Treasures of Al Zobair Stud
Esklawa (1985 – 2017)
(Eukaliptus x Ekstaza)
The electrifying Esklawa will forever remain one the last, yet greatest, gifts of her aging parents, Eukaliptus and Ekstaza. She was a dazzling European show mare born in the great halls of Michalow Stud, and then – in her destined rite of passage – carried the Al Zobair banner for many years, living out her days until the ripe age of 32. Esklawa’s broodmare prominence was on greatest display with her contribution of World Champion Mare Salwa Al Zobair who continues to carry out her legacy to this day.
(Penitent x Patera)
The epitome of a grey charismatic and beautiful Polish mare, Palestra was awe-inspiring to watch and won the hearts of audiences around the world, including being named three-time Swedish National Champion mare. She continued her brilliance in the breeding shed until her peaceful passing at Al Zobair at the age of 29.
In Memorium of Palestra
“When Sheikh Abdulla started up his wonderful Farm, Al Zobair Stud in early 2002 he selected a small group of mares, amongst them was the beautiful Maliha Bouznika (by Imperial Mashhar), Khameela (by PVA Kariim), MM Jareefa (by Imperial Madheen) and the great Palestra.
That same year both Maliha Bouznika and Palestra took home the Champion Title for Al Zobair Stud at the Sharjah Arabian Horse Festival which was a great feeling for the owner. After that Palestra was shown many times more in the GCC winning the Champion Tilte at the Ajman Arabian Horse Show and Jordan National Show as well as the Reserve Title at the Sharjah Arabian Horse Festival and Middle East Championships in 2003.
As much as this was a great feeling winning at the show, it was the breeding part that was more interesting for Sheikh Abdulla and producing his own offspring with the Al Zobair suffix. At that time everything was still very new in the UAE and there were not many stallions or breeding specialists available so Sheikh Abdulla decided with his then-Manager Dawn Martin (now Manager of Al Bidayer Stud, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, brother of Sheikh Abdulla) to send some of his mares to Qatar for breeding. When they returned, Khameela and MM Jareefa were in foal to Al Adeed Al Shaqab and Maliha Bouznika to Ashhal Al Rayyan, however Palestra sadly returned back empty.
Khameela foaled the gorgeous Dalal Al Zobair in 2003 (by Al Adeed Al Shaqab) who herself later went on to win the Reserve Champion Tilte at the UAE National Championships in 2004 and was Champion at the Sharjah Local Bred Show in 2005. MM Jareefa foaled a beautiful roan chestnut filly, Athena Al Zobair (by Al Adeed Al Shaqab), who is now owned by Sheikh Abdulla's daughter and is since April 2013 in the US under the care of Al Jassimya Farm in California.
Many attempts to breed Palestra were made in the seasons of 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 with frozen semen of Monogramm or with fresh semen of Khidar, along with many embryo transfer attempts but without success.
In October 2006, I joined Al Zobair Stud and shared with Sheikh Abdulla the great disappointment of not having had any babies from Palestra. In November 2006, I travelled to the USA for some breeding courses at Colorado State University (CSU) and met with Dr. Elaine Carnevale. I spoke with her about the problems we were having with Palestra and she highly recommended trying Oocyte Transfer on her. We discussed the matter with Sheikh Abdulla and he was happy to give anything a try, to have some babies from her at that stage, and understood that after all avenues were tried Oocyte Transfer would be our last resort.
Palestra left Sharjah on 12th March 2007 to CSU and had a great first year there giving us one pregnant recipient by Gazal Al Shaqab and one by Marwan Al Shaqab, both recipients exported to the United Arab Emirates and produced two beautiful grey fillies in 2008 at Al Zobair Stud. Shoola Al Zobair (by Gazal Al Shaqab) foaled on 24th February and Tamriya Al Zobair (by Marwan Al Shaqab) on 2nd June 2008. We couldn't have been happier with the result!
Palestra returned back to CSU in March 2008, where we tried to breed her again with Monogramm but this didn't result in any pregnancies and it was the same story in 2009. Again we were unable to catch anything and felt it was time to give up on hoping for a Monogramm offspring from her. In 2010 we attempted another Oocyte Transfer with her, this time with Besson Carol which proved successful in that the resulting embryo did stick inside the recipient. Said recipient was later in the year exported to Sharjah where she foaled Mayada Al Zobair on 27th February 2011.
