Umm Qarn Farms by Paul Simmons
Umm Qarn Farms are owned by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa
Al Thani and have combined bases in Qatar and England. The stud
in Dormansland, Surrey is a well set up yard with spacious stallion
paddocks to the left of the drive and young stock and mares paddocks
to the right and the large well laid out barns are at the heart
of the 350 acre property.
UK is run by Gillian Hay who was kind enough to show me around
the stud and all its many potential
racing stars of
the future. Gillian used to train the leading lights of Umm Qarn
including Djebbel, Djelmila, Al Anood, Mutabahi, Al Hanoof and
Makzan. These outstanding Arabian race horses all now form part
of heart of Umm Qarn’s breeding plans. For many years I
have been planning to visit Umm Qarn as it is without doubt the
top Arabian racing stud in the UK. The famous maroon colours
with the white stars have crossed the line first in all the major
races in the UK. The Dubai Stakes (Group 1), the Hatta Stakes
(Group 1) and the Zabeel Stakes (Group 1) have all been won by
Umm Qarn horses first by the likes of Djebbel, Djelmila, Amer,
and Makzan but more recently by homebreds like Al Anood and Mutabahi
(both of whom were by Amer) and Al Hanoof (by Manganate).
half of the brood mares foal in Qatar with the rest based in
the UK. Prominent mares in residence
at Old Lodge
Farm include Djelmila, Al Anood, Altesse D’Aroco, Adjaa
D’Aroco, Pesennaia, Danie du Cassou and Massalla de Piboul.
Sadly last year Umm Qarn lost one of their best foundation mares,
the straight Russian mare Geran ( by Kumir) She was of course
the dam of Shaqran (by Kosmonout) who was leading 4 yr old Arab
racehorse back in 1998 and the amazing Mutabahi (by Amer) who
won the Zabeel Stakes (UK), the Malazgirt Trophy (Turkey) and
many races in Qatar and UAE including the Bani Yas Cup (Nad Al
Sheba). Geran had produced a lovely colt by Amer in 2004 and
I also saw the 2003 colt Laith (also by Amer), these two boys
are especially precious after the tragic death of their older
full brother Mutabahi last year. It was a devastating loss to
Umm Qarn and the breed as a whole, I am sure he would have been
a popular choice with race breeders both here and in the UAE.
Laith is a handsome well conformed colt with nice athletic limbs
but it will be a tall order to live up to Mutabahi’s phenomenal
reputation both here and abroad.
stallions I was privileged to meet included the incredible
Amer, who has been touted by many as the Northern Dancer
of the Arabian racing world.
He is snow white with pretty little black flecks all over his body, a kind eye
and of course good strong legs and a powerful set of haunches which saw him win
all the major sprint races in the UK. However, a good sire is measured by the
performance of his stock and once again Amer tops the lot, Mutabahi won all there
was to win at Group level (including the Group 1 Zabeel Stakes) in the UK and
out in the United Arab Emirates.
There is also
the amazing mare Al Anood who has won 17 races, nine of which
were Group level, she won both the Hatta Stakes ( 2001) and Zabeel
Stakes (2002) in England and in November 2003 she won the Group
1 ADNOC National Day Gold Cup (UAE). She has now been retired
to stud. There is also Nizam
(Amer X Nerva Du Cassou) who won the Group 1 President’s
Cup in February of this year and DAHESS, winner of the Malazgirt
Trohpy in Istanbul
in 2004 as well as many major races in Italy, UAE and Qatar. A new star is
emerging in the shape of MUGADIR (AMER/KACHIA) who won the
Qatar Derby in 2004 and the
Prime Ministers Trophy in Qatar last week. If I had the money Amer would be
the choice for me, he also has a wonderful temperament. I
viewed many of his youngsters
and although he stands just under 15 hands his stock are enormous, with long
athletic legs, good round feet, powerful quarters and good fronts. The most
eye catching was a 2002 colt called Al Arim (Amer X Al Wajbah),
big and imposing
with a real look of class. I also adored his dam Al Wajbah (Sambist X Sienna
(Banat), a nice scopey unraced mare, she had a beautiful filly by Amer at foot
when I saw her.
wasn’t at Umm Qarn when I visited, he had left
to do his shuttle duty at the Qatar base, so many mares so little
time! However, he is to be based at Old Lodge Farm in 2005. Another
stallion who completely ruled the track as a race horse, he won
the Dubai Stakes (UK) and the Presidents Cup twice (Chantilly)
and was renowned for his tough attitude and awesome turn of foot.
Gillian says he is the biggest striding horse she has ever seen.
Like Amer, Djebbel is in strong demand from Arabian race breeders
in Europe and in UAE to such an extent that they have to limit
his “wives”. A Djebbel colt “Rock Crystal” was
sold at Goffs in France in October 2002 for 190, 000 euro’s.
