HomeArchiveOn the Cover: Gazal al Shaqab

On the Cover: Gazal al Shaqab

One of the most iconic stallions of recent years, Gazal al Shaqab graced our front cover in May 2009. This edition was dedicated to this breeding giant, bred and owned by Al Shaqab Stud, with countless features from all over the world – from Michael Byatt in the USA, who had Gazal at his farm for so many years, to the Australian artist Ainslie Gilles, who has been inspired by the stallion. The feature below is as it was first printed. 

Gazal Al Shaqab by Gigi Grasso, cover star May 2009 with The Arabian Magazine

Every generation, a horse is born that makes history. In the case of this issue’s cover horse, his parents before him had also made history, as have his sons and daughters after him. From the famous Shaikh Al Badi (Morafic x Bint Maisa El Saghira) line, Gazal Al Shaqab (Anaza El Farid x Kajora) needs no introduction to anyone that has been following Arabian horse breeding over recent years. He has managed to be that rare equine that has not only excelled as a sire and a show horse, but also raised the bar for both along the way.

A multiple halter champion, including winning the highest accolade of all, the coveted World Championship, Gazal Al Shaqab has the honour of being known across the world for his achievements in the breeding barn and for being one of an elite group of stallions that have changed the shape of the modern day show-ring.

The iconic stallion Gazal Al Shaqab
Credit (and cover photo) Gigi Grasso

For many, Gazal’s greatest achievement has been siring Marwan Al Shaqab (ex Little Liza Fame), a black-bay stallion that is continuing this immensely strong sire line. His progeny in turn have also become household names, namely Marajj (ex RGA Kouress) and QR Marc (ex Swete Dreams). Equally famous is Gazal Al Shaqab’s daughter, the now five-year-old bay mare Pianissima (ex Pianosa), a ground-breaking beauty that has won titles across three continents.

With other Gazal Al Shaqab offspring across the world winning titles everywhere they go, it is little wonder that this stallion has earned his place in the history books; in fact, he has helped write them.

Nowhere was this more obvious than last year’s World Championships: Marwan Al Shaqab and Pianissima won their respective senior championships while Marwan Al Shaqab sired the Junior Male World Champion and Reserve, Baanderos (ex HB Bessola) and QR Marc, and also the Junior Female World Champion, Abha Palma (ex Abha Gazali). Princess of Marwan (Marwan Al Shaqab x Amety B) was awarded the bronze award in the junior female section, underlining the strength of not just the Gazal Al Shaqab line, but the whole male line in this family, right back to Morafic (Nazeer x Mabrouka) and beyond.

Gazal al Shaqab at Michael Byatts
Gazal al Shaqab at Michael’s. Credit Stuart Vesty.

Much is written about Gazal Al Shaqab in this issue, as befitting a horse of this quality. For much of his life, he has been in the care of Michael Byatt Arabians in the United States and Michael pays tribute to this stallion in a special article. You can find about more about the dam line in Anette Mattsson’s article and you can also read more about Gazal Al Shaqab’s famed children.

As was written in the December issue of The Arabian Magazine (2008): “Gazal Al Shaqab and his son, Marwan Al Shaqab, have changed the face of the Arabian showing world – and I have a feeling there is a lot more to come.”

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