Normally when the breeding season ends at CSU, it's standard practice to send the mares back home as CSU don't keep any inpatients for breeding over the winter. Unlike her first year boarding at Michael Byatt Arabians, it was clear Palestra wasn’t getting any younger and as she was a well-known favourite at CSU, she was allowed to stay over the winter season, which she did until 10th March 2013. We were so grateful for the wonderful care CSU took of her throughout this time, both breeding and health wise.
Palestra wasn't at all a difficult horse, but at her age she didn’t come without baggage. In 2011 and 2012 she was unable to give any further pregnancies and we felt she was having more problems with her overall health. She had been having foot problems for a while already, with a mild laminitis resulting now and then in abscesses in her feet but it wasn't until 2012 when she had a severe emergency colic surgery that it really hit us how old she was getting... and that she may not be around forever.
She recovered from her surgery but we knew we had to make a decision on what the next plan was for her. With her being 26 years of age at the time and all of her health requirements, shipping her back to Sharjah was out of the question so we had to find a US solution for her. After speaking with CSU on her condition, we got the sad news that finding a home or even transporting her with all of her problems would be a very difficult case and she may not even make it to her new home. We discussed this matter with Sheikh Abdulla, informing him on Palestra’s condition and that options for moving her were very limited. His wish was to transport her to Al Jassimya Farm in California, owned by his son-in-law H.E. Sheikh Jassim Bin Khalifa Al Thani.
So we checked with the Vets at CSU and our shipping partner to see how we move forward on Sheikh Abdulla's wish for Palestra. Our shipping partner suggested making a two day travel from Colorado to California so there would be a rest period for her on the way. Along with Grooms, a qualified Vet accompanied Palestra on the long journey for the necessary pain medication, and a travelling companion in the form of a pony to keep her company along the way. When we received the quotation for this journey, and informed the Vets of Sheikh Abdulla's wishes - we were initially afraid to forward the quote to Sheikh...and give him the feedback from the Vets at CSU!
Never have I been more amazed by the love for this mare, and the dedication Sheikh Abdulla has for his horses then that day. It was a very easy “please go ahead”, as his only wish was for Palestra to be there on the grassy field, if even only for one day…
Palestra arrived at Al Jassimya Farm on 12th March 2013, a little bit fatigued but with a bright spark in her eye, happy to be at her new home. In April 2013, my girlfriend and I were at the Las Vegas Show to see Najdah Al Zobair in the ring, and afterwards travelled with Bart Van Buggenhout to the farm to finally see Palestra again. She was being taken care of like a queen, having her own open stall with her paddock over-looking the Valley, she was very happy there! It was a good feeling seeing her like that. Sheikh Abdulla himself went in August 2013 to visit her too and the reunion was amazing…like they never missed a day!
Another year went by before I saw Palestra again, this time for the relocation of S.M.A. Magic One for his lease to Al Jassimya Farm in April 2014. It was amazing seeing her again enjoying herself there. What everyone thought was only going to be for a short time ended up being as much as a full year and ten months…only because of the love Sheikh Abdulla had for this horse.
Palestra sadly passed away on 23rd January 2015 at the age of 28 years.
We hope that we can continue the legacy of the kind Palestra in our breeding program with the lovely daughters of her and that by this she will never be forgotten…”
(Gazal Al Shaqab x Palmira)
Pistoria is immediately recognizable as a gorgeous mover. Her movement is accented by her flat topline and high tail set coupled with a beautiful carriage –a consistent equation for making a mare look expensive. In a touching move, Pistoria left her Polish home and went to the home of her grandmother, where she will be loved and cared for beautifully.
Salwa Al Zobair
(Marajj x Esklawa)
Najdah Al Zobair
(Marwan Al Shaqab x JFN Bint Ludhan)
For many, she is the most beautiful living Arabian mare in the world. Najdah Al Zobair – the first UAE-bred World Champion – has traversed the globe, winning the highest accolades on all three continents. She drips with breed type. Like a piece of Godiva chocolate, she is a vision to behold, created by Mother Nature and Sheikh Abdulla. And even better, Najdah is creating an important legacy – a healthy and beautiful line – already two generations deep to go forward with.
