(AL AYAD X BARAAQA AA)
Owned by Baha Partners, LLC
by JEFF WALLACE with THERESA CARDAMONE
A shimmering silver coat, tall, elegant, and highly sought after, Baha AA is a stallion on the move. And like all of the great ones, he knows it. Baha exudes an air of self-confidence and wisdom one can see in his gaze. Large, luminous, dark eyes and a beautifully sculpted head hold the viewer transfixed, unable to look away. And even though still young, like all of the truly great ones, his sense of his significance has been well-earned, traveling the world from the deserts of Israel to the show rings of Europe and America. This is an Arabian stallion of the finest quality, the distinction of carrying the prized blood of the world’s best straight Egyptian breeding, exemplary breed type, and correct conformation all contribute to his uniqueness. Every now and then, time and circumstance come together to position a stallion as a future king of the breed. The moment is upon us. This is Baha AA.
The 2011 Israeli National Champion Colt, Baha AA was bred in the desert of Israel by Chen Kedar at her Ariela Arabians. He is sired by Al Ayad and out of the Laheeb daughter Baraaqa AA, a granddaughter of the highly regarded foundation mare, The Vision HG. A half interest in the straight Egyptian colt was sold to a partnership organized by Avi Aharoni when he was a yearling. Two years later, the partnership bought Chen out and Baha AA started a new phase of his life. He racked up impressive mid-90’s scores, earning the titles of Gold Champion Stallion at the International Orientalica show in Germany, Silver Champion Stallion at the Sint-Oedenrode Show in the Netherlands, and Gold Champion Stallion at the European Egyptian Event in 2013 in Lanaken, Belgium.
Eventually, Baha AA was leased to Raymond Mazzei and Inga Applequist, who brought him to America and successfully campaigned him in the United States throughout 2014. Most impressive was his unanimous choosing as the Supreme Champion Stallion at the U.S.A. Egyptian Event. The community of American breeders responded by filling his book with some of their finest mares.
Throughout his campaign, Jeff Sloan was keeping a keen eye on Baha, and in the spring of 2014 he made a trip to Southern California, specifically to see the stallion firsthand. “I grew up breeding and showing straight Egyptian horses,” Jeff recalls. “We formed Talaria Farms in Michigan in 1982 with a focus on straight Egyptians. My favorite horse was always Shaikh Al Badi, who was here in Michigan. I visited him often and became quite familiar with the power of the genetics that straight Egyptians offered.
“My first major horse show was the Egyptian Event in 1982 and our first major show wins were there in 1983 and 1984, so I have always been on the lookout for the right straight Egyptian stallion to highlight in our program,” Sloan continued. “Upon seeing Baha for the first time and then watching him win at the 2014 Egyptian Event, I felt he could be the one. It was clear to me that he could be a stallion who, like Ruminaja Ali and Imperial Imdal, could break out and win not just in straight Egyptian competition, but against all comers.” Jeff believed that Baha could be that rare straight Egyptian stallion that could compete in any show ring and be highly desired as a source of blood for breeders of all strains to infuse into their programs. It was all lining up. The timing was right.
“Expectations have shifted around the world and there is more interest from breeders across the board to add in Egyptian characteristics,” explained Sloan. “Baha can do that, just as Ruminaja Ali did as a sire before him which led to Ali Jamaal and Gazal Al Shaqab, arguably two of the most important sires in the breed’s history. And now, as interest in straight Egyptian breeding continues to grow, many shows are adding classes specifically for Egyptian-breds, further broadening and accelerating the interest in the genetics that Baha can offer.”
With Baha AA’s ability to win in show rings around the world, the fact that diverse mare owners are attracted to the stallion, the exceptional foals already sired by Baha, and the arrival of an outstanding group of foals in the U.S. in the spring of this year, led to Jeff’s underlying interest in Baha and a call from David Boggs with a ringing endorsement and commitment. The purchase of Baha by Jeff and his partners, Norm Pappas and Jamie Jacob, took place in July of this year.
Now, expertly managed by Jeff, Baha AA is standing in Scottsdale, Ariz., at David Boggs’ Midwest Training and Breeding Centre as he prepares for the next chapter of his rapidly unfolding story. No one is more pleased about the arrangement than Boggs. “I am truly honored and excited to have this straight Egyptian stallion under our care at Midwest,” he said. “His breeder, Ariela Arabians, is one of the top producers of straight Egyptian horses in the world. I am thrilled to handle Baha AA for Jeff Sloan and his partners and to be working collaboratively with Jeff on yet another emerging superstar. It is always exciting when Jeff and I team up to campaign an important horse, and I am sure that great success is ahead for the owners and for the breed.” Boggs’ enthusiasm was obvious. “Baha can do it all,” he says. “He can be it all. He excites me because he is so versatile and so many doors will open for him. He can show and win against straight Egyptians and yet can also run with the big boys in open competition; and I am more and more convinced, given the already overwhelming demand we are seeing for Baha as a sire, that top breeders around the world will successfully utilize his treasured genetics in their breeding programs.”
