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.
By SARAH JAYNE JOHNSON
It is staffed with some of the brightest rising stars in the industry: performance trainer Laura Rodel, training and operations manager Stephanie Davisson, and the newest member to the CRA family, halter trainer Kenny McDonald.
When discussing what brought McDonald to CRA, he explained, “I was drawn to the CRA team for a few reasons; the Ames Family is one of the most respected families in all of the Arabian horse industry, and they have developed one of the best breeding programs in the nation.”
Being young, McDonald brings to the table a new style of halter training. He has been showing and training halter horses since a very young age with his family. Walking into CRA with the Ames Family’s established decades of success in breeding and halter wins makes his job that much more exciting.
One of the best parts of his new gig, he shares, is working in such an upbeat and happy barn with Stephanie and Laura. Laura Rodel has been with CRA now for a few years, and each year she looks forward to seeing more horses and clients reach success together and is witness to the breeding of incredibly talented horses in all divisions.
When it comes to McDonald, Rodel has nothing but great things to say as well, “Kenny has been a great addition to Cedar Ridge. He’s brought new ideas and solutions to the team that have been very helpful thanks to his extensive knowledge and talent. His personality fits in really well, there’s never a dull moment at work.”
Operations manager Davisson had the same praises for McDonald, “Our team is so much fun! It’s nice to have a group of people that work so well together and help each other out so much. It’s the perfect balance of work and pleasure.”
Looking towards U.S. Nationals, the trio is excited for the rest of the industry to see their latest talent. “We are slowly starting to put our plan together for Nationals,” McDonald says, “but one to keep an eye out for is the Half-Arabian yearling filly, Like No Other CRF, by Arrowhead’s Unlike Any Other and out of the beautiful Baske Afire daughter, HA Sahara Afire.”
Davisson agrees. “It’s always exciting to see the younger stock enter the ring for the first time to see what divisions they’ll be competitive in. Of course, the AEPA, AWPA, and AHPA classes are always goals.”
Continuously improving the quality of its breeding, including the addition of home-bred western pleasure horses, and exceptional teamwork is Cedar Ridge Arabians’ key to success, both at home and in the arena. With the help of this skilled trio and CRA’s ever expanding lesson program, one can bet they will see numerous future national champions within the industry for many years to come.
by CATHERINE COLE FERANDELLI
The love affair between Holly Hill Farm’s owners, Renee Pelzman and Morgan Runyon, and their burnished copper stallion, Fire And Goldd (Afire Bey V x Brassmis), continues to flourish. After acquiring Goldd in 2019, the mother/daughter team witnessed last year, their first foal crop of six purebred and four Half-Arabian babies.
“We were so thrilled with Goldd’s babies! Two of his Half-Arabians, Fools Goldd and Heart of Goldd, we have bred back to give us full siblings,” says Morgan. “The mares had been leased to a friend for the 2021 season and are now checked back in foal for us for 2022 and we could not be more excited!” Two Saddlebred mares, The Sun’s Out and El Baile, have also been key components to Holly Hill Farms’ breeding success. Morgan continues, “The Sun’s Out (Sunny) is by CF First Night Out and out of a magnificent Radiant Sultan daughter, with lines going back to Valley View Supreme, Status Symbol, New Yorker, Supreme Sultan, and Glenview Radiance. El Baile (Honey) is by Kalarama’s Spanish Dancer and out of a spectacular daughter by CH Talk of the Town. Within her bloodlines are six Broodmare Hall of Fame dams: Duchess of Grandview, Oman’s Anacacho Maytime, Crebilly’s Plumb Beautiful, Putting on Airs, Melody O’Lee and CH Supreme Airs. Her pedigree is also chock-full of world class sires including CH Yorktown, New Yorker, CH Valley View Supreme, CH Wing Commander, Supreme Sultan, and Harlem Globetrotter. These Saddlebred crosses with Goldd have been absolutely out of this world, so I decided to add another mare to our group, with our purchase of Landmark’s Dolly Parton (Dolly) who is sired by the great (SA) Tomcat. Dolly is exceptionally refined and easygoing and if you didn’t know better, you’d think she’s Half-Arabian herself! We’re anticipating an exceptionally beautiful and talented 2022 baby.”
After purchasing Goldd from world-class breeder Marty Shea, his first foal crop with Renee and Morgan was the product of a bit of experimentation. Long-time Arabian horse lovers, owners and amateur show exhibitors, the duo had never owned a breeding stallion of Goldd’s caliber. Fortunately, their experiment was a resounding success. “We knew Goldd produced great progeny, having already sired national champions,” Morgan smiles. “What we didn’t know was how he would mesh with our mares and those of the wonderful mare owners who chose to breed to him for the first time. I can’t say we were totally surprised, but we were really thrilled with Goldd’s 2020 crop. They were all so exceptional that we chose to keep some and sell a few to show horse owners who we knew would give them not just a quality life, but the opportunity to blossom and time to grow into great show horses.”
Katie Burr-Solek (Burrline, LLC) of Temecula, California, purchased the then-weanling Half-Arabian chestnut colt, Fools Goldd (x The Sun’s Out), as a future show prospect. Morgan and Renee couldn’t be happier for Katie in joining the ‘Goldden Family’. Heart of Goldd was also sold as a weanling to a new owner in the Midwest. “We can’t wait to see these two dynamic boys in the show ring one day . . . it will be hard not to cry when we get to see them again,” shares Morgan.
