Cover Story - Vol. 47, No. 10 - Issue #5

Cover Story -

Cover Story - Vol. 47, No. 10 - Issue #5

Al Jood Stud: The Fulfillment Of A Dream

by THERESA CARDAMONE

The Beginning

According to the lore of indigenous people, the stars that blanket desert skies in the Middle East sprang from the galloping hooves of the Arabian horse, which itself was formed by grains of sand flung to the winds by the Creator. From the earliest oral and recorded histories, the stars have fascinated and inspired creativity and innovation—today, most stars still have Arabic names due to the inspired work of Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi who first observed the Andromeda galaxy and mapped the constellations in his Book of the Fixed Stars in the 10th century. Despite translation to myriad languages over the centuries, the Arabic origins of star names remain. So too has the purity of the original Arabian horse—by legend, the source of those stars—remained intact despite becoming the foundation for myriad light horse breeds.

The culture and history of the peoples of the Middle East are inextricably linked to the horses who evolved side-by-side with them. When Mohamed Jaidah was a young boy, his dreams were filled with images of majestic horses garnered from the pages of books and the magic of the movies. The courage of Black Beauty and the desert spirit of The Black Stallion planted a seed in his heart, a desire to someday own such a horse. That desire was fed throughout his childhood by his parents, who raised their children in a close relationship with several species of animals.

“In the 1970’s, my father built up his own farm north of Doha, near the town of Al Khor,” Mohamed Jaidah explains. “It was a place for the family to go on the weekends for leisure. So, ever since our childhood, my parents surrounded us with animals: goats, sheep, llamas, emus, and a few horses. During the summer, we went to the UK where we learned to ride ponies.” That lasted until 1995, the year actor Christopher Reeves was paralyzed in a tragic riding accident. “My mom got scared and made us all stop riding horses,” Jaidah said, ruefully. Even so, his passion for horses continued unabated and he strove to learn as much as he could.

In 2009, Jaidah took his love of horses to another level when he decided to establish Al Jood Stud and commit to becoming a serious breeder of Arabian horses. He was inspired by an online advertisement for Al Shaqab Stud, the most dominant Arabian horse breeding farm in Qatar and perhaps the world, and soon paid them a visit. It takes most horsemen time to develop a good eye for correct conformation and quality, but Mohamed was more fortunate than most. His standard for excellence was set on his initial visit to Al Shaqab Stud when he was shown two of the finest World Champion Stallions ever bred.

“Gazal Al Shaqab and Marwan Al Shaqab are the first purebred Arabian horses I ever saw,” Jaidah confesses. “I fell in love with them both. They are what an Arabian stallion should look like. They give this impression of being war horses when they are in front of you, facing you—you cannot ignore them. They have an aura and a charisma that cannot be denied. They are impressive, and a little intimidating! Gazal Al Shaqab and my Alixir embody each of these traits. They are, for me, the ideal Arabian stallions.”

The Purebred Arabians

Mohamed Jaidah’s Qatari roots made him appreciate the cultural connection between himself and Arabian horses. He applied himself to researching them, studying pedigrees, asking questions, and seeking mentors. A few months later, he bought his first three purebreds. While Al Jood is developing its focus on straight Egyptians, purebreds are also a big part of the breeding program. Jaidah has primarily selected purebred horses that carry Ali Jamaal and Padrons Psyche lines as the foundation for his purebred breeding.

“The first purebred stallion I acquired was Malik El Jamaal,” Jaidah recalls. “He was never shown, but he holds a very big place in my heart. His pedigree is unique and special as he is by Ludjin El Jamaal and out of one of Gazal’s best daughters, Pinga.” Ludjin El Jamaal was bred in Brazil by Lenita Perroy at her Haras Meia Lua, has nothing but excellence throughout his pedigree, and has offspring which have produced World Champions. Pinga won titles all over the globe including those of Polish National Champion and World Gold Champion Mare. “Malik is such a sweet and well-conformed stallion and has proven to be a great sire,” Jaidah continues fondly. “It is interesting that he has more fillies than colts at a rate of 3 to 1 and I am very happy with what he has given.” However, for his breeding program to move forward, Mohamed Jaidah came to realize that he needed at least one more stallion to cross with Malik daughters.

