We continue our look back at previous cover stars with The Arabian Magazine. This week, we go back to September 2010 and the stallion, Aja Justified. As ever, the piece below is as written at the time – and who could have foretold what a journey this then colt would go on over the months ahead? Every generation, a horse will be born that exceeds all that has gone before. The aim of every breeder is to improve on the sire and dam and behind every successful horse that you see, there is often many years of planning that has gone into the resulting foal.
Aja Justified is a perfect example of such planning. For his breeders, Jane and Malcolm Hickford of Aja Arabians, this three-year-old colt epitomises over 10 years of careful, considered breeding that began when they bred their mare G Estarreja (Carmargue x Estasha Bint Masri) to FS Bengali (Kubinec x Om El Sanadiva). The resulting foal, the filly Aja Beneja, has gone on to be a very successful broodmare for the farm and in 2006, when bred to WH Justice, she produced the exceptional colt Aja Justified.
Aja Justifed receiving the Junior Male Championship title at the UK International. Credit Erwin Escher Photography
This colt made waves around the world as soon as he was born: with his extreme type, correctness, beauty, charisma, great bone and smooth body, he was a star from the moment he arrived.
At his very first show, the International B Show in Frankfurt in 2008, Aja Justified emerged victorious, taking the Junior Male Championship and followed this with a reserve title at the Wels A Show. Another championship followed, at the Ströhen B Show, and then reserve once more a the UKIAHS A Show before he finished the year with a Top Five at the European Championships title show.
Credit Erwin Escher
The following year saw Aja Justified shown just once, taking the Junior Male Championship at the Lowland Cup International B Show. But more importantly, he began to breed his first mares.
The first of his foals were born this year and have been met with great delight by the many breeders that put faith in this young stallion. As well as being used on Aja mares, Aja Justified has had foals across Europe and the Middle East and they all have the same look, the hallmarks of his pedigree – confidence and a showy attitude, good bodies and limbs, refined and beautiful face, good length of neck and a tail that is permanently flagged as they race across the fields.
Wianna (Aja Justified x Wadiah), bred and owned by Husted Arabians in Denmark. Credit Gregor Aymar
As well as becoming a sire for the first time, Aja Justified also returned to the show-ring this year, culminating in taking the Junior Male Championship at the UKIAHS A Show at Towerlands just two weeks ago. The Triple Crown shows now beckon and Aja Justified – and his huge number of fans – are sure to step up to the challenge that these shows present.
Aja Justified is a young sire with a bright future and he has a fantastic pedigree behind him to support his place as, potentially, one of the all-time greats in the years to come.
Credit and cover photo Gregor Aymar
You can read about more of our cover stars here.