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Historic Sale of American Saddlebreds to Dubai Announced


Lexington, Kentucky ­– Two American Saddlebred geldings, Kobada’s Jacq Of Times and Canyonleigh Stargazer, have been sold to the members of the ruling family of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


Kobada’s Jacq Of Times (nicknamed JT) was sold by Australian Kevin Sayer of Mountain Breeze Stud, Mount Hunter, New South Wales, to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, supreme ruler of Dubai.  The 15.3 hand bay gelding is presently in quarantine in northern Australia.  His record in 2004 and 2005 includes winning 3 rides at 50-miles, as well as leading at the 230 mile mark of the Shahzada, at 250 miles the longest competitive ride in the world, carrying 250 pounds. [For more, click here or visit] Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley at Jonabell Stud is located near Lexington, Kentucky, and his Bernardini recently won the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, middle jewel of American Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown for three-year-olds.


Canyonleigh Stargazer, just started in open Endurance by Sayer for Philippa Gray, owner of Canyonleigh Farm, made famous by her late parents Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Jenkins, was sold to His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai.  Sheikh Hamdan, who owns Shadwell Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, owns Jazil, the recent winner of the Belmont Stakes, final jewel in the Triple Crown, in New York.


The Dubai rulers, who are brothers, have long been interested in Endurance, a discipline recognized by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), which sanctions the FEI Games, the world championships for its seven equestrian disciplines.  Sheikh Mohammed is a renowned international Endurance rider himself.  The 2006 World Equestrian Games will be held in Aachen, Germany, and the 2010 Alltech FEI Games are scheduled for Lexington, Kentucky.  Sheikh Mohammed is married to Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan, the new president of the FEI, elected in May 2006.  She is also an accomplished equestrian athlete, having competed in Jumping at the Sydney Olympic Games.


Both Saddlebreds descend from bloodlines of horses purchased in the USA by Mr. and Mrs. Ron Besaw, in 1969, with the guidance of former American Saddlebred Horse Association executive secretary C.J. “June” Cronan.  Their progenitors include 17 broodmares in the Association’s Broodmare Hall of Fame, including Flirtation Walk (dam of World’s Grand Champion Wing Commander) and World’s Grand Champion Meadow Vanity.  Kobada’s Jacq Of Times was bred by Penney Lockwood of Burra, Australian Capital Territory; Rosemary Mackay of Gundaroo, New South Wales, owns his dam.  He comes from the Valley View Supreme sire line.  Canyonleigh Stargazer comes from Philippa Gray’s combination of the Gallant Guy sire line, with Valley View Supreme on both sides and Wing Commander on his dam’s side.  


Alan F. Balch, current executive secretary of the American Saddlebred Horse Association commented, “We’re particularly pleased to learn of these transactions because the Saddlebred has been known historically for its tremendous stamina, having descended from American Civil War horses in the mid-1800s.  Although Arabians are the present breed of choice for most international Endurance competition, we see our breed gaining some considerable traction.  After all, blood from the Godolphin Arabian and the Darley Arabian, combined with that of the American Thoroughbreds Lexington, Duroc, Grey Eagle, Wagner and Denmark, form the very foundation of our breed.  It should come as no surprise to anyone that Saddlebreds can compete at the top of this burgeoning international discipline.  We would certainly like to see our breed represented at the 2010 Alltech FEI Games in Kentucky!”


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