“Last year,” Jaidah comments, “I acquired D Angelo, a young stallion bred by Gemini Acres. He is by Magnum Psyche’s most amazing son, JJ Bellagio. I really love Bellagio, it is incredible what he is producing, especially the good bodies and outstanding heads and necks he is putting on his foals.”

Adding more to the mix, JJ Bellagio is out of Joyeuse NY, who is herself a national champion. Mohamed Jaidah was confident that Bellagio’s finest traits would be transmitted through D Angelo whose dam, Dark Angel GA is by Da Vinci FM and out of an RSD Dark Victory daughter. “I chose him because of his topline, his head and neck, and his pedigree,” Jaidah continues. “Magnum produced some great sons, with WH Justice being the first one that comes to mind. I wanted something a bit different, which is another reason why I selected D Angelo to be the outcross for Malik.” D Angelo took Top Five honors at his first big show, the 2017 Arabian Breeders World Cup in Las Vegas, where he was presented by David Boggs in the highly competitive Supreme Championship against some very big names. He has relocated to Cortona, Italy, where he is standing at stud under the care and management of Giacomo Capacci Arabians. 

Recently, Jaidah had the opportunity to purchase the outstanding DA Valentino son Destinyed Valentino, a 2014 champion stallion at Scottsdale, as a third stallion for Al Jood’s purebred program. While his sire DA Valentino’s record as a show horse and sire is exemplary, it is Destinyed Valentino’s dam, Fabrices Destiny, who was the most influential in drawing Mohamed Jaidah’s attention.

A daughter of U.S. and Canadian National Champion WN Ultimate Star, she was out of an exquisite Eukaliptus daughter. “She passed on early,” explains Jaidah, “so she did not have many foals, but she did have a son, Montana Firenze, by Ajman Moniscione, who was a step up from his sire and dam. She brought a lot to the table in creating Montana, and especially because Destinyed Valentino was out of Fabrices Destiny, I had to have this stallion!”

At present, Ali Jamaal is highly evident in the pedigrees of Al Jood’s purebred mares as well. Purchased from South Africa, FS Hibah El Perseus is a beautiful chestnut Perseus El Jamaal daughter out of Haya Reyna and is the product of 100% Haras Meia Lua breeding. Lolah El Javier is heavily inbred to Ali Jamaal, being by Javier El Jamaal and out of Lara El Ludjin, herself the result of crossing a son and daughter of Ali Jamaal. Her dam, Lara El Ludjin, is also the dam of the outstanding sire, Lawrence El Gazal. Lolah had a son, Cinque El Jamaal, who did well in the show ring before his premature passing. She has also given a beautiful colt who Jaidah describes as “top-notch” and an indication of why they are so pleased with what Lolah is producing for them.

There are still more purebred mares that are making valuable contributions for Mohamed Jaidah. “I also have three Magic Dream daughters,” he says, “including the dark bay My Dreamgirl, who has been one of our most prolific broodmares. Her gorgeous Kahil Al Shaqab son, Raad Al Jood, is currently in training with Giacomo Capacci in Italy and will be shown by him later this year. Her beautiful Monther Al Nasser daughter will be showing locally this year in Qatar. And, I own Lee Anna Psy, who is a Padrons Psyche daughter out of the Aristocrat mare WA Marlaina Lee, a Bey Shah daughter. Lee Anna is our crown jewel. We bred her to Versace, and she foaled the amazing colt, Conquest BR, who we sold as a yearling. He went on to become U.S. National Champion both as a yearling and again as a Junior Stallion after winning in Scottsdale and Las Vegas.” With a wide selection of mares from Ali Jamaal, Padrons Psyche, and Magnum Psyche bloodlines, Mohamed Jaidah is careful to avoid breeding like to like: Jamaal to Jamaal, or Psyche to Psyche. He prefers to open the pedigrees up and eventually to cross straight Egyptian blood into the purebred program.

