Words by Samantha Mattocks Photography by Renato Sorvilo
The incredibly showy two-year-old deep bay colt Luigi graces the cover of our second edition of The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine. Bred by Danielle Saelens in Belgium, this typey colt is owned by Al Shahania Stud in Qatar, and this edition sees him going for Gold at the Paris World Championships.
It was the Belgian handler and trainer Tom Oben that first spotted Luigi and contacted Al Shahania Stud about the young colt, who was not even a year old at the time H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Thani also saw the potential of this young colt, recognising that Luigi would be important for the future of Al Shahania Stud – firstly, as a show horse, and then later as a sire. Sheikh Mohammed’s early belief in this has been well placed and, as we head to Paris, it is time to celebrate this superb young colt.
Luigi’s sire is the brilliant Kanz Albidayer, owned and bred by Albidayer Stud in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Looking at Luigi, it is clear to see that his sire has passed on his charisma, 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), and 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. Sired in turn 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 is out of 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 Karan, 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 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 Karan’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 not long before Al Shahania Stud purchased him. His first show was the Tulip Cup, where Luigi 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.
Now in his two-year-old year, Luigi has continued to shin in the show-ring. At the Menton Arabian Horse Show this summer, 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 last year, 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, and he is very much set for the stage of Paris.
Speaking about Luigi, Tom tells me: “Luigi is a horse that never lets you down. 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.”
Luigi is maturing into a very correct, showy young horse, and he is already showing the same signs of being a top show horse, following in his sire’s footsteps; Kanz Albidayer won titles across Europe and the Middle East, including Gold twice at the Dubai International Arabian Horse Championships. Surely the Middle East is the natural next stop for Luigi, where he can impress a whole new audience.
The natural path for Luigi, however, is that of a sire, and he has some of the most beautiful mares in the world to cover at Al Shahania Stud. It is clear that his future is bright – very bright – and we all wish him luck for the Paris World Championships. In such a vast arena, Luigi is sure to shine once more.