He is now proving himself as a sire of some note with the impressive
performer Djenius (X Silky Way) in America, who has won the Arabian
Cup Juvenile Stakes and more recently the highly competitive
Group 1 Drinkers of the Wind Derby in USA. He has also had three
winners in Europe, Sadjella (X Saffiah) Sans Souci (XGran) and
Djebol (X Polonese). In addition to these his first two runners
in Qatar Jassas (XJessorca) and Mayasah (XLas Enchante) are already
winners. The stock I saw by Djebbel were big, strong individuals
with incredibly powerful quarters and nice big deep chests.
another sire who stands at Umm Qarn, he is more athletic and
rangy than I expected and has a lot
of presence. As a race
horse he was of course very successful winning numerous races
including the Zabeel Stakes in the UK. But it is as a sire that
he is now proving himself and Pigaro (X Piroga (Aswan)) is one
of his best performer to date having won two races in Holland
creating a good reputation in the process as well as advertising
his sires genetic prowess. From his first crop Rzoe Lute was
one of the leading three year old fillies in USA and Dahman the
first winner in France. Already with runners in just two seasons,
Makzan is the sire of the winners of over thirty races and one
of his best sons must be the 2004 Leading UK Racehorse CS Patriarch.
Makzan’s stock that I saw were tall and athletic with decent
stallion was Sambist (Balaton X Stihia), a big beautiful
Russian horse, with powerful limbs
and a nice head
and eye. I saw several of his stock that were in training for
endurance and they were blue print versions of him, tall, pretty
with sweet temperaments. Last year was Sambist’s best
year as a race sire as he had his first Group winner when Juma
Jerba Du Paon) won the Group 2 at Chester and in 2004 was a
very good runner up in the Dubai International Stakes at Newbury.
He also had a big handicap winner when his son Horizon (X Sky
Galaxy) scorched home 12 lengths clear in the Diera Ltd Handicap
on Dubai Day in 2003.
I also saw
the two new boys on the block. The well bred French stallion
Concord (By Dormane X Naiada Al Maury),
winner of his
only start in Qatar and full brother to Nez D’Or (Winner
of Group 1 Kahayla Classic in UAE), Noreen (Hatta Stakes Group
1 UK heroine) and Nisaee (winner of HH Sword Apparent). A big
compact stallion who had the most charming temperament. Concord
is also the only son of Dormane at stud in the UK and is bound
to attract plenty of interest from breeders.
one was the interestingly bred Dawwas (Pastor X Eudoksja) who
was local bred champion several years
in a row in Qatar and
won scores of races including HH Heir Apparent Sword, The Emir’s
Sword, the HH Heir Apparent Cup, the Ghazal Al Shaqab Plate,
the HH Prime Minister’s Sword and the Qatar Derby. One
of the best horses of his generation in Qatar and the best son
of Pastor to go to stud (Pastor is not available at public stud
which makes Dawwas a valuable source of these valuable bloodlines.
looks bright for Umm Qarn with such a wealth of talent as its
backbone with such mares as Geran, Buka, Al Hanoof, Djelmila,
Al Anood, Zreig, Adjaa D’ Aroco, Al Jowharah, Daniah and
Eudoksja and of course the pick of the finest Arabian racing
stallions in world.
Many of the
youngstock are brought up in the UK, making full advantage
of the many acres of pasture and
hills available that
help strengthen up young limbs. In Qatar the summer heat is too
strong during the day for the horses to be turned out although
the winter climate is superb and so until they reach the age
of two the youngsters take advantage of the best that both farms
have to offer. The results speak for themselves as to the success
rate. My only disappointment is that we don’t see the Umm
Qarn colours on British race tracks anymore. It would be great
to see a finish with the usual blue colours of Sheikh Hamdan,
the maroon of Sheikh Mohammed and the maroon and white stars
of Sheikh Abdullah. The ones for the future are too numerous
too mention but a few stand out on pedigree alone including Madj
Al Arab (Amer X Djelmila), Laith (Amer X Geran), Al Dahma (Amer
X Al Hanoof), Saqar (Makzan X Las Enchante), Uqab (Pastor X Jerba
Du Paon), Emleq (Djebbel X Zreig (Amer)) and my favourite Al
Arim (Amer X Al Wajbah (Sambist)).
I personally will be using Dawwas to cover my mare Jumah (Div
X Samara Bint Samurai) and Sambist will cover Aliesha (Fuego
X Talima). They will be covered using Artificial Insemination
which is a highly successful method of breeding and means less
trauma all round. Having had three foals by AI last year it is
definitely the way forward.
For more information on Umm Qarn visit www.ummqarn.com.
Or contact Gillian Hay on 01342 870217.