Ghanadir Al Zobair
(MCA Magnum Gold x Thoraya Al Zobair)
One of the early winners for Al Zobair Stud and its first 2nd generation World Champion, what is perhaps most impressive is Ghanadir was born during a time when it was an unfavorable thought to breed straight Egyptian mares to non-straight stallions. Yet again, Sheikh Abdulla saw his vision through, unyielding to status quo. His vision has been validation twice over by Ghanadir’s successful ongoing show career in the Middle East.
S.M.A. Magic One
(Psytadel x Majidah Bint Pacha)
Belgium breeder Marnix Criel saw an opportunity. Instead of continuing down the path of “like-to-like”, he gave Psytadel a grey daughter of AS Sinans Pacha, by the legendary sire Ansata Sinan, infusing the sire line of *Padron with a layer of near perfect grey Egyptian breed type.
The brilliant blend created S.M.A Magic One, who now brings a vogue twist of modernization to his illustrious lines. He is truly a Today’s Horse, evoking an effortlessly fresh, young and alluring blend. And the world has not only taken notice, it has climbed aboard a fast moving train.
Always a visionary, Sheikh Abdullah recognized the class in S.M.A Magic One. And while *Padron, Padrons Psyche and Psytadel did not derive from Al Zobair, what caught the eye of Sheikh Abdullah was not only a tail female line to Saskia RJ – one of the most celebrated European broodmares in history – but also the perfect Egyptian type behind S.M.A Magic One’s dam… which perfectly circles all the way back to the founder of the *Padron sire line, the great Nazeer son, Aswan. Herein lies the true brilliance of the blend.
Taking Sheikh Abdullah’s lead, the world offered their appreciation of S.M.A Magic One as well. So, while Sheikh Abdullah purchased him to move his own breeding program forward, countless in all four corners of the globe have brought their finest mares to the court of S.M.A Magic One. Therefore, the vision has been shared, as it should be.
This important fact makes Sheikh Abdullah nothing short of a modern-day visionary.
The colossal grey stallion, S.M.A Magic One, has traversed the continents. He left his breeder as a yearling for Al Zobair in Sharjah, U.A.E. where he would eventually sire his first foals. S.M.A Magic One then left for a stint at Aljassimya Farm in California, followed by Schoukens Training Center in Belgium. He spent last year’s breeding season in Doha, Qatar covering the great mares of Al Shaqab. Now, he is once again back in Belgium at Schoukens Training Center. And to globalize the whole picture, he is of course owned in the Middle East. In the wake of his travels, S.M.A Magic One continues to gift mare owners with one contemporary beauty after another.
One of the first outside farms to recognize the siring prowess of S.M.A Magic One was Sharjah-neighboring farm, Albidayer Stud. In 2014, a filly was born from a champion granddaughter of Padrons Psyche. You may know her name… this gorgeous grey gosling is Mozn Albidayer. As we all now know, Mozn has captured the highest of titles on more than one continent, as well as revealing her sire’s ability to linebreed within the *Padron family.
S.M.A Magic One continues to regularly cover the mares of others, in addition the world-class collection at Al Zobair. And he is quickly becoming known as a producer of stunning progeny proclaiming that classic, chic blend. Over and over again.
In the paddocks of Al Zobair are youngsters that show a promise for wins at the very top, according to prominent staff members Michael van den Elsken and Margot Chazel, such as Suhaila Al Zobair (x HCE Magdonna, by AH Magnum); Aajilah Al Zobair (x Risalah Al Zobair, by Marajj); and their newest addition, a 2017 dazzling chestnut filly (Najdiya Al Zobair, by Eden C from Najdah Al Zobair) that is breathtaking.
With a track record of success that includes two World Champion mares, Najdah Al Zobair and Salwa Al Zobair, as well as the ultra-beautiful Star of Al Zobair, and many others, SMA Magic One represents not a solo, stand-alone triumph, but rather the most recent achievement in a deep history of accomplishments. Sheikh Abdullah and his team are renown as foremost experts on Arabian horse breeding, having their finger on the pulse of the industry at all times.
Endorsed by Al Zobair, the ultra-exotic champion, S.M.A Magic One, is truly a sire for Today, redefining the term “breed standard,” while taking us all to pinnacles yet unseen.