“I think long and hard about breeding and have done so over the years,” Jaidah imparts. “In my short years as a breeder, I have concluded that for a very long time, many people who have followed the principle of breeding only along certain lines. Their pedigrees are very tight and interbred. I studied the strains—it is important to recognize the qualities that they bring—but all in all, I felt that I didn't want to focus on specific strains, I wanted to be as open as possible. My biggest successes have been with pedigrees where the sire and dam have very little in common within the early generations. I have better success in getting more beautiful and more refined horses when the pedigrees are more open.” Aside from the science of genetics and the value of studying bloodlines, Jaidah is quick to acknowledge the importance of the intangible in breeding. “It is more than science, it is at least 50% a combination of inspiration and luck,” he adds. “It is more like creating a work of art, you mix knowledge, talent, and inspiration in your best effort and work hard at it, hoping that others may admire what you have managed to achieve.”

The Straight Egyptians

A year after beginning with his first purebred Arabians, Mohamed Jaidah and his brother arrived at a family decision to devote themselves to the development of a straight Egyptian element at Al Jood Stud. Jaidah respects the history and continuity of the Egyptian breeding program and elected to bring in bloodstock that would add to the pool of straight Egyptian blood in Qatar.

His interest settled on lines that were rather rare in his homeland, those being The Minstril and Thee Desperado. That led him to America, where he came under the mentorship of both Christie Metz of Silver Maple Farm and Shawn Crews of Arabians Ltd. “They took the time to explain their breeding programs to me,” Jaidah says gratefully. “They gave a lot of their time and taught me about Egyptian breeding, and the different strains and lines.” As his exposure to Egyptian bloodlines deepened, so did his appreciation for their unique qualities. From this early education, Jaidah honed his expectations until he found the stallion upon which he could pin his dreams.

Alixir is the stallion around whom Mohamed Jaidah has built his dream breeding program. It was through videos, articles, and photos that he fell in love with the charismatic stallion. Even though he had never seen him in the flesh, he was completely devoted to the idea of centering his efforts on this very special horse. Bred by James and Judy Sirbasku at Arabians Ltd. in Texas, Alixir is a son of The Elixir and is out of The Prevue, a daughter of The Minstril. He embodies all the qualities that Jaidah holds in such high esteem: a smooth, balanced body; long, elegant neck; strong, straight legs; a small, chiseled head; and an abundance of electric presence.

Judy Sirbasku had no intention of selling Alixir until Mohamed Jaidah came into the picture. His enthusiastic offer led to a lengthy, back-and-forth discussion between Jaidah, Judy, Shawn Crews, trainer Frank Holloman (and indirectly noted horseman David Gardner) about the idea of Jaidah buying Alixir. Judy recalls, “I sensed Mohamed’s desire to preserve and protect the Straight Egyptian horse, particularly the three bloodlines that I, too, am so very partial to. Ultimately, it was after the purchase went through that I knew without a doubt; not only would Alixir be loved, cherished, and protected all his days by Mohamed, but that this man will carry forward—like Judi Forbis, Dr. Nagel, the Marshalls and others did, [and like Judy herself has for almost forty years]—the torch for Egyptian horses. As painful as it may be to part with one that is so special to you, you have faith in the love and dedication of a young breeder, you want to give them that boost to get started!”

It was Mohamed Jaidah’s description of Alixir and why he felt so strongly about him that confirmed Judy’s intuition. For Jaidah, owning Alixir is a real dream come true. He has already been using him as a sire of choice for years, breeding foals via embryo transfer and securing some of Alixir’s finest offspring from other astute breeders. Jaidah’s options for using his favorite stallion are wide open going forward. Finally, at 19 years young, Alixir is the chief sire for Al Jood Stud. This summer, the stallion will move from Texas to Europe. With the suspense of the negotiations over and with a longtime love in his heart, plans are afoot that will allow Mohamed Jaidah the opportunity to be on hand to meet Alixir when he arrives.

In 2012, Jaidah bought an ET right to the super-exotic pure-black Thee Desperado daughter, Rhapsody in Black, dam of Alixir’s double-Egyptian Event Champion son, Bellagio RCA. “Judy is a kind and generous lady, but when it comes to Rhapsody, she is not known to share well!” Shawn Crews counsels. “Judy owns many horses, but Rhapsody is her mare, and nothing happens with that mare without her permission.” When Judy learned that it was Mohamed Jaidah asking for the privilege, with plans to breed the mare to Bellagio’s sire Alixir, she softened to the idea. “From the time that he purchased the first filly from us, I sensed his one-hundred percent commitment to his horses,” Judy says. “He was not one to buy a horse and then lose faith in it if it did not win its first time out. He spoke of his horses like his children.” Convinced by his sincerity, Judy sold the embryo right to Mohamed Jaidah. 

