Words by Samantha Mattocks
During the 2016 show season, Luigi was the horse that everyone loved to watch – a deep, rich bay, this charismatic colt won the hearts of judges and breeders alike as he shone in show-rings across Europe. Now in his three-year old year, Luigi is all ready to not only return to the show-ring once more, but also to make his mark as a sire.
Bred by Danielle Saelens in Belgium, this typey colt is owned by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani of Al Shahania Stud in Qatar. From the moment he was born in 2014, it was clear that Luigi was special, and all around him were aware of his terrific charisma and incredible type. Looking at his pedigree, it is easy to see why Luigi inspired this reaction as his sire is the multiple champion Kanz Albidayer while his dam, Lolita, comes from a proven line of champions; both lines provide impeccable bloodlines.
Kanz Albidayer, owned and bred by Albidayer Stud in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, has already proven to be an exemplary sire. He is fast earning a reputation as a stallion to watch as his progeny prove themselves, time and time again, in the show-ring. Looking at Luigi, it is clear that his sire has passed on his attitude, type, and elegance. A champion on two continents, Kanz Albidayer is sired by Ajman Moniscione (ex Anthea Moniscione by Padrons Ghibli), the exotic son of WH Justice (Magnum Psyche x Vona Sher-Renea by El Sher-Mann), known throughout the world as the ‘champion maker’ due to the extraordinary number of champion-winning progeny that he has sired. Ajman Moniscione doubles up on the Padron (Patron x Odessa by Bright Wings) blood through both sire and dam, thus reinforcing the gentle power of this Luigi.
Kanz Albidayer’s dam was DL Marielle, a full sister to Marajj, and sired by the double World Champion Marwan Al Shaqab, a son in turn of Gazal Al Shaqab (Anaza El Farid x Kajora by Kaborr) and out of the Fame VF (Bey Shah x Raffoleta-Rose by Raffon) daughter, Little Liza Fame. DL Marielle’s dam is the beautiful RGA Kouress, doubling up on the Bey Shah (Bay El Bey Star of Ofir by Ofir) blood as she is by Kouvay Bey (Bey Shah x BA Preciousmemory by Aladdinn) and out of the Eukaliptus (Bandos x Eunice by Comet) daughter, Angophora (ex Belbowrie Baskana by Bask out of Anhar). This combination of Polish bloodlines combined with the Padron infusion in the sireline resulted in one very special stallion, Kanz Albidayer, who has passed on so many of his qualities to Luigi.
Born from Kanz Albidayer’s second foal crop, Luigi’s dam is the exotic grey mare, Lolita, whose pedigree is predominately Egyptian but also with Spanish and Polish lines. Her sire is Om El Bahreyn, bred in the United States by Om El Arab and imported to the UK by Caroline Reid and now owned by Susan McArthur. Om El Bahreyn is sired by CG Balih El Jamaal (ex Bet El Wali NA by El Shaklan out of Bint Dee Moniet-NA), a son of Ali Jamaal (Ruminaja Ali x Heritage Memory by El Magato). This classy grey stallion’s dam is one of the beautiful mares bred at Om El Arab, Om El Benedict. Sired by Sanadik El Shaklan (El Shaklan x Mohena by Hadban Enzahi), Om El Benedict in turn is out of Estopa (Tabal x Uyamia by Barquillo daughter, Om El Beneera (by Sharem El Sheikh by El Shaklan out of Samanna).
Lolita’s dam is SA Donna Karen, and the influence of Estopa can be found again through Lolita’s maternal grandsire, AS Natsir Apal, a son of Ibn Estasha (by Malik by Hadban Enzahi out of Malikah) out of Estasha (Shaker El Masri x Estopa). AS Natsir Apal is a stallion who appears in many great pedigrees, with Luigi being no exception. AS Natsir Apal’s dam is the incredibly beautiful Saskia RJ (Plakat x Barwna by Iridos), a mare who goes back to Crabbet lines and has been an extremely influential mare for the Arabian breed. SA Donna Karen’s dam is Ass-Edouna (Edykt x Saskia RJ), thus reinforcing both the influence of the Polish breeding programme and Saskia RJ.
Foaled in 2014, Luigi met all expectations that his illustrious pedigree promised, and it was the Belgian trainer and handler, Tom Oben, who first spotted the young colt. It was he who contacted Sheikh Mohamed, who saw the potential of Luigi as a future sire for Al Shahania Stud, and he was swiftly purchased.
Luigi’s first show was the 2015 Tulip Cup, where he was named unanimous Yearling Colt Champion. From there, he went to Vichy, where he added a second Gold Yearling Colt title to his name. At the All Nations’ Cup in Aachen, Luigi was named Bronze Yearling Colt Champion, and then took Silver at the European Championships. He finished his yearling year by being awarded the Bronze Yearling Colt World Championship at the Salon du Cheval in Paris.
In his two-year-old year, Luigi continued to shin in the show-ring. At the Menton Arabian Horse Show, he was named Silver Junior Male Champion and at the Arabian Horse Organization World Cup in August, Luigi was rewarded with the Gold Junior Male Championship. He returned to Aachen once more, where he went one better than previously, taking the Silver Junior Male Championship, and at the Europeans, he won his class in some style, his trot becoming even bigger as the crowd cheered for him. He added the European Silver Junior Male Championship to his collection. From there, he went to the toughest stage of all, the Paris World Championships, and there added another Silver title.
His handler, Tom, is passionate about Luigi and his qualities. “He is a horse who never lets you down,” he says. “He will always try to please, and he just loves the audience and their applause! He is a real show horse and he is always a pleasure to show.”
More important than the show-ring, however, is the fact that Luigi is available at stud this season. Open to outside mares, as well as the incredible collection owned by Al Shahania, this is a wonderful chance to breed to a superstar colt with a very bright future.