Being born of greatness means carrying hopes and expectations. It does not come with any guarantees. But where Al Adeed Al Shaqab was concerned, continuing a legendary lineage was a responsibility worn comfortably – and proudly.
The much-loved symbol of equestrian excellence and the cherished Arabian horse breed, who was bred and owned by Qatar Foundation (QF) member Al Shaqab, recently passed away following a brave battle against illness, at the age of 23. The grey stallion leaves behind both a legacy of achievement on both the regional and global stage; progenies whose success is carved in his image; and a lifetime of memories for those who watched, met, and admired him.
Al Adeed was marked for grAl eat things from birth. His sire, Ansata Halim Shah, has his own place in equine folklore as one of the most influential stallions of the 20th Century. His dam, Sundar Alisayyah, produced a series of multiple champions. And he was a product of the world-renowned Ansata breeding program. His pedigree was peerless.
Classical in appearance and style, Al Adeed is described by Al Shaqab – the world-class equestrian center based at QF’s Education City, where champions are forged and the Arabian horse breed is nurtured, preserved, and promoted – as “an incarnation of the ideal Arabian stallion”. It is maybe impossible to know if Al Adeed ever felt pressure to live up to his own rich heritage. If he did, he never showed it.
On the global equestrian stage, Al Adeed was a consistent recipient of perfect scores in ‘type’ from judges, and a winning machine. Within two years of his birth, he had been named Champion Colt at the 1997 Qatar International Arabian Championships. It was just the beginning of his domination of this event – between 2000 and 2008, he claimed its Champion Stallion crown five times.
The accolades did not end there. Champion Stallion at the 1999 Middle East International Championships, the 2002 All Nations Cup, and the 2005 US Egyptian Event – all bore the name of Al Adeed Al Shaqab. And, in 2003, he achieved perhaps the pinnacle of his career: Champion Stallion at the World Arabian Horse Championships. It’s little surprise that, following Al Adeed’s death last week, a recurring description of him among the many tributes to his achievements is ‘King’.
“The word ‘legendary’ can sometimes be overused in the realms of sport, but it is an entirely fitting way of encapsulating Al Adeed Al Shaqab,” said Mr. Khalifa Al Attiya, Executive Director, Al Shaqab.
“The deep sadness that we at Al Shaqab, and so many throughout the international equine community, feel at his passing is tempered by the enduring memories of his success on both a regional and international level, and of the elegance and nobility that made him as an exemplar of the Arabian horse breed and everything it symbolizes.
“His achievements and his spirit are woven into the fabric of Al Shaqab and of the proud Arab equestrian heritage, and just as Al Adeed continued the legacy of his own famed sire Ansata Halim Shah, so his progenies have taken forward his own legacy. We will miss him terribly, but he will always be with us.”
The progenies sired by Al Adeed have become prized around the world, with their own extensive list of titles and honors stretching across both Qatar-based events and the regional and international equestrian arena. In a poignant moment, many of them were on show at the recent Longines Global Champions Tour finale at Al Shaqab, just a few days after Al Adeed’s death.
And a tournament of champions was the perfect backdrop against which to remember a horse of whom leading equine publication The Arabian Magazine wrote: “You were truly admired, respected, and loved by so many”; and whose life and legacy were crystallized in a tribute by Italy’s Grifeo Horse Club: “The entire Arabian horse world will remember you as what you are – a legend.”
Source: Press Release
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