In early 2013, Rhapsody in Black gave him an impressive bay colt—Qaysar Al Jood had arrived. “I bought the embryo rights to breed Rhapsody to Alixir in order to create Qaysar years before buying Alixir himself,” Jaidah explains. “Qaysar is more extreme in the head than Alixir, but he has definitely taken his beautiful movement from his father,” continues Jaidah. “He is still maturing, but he is different from his full brother Bellagio. While Bellagio is black, he takes the phenotype of his bay father. Qaysar is the opposite. He is bay and takes the phenotype of his black mother. He is the loveliest of stallions, a real step forward for Al Jood Stud. Qaysar is insurance for the future of our program.”

Mohamed Jaidah puts his theories on pedigrees into practice by ensuring a variety of bloodlines. “Christie Metz is the one who suggested that I consider the Kuhailan strain stallion Marajh KA as a good outcross for our mares, who are mainly from either her Silver Maple Farm or the Arabians Ltd. program. His bloodlines are not typically available in the Middle East,” says Jaidah. Marajh KA is by Makhnificent KA, a Sultann grandson with additional lines to Sameh through Ibn Hafiza. Marajh’s dam, Marquisah KA, has a pedigree littered with famous Egyptian Arabians including Sakr, Tuhotmos, Nabiel, and a host of others. The dam line traces back to Rose of Sharon, who was imported to Egypt from England to perpetuate the family of her mother Rodania. Foaled in 1869 in the deserts of Arabia, Rodania had been lost to Middle Eastern breeding when Lady Anne Blunt took her to Crabbet Park Stud, where she founded a dynasty.

Marajh KA has only been lightly shown but stood third to eventual Straight Egyptian Champion Stallion Baha AA at the 2017 Scottsdale International Breeders Classic. Although Mohamed Jaidah values Marajh more as a breeding stallion than a show horse, he is now considering the idea of showing him again later in the year. According to Jaidah, Marajh is the kind of horse whose photos don’t begin to do him justice. “His power, charisma and other positive attributes including his amazing presence are better seen in person,” says Jaidah. “He always gives me the impression that he is quite larger in person than in photos. We are very pleased with his first foal crop.”

Maraam Al Jood was one of Marajh KA’s very first foals, and she quickly proved to be an outstanding example of the quality he sires. Her mother, RSL Faith, is a daughter of Al Jood Stud’s head sire, Alixir, and the fantastic Thee Desperado mare Rhapsody in Black, making her a full sister to promising sire Bellagio RCA among others. At the 2015 Egyptian Event in Lexington, Ky., Maraam Al Jood was named the Futurity Finals Champion Straight Egyptian Yearling Filly in a very tough class of fillies born early in 2016. The success of Maraam is a very important benchmark for Al Jood Stud, as it speaks to the outstanding contribution of Alixir as a sire of top-producing broodmares, the heart of any breeding program.

FH Sharuby Rose is another shining example of Alixir’s value on the bottom side of the pedigree. She is out of his daughter, Candela Rose, who has several crosses to The Minstril on her dam’s side. Sharuby Rose is sired by Shaheen Al Waab, a son of Sinan Al Rayyan. At the 2017 Scottsdale International Arabian Breeders Classic, FH Sharuby Rose brought home the Straight Egyptian Reserve Junior Champion Female honors. It was a prestigious and well-deserved title for the exquisite grey with the effervescent attitude. She will be promoted throughout the year, bringing more accolades to Al Jood Stud.

Magidaas Prevue RCA was the filly who first connected Mohamed Jaidah with owner Judy Sirbasku, General Manager Shawn Crews and the Arabians Ltd. program in 2011. “She was a special filly and one of our sentimental favorites,” Shawn Crews recalls. “Magidaa’s Prevue RCA is sired by Bint Magidaa’s last son Thee Infidel and out of what would become one of our most exotic broodmares, Mishaal’s Prevue RCA—sired by Mishaal HP and out of Alixir’s dam, The Prevue. Magidaa’s Prevue went to Qatar shortly after she was purchased. When Mohamed speaks of her, I can tell he loves her very much and could not be prouder.” 

