We are back with sharing a look back at previous cover stars of The Arabian Magazine. This week, we are going back to July 2008 and the beautiful mare MA Bint Azadik. The article below is as first printed.
When planning this year’s British issue, there could only really be one choice for the front cover. Looking at the achievements of British horses in the show-ring over the past 12 months, there is one fairytale Arabian that stands out. On a hot August day last year, she made British hearts soar as she became the first British bred and owned Arabian to take an A Show title in over a decade: MA Bint Azadik became the name on everyone’s lips that day.
Mike with MA Bint Azadik and handler Frank Spönle. Credit Sweet Photography
Born in 1997, MA Bint Azadik was bred by – and is still owned by – Mike Ashmore. Her arrival was the culmination of a long-held dream, explored in depth in the October 2007 issue of The Arabian Magazine. Having been offered the choice of the Gucci broodmare herd to breed from, Mike picked the bay Om El Sabiya Estopa and covered her with Om El Azadik*, owned by Ian and Karen Needham. When the Needham’s Rosthwaite Farm was sold suddenly, Om El Sabiya Estopa went to Silverdale Arabians to foal. Mike, having worked at Rosthwaitse, was left with no home and no job and so moved to the Middle East for six months to work in Oman and Qatar. With Om El Sabiya Estopa on the Gucci sales list, Wendy Carr of Silverdale Arabians stepped in and bought the mare, promising Mike that the foal would remain his.
On 2 March 1997, MA Bint Azadik arrived in the world, with Mike home from the Middle East in time to see her born. A special Arabian from the moment she arrived, MA Bint Azadik spent the first nine years of her life at Silverdale and also on lease to Aja Arabians. Mike finally moved back to the UK and in November 2006, MA Bint Azadik finally came home.
Mike showing his precious mare in Aachen. Credit Erwin Escher
With Malvern cancelled, Mike took his precious mare to the UKIAHS, where she won her mare class. To the delight of all, she was crowned Senior Female Champion and the grandstand was full of British flags waving. She bettered her Towerlands score to take second place at the All Nations’ Cup and went Top Five with Mike himself showing her in the championship.
Other British horses that warrant celebrating from the past 12 months include Final Shadow* (Psytadel** x AS Shahwan*), who won his four-to-six-year-old stallion class in style at the UKIAHS and also achieved the highest points of the show for his owners Andrew and Jackie Atkin. Rod Jones’ Master Design GA (Versace x BEA Society Belle) won the Best in Show prize and Senior Male Championship at the Emerald Cup in Brecht as well as going Top Ten in Paris for the fourth year running, being awarded Top Ten every time he has shown there. Horses owned and bred by Aja Arabians have continued to dominate the halter show-rings with the colts Aja Sanstorm (Psytadel** x Sanadina) and Aja Justified (WH Justice*** x Aja Beneja) in particular taking titles at shows across Europe.
MA Bint Azadik at the All Nations’ Cup in Aachen. Credit Erwin Escher
But the front cover for this issue belongs to MA Bint Azadik. Her story is a true fairytale, very fitting for a fairytale horse. She has rightly earned legions of fans that support her every move and a place in the hearts of many, not least her proud owner/breeder, Mike Ashmore.
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