Not further than on the 19th of August visitors of Michałów Stud’s website could encounter an unprecedented fact: 6 months prior to the next breeding season the finalization of negotiations with Ariela Arabians on the return of the stallion LAHEEB 1996 to Michałów Stud was officially announced. It is worthy to point out that such outrightness is not yet common practice among other Polish studs.
Laheeb performed his duties as chief sire at Michałów Stud in the breeding season of 1999, which resulted in an extensive get of 33 offspring in 2000 (and a year later 14 other foals were
born in Janów Podlaski). The son of Imperial Imdal and AK Latifa by Ibn Moniet el Nefous splendidly fulfilled his task, giving several good sons, such as: ZŁOCIEŃ grey, 2000 (out of Zaleta by Piechur) – Polish National Champion Colt; and multichampions EMILIUSZ grey, 2000 (out of Emocja by Monogramm) and EDIN grey, 2000 (out of Edina by Egon); as well as a superb lot of daughters, among which the brightest shining pearls are: EMIRA grey (out of Embra by Monogramm) – Polish National Champion Filly & Best in Show, All Nations Cup Champion Filly, Polish National Champion Mare, as well as European Reserve Champion Mare; GALILEA grey (out of Georgia by Monogramm) – Polish National &
World Champion Mare; EMESA grey (out of Etopka by Eukaliptus) – Bełżyce Champion Mare; ELOIDA grey (out of Ekspedycja by Faksyfikat) – a stunning sensation on the showrings in South Africa; ESTORIA grey (out of Ekspozycja by Eukaliptus); EGEA grey (out of Egna by Eukaliptus); PUSTYNNA DROGA grey (out of Pustynna Tarcza by Pamir) – Ströhen International Reserve Champion Mare; and WIEŻA BABEL grey (out of Wiaźma by Arbil) – Spring Show Champion Filly & Best in Show. In the twice smaller Janów group of “Laheebs” appear such personages as: POGANIN grey, 2001 (out of Pohulanka by Pepton) – the reigning Polish National Champion Stallion; PERSEUSZ grey, 2001 (out of Pepesza by Eukaliptus) – Poznań International Champion Colt; SIKLAWA grey (out of Siewka by Eldon) – Polish National Reserve Champion Filly, sold recently at the Pride of Poland Sale for 100,000 EURO; ARIADNE grey (out of Argentyna by Partner); PERCEPCJA grey (out of Perturbacja by Eukaliptus); or SALAMINA grey (out of Sari by Alegro).
The mere information that Laheeb is a typical representative of the sire line of SAKLAWI I d.b. and the line’s main progenitor ANSATA IBN HALIMA (by Nazeer, from whom stem all of the most important branches of the “Egytpian Saklavi line”) will only be a formality to all those interested. However an interesting feature is the fact that his pedigree (as the pedigrees of many Egyptian Arabians) is based not only on the strong and multilateral inbred to NAZEER, but also relies twice on the latter’s two most valuable sons – Ansata Ibn Halima and Morafic. Hence Laheeb’s sire, Imperial Imdal, originates on the spear side from Ansata Ibn Halima and on the distaff side from Morafic, while his dam – AK Latifa – the opposite way around: on the spear side from Morafic, while on the distaff side from Ansata Ibn Halima.
Multichampion (twice Israeli National Champion Stallion and European Reserve Champion among others) Laheeb is referred to on his breeder’s website, Ariela Arabians, as the “first STRAIGHT EGYPTIAN ever to be used at a Polish Arabian horse State Stud”. It also has to be noted that the use of the then very young stallion in Poland only added him splendor and charisma. Laheeb’s most renown “product” –apart from the Polish horses mentioned above – is AL LAHAB grey, 1999 (out of The Vision by Thee Desperado) bred by Ariela Arabians, wielder of the titles of European Champion Colt, as well as All Nations Cup & World Champion. Quite promising are also his full brothers: AL HADIYAH grey, 2005 and AL RAHEEB grey, 2006. Their dam, the black THE VISION HG (US) 1994 by Thee Desperado out of Belle Star by The Minstril – inbred very strongly to the son of the legendary Ruminaja Ali, the stallion The Minstril, with a noticeable contribution of the stallion The Egyptian Prince – is currently probably the most valuable broodmare in the Middle East, as well as being the dam of the bay AL MARAAM 1998 (by Imperial Imdal), used at Michałów Stud during the last two breeding seasons – which makes him a half-brother on the spear side to this articles title figure.