Malak Al Jood owes her very existence to Mohamed Jaidah. Long before he purchased Alixir, he had what Shawn Crews calls “almost laser focus” in seeking out all that had to do with his favorite straight Egyptian stallion. As it happened, the legendary mare Miss Maggie Mae gave three embryos in her final year, and Jaidah purchased the rights to one of them to use with Alixir. Crews called the resulting filly “one of today’s most valuable and historically significant young SE mares.” She also pointed out that not many knew how important that mare’s get and grand-get would be—adding that “Mohamed seemed to almost have a crystal ball!”

“Malak was the last or next-to-last foal of Miss Maggie Mae to be born,” Jaidah offers. “I could see no other possible cross for her than Alixir. When I suggested it to Shawn, she said, ‘Good idea!’ The mare had crossed so successfully with Thee Desperado, no one thought of using Alixir. Getting a very nice filly from the cross was the epitome! Like many straight Egyptians, she is taking a lot of time to mature. We mainly want to use her as a broodmare. She will be a great addition to my breeding program with her outstanding pedigree.”

Farah Al Jood is an Alixir daughter out of Fariha Magidaa who is by Shahir. Farah is a half-sister to Bint Fariha Magidaa, whose father is Thee Desperado. Bint Fariha Magidaa resides with Nayla Hayek at her Hanaya Stud, where she has made herself an invaluable part of the breeding program by producing Hanaya Farfoura, the 2015 Egyptian Event Europe Silver Champion Yearling Filly and West Coast Cup Gold Champion. Farah’s extreme elegance, huge black eyes, and inquisitive nature set her apart and it is expected that she will make significant contributions to Al Jood Stud.

The Future

Mohamed Jaidah’s short-term goal is to establish the Al Jood Stud program as a top rate breeding farm. “Most people use the word breeder for anyone who owns horses,” Jaidah comments. “I think that even though you may have to go out and buy horses to start your program, a true breeder is different than a collector. We will show our horses locally, regionally, and internationally to prove their quality. For me, the most fun part of the whole experience is the breeding; the choosing who is bred to who, and the foaling season, receiving the new foals—that is the best part of the whole process. You get to see whether they turned out the way you envisioned.”

Frank Holloman often collaborates with Jaidah when breeding and acquisition plans are formulated. “Mr. Mohamed Jaidah is a wonderful person to work alongside,” says Holloman. “His witty ideas, knowledgeable mind on pedigrees, and genuine love of horses makes all the difference. He just loves being around his horses. The other thing he loves is being connected to good-hearted, genuine, honest people. They seem to help keep the blood in his veins pumping with positive energy as he focuses on his breeding program.”

Jaidah’s long-term goal is to establish Al Jood Stud as a brand name, as a trusted name for Arabian horses. And, he has an idea for how to make that happen. “I feel, unfortunately, more and more new technology and globalization have allowed the popular horses to get more popular while other horses are diminished,” Jaidah emoted. “A lot of the pedigrees you see are very similar, the same names over and over. One of my main targets is to try to breed open pedigrees for that very reason. I also like to look for rare or less-used bloodlines. I have studied Muscat and Nariadni; they add a lot of conformation, and a lot of movement but they are less prominent names today. In the long run, I want a great program that uses great horses throughout their pedigrees.” And what Mohamed Jaidah wants, and what he dreams, he is sure to achieve. “All long-time breeders have one thing in common … passion!” says Shawn Crews. “We are proud of Mohamed, our mutual passion, and the part Arabians Ltd. played in his story. I should say, ‘his first story,' as I am sure there will be many more to come!"

Arabian Chemistry … Mohamed Jaidah

Al Jood Stud and its horses are poised to take their place as a leader amongst the firmament of stars that make up the top tier of the Arabian horse industry. Alixir is a glowing comet whose descendants fan out across the generations, bringing Jaidah’s dreams to fruition. Qaysar is the shooting star whose future seems so very bright, and the mares are celestial visions destined to produce a galaxy of novas for the farm. The horses of Al Jood Stud are a constellation all their own, and for Mohamed Jaidah, adding Alixir to the herd has turned what began as a boyhood yearning, into the fulfillment of a dream.