The Breeders Interview – Monika Sax, Sax Arabians
In every edition of The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine, we speak to a selection of breeders from around the world about their experiences and successes with their breeding programme. We are delighted to share some of these incredibly insightful features online.
The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine (TABM): Please share with our readers a short background to your farm.
Monika: Sax Arabians is located in South Germany, one hour away from Munich City and only thirty minutes away from Munich Airport.
Reinhard bought his first Arabian horse in 1988. Since that time, he has been breeding Arabian horses, consistently and successfully.
ESPANNJA AL JUSTICE (Al Justice x Espanna Estopa). Credit M Groge.
TABM: What have been the bloodlines that you have focused on, and why did you choose them? Has this focus changed over the years?
Monika: In the first ten years, the focus was to breed straight Russian. After then, we thought why not breed our straight Russian mare to something else? So, we bred Menascha (Menes x Nascha by Neman) to Essteem (Fame VF x Espressa by El Shaklan). We had seen Essteem several times at Arabian horse shows and we fell in love to this elegant and very powerful Triple Crown Winner. So, in 1997, we decided to breed our mare Menascha to the golden chestnut Essteem. The result was the birth of our amazing filly Essteema. A new era had begun.
From the moment that Essteema was born, we were more open-minded for other bloodlines and stallions, and so we tried to find good stallions to breed to our Russian mares.
Our focus was more to the Egyptian lines and for that reason, we leased Kyro KA (Ansata Iemhotep x Desire RB by Thee Desperado) at our farm. We also leased another stallion that we liked a lot, Laman HVP (Don El Chall x Padrons Love Song by Padron). From Laman, we bred two of the best daughters from him, Lamana (ex Miriam II by Mirok Monpelou out of Merana) and Lamera (ex Merana by Menes out of Nascha). We lost Lamera too early through colic and our lovely, famous Lamana was eventually sold to Qatar. However, we have her fantastic son Lamandro (by EKS Alihandro by Marwan Al Shaqab out of OFW Psylouette), so we do have her bloodlines for our future breeding programme. We are very happy about this, because it was not easy to let Lamana go!
The Reserve World Champion and multiple international champion Khidar (Ansata Sinan x Elizja by Esta-Ghalil) put an incredible stamp on our wonderful mares, producing great daughters as well as stallions such as Al Amryan (ex Al Amyra by BJ Thee Mustafa out of Krushinka) and Europe Al Khidar, a son of our Triple Crown winner Essteema. Al Amryan has since been sold to Jordan but we still have frozen semen. Of Khidar’s Sax daughters, we have many beautiful grey mares that, for us, have the beautiful Khidar – or I would say, Ansata Sinan – look, which we really like a lot! The great thing about Khidar is that it doesn’t matter what mare we breed to him, we will always get a grey Arabian!
The elegance and power of WH Justice (Magnum Psyche x Vona Sher-Renea by El Sher-Mann) worked very well with our mares while from Al Lahab (Laheeb x The Vision HG by Thee Desperado), we have some amazing get. One of the best is Al Milan (ex Milena by Ibn Narav out of Miriam II), a fantastic stallion with great character. His sons, Al Marid (ex Bafra B by El Nabila B) and Monopol Al Milan (ex Monah by Vympel), are two great successors and they are standing at stud.
Today, we have greys in the stable and so we will be happy to get some colour back! With Lamandro, we hope to have a stallion that is absolutely outstanding. He is tall, elegant, powerful, and beautiful. We have the feeling – and a lot of hope – that he will be a perfect horse for our future stallion barn.
With Kahil Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab x OFW Mishaahl by Mishaah), we bred Miss Marenga (Psytadel x Marenga by Menes), and we are very proud of the colt foal born this year, Mahil Al Marenga. We are especially thankful for this colt as we lost our multiple international champion mare Marenga, his granddam, in May this year. She was 28 years old and was one of the first mares at Sax Arabians.
ESSKHIJA BINT ESSTEEMA (Khidar-x-Essteema). Credit Sax Arabians.
TABM: What were your breeding goals when you first started? Have they changed over the years?
Monika: The straight Russian stallion Bagdad (Naftalin x Medianka by Nabeg) was Reinhard´s first stallion at stud. He was a very successful horse on the racetrack and in the show-ring. The racing scene changed a lot with the Manganate (Saint Laurent x Mandragore by Dragon) bred horses and Reinhard always said that this is not what he wanted to breed. As we lost a horse during a finish on the Gotha Racetrack, the decision was easy and immediately, we stopped racing our horses. We sold some riding horses, where the owners had fun and time to train and ride them. Some were very successful at endurance riding, and we were very happy to hear from the proud owners about their success.
The birth of Essteema set us on a different path and we knew that we wanted to breed excellent Arabian horses to a high level, to continue our breeding programme to a high standard, and to be able to sell our Arabians all over the world to be a part of new breeding stables and farms. The best of the best, we present at Arabian horse shows to let breeders, old and new, know about our latest breeding results.
The great thing is that through the Arabian horse, we have met many people around the world and not only did we find good clients, but many nice friendships were also made.
ESSTEENA (Khidar x Essteema). Credit Sax Arabians.
TABM: Please share key moments that stand out in the early stages of your breeding programme?
Monika: There have been many, many key moments; the most memorable was, for sure, the birth of Essteema!
TABM: When was it that you realised that you were a successful breeder? And what, in your opinion, defines a ‘breeder’?
Monika: With the Triple Crown winner filly, Essteema. Then, everybody else knew that we were consistently breeding successful Arabian horses.
As a breeder you not only love the horses while they are successful in the show-ring – you love and take care of all of them all of the time! We try our best to keep and treat our horses well, and we very much enjoy them at home as well as at the shows.
LAMANDRO EKS (Alihandro x Lamana). Credit Sax Arabians.
TABM: As a breeder, how do you feel about the showing world? Do you think that changes are needed to celebrate breeders more?
Monika: I don’t know what to say and write – it is too complicated. I have no idea how to change things and, the world of the Arabian horse is, at the end, a small world. There are too many points going through my head and I can’t write them down.
MARNICA. a black filly by MARTICE a son of AL JUSTICE. Credit Sax Arabians.
TABM: Do you think that breeders are a dying breed, pardon the pun?
Monika: For sure! Breeders have the risk and the fun. They have the costs and they have to take care about all the horses that they bred.
The breeder is the start of everything. In case you have bred an excellent horse, these days you need an excellent trainer and handler to present your horse. Otherwise, you won´t have the same chance as others.
Celebrating 25 years of Sax Arabians. Essteema (Essteem-x-Menascha) with Reinhard and Monika Sax. Credit Henrike Hörmann.
TABM: Do you think that breeders and dedicated breeding programmes still have a place in the world today?
Monika: A breeder has to be strong and believe in his breeding programme. He also needs a lot of power to run his farm, big or small, it doesn’t matter. You need a good background and a good team!
TABM: Over the years, what have been your key successes, perhaps the ones that define your farm?
TABM: And finally, what is next for you and your breeding programme?
Monika: Next for us is the German Nationals and some of our horses will also take part in the All Nations’ Cup, both in Aachen this month. And then, it is time to prepare for next year’s foals!