Those of us who made the regular pilgrimage to Scottsdale for the show each February, and who date back to those dazzling years of the early to mid-80’s, will remember well when the show was held at the old Paradise Park on Bell Road. Back then the show attracted some four-thousand horses to compete and spectators flocked in from across the nation and around the world to watch classes in standing-room only crowds. If you were there in 1987 you will clearly remember a handsome, tall, and bold liver chestnut stallion who stormed into the big arena and captivated people’s imaginations and stole their hearts. He made celebrity status by the end of the class. By the end of the show he was wore the roses of the unanimous Grand Champion Stallion, and booked over one hundred mares for breedings.
This stallion was *Sharem El Sheikh (*El Shaklan x *Samanna), bred by Dieter and Annelie Kraut of Germany. He was imported as a two-year-old to California in 1985 by Om El Arab. “Sheikh” was a leggy, gangly and sweet-natured colt with a long freaky neck and a big airy trot. By four Sheikh had matured into a 16-1 hand stallion with an elegance and refinement rarely seen in such a tall Arabian. His topline was very smooth and relatively short for his extreme length of neck. He had a trademark hook at the throat latch that was pencil-thin. With powerful impulsion behind and a big rolling trot in front, his long legs would literally fly across the arena. In nearly a dozen shows Sheikh was always the unanimous champion. His wins included Scottsdale, the Buckeye, and several regional shows, and he won a driving championship at one show along with his halter win. Unfortunately an illness prevented Sheikh from ever going to the U.S. Nationals to capture the last big title in this country.
In 1991 *Sharem El Sheikh came to live in California at Om El Arab International. Here the weather is mild and Sheikh enjoyed his own pasture and lived outside for most of the year. He evolved from super-star show horse to prominent breeding stallion. Over the years he made an invaluable contribution to our breeding program, and to many across the country and around the world. One of his best known sons is U.S. National Champion Stallion, Eternety. Much to his credit, a Sheikh grandson was named National Champion Stallion of Spain this October.
*Sharem El Sheikh passed away peacefully in his pasture in the early morning of September 13th. Until that day he enjoyed good health, good condition and was always in good spirits. He contributed to the quality of our lives, and to the quality of our breeding program. Sheikh was our friend and we will miss him.