Khadraj had already achieved an excellent show record himself, winning the 1991 Brazilian National Champion Foal at Side title and Canadian National Championships in both Western Pleasure Open and AAOTR, with six additional top ten honors in halter and performance. He has also proven to be an even more successful as a sire, with eight national championships, six reserves, and 73 top ten titles earned by his progeny through 2006. Larry was looking for a stallion whose bloodlines would complement those of his beloved head stallion, MPA Giovanni (Da Vinci FM x Glitzy, by FS Ritz), the 2005 U.S. National Champion Futurity Colt whose Fame VF/Bey Shah sire line crosses with a Padron/Crabbet mare.
Khadraj NA (Ponomarev x Khatreena NA, by *Padron) offered a double-Salon sire line with a second helping of *Padron and a female tail line back to Lady Anne Blunt’s desert-bred Crabbet Park foundation mare, Rodania. In 2007, Larry was traveling, promoting Giovanni, when agent Brad Gallún contacted him with good news, Khadraj was available for purchase. Since Larry already had some Khadraj mares, believing in the cross, he jumped at the opportunity, and a deal was negotiated.
It didn’t take long for Khadraj to fit in at Jerland. “We put him in the stall right next to Giovanni,” Larry recalls. “They both reached up and touched noses over the top of the stall and nickered to each other. That was it. They never screamed and hollered at each other; they never kicked the stall walls.” Larry was thrilled with that development and became even fonder of Khadraj. A deep respect was amplified by the end of the 2007 show season; Khadraj offspring won three more national championships and three reserves, with a host of top ten winners. It was a prelude to an eventual tide of champions that have made Khadraj the all-time Leading Sire of national winners in the Western Pleasure division.
Larry’s dreams for Giovanni to win a national senior stallion championship were shattered when he suffered a broken leg shortly after winning the 2008 Scottsdale Champion Stallion title, necessitating seven years of rehabilitation in California. Broken-hearted, Larry credits Giovanni with telling him “to stop feeling sorry for himself and get back in the game.” With Khadraj continuing to produce champion after champion for Jerland, many from Giovanni mares, it was easy for the excitement to build anew. According to Larry, when Giovanni finally returned to the farm, he and Khadraj recognized each other immediately. “Their relationship started all over again,” Larry recalls. “They had an unspoken love.”
Many of the Jerland clients and friends have remarked about the depths of Larry’s emotions where his horses are concerned. They saw Khadraj and Larry as extensions of each other and recognized the bond that grew between them. Khadraj was just the fuel that Larry had needed to rocket Jerland Farms into the upper echelon of Arabian breeding operations. In turn, Larry used his sound insights and steadfast belief in Khadraj to promote him, propelling the stallion into the stratosphere as a sire of great Arabian halter and performance horses. It was a perfect example of the sum being much greater than the already significant parts. Larry’s inexhaustible passion and enthusiasm fanned the flames, and the two became inseparable in the hearts and minds of the Arabian community.
“Khadraj was a spectacular horse,” says Aljassimya Farm manager Bart Van Buggenhout. “He was well put together, beautifully bred, and above all, Larry’s great love and pride.” Trainer Justin Cowden agrees, “Larry truly wants what’s best for the Arabian horse and the people that love them. I don’t think there was a better place for Khadraj to land for the latter part of his life, and it was clear to see he was the King of the farm and adored by Larry.”