Another new owner/breeder to the family last year was Brooksley Sheehe of Tshampagne Arabians. Brooksley is a longtime friend and fellow breeder and now, a true believer in Goldd. “Fire and Goldd complements my mares by throwing stretch, phenomenal attitudes, beauty and athleticism in both purebreds and Half-Arabians. I am so pleased with his foals, I intend to reproduce the same crosses I bred. I adore my Goldd babies!”
Now 14 years old, Goldd is seeing the rise of his second-generation progeny. Boisvert Farms, LLC’s 6-year-old stallion, Barcelona BF, is a national champion park, English pleasure and driving horse with ten young offspring of his own and more to arrive in 2022. Many other Goldden children have also made their mark in the show ring and Goldd is booked to a number of mares who themselves are national champions and national champion producers.
Holly Hill Farms has a strong lineup to represent Goldd at the 2021 U.S. Nationals, including their National Champion, Goldd Standard showing in the Open and AAOTH Half-Arabian Saddle Type Gelding 3 & Over, with Morgan and Steve Heathcott, as well as Open and AATD Pleasure Driving, with trainer Dwane Hankins in the Open. Their reserve national champion Glitter and Goldd will compete in the Half-Arabian Country English Pleasure Junior Horse with Dwane and Morgan in the Maturity, and Goldden Girl will represent in the Half-Arabian Saddle Type Mares 3 & Over, both in Open and AAOTH, as well as English Pleasure Junior Horse with Dwane. “I’ve waited a long time to show these two fillies,” says Morgan, “it’s going to be an exciting end to the year!”
While show ring success is powerful proof of Goldd’s prowess as a breeding stallion, Morgan and Renee are equally committed to their belief in his exceptionalism and treat each of his progeny as its own individual. Morgan examples, “I bought Glitter and Goldd basically sight-unseen from Marty Shea; all I saw was a quick snippet of a video. I brought her home and let her take her time growing up. That seemed to be the right recipe for her. Dwane started her slowly, and we didn’t show her under saddle until very recently. At age five, she has really grown into herself; a big, incredibly bold, ultra-confident mare that possesses all the English pleasure thrills. She personifies why people fall in love with ‘red-headed’ saddle seat horses!”
Holly Hill Farm’s owners are happy to carry the mantle of being curators and ambassadors for the Arabian horse breed and, especially, for Goldd. They welcome visitors to see Goldd and his babies and love making new friends who share their passion for great horses. “When we bought Goldd, Tim Shea said he ‘finally has his own statue and spotlight.’ We intend to keep that light burning brightly!”
sending "shoc" waves through scottsdale
By COLLEEN SCOTT
“It was definitely a highlight of my career,” says Wilson. “And it was really great to be able to share that experience with Vicki who campaigned that horse for so many years and really promoted him. He’s a special stallion and letting him show off for people was really fun.”
That SF Aftershoc still has the charisma, incredible movement and Arabian type at his age shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that has followed his storied career and that of his progeny. “He’s one of a kind,” says Wilson. “He is really athletic and very forward-thinking and moving. He loves to work and still shows up every time with a lot of enthusiasm, whether he is being shown at liberty, worked in Wendell Arena or in the round pen at home.”
Besides being treated to seeing SF Aftershoc in the Liberty class, there were a handful of bystanders who got to see him work under saddle. Midweek during the show, Shan needed to exercise the horse and had Jennifer Hagale (her parents, Jim and Martha Hagale, own the stallion) hop on to ride “just for fun.” After a few canter laps, she dropped the stallion to a trot and it wasn’t long before people recognized him.
“We had people coming up and asking if it was Aftershoc and talking about babies they had by him or babies they had seen,” recalls Wilson. “It was really fun. We even had people come by his stall and ask to meet him.”
Beyond SF Aftershoc’s dynamic Liberty performance, his progeny at the show were also remarkable. They achieved winning results across an incredibly wide range of disciplines, including Park, English Pleasure, Country English Pleasure, English Show Hack, Native Costume, Hunter Pleasure, Western Side Saddle and Halter. The titles were captured by purebreds and Half-Arabians alike, with junior riders, amateurs and professionals aboard.
In total, Aftershoc offspring finished in the top ten 39 times, including four champions: Eye Candy VH, in the Half-Arabian English Pleasure Junior Horse with Jessica Clinton aboard; Foxxy Brown, in the AHPA Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure AOTR; American Hustler, ridden by Haley Waldschmidt, in the Half-Arabian Country English Pleasure JTR 14 and Under; and Captivating Moves, with Katie Long in the Half-Arabian Country English Pleasure JOTR 14 and Under (also named Reserve Champions in JTR). In all, SF Aftershoc sired six Reserve Champions.
“We were really excited to see Aftershoc’s offspring perform so well in multiple disciplines,” says Wilson. “It’s just a great testament to his ability to pass on his athleticism, work ethic, go forward attitude and arena presence. We’re looking forward to continuing to help people select mares to breed to him.”