If it wasn't for Walter...
Initially I admired purebred Arabians by visiting in-hand shows. There I met my soon-to-become horse friend Saskia Klaassen. We decided to look beyond show arenas and started visiting breeders of the noble Egyptian Arabian horse in Holland. This way, we met Gert and Elisabeth Stam of Manara Classic Arabian horses. We enjoyed their herd of lovely Sheykh Obeyd horses and on this special occassion our eyes rested on Manara Samira (Massada Massud x Matara Saafana) for the very first time as a 2 weeks old filly. Through Gert and Elisabeth I became in touch with Walter Schimanski, Vicki Butler, Robin Weeks and Tracey Tromp.
I learned a lot from them about Sheykh Obeyd bloodlines, performance, breeding programs and so on. In 1999 Elisabeth, Saskia and I went together for a trip to the US where we met the, by lifetime already legendary, Walter Schimanski. Walter functioned as our tour operator and personal driver! He took us to Cheryl Horton's stud, then to his own stud and later, handed us over to Vicki Butler. After that we visited Robin Weeks and Jane Beard. I believe we were one of the last visitors of beautiful Fay El Haadi, he died some days after we returned home. So with Walter's help, we saw wonderful individuals of the excellent Sheykh Obeyd breeding group. And we had the privilige of seeing Samira's family members in person. I admired Zahara Sabiya, Fa Asar, Masada Adiva, KH Seral Sireff and Masada Fa Hannah most of all. They're in the pedigree of our filly and it shows!
After our US trip, a dream came true. Gert and Elisabeth let Samira come to us. Initially, Saskia purchased Samira but invited me to become a co-owner so that the filly's future would include performance successes next to breeding successes. The only sad part about all this was that Samira's dam, the exquisite Matara Saafana unfortunately died while giving birth to what would have been her 4th foal. This tragedy made Samira extremely precious to all of us.
Then Samira matured and became more beautiful each year. We sent her to a professional Dutch endurance rider and trainer who took her out making her first steps in her career as a riding and endurance Arabian. Samira is now working on her training routine with Yvonne van der Velde (WEG Jerez 2002 endurance competitor) and will leave this endurance training and breeding stable, Dutch Joy, as a well prepared endurance prospect. We're looking forward to compete with her ourselves next season.
We're also planning to breed Samira ofcourse, being the only breeding animal left of Saafana's children. We hope she will give us several pretty, sweet and athletic endurance foals and she will stay with us for many decades. We're thankful for her and the Sheykh Obeyd bloodlines. Foremost, we're thankful to Walter who gave us such a good time when staying at the US and showed us his but also other breeder's gorgeous Sheykh Obeyds.
I have always planned to visit Walter again but unfortunately, he was running out of time. I learned the hard way that one should not waste time, what can be done today, should not be postponed till tomorrow. I am sorry Walter, that I did not make haste to visit you anytime sooner. But I will make certain that your name will be known for many decades to come.