Mallorca, Spain | June 2010

From Menton, France to Cape Town, South Africa and back to Mallorca, Spain my summer travels are in full swing. My reasoning is simple, I do not want to miss anything, I want to see all the horses, visit all the people, and enjoy the countries.  So I go.  July will be different.  I will be in the States most of the time, and on several of my journeys family members will accompany me.  So, back to Mallorca, and a quick check in with the famed breeding program of Marieta Salas.

Flying south from Amsterdam one travels over the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean before arriving over the lush mountainous island that is known to be the most beautiful spots in an area known for its beauty; Palma de Mallorca.  Marieta meets me at the airport and we are off to Ses Planes.  Although tired from my overnight flight from Africa, and a layover in Amsterdam, Marieta asked me if I wanted to see the horses now or wait.  Absolutely now.

Marieta knows her horses. After breeding horses for 40 years she knows her dam lines, she understands the sense of time with them, those that are ready now, and those that will “take some time”.  I enjoy listening to her.  Even after all my years of breeding horses it is important to hear someone that has enjoyed the success she has, remind us in the virtue of patience. Patience is a must in horse breeding.  I see Abha Palma’s yearling full brother – very good and other Marwan children.  I visualize the future.  I remember seeing Abha Palma and Abha Qatar at the same age.  Now as World and International super stars I am happy to have seen them early on, and the illustration of understanding patience and waiting.  It is nice to remember, in a world where so many horses are born for commercial reasons; to be great yearlings, that both of these now legendary horses really did not hit their stride until they were 2 years of age.  I saw more pretty horses including 2 of my own.  JA Ultima by Besson has a WH Justice filly at her side and her Abha Majdi yearling filly looks very promising.

The following morning, like every morning I am in Mallorca, I like to wake up early and jog through the lanes of horses and citrus trees.  I cut through the fences and jog across Marieta’s father’s property where the roads are lined with oleanders in full bloom.  Jasmine scent fills the air.  This is an amazing place and like so many of my stories I am filled with sense of privilege, how lucky it has been to do what I do and where I do it.  Onward, I have to get my run over with we have guests coming in the afternoon and we need to get organized.

The showing of the horses in the afternoon was a combination of breeding stock and young show horses.  The client wants both; to have show horses now but also to breed the best show horses later.  By the end of the afternoon 2 horses have been selected, both of them dear to my heart.  One, a 2 year old filly by El Perfecto, named Abha Raipur.  Raipur is a full sister to Abha Gali, a beautiful mare I showed to US Reserve National Champion Mare in 2000.  I see similar successes in store for Raipur.  The other selection is Abha Mudira.  Mudira is a Marwan daughter from his first foal crop, when Marwan stood at Marieta’s as a 2 year old.  She herself has been an outstanding show horse but it is as a mother that she may become best known; she is the dam of Abha Qalams, who is amassing a huge following in the United States as I prepare her for the Nationals this fall.  It is fitting that the new owner of Abha Mudira is also the owner of Abha Qalams, Al Shahania Farm.

The visit to Marieta’s came to an end and I was off to Paris for a few days before returning to America.  But first, I need to make a call to Christian Nagel to get Abha Raipur shipped to America – it’s going to be show time!