Baha AA is the rare kind of stallion who doesn’t have to strike a halter pose, though he’s proven to do that well, to be seen at his best. He is so well made that even when relaxed in his stall, he is a modern model Arabian. He exudes the level and style of breed type that is demanded of top winners today. Jeff knew that there is no mystery to this observation; it is a built-in product of his breeding. Baha AA’s sire, Al Ayad, was virtually unknown to the world until selected by master-breeder Chen Kedar for her collection of straight Egyptian mares at Ariela. The result was a small group of Al Ayad horses, like Baha AA, who are genetically predisposed to have a positive effect on future breeding results. When the beautiful 3/4 brothers Al Ayal AA and Baha AA were born, Chen planned to keep them both for future breeding. However, intense interest was shown in both colts, and eventually Chen was persuaded to part with some, and then all of Baha AA.
Al Ayad descends from the sire line of Nazeer through Mahomed and to Ibrahim. His pedigree is riddled with further line breeding to some of the most important horses in Arabian history: *Morafic, *Ansata Ibn Halima, Hadban Enzahi and Ruminaja Ali—vibrant veins that continue to pump the essence of their ancestors into today’s generation. Baha AA provides the perfect conduit to keep that flow going. A shining example is 2014 Israeli Gold Champion Junior Mare Elica, the graceful grey daughter of Baha and the Safeen mare EAI Safolima.
Baha AA’s paternal brother Al Ayal AA is proof that Baha’s ability to reproduce at the highest level is no fluke. Al Ayal AA is out of Ariela’s premiere broodmare The Vision HG, a daughter of Thee Desperado who is also on Baha AA’s tail female line. The Vision HG and her daughters have had tremendous impact on successful breeding programs around the world. The Vision has an amazing presence and an expression that is second to none. She is an elusive, deep thinking mare, something really special. Her precious blood populates the pedigrees of many of the best individuals the breed has ever seen. It is a gift that keeps on giving through Baha AA and his brother.
Like Baha, Al Ayal AA is a very fancy stallion with a gorgeous head and an abundance of type. He has sired several fantastic offspring in his first few crops including a stunning grey filly out of World Silver Champion Mare FM Gloriaa who holds incredible promise. Just as exciting is Sofiya AA, the 2014 Israeli National Gold Champion Filly Foal who is about to be unveiled to the public once again. She is the epitome of a modern, gorgeous show filly who shows the strength of her sire line. Al Ayal AA is a maternal half-brother to U.S. Egyptian Event, All Nations Cup and World Champion Stallion Al Lahab, just to underline the potency and predictability of the cross.
Baha AA’s dam Baraaqa AA is by Laheeb and out of a daughter of The Vision HG, making her 3/4 sister to Al Ayal AA and Al Lahab on the distaff side. Baraaqa’s mother Al Baraqai AA provides an extra infusion of type to the rest of Baha’s pedigree through her sire Baahir. It is that kind of decision making that marks an innovative breeder, and certainly has marked Ariela and Chen Kedar.
Because they ascended to the top of their own realms at the same time and the population is so small at the top, it was just a matter of time before Jeff and Chen came to know each other in the big pool that comprises the European and Middle Eastern market. How perfect that the catalyst would be one of the greatest straight Egyptian stallions of recent years. Jeff is the perfect individual to manage and campaign Baha AA for his new owners. He has the mind of a breeder, interested in the lasting effects of each decision, and a connoisseur’s eye for elite Arabian horses. A well-seasoned professional who carries a wealth of knowledge after many years as one of the breed’s most passionate owners, breeder, and marketers, Jeff does a masterful job of finding and securing the finest horseflesh for his premiere clientele, just as Chen has done for the bloodstock at Ariela Arabians.
In addition to Baha AA, Jeff has orchestrated high visibility acquisitions to match other Arabian enthusiasts with the horses of their dreams, including 2014 United States National Champion and 2015 Scottsdale Champion 4-Year-Old Mare, BH Beijing’s Velvet, 2015 Arabian Breeders World Cup Gold Champion Yearling Filly Aria Athena, the 2013 U.S. National Champion and Brazilian National Champion mare Honey’s Delight RB, and the unanimous 2011 United States National Junior Champion, unanimous 2012 Scottsdale Junior Champion and unanimous 2012 Las Vegas World Cup Gold Junior Champion Filly RH Triana, to name just a few. And the number of major wins on the world stage continues to grow.
Jeff credits the confidence of his partners with allowing him to craft the future plan for Baha AA as one that Jeff wants to see unfold naturally. Baha AA is one of the rare horses that don’t require much help to make clear his supreme quality and value. Baha does it all for himself. “Baha is his own best promoter,” says Jeff. “The world will soon know him as much through the quality of his foals as they will from any titles earned from future showing.” Recently, Jeff selected a gorgeous weanling Baha filly for the Aria Arabians program and she has already arrived at Midwest. Both Jeff and David Boggs say she is as close to perfect as anything they have seen in a long time.
Jeff Sloan and his partners, in teaming with Midwest, have placed Baha AA at the American epicenter of the Arabian horse in Scottsdale. American breeders have joined their European and Middle Eastern counterparts in making Baha AA the stallion of choice for their finest mares, with his first U.S. foal crop outstripping even the highest of expectations. As preparations continue for Baha AA to move into the next phase of his life, the future holds nothing but excitement and promise for everyone connected to this special stallion and for the breed at large.
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