This feature first appeared in The Arabian Magazine in September 2012, and the cover remains in my favourite Top Ten covers.
The vibrant chestnut colt Barzan Al Shahania has taken the United States by storm and is now set to do the same in Europe. This two-year old colt is owned by Al Shahania Stud, Qatar, and was bred by Ruth and Michael Doe, USA.
Barzan Al Shahania at three months old. Credit Luis Rocco
Barzan Al Shahania burst on to the scene at the 2011 Scottsdale Show, going Champion Yearling Colt in the junior division before taking the Scottsdale Junior Champion Colt title. Everyone at the show was instantly captivated by Barzan, a beautiful chestnut with a flaxen mane. He would repeat his success at the Arabian Breeders’ Alliance World Cup in Las Vegas just two months later, taking the Supreme Champion Yearling Colt title; a star was born. By the time of the US Nationals later that year, Barzan Al Shahania enticed further fans to his side as he took both the US National Champion Yearling Colt and US National Supreme Champion Junior Colt titles.
Bred in the purple, Barzan is sired by Stival, a champion in both the US and Europe including Gold at the World Cup in Las Vegas and the UK International Arabian Horse Show, and Silver at the All Nation’s Cup, Aachen. Barzan’s dam, meanwhile, is the impeccable Padrons Psyche daughter NW Siena Psyche (ex NV Shanteuse). NW Siena Psyche was a US National Champion Yearling Futurity Filly as well as Futurity Filly, before taking both the US National and Scottsdale Champion Mare titles.
While often when two such champions are bred together, the resulting progeny can often miss the mark. This is not the case with Barzan Al Shahania and, as if to prove the point, he returned to Las Vegas once again this year. Having won his class in some style, Barzan thrilled the judges to unanimously take the Supreme Champion Junior Stallion title. He was one of the most talked-about horses at the show, and he certainly rose to the occasion in style.
With the United States conquered, it is time for Barzan Al Shahania to make the move over the Atlantic and head to the shores of Europe, before fulfilling his destiny in the Middle East. Last month, Barzan Al Shahania made his European debut at the Vichy International Arabian Horse Show where he won his class before taking the Gold Junior Male title. He has laid down the challenge to his competitors, and shown them that he has the complete package of type, beauty and quality.
The iconic cover shot.
Al Shahania Stud is owned by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani and Barzan has already made a worthy addition to this Qatari farm, famed for its racehorses. This beautiful two-year-old colt is sure to help Al Shahania make their mark on the showing world as well, and I for one cannot wait to see him show his incredible Arabian type as he enters the ring at Aachen later this month. The world will be watching – and they won’t be disappointed.
All photography unless stated by April Visel