For thirty years Kehilan Arabians, owned and operated by the Rogers family and their associate Janice Bush, has produced a splendid and special Egyptian Arabian horse. In a show world where over 95% of all the American Egyptian Arabian horses bred and shown are heavily line-bred Nazeer, the Kehilan bloodline is much more focused on one of the original EAO outcrosses for Nazeer: Sameh. In the 1970’s the Sameh-bred horses that did show were superstars of the national show ring, including *Sakr (*Sultann), considered by many to be the greatest Egyptian Arabian show horse of all time, and Halter and English Pleasure U.S. National Champion *Asadd (*Sultann). These were Arabian horses that personified the epitome of both Halter and performance superiority. This rare and exceptional combination of talent and unrivaled beauty was embraced by the Rogers family in the early 1980’s and, as their horses achieved their own special “look” over the decades, it has blossomed into something identifiable as “the Kehilan Egyptian Arabian.”
An important contribution to the Kehilan “look” was Bill and Pat Trapp’s influential National Champion Nabiel (*Sakr x *Magidaa), who stood at Kehilan Arabians in the early 1990’s. Nabiel is the sire of over 120 Class A Champions and numerous Top Ten winners in Halter and performance. At the same time, the Rogers formed a partnership and bought the *Sultann son, Makhsous at the Gleannloch Farm dispersal. A consistent sire, Makhsous passed on his large eyes, small tight ears, charismatic presence, straight legs, fine, long neck and extreme athletic ability. For over 20 years the Kehilan Arabian has been shaped by that extraordinary stallion and his two sons, Makhnificent KA (x Star Bint Hafiza) and Marquis I (x Antigua Dance by Ruminaja Bahjat).
Today, Kehilan Arabians incorporates about 50 horses. Around 35 belong to the family and the balance to clients, many of them international. The hardest part of having a truly mature and successful horse breeding operation is finding the next level of excellence. The bar can be very high indeed.
“We have been searching for the next step in our breeding program literally all over the world,” says Becky Rogers. “In Australia, Europe and the Middle East we have found some exceptional horses. We’ve learned our lessons well. The new stallion must complement our bloodstock perfectly and offer things to our program that will take us to a new level. So a decision must be made with due diligence.”
It’s a difficult task. The farm’s younger breeding stallions, all offspring of the tried and true Kehilan breeding, are the best the program has ever produced. Among them is Maariq KA (Makhnificent KA x MB Kateena by Imperial Madheen) an outstanding 8-year-old bay now proving himself as a sire of international winners, and his younger, half-brother Marzuq KA (Marquis I). “The coming three-year-old out of MB Kateena is easily the best moving straight Egyptian stallion I have ever seen,” says Becky. “Balanced and beautiful, with exceptional impulsion, he’s a phenomenon.” Also in this stellar group is the Makhnificent KA son, KA Damascus (x Rahimah KA by RA Jahim) a gloriously exotic dark chestnut that belongs to Colleen Jackson and John Cranston of Australia, and is managed by Kehilan.
There is a Sea Change stirring within the Arabian breed globally. Partly fueled by the Middle East, partly by the internet, there is renewed interest in the Arabian horse as a show horse, as a performance horse, as a racing and endurance horse, but most especially as a beautiful and rare animal special on earth. The Egyptian Arabian horse is a catalyst for this change. It is the archetypical Arabian and the global market for this historical horse continues to blossom and expand.
“Kehilan is exporting superior show and foundation breeding stock globally.” says Becky Rogers. At this point Kehilan-bred horses are in 20 countries and all of the continents except for Asia. The best part of these many years of breeding and placing horses is to see how our horses are now considered authentic foundation stock for the best breeding farms in the world. It’s a proud moment for us and for ‘the Kehilan Arabian.’ It was developed by the EAO, then Gleannloch Farm, then several generations of my own family and extended family. It is a specific type and it breeds quite true … an authentically beautiful, amazingly athletic Egyptian Arabian horse. There have been several lifetimes of work wrapped up in the breeding of the Kehilan Egyptian Arabian. Much love and passion for the horse has been gathered together and it’s created something unforgettable, inspirational and wholly unique on earth.”
To read the related story, the 2012 Egyptian Event CLICK HERE.