Al Jood Stud

By Denise Hearst

North of Doha, Qatar, up in the Al Khor region, lies the sprawling Al Jood Stud. Exotic animals — ostriches, emus, oryx, llamas, and various species of gazelles — share the farm, living in natural habitats. Fields of corn and eggplant, long green avenues of Tamarisk trees, and plenty of pastures complete the peaceful farm, home to Mohamed Jaidah’s Arabian horses. Well, home to most of them, anyway … Mohamed also has several horses in the U.S. and Europe.

It’s a young program, relatively speaking, founded just nine years ago, when Mohamed, like many other horse lovers in the world, first laid eyes on the Shaqab stallions, Gazal Al Shaqab and Marwan Al Shaqab. “I fell in love with them both,” he says. “They are what an Arabian stallion should look like. They give this impression of being war horses when they are in front of you … you cannot ignore them. In starting the love for the Arabian horse, Al Shaqab and His Highness Sheikh Hamad the father Emir had a big influence on me. It was his vision to start Al Shaqab, and then he bred Gazal Al Shaqab and Marwan Al Shaqab, who in turn put Qatar on the map when it came to the Arabian horse. And of course, we can’t forget Al Adeed Al Shaqab (Ansata Halim Shah x Sundar Alisayyah) who, in the straight Egyptian world, was revolutionary. These three horses were the foundation of my love for the Arabian horse.” As a result of that introduction, Mohamed maintains dual programs, breeding straight Egyptians and modern show horse purebreds.

“I have always loved horses. In the 1970s, my father built a farm for our family near the town of Al Khor, north of Doha, where we spent the weekends. My father was a nature and animal lover, and we had several different kinds of animals: cows, sheep, and of course horses, mainly Half-Arabians.

“Eventually, I started following what Al Shaqab was doing, and I began to fall more and more in love with Arabian horses. And, of course, for someone who was born in the eighties, the book and the movie The Black Stallion played a big role in bringing out the love of the Arabian horses. At one point I was like, ‘OK, I really need to own some Arabian horses.’ I was searching online when I saw an advertisement for Al Shaqab. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was when I went there for a visit that I saw my first purebred Arabian horses.”

As a new breeder, Mohamed wasn’t shy about seeking advice from established breeders. “I have admiration for the many breeders who have spent their lives perfecting their image of the Arabian horse,” he says. “I relied on Christie Metz of Silver Maple Farm and Shawn Crews of Arabians Ltd. in America for advice while developing my Egyptian program. They took the time to explain their breeding programs to me and taught me about the different strains and lines in Egyptian breeding. Of course, I deeply appreciate Judy Sirbasku, who has been among the most faithful breeders and custodians of Egyptian horses and has trusted me with the stallion Alixir (The Elixir x The Prevue).

“At the time I went to America to study Egyptian bloodlines, I had already developed an appreciation for The Minstril (Ruminaja Ali x Bahila) and Thee Desperado (The Minstril x AK Amiri Asmarr), who were not heavily represented in straight Egyptian horses in the Middle East. I chose to concentrate my attention there. At that time, Gazal was the epitome of the Arabian horse for me, and the other Arabian horse that I thought, for me, represented the perfect Arabian horse was Alixir. I always wanted Alixir’s blood in my program. And then I heard through the grapevine that Arabians Ltd. was ready to part with Alixir, so I immediately called Shawn Crews and told her, ‘If Alixir is going anywhere, he’s coming to me. He’s not going anywhere else!’ And now Alixir is with Al Jood. He is the foundation of our straight Egyptian program and is standing with Giacomo Capacci in Italy. Alixir is happy in Italy; I mean, who wouldn’t be? So for now, he’ll stay there, and in a year or two, we’ll consider bringing him to Qatar.

“One of the things I really am interested in exploring is using Alixir on the purebreds — an opportunity he hasn’t had in the past,” continues Mohamed. “For the most part, the two divisions of the Al Jood breeding program are kept separate. However, my intention is to continue breeding my purebreds for open pedigrees and then to introduce straight Egyptian blood selectively to continue to elevate the quality of the herd. This year we bred the first purebred mare to Alixir, and we’ve got plans in 2018 for a few more purebred mares that will be bred to him later this year. His daughters are the backbone of our mare band. His son Qaysar Al Jood is standing at Tolra Training Center in Spain, and is also available to outside mares through Om El Arab, our U.S. agent for his services.

“Our other straight Egyptian stallion, Marajh KA, is the perfect outcross for our Alixir mares, and his bloodlines are also typically not available in the Middle East. He is standing at Wilson Training Center in the U.S.”

Two of the straight Egyptian mares that are important to the Al Jood program are Judy Sirbasku’s exotic Rhapsody In Black (Thee Desperado x Aliashahm RA) and Miss Maggie Mae (The Minstril x Bint Magidaa). “I was lucky to buy embryo rights to Rhapsody In Black in 2012 in order to breed her to Alixir,” says Mohamed. “The result was our young stallion Qaysar Al Jood. Then in 2014, I purchased one of the last embryos produced by the incomparable Miss Maggie Mae, with the result being her Alixir daughter Malak Al Jood.”

In the Al Jood Egyptian program, there are a few horses that descend from Ansata Halim Shah, but more prominently from The Minstril (often linebred) and Simeon Shai, and with Marajh KA, he has a stallion that is linebred to Sultann. What is special to Mohamed about these particular lines, we wondered. “As with my purebred program, it was important to me that I collect and use lines that were rare or lesser used in the Middle East,” he explains. “The Minstril and Thee Desperado fulfilled my expectations as individuals and as sires. Marajh KA is the perfect outcross for our mares, and his bloodlines are typically not available in the Middle East. Marajh KA is by Makhnificent KA, a Sultann grandson with additional lines to Sameh through Ibn Hafiza. The dam line traces back to Rose Of Sharon, who was imported to Egypt from England to perpetuate the family of her mother Rodania, a desert-bred exported to Crabbet Stud.”