Can you believe it ? This young looking guy in our 'Monthly' is 29 years in age!
The picture shows MALEIK EL KHEIL who was born in 1979 and bred by Major Pat and Joanna Maxwell in Great Britain. He was one of the first foals of the famous EL SHAKLAN, who had been leased as a two-year-old from Om El Arab in Germany to the Maxwells in England. There he had been standing until fall 1978, the year before MALEIK EL KHEIL was born. MALEIK EL KHEIL's dam was the solid chestnut mare MUNEERA (by Fahker El Kheil), one of the foundation mares of the Maxwell Stud.
For nearly two decades, MALEIK EL KHEIL lived in Great Britain and produced many foals. When the Maxwell's decided to close down their stud farm in England at the end of the 90s, he was sold to a most prestigeous place, moving from cold, rainy England to the warm and sunny desert emirate of Abu Dhabi. HH The President, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, became his new owner, and the Royal Stables in Abu Dhabi his new home.
When HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan passed away in 2005, the Royal Stables and it's 150 or so purebred Arab horses were maintained for a while, but a couple of months later, the successors decided to close down the stables and to make hold an auction to sell all horses. When HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, proud owner of Al Aryam Arabians in Abu Dhabi and son of the late President, heard about this plan, he acted immediately and took over the major part of the horses- including the senior stallion MALEIK EL KHEIL.
When MALEIK EL KHEIL was presented in February 2008 to a group of visitors at Al Aryam Arabians, he looked absolutely fabulous! Trotting like a young stallion alongside the tent and up and down in front of the guests, full of spirit and energy, not getting tired presenting himself. To see a 29-year-old stallion in such excellent condition was so nice and really fascinating! In front of the eyes of the beholder there stood an old classical purebred Arab horse, not clipped, no made-up, only a natural horse, fleabitten grey and with long coat - but full of pride, presence, and like one of those horses you imagine prancing in the desert next to a skinny bedouin, or with a colourful Arab saddle on his back and a bedouin sittiing on him. An image like one of those pictures with horses and riders in the old paintings .....
Aren't THESE the true moments and Arab horses? Without any make-up, maybe looking "different" to those high fashioned, modelled and made-up show horses on "high heels", clipped all over the body and face, with just a half part of their mane, shiny and lacquered all over and in each single hair of their coat .... And then here - a true, classical Arab horse, while long hair, only brushed to look nice and clean, with 29 years in age - an Arab horse full of natural beauty and expression. Two different worlds? At least, both "models" are from the same background and history, and both reflect today the world of beauty. And with full respect to all the work behind making a successful show horse: when seeing a 29-year-old stallion like MALEIK EL KHEIL presenting himself in beauty, dryness and spirits - it makes you feel really devoted to the true beauty of nature. One might be reminded of the reason WHY most of us fell in love with the Arab horse! Beauty doesn't need make-up, and beauty isn't even limited by age!