Whenever I see a falcon in the sky above me I remember the first time I encountered Nabil Ibn Nazeefa. I was sixteen years old then and visited the famous Filsinger Stud in Germany for the very first time. Frank Filsinger, the son of the late Dr. Erwin Filsinger (who bred horses like Maymoon and Malik) and today the head of the stud, presented me the well-known stallions of the farm. Well, that's not quite correct - they presented themselves!
These stallions needed no trainer, no ginger, no gimmicks to look impressive. All they need was to stand there and look at you to make a lasting impression. One after another paraded in front of me. The irresistible white champion stallion Manal (Anchor Hill Halim x Malikah) and the charming Mahyubi Ibn Maisa (Nabil Ibn Nazeefa x Maisa) looked classically beautiful. They were followed by four grey sons of the famous Maymoon who literally blew me away. Here stood me, a teenage boy, in front of those magnificent horses and smiled from ear to ear. "Do you like what you see," Frank asked. Stupid question!
The last stallion Frank showed to me looked different from the others. "This is Nabil Ibn Nazeefa", he said. "My father's favorite mount!" He was an attractive, nicely balanced bay, the only bay stallion at the farm at this time. His coat glowed like copper in the sunset. He appeared very large to me, larger than all the other stallions. The long lines of his body, his long, nicely arched neck and the long legs gave that impression. Frank confirmed to me that his size was indeed an impressive 1,57 metres (15,45 hands). He displayed a dryness I had seldom experienced before. You could see a web of veins shining through his skin. Nabil's body looked lean from the distance but trim and muscular when standing right beside you. It was easy for me to imagine Dr. Filsinger riding him daily through the nearby fields.
His long face though without a pronounced dish looked as dry as the desert sand and the bones of his face were clearly visible. Like a falcon he stared into the distance. With eyes wide open Nabil scanned the horizon - he surveyed his kingdom and noticed everything that happened!
After seeing him trot out I had the feeling he was as good as the best. The drive of his hocks, the balanced movement and the way he carried himself - no doubt about it, this horse was a natural born athlete.
Even if you did not know his pedigree you instinctively recognized the "Morafic in him". He had his stamp all over him. His size, the long legs, the slender body and his commanding presence and fiery eyes spoke volumes. Indeed, Morafic's name appears two times in his pedigree: Through his sire Farag who needs no introduction (he was considered the most look-alike son of Morafic in Europe) and Nabil's dam Nazeefa (Gassir x Nazic by Morafic) who was found by Dr. Filsinger in Egypt and imported to Germany in 1969 where she became one of the foundation mares of his studfarm (and rated an "elite mare" in Germany).
Nabil Ibn Nazeefa was licensed as a three-year-old colt in 1980. Later he excelled under saddle and passed his stallion performance test with flying colours as one of the best stallions in the group. Right from the start Dr. Filsinger used him in the breeding barn. The get of Nabil Ibn Nazeefa have established impressive show records, both nationally and internationally. Probably his best-known sons in Germany are the charismatic champion stallion Mahyubi Ibn Maisa and the bay Zeymoon El Nabil who also was champion stallion at international shows. Both Nabil Ibn Nazeefa and his son Mahyubi Ibn Maisa were awarded the prestigious "elite" title from the German Arab Horse Society this year.
When the late Dr. Filsinger once was asked what horses he's been partial to over the years, Nabil Ibn Nazeefa's name was first. "He is the ideal riding horse, a good sire and a true friend", he said. "He is sensitive and always eager to please. In short, he's the ideal mount!" Athletic ability, coupled with trainability, was something Nabil passed on to his get. And that look of falcons...
NABIL Ibn Nazeefa during one of the daily cross country rides with
his breeder and owner, the inspired horseman, Dr. Erwin Filsinger
Photo: Irina Filsinger
Nabil turned 27 this year! The years had been kind to him but the white hairs above his eyes indicate that he now has entered the winter of his life. But still Nabil's virile presence is felt when you enter the stallion barn. He is now surrounded by his many beautiful daughters that grace the Filsinger broodmare band and by his sons, who strive to carry on their sire's qualities into the next generation. Like every old horse Nabil loves his daily routine at the farm and enjoys a nap in the warm summer sunshine. But visit him and he will cast his spell on you. When he will stand in front of you and will stare into the distance, the old horse once again will transform into the majestic falcon of the past. Fly Nabil Ibn Nazeefa, spread your wings and fly!
Note: NABIL Ibn Nazeefa passed away in 2006 - with 29 years in age!