In February this year, at a presentation to WAHO guests at South Serenity Arabians in Victoria, Australia, trainer Jason Hodkins brought the legendary stallion Gai el Jullyen to make his final public appearance. It was incredibly moving, and wonderful to see this giant of the breed in flesh for one last time before his retirement.
Imported to Australia in September 2005, the 2001 Scottsdale Champion yearling colt Gai el Jullyen (Jullyen el Jamaal x Gai Fantasha) and his paternal brother, Bey Jullyen (ex Bey Shah’s Lady), were the launching pad of many years to come of Jullyen el Jamaal’s amazing siring skills.
On a phone call of July 2005, good friends Renee and Michael Kramear, rang me to say the halter section of their farm was being put up to unreserved sale that Saturday. Bear in mind this was 4am Wednesday morning. Within 24 hours, I was plane hoping to Wisconsin. Feeling worse for wear after 27 hours travel, I walked directly to Jullyen’s stable, opened the door and it was love at first sight.
By mid-October 2005 Gai el Jullyen called Australia home. After a slightly rocky start, and only being out of quarantine three weeks, Gai el Jullyen was shown for the first time in the four-to-six-year old stallion class. Not the ideal start to Jullyen’s Australian show career, he placed last. As he was imported to be a breeding stallion, he spend the rest of 2005 doing what would later become the beginning of a legacy.
Gai el Jullyen. Credit Jennifer Ogden.
In January 2006, it was time for Jullyen to be a show horse again. At the prestigious East Coast Championships, Gai el Jullyen, in a very strong class of senior stallions, was named East Coast Champion. From this this time on, Jullyen has gained supreme titles across the East Coast as well as national titles in both halter and ridden. As much as Jullyen has a successful show career, his abilities as a sire had him ranked as one of the country’s all-time elites.
Jullyen’s legacy through his get, grandget, and now great-grandget will secure Jullyen’s name in our breed long after he leaves our care. At 19 years of age, and with nothing left to prove in this world, February saw the final time that Gai el Jullyen would ever leave our property. Gai el Jullyen is my best friend and all time heart horse.
Jason will forever be truly grateful and indebted to Mike and Renee for making this fairy-tale happen. Jullyen’s success could not have happened without the dedication and support of some truly great Australian and international breeders, as Jullyen has National Champion prodigy on five continents.
Jullyen now happily sleeps in his stable not five feet from Jason, where he will remain for the remainder of his life. We are truly grateful to Peter and Belle at South Serenity Arabians for allowing us to bring Jullyen for one last goodbye. He truly is the king of our farm.
Gai el Jullyan. Credit Samantha Mattocks.