Thee Desperado at age 20, June 2009
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What special tangible or intangible quality does someone see in the eyes of a newborn foal that inspires thoughts of future greatness? Whatever quality this is, Thee Desperado had it, and as fate had it Arabians Ltd.'s manager Shawn Crews was there to see it. Shawn first saw Thee Desperado when his breeders Tom and Martha Salome called to say that their maiden mare AK Amiri Asmarr had foaled, but wouldn't let her new foal nurse. Shawn got up and drove to their farm to help. They succeeded in getting the newborn foal to nurse, and Shawn was so inspired by the beautiful bay colt that a short trip to the Salome's farm marked the beginning of a long and immensely rewarding journey for Thee Desperado and the people who immediately became part of his life. Tom and Martha agreed to sell partial interest in their special little colt to Jim and Judy Sirbasku, owners of Arabians Ltd., and the story began there.
Thee Desperado (The Minstril x AK Amiri Asmarr) will turn 21 this year. His accomplishments between the night of April 5th, 1989 and now would fill a book. His career has not been one to wax and wane. His get remain in the spotlight today as much as they ever have. What better way to celebrate a 21st birthday than to look at his most recent accomplishments, and what better honor is there for a sire than living proof that his get and grandget produce champions as well?
Just a month ago at the prestigious Salon Du Cheval World Championship Show in Paris, France, two Thee Desperado grandsons took the top stallion honors: World Champion Stallion Royal Colours, and Reserve World Champion Stallion Al Lahab.
Royal Colours was bred by Sherry and Matthew Zischkau of the US, and is owned by the Dubai Arabian Horse Stud of the UAE. In Royal Colours' pedigree, Thee Desperado holds the noteworthy positions of being both 'the sire of the sire' and ‘the grandsire of the dam.' Many breeders hold this particular pedigree configuration as being of special importance, denoting a strong influence by the common ancestor, and prepotence in the breeding stock produced by this particular cross. Al Lahab was bred by Ariela Arabians in Israel, and is owned by the Friedmann family of Germany. Al Lahab's mother The Vision HG (by Thee Desperado) was rightly named, and is one of the few mares who fairly lends substance to the word sublime. Al Lahab has gone on to establish a legacy in type himself.
Going back just another six months to June 2009, Thee Desperado repeated his spectacular 2004 accomplishment. In both 2004 and 2009, Thee Desperado held the distinction of siring both the US Egyptian Event Supreme Champion Stallion and the Supreme Champion Mare:
Thee Desperado's most celebrated accomplishment is that of being named the Overall Leading Sire of the US Egyptian Event for 11 years in a row (1996-2006), an unprecedented accomplishment among straight Egyptian sires. Further, Thee Desperado's show ring accomplishments have not been confined to the realm of straight Egyptian horses. In 1994, being named Scottsdale's (unanimous) Grand Champion Stallion was not enough. He returned to the ring eight months later and promptly became the 1994 US Reserve National Champion Stallion! And for those who remember the US Nationals just a year earlier, a slightly lesser title perhaps inspired an equally lasting memory. Just as the announcer at the 1993 US National show paused during the Stallion Finals, this accomplishment is worth a pause again. As the Top Ten stallions stood in anticipation of the final results, the rustle of the announcer's voice set the spectators on edge. Everyone listened as it was announced that standing in the ring in front of them that night was a sire and his son: The Minstril and Thee Desperado stood in the ring as US National Top Ten Stallions together, and resounding applause ensued. It was an inspiring moment for Arabian horse breeders, but especially inspiring for those who love the Egyptian Arabian horse.
Following his US National Reserve Championship in 1994, Jim and Judy Sirbasku negotiated to purchase full interest in Thee Desperado. Thee Desperado's handler John Neyer recalled lightheartedly that the latter portion was markedly more expensive than the former! Since that time Jim and Judy have been Thee Desperado's sole owners, and have demonstrated unlimited dedication and support for the stallion.
Any attempt to describe Thee Desperado's career with brevity quickly becomes a fray for page space. His champion sons and daughters are too numerous to list in this context, but at least a short nod should be given to the interesting events that took place outside the show ring:
At home, life for Thee Desperado is comfortable. He purposefully demonstrates his preferences, and they are responded to by his handlers. He comes in from his pasture early when he wishes, and he especially likes to avoid being cold. He is also broke to ride, has competed successfully in Western Pleasure, and still enjoys being ridden.
Thee Desperado's foals enjoy being with people, and are easy to train. Their show coats bloom, and they are often noted for their meaningful expression, dark round eyes, and length and shape of neck. He produces good foals in all colors. His bays have enjoyed much success and likeness to their sire. Some of his chestnuts are reminiscent of The Egyptian Prince's (Thee Desperado's dam's sire) Moniet El Nefous dam line, and the greys are occasionally reflective of 'Prince' himself. The blacks are an added prize when they appear, and are treasured for their quality and rare color.
In a surprising and happy announcement this year, Arabians Ltd. re-opened Thee Desperado's stud book for the first time in eight years. It will be open to a limited number of Straight Egyptian mares for the 2010 breeding season. Arabians Ltd. is also excited to announce the arrival of their very first 2010 foal by Thee Desperado, an adorable black colt out of a favorite foundation mare.
Article by Laurie Schmelzle of Al Badia Arabian Stud, Contributing Editor at StraightEgyptians.com.
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