The timeless Maleik el Kheil graced our cover in July 2009 as part of the British edition. Bred by the Maxwells in the UK, sired by El Shaklan, and owned by first The Royal Stables and then Al Aryam Arabians in the United Arab Emirates, Maleik el Kheil was an amazing stallion. This was also the first time the magazine had printed the same edition with two different cover images. The article below is as it first appeared in 2009.
When it comes to the best of British, surely Maleik El Kheil must be ranked as one of the most important horses to be bred in the UK in recent years. We have all read how the unknown colt El Shaklan was leased to the Maxwell family as a two year old and started a trend that is still going strong some 30 years later. The wonderful grande dam Muneera was a love struck two year old when she was covered by El Shaklan, whom she exchanged greetings with every day and the next year, in 1979, proudly gave birth to a little piece of history.
Maleik El Kheil himself took over from his sire by starting a dynasty for the Maxwell’s Lodge Farm Stud and in turn, continued this dynasty around the globe. He was named British National Champion, All Nation’s Cup Champion and also the proudest title of them all, World Champion. More than that, Maleik El Kheil firmly placed Britain back on the map as the leading breeders of Arabian horses. Maleik El Kheil sired countless national, international and also two reserve World Champions, Khashil (ex Khamala) and Hamadahn (ex Hagunia), as well being the leading sire at the British National Show no fewer than six times.
In 1992 at the age of thirteen years, Maleik El Kheil found himself on a plane bound for Abu Dhabi. He was originally purchased as a gift for the King of Morocco’s daughter as a wedding present from HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, but his export papers did not come through in time, so Morocco’s loss was the United Arab Emirate’s gain. It was with much excitement that he was bred to the mares at Sheikh Mansoor’s father’s famed Royal Stables and the results left people mesmerised: never had these people seen such charisma and beauty in newborn foals. Maleik El Kheil continued to raise standards and now many of the top studs throughout the Arabian Gulf as well as those in Europe can boast that they have a treasured Maleik El Kheil daughter.
The ethereal daughter Kubaisha. Credit Scott Trees Photography
Upon the death of HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Maleik El Kheil was gifted, along with his prized children and grandchildren, to HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed al Nahyan of Al Aryam Arabians and so the dynasty continues into another era. He has now been bred at Al Aryam to some of the finest mares of modern-day bloodlines and blending the blood of the past with the horses of tomorrow has combined perfectly. The resulting crops of foals continue to capture the spirit and essence of that El Shaklan look of yesteryear which was so admired around the world, but with a certain je ne sais quoi that keeps them at the top of the show-ring today.
Maleik El Kheil celebrated his 30th birthday in style in February with a party at Al Aryam Arabians. There was barely a dry eye in the house as, surrounded by his children, his legacy, he proudly showed off his regal elegance. It is true to say that, three decades later, people still have the same fascination that kept the British audience drawn all those years ago to this amazing stallion. Maleik El Kheil, we salute you!
Read about more beautiful Arabian horses here.