Arabian Horse Times

Calendar spotlight

Al Malikk




The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears. Arabian Proverb Possessing the bloodlines of multiple aristocrats impacting Arabian horse history, Al Malikk is carving his own path to greatness.

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.
Calendar spotlight

Cedar Ridge Arabians




Established by Dick and Lollie Ames over 50 years ago, and now managed by their daughter, Lara, Cedar Ridge Arabians sits on 500+ acres of green pastures with a one-of-a-kind facility in Jordan, Minnesota, not far from Minneapolis.

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.