we shall see what he can accomplish on his return to the home front.
Laheeb has sired almost three hundred foals worldwide and with every passing year his global impact appears ever more impressive. At the 2017 German National Championship Show, three different Laheeb sons sired champions: Sorella El Hadiyah, sired by Al Hadiyah AA (Laheeb x The Vision HG) was named Gold Champion Mare; Alia Lahab RSA and F Tayyar Ibn Al Lahab, both sired by Al Lahab, were Silver Champion Mare and Silver Champion Stallion respectively; and the Bronze Champion Stallion was El Ninjo, sired by the Polish-bred Emiliusz.
World Champion EKS Farajj (Laheeb x EKS Bint Helwah) is double Laheeb. Credit Alessio Azzali
Meanwhile, the 2019 Paris World Champion and Aachen Gold Champion Colt, EKS Farajj, bred by Willie and Lisa Brown of Elkasun Arabians in South Africa and owned by Al-Khashab Stud in Kuwait, is also strongly linebred to Laheeb. EKS Farajj was sired by Ibn Farid (RFI Farid x Asawir) out of the straight Egyptian mare EKS Bint Helwa, herself a Laheeb daughter out of the mare Helwah AA (Al Ayad x Al Halah AA by Laheeb out of The Vision HG), purchased by Elkasun from Ariela. The year before, Wadad Zamani, by Laheeb and out of Zena al Buraq (Al Manar x KZ Ruya), bred by Osman al Kasasi and owned by Hanaya Arabian Stud in Germany, was named Bronze World Champion Mare.
Bronze Senior World Champion Mare Wadad Zamani (Laheeb x Zena Al Buraq). Credit Gigi Grasso
Laheeb has proven to be not only a sire of show champions but also a sire of the very highest calibre of breeding stock, thus making the sheer scope of Laheeb’s global legacy nearly unfathomable.
Ariela Arabian’s Chen fondly looks back and recalls: “Twenty-five years has gone by in the blink of an eye and it seems that only yesterday, on a cold and dark winter night in 1996, he was born. We named him Laheeb, ‘the flame’ in Arabic; a name that still suits him very well.
“Laheeb’s qualities were evident from day one and from that day forward, never disappearing even for a moment. And no, we are not talking about his qualities as a breeding animal – on this many words have been written and remain to be written in the future.
Laheeb at 24
“I am speaking about Laheeb from another perspective entirely. Beyond his physical beauty Laheeb has always had an extraordinary, almost spiritual presence, a unique character radiating peace, love, and serenity.
“Over many eventful years, Laheeb became a wonderful ambassador for us in countries near and far, spending time in Germany, Poland, Egypt, and the US. Everywhere he went, Laheeb entered deeply into the hearts of all who cared for him and all, without exception, spoke unceasingly about his exceptional character and his extraordinary connection with humankind.
“For us, the years unfolded and Laheeb simply became an inseparable part of our family. We remained at his side during very difficult and painful times, including those when it already seemed as if all hope was lost and even we had lost our faith—but no, not Laheeb. He never surrendered, whether to pain or to the poor prognoses of the experts, and demonstrated how an unquenchable spirit can conquer even when the body is battered and broken.
Laheeb at 25
“Laheeb has been with us through good times and bad. He has always been our rock of stability in a life so full of ups and downs that it sometimes feels like a crazy carousel ride. And of course, Laheeb has been a major part of all the successes we have enjoyed throughout the years. His contribution to our programme is immeasurable! We recognise how fortunate we have been to have lived alongside such an incredible horse, a once in a lifetime horse. To experience this is truly a gift from heaven, one that not many breeders enjoy. Mere words can never express our gratitude to have been so chosen.
“Thank you, Laheeb, for all that you are and all that you have gifted us. We wish you continued long life and hope that you will bless our lives for many more happy and healthy years. May your flame burn bright forever.”
Laheeb at 25
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