AHT's December Leader Of The Times
Leaders Of The Times: The Rise Of Al Malikk
by THERESA CARDAMONE
A rancher since birth, Michele Pfeifer channeled her lifelong passion for horses into the development of Shellbird Incorporated at her Rising Hearts Ranch in Colorado. She grew up immersed in animals and later educated herself in a variety of equestrian disciplines. Her fortuitus exposure to the world-class horses at famed Lasma Arabians in Scottsdale, AZ led her to embrace the breed and to eventually create a breeding program of her own.
Shellbird’s Arabian horse collection has recently seen the addition of the sensational young stallion, Al Malikk. With his impeccable credentials, Pfeifer believes he will be instrumental in helping to develop the next phase of her program. The future herd sire was bred in Texas by Nelson de Oliveira Prata Pinto Moreira. Al Malikk’s sire, Shangrila Baltazar, was a Chilean Champion and a 2015 U.S. National Top Ten Yearling Colt. Interestingly, Al Malikk’s dam, RD Tora, was a U.S. National Top Ten Yearling Filly the same year. Their son lost no time in surpassing the pair’s notable achievements when he was named the United States National Champion ABS Yearling Colt in 2018. Deftly shown by Rodolfo Guzzo, it was a win that saw Al Malikk rise to the top tier of the Arabian breed.
Al Malikk had captured Pfeifer’s attention and it wasn’t long before he was purchased for the program. The stallion had also captured the interest of Shellbird manager, Les Clark. “Al Malikk is head-to-toe beautiful,” says Clark. “The next DA Valentino. He is charismatic, with an elegant neck—a fantastic front end! He is tall, athletic, and leggy, with a fluid body and although he snorts and blows, he’s well mannered, too. When it’s time to show, he knows it.”
Clark evidently has that right. For his new owner, Al Malikk has already captured three significant show honors to add to his first national title. With Guzzo again on the lead, Al Malikk was named the 2019 Silver Champion Junior Stallion at the prestigious Arabian Breeders World Cup in Las Vegas. He became an international champion later in the year when he was named Canadian National Champion Jackpot 2-Year-Old Colt. Al Malikk and Guzzo made it three-for-three with their most recent win this year, U.S. Reserve National Champion 2-Year-Old Colt.
While the show wins are very exciting, the Shellbird team is even more thrilled at the prospect of the foals they expect in 2020. According to Clark, three beautiful and athletic mares were selected to breed to Al Malikk and they look forward to each one. “He is the stallion of the future,” Clark states. “His pedigree is well rounded with a sire line that is a valuable outcross for most contemporary bloodlines.” Further examination reveals his sire line to run through some of the legendary stallions of the breed: Bey Shah, Bay El Bey, Bay Abi; all the way back to the desert-bred *Mirage a hundred years ago. Al Malikk’s dam also traces to *Mirage, through her sire Vitorio TO and grandsire DA Valentino, Versace, Fame VF, and Bey Shah.
With more than a century of successful breeding backing his pedigree, it is likely that Al Malikk will emerge as a stallion capable of extending that legacy through offspring of his own.