First published in The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine Volume I Issue II December 2016.
Celebrating the Champions – Marajj.
The 2016 US National Championships have just taken place in Tulsa, and all titles were, as one would expect, fiercely contested. While each owner, each breeder, wants to win a US title, there is no doubt that the honour of being crowned US National Champion Stallion is the highest accolade in the showing world. This year, that honour fell to the great stallion, Marajj.
Owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi’s Albidayer Stud located in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Marajj was bred in the US by Joel Desmarteau of Markelle Arabians and thus it is fitting that this vibrant deep-bay stallion took the title in the country of his birth. Marajj is by the multiple champion Marwan Al Shaqab (Gazal Al Shaqab x Little Liza Fame out of Fame VF), himself a double US National Champion having unanimously taken the title as a junior. Marajj’s dam is RGA Kouress (Kouvay Bey x Angophora by Eukaliptus), and the cross of the Gazal Al Shaqab (Anaza El Farid x Kajora by Kaborr) sireline with Polish bloodlines has been proven time and time again.
Marajj was foaled in 2004 and much has already been written about this great stallion through the pages of The Arabian Magazine. Purchased as a foal by Albidayer Stud, Marajj was named unanimous Junior Champion Colt at the Scottsdale All-Arabian Horse Show while just a yearling. That same year, in 2005, he also unanimously took the Region 7 Champion Sweepstakes Colt title. Marajj finished his year being awarded Top Five US National Champion Sweepstakes Colt before relocating to the Middle East, where more honours followed. This included taking the 2007 World Championship Junior Male title and several more titles around Europe and the Middle East, notably Silver Senior Male Champion at the Menton Mediterranean & Arab Countries Arabian Horse Championships and Bronze World Champion Stallion, both won in 2011.
Marajj with Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi. Credit Rob Hess.
Marajj has not just been a champion himself, he has also produced an extraordinary number of champions, including both the Junior and Senior Female Gold World Champions in 2015, D Shahla (ex FT Shaella by Shael Dream Desert out of Soul Pretty TGS) and Salwa Al Zobair (ex Esklawa by Eukaliptus out of Ekstaza). It is interesting to note that Salwa Al Zobair came from Marajj’s first foal crop just as he, in turn, came from Marwan Al Shaqab’s first foal crop.
There is no doubt that Marajj, the horse, is special. His looks are captivating, as is his wonderful attitude – be it the quiet Marajj in the stall, loving the attention, or the charismatic show horse once he is inside a show-ring. With great structure, Arabian type, flair, and style, mixed with substance and elegance, and it is easy to see why there are so many people captivated by this stallion.
Last year, Marajj made the move back to America, to stand at the famed Michael Byatt Arabians in Texas. Marajj has shown twice in the US – first at the Arabian Breeders’ World Cup in Las Vegas, where he won his class and took the Silver Senior Male Championship, and then at the US Nationals last month. A score of 395 points secured Marajj’s place in the final, and his name was then added to the history books when he was named US National Champion Stallion on what was a glittering night for this incredible stallion and all his connections. The emotion and sheer joy on the faces of Sheikh Mohammed and those around him was clear to see, and this was a poignant win for all at Abidayer Stud. Marajj always has been one of the greats, and now he has this coveted title to prove it.