AL MALIKK...ALL BOXES CHECKED
By CATHERINE COLE FERANDELLI
For Michele Pfeifer, owner of Shellbird, Inc., meeting Al Malikk begins with a mission to acquire a special young stallion to show and breed to her own impeccably bred band of broodmares. Michele recollects, “The 2018 Scottsdale New Year’s Farm Tours included Royal Arabians, where Travis Rice knew we were looking for that special colt and brought out several yearling prospects, with Malikk (Shangrila Baltazar x RD Tora) the final showing.” Michele was awestruck when the yearling colt flashed before her eyes. Still, Malikk’s charisma wasn’t the entire gasp of excitement. Michele’s lifelong study of equine conformation was intuitive, “Equally if not more exciting for me were Malikk’s perfect ‘thirds.’ He was equal from the point of the shoulder back to the elbow and withers, from the withers to the point of hip and from hip to point of buttock. Malikk’s impeccable movement sourced from his proportionate balance, creating movement that was some of the very best I had ever seen.” Being a horse person who admires “all great horses put together correctly regardless of breed,” Michele knew Al Malikk was the one.
The following month, Malikk debuted at Scottsdale drawing attention with his elegance, correctness, and mesmerizing movement. Handler Rodolfo Guzzo (“Guzzo”), smiles remembering, “All you could say is, ‘Wow!’” Malikk showed twice more in 2018, at Region 2 in June earning the ABS Arabian Yearling Colt/Gelding Championship, then on to U.S. Nationals and the winner’s circle as champion ABS Arabian Yearling Colt. Malikk blossomed further in 2019, acquiring Canadian National Champion 2-Year-Old Colt and U.S. Reserve National Champion. The dark bay colt flourished, growing ever more alluring, all the while balanced, correct and beautifully proportioned.
In 2020 Al Malikk yet again, reached the top as U.S. National Champion Arabian Futurity Colt. Judges were clearly taking notice, rewarding Malikk’s ability to “hit the ideal Arabian horse standard every time.”
Travis Rice handles the majority of promotion and marketing of Al Malikk at Royal Arabians for Michele, clearly enjoying the excitement this young stallion brings to the industry. “Malikk is what we seek in the complete Arabian horse,” says Travis. “He is a perfect representation, truly bringing out the best of all the greats that run through his phenomenal pedigree, including Bey Shah, *Aladdinn, and more recently, DA Valentino, Falcon BHF and Cajun Prince HCF. What I love most about him is his presence, tiny tippy ears, stretch and a show attitude that is like no other!”
Guzzo nods in agreement, “Al Malikk has the whole look, which keeps getting better and better. He has allowed us to make him a great horse, being kind and easy to handle, yet all the while proud and confident of his beauty and presence.”
Al Malikk also debuted in 2020 his first two foals, both out of Michele’s homebred mares: Magikk SB, a colt out of Annahita, and Ansa SB, a filly out of Justaimage. Both youngsters inherited Malikk’s balance, beauty and bold movement.
Looking ahead, Michele sees Malikk’s future shining brightly. “As a show horse, he is surrounded by the best team in the business. I know Guzzo loves Malikk … his integrity is second to none, and Travis’ marketing skills always put Malikk’s well-being at the top of his priorities. Royal Arabians’ owners, Mark and Cindy, run the tightest ship in the business.” Everyone concurs that Malikk will continue his show career selectively. He has two years to vie for the Arabian Junior Horse titles, at which time they will decide what is in his best interests. Breeding will be equally as selective. “Malikk has a great group of foals coming in 2021 out of exceptional mares,” enthuses Travis, “including National Champion Falcons Lovenote BHF, Scottsdale Champion *HDF Barcellona and the great Versace daughter Verstrella.”
Born on Valentine’s Day, 2017, Al Malikk’s journey is truly an equine gilt-edged love affair for Michele and his team.