After Laheeb’s success during his Michałów debut it is more than sure that also this time this superb sire will receive a wide (and perhaps even larger than before) book of mares, which will be able to generate a very significant number of intriguing, class personages. Without a doubt (although a wild guess) this lot will include such exquisite Michałów mares as: Emanda, El Dorada, Droga Mleczna, Egzonera, Elgina, El Haza, Embra, Emigra, Emocja, Emmona, Endorra, Ernera, Erotika, Eryka, Esmirna, Espadrilla, Ewina, Felicjana, Gailardia, Georgia, Gotlandia, Kasjopea, Luanda, Nina, Panika, Palmira, Peczora, Primawera, Pustynna Róża, Tonacja, Wilga, Zagrobla, Złota Orda, Zmowa, Zofiówka and Brandy. We can presume that the end of the last decade of the 21st century should once again belong to Michałów’s youth, after a couple of drought years and experiments with Galba.
However another matter is the fact that already today the broodmares from the Saklawi I line, which include the daughters of Laheeb, Emigrant, Ararat, Wiliam or Sanadik El Shaklan, count up to 20 individuals and will soon be joined by the younger daughters of Emigrant and most of all – the daughters of Gazal Al Shaqab. In the next couple of years this group will be further enlarged – which is unavoidable – by the best female progeny of Galba and Al Maraam, which in the next 5 years will make up for 1/3 of the Michałów herd, with a decisively growing trend. Another massive use of Laheeb might cause that in the near future (about the year 2013) just the Saklavi mares from the sire line of Saklawi I d.b. might constitute for almost half the posts of Michałów’s elite mare herd. The question is, whether this is good or bad, whether such meaningful domination of only one sire line among the female population of a given herd and the narrowing of the genetic pool will allow that lot to retain its versatility, plasticity and the ability to generate all necessary creative impulses on the breeding plane? Although diverse things will be contributed to breeding by the daughters of Laheeb, Emigrant and Galba and different by Gazal Al Shaqab and Al Maraam, they still represent the same branches and origins. I do not judge or prejudge in the favor of certain actions, however it is perhaps worth to give it some thought beforehand.
On the other hand, if we were to bet on a sire, it is definitely better to choose one tested as positively as Laheeb. Whereas by a skillful selection of other stallions we can in a certain way neutralize the absolute domination of only one sire line and diversify the herd. Hence it’s a pity that so far it was not possible to import to Poland a valuable representative of the world-renown sire line of Mirage d.b., as he would definitely help in the process of enriching the genetic pool of our native herd – as well as the fact that he superbly crosses with certain branches of the Saklawi I d.b. sire line, especially those of Padron. Just as vital would be collateral actions strengthening other Saklavi lines: Ilderim d.b. and Ibrahim d.b., as well as the “Amurath line” of Bairactar d.b. Such actions should bring a very positive effect.
For a finishing touch – a digression. Among private breeding in Poland are only two – if I’m not mistaken – daughters of Laheeb so far: ET CETERA grey, 2000 (out of Escoveda by Pamir, bred by Michałów) and BARBA grey, 2001 (out of Baza by Eukaliptus, bred by Janów Podlaski) – dam of BAEZA grey, 2006 by Pesal. The next years can enlarge this number, something which will definitely take place, as the private breeders invest in their horses more and more money and do so more boldly. A question appears, whether the interested private breeders will also be able to make use of Laheeb’s service while his stay at Michałów? That would be a good move, as it would definitely raise the chances of our national breeding in the confrontation with foreign teams at the most prestigious arenas of international shows.