Ariaban Essence

The Triple Crown Series: Excalibur EA
By Samantha Mattocks

I continue The Triple Crown Series with the winner of the 2014 title – Excalibur EA. To win the European Triple Crown series is a huge honour, not least as to do so, the horse has to win the Gold Championship at the All Nations’ Cup in Aachen, the European Championship title, and the Paris World Championship title, all in the same season. November 2014 saw a vibrant three-year-old grey colt win this coveted title, the charismatic Excalibur EA. Now siring champions around the world, this second feature is dedicated to this captivating young stallion, who also gave Uruguay its first ever World Championship title. 

Excalibur EA

Excalibur EA
Photo by Carmin

Sunday 30 November 2014 saw the crowning of Europe’s 16th Triple Crown Champion. From the moment that he arrived in Europe, Excalibur EA commanded attention and on that glorious day in Paris, he realised the dreams of his breeders, his owners, and his army of fans as he took the most coveted title of all – The Triple Crown.

Bred in Spain by Equus Arabians, owned by Alberto Sorroca, Excalibur was foaled in 2011. His sire is the brilliant Shanghai EA, a son in turn of the 21st century ‘Champion Maker’, WH Justice (Magnum Psyche x Vona Sher-Renea). Shanghai EA himself has an incredible show record, including almost taking the Triple Crown in 2011, the same year that Excalibur was born. Winning Gold at the All Nations’ Cup and the European Championships, Shanghai had to settle for Reserve Champion in Paris. With still so much to offer, Shanghai is now part of the stallion collection at the Ajman Stud in the United Arab Emirates, and will return to the ring once more this year. Maybe he will go on to take that elusive crown; time will tell. Shanghai’s dam is Salymah EA, a mare with a rich and proven pedigree. By Khidar (Ansata Sinan x Elizja), she is out of Libanon Azadika (Om El Azadik x Warandes Shaklana). This combination brings together classic Estopa bloodlines with the great straight Egyptian influence as well as Crabbet/Old English. Excalibur EA’s dam is Essence of Marwan EA. Sired by three-time World Champion, Marwan Al Shaqab (Gazal Al Shaqab x Little Liza Fame), she is out of Elizja (Esta-Ghalil x Aica), thus reinforcing that Estopa and Spanish influence within Excalibur. The result of this pairing is a refined, powerful-moving Arabian, with large eyes and great beauty.

Excalibur EA
Photo by Cat McKenna

Leased to Albidayer Stud in the United Arab Emirates at the start of his yearling year, Excalibur placed second at the Sharjah International Show. He then went to Ted Carson’s Butler Training Center in North Carolina, USA. Very much a European-style horse, Excalibur immediately created waves during his US show-ring debut when he claimed the US National Champion Yearling Colt title.

Watching with interest at the US Nationals was Olivia Strauch, Manager at Estancia Las Rosas in Uruguay. Owned by Princess Laetitia d’Arenberg, all at Las Rosas were looking for that special horse that would give their farm a global appeal. As soon as Olivia saw Excalibur, she knew that they had found the horse and her early faith in him has been proven time and time again. In Scottsdale, where Laetitia and Olivia first saw Excalibur in the flesh, the young colt took the Champion Scottsdale International Arabian Breeders’ Classic Two-year-old Colt title, and soon after, he became part of Estancia Las Rosas.

His first show for them was the Arabian Breeders’ World Cup, and it is there that I myself witnessed the power of Excalibur EA. The presence of this young colt was immediately evident – his huge movement invoked a reaction in people that is rarely seen in the youngstock classes these days, and it was evident that this was an Arabian horse with that true ‘wow factor’.  Winning his class and going Silver Supreme Junior Stallion, Excalibur’s destiny was set.

Excalibur then went to Uruguay, where he relaxed away from the show-ring and, having already covered some mares while at Ted’s, this young colt also covered his first mares for Las Rosas. This first foal crop, from 2014, has already proved to be phenomenally successful for this young stallion; more on that shortly.

Continuing Excalibur’s Triple Crown season, Christine Jamar of Jadem Arabians in Belgium, on visiting Estancia Las Rosas, was so impressed by Excalibur that she suggested that he come to Europe for the 2014 show season. Arriving into Belgium, trained by Tom Schoukens at the Schoukens Training Center, history would be made.

Having placed third at Menton in an extremely strong class, Excalibur went to Ströhen and the West Coast Cup, claiming the Gold Junior Male Champion at both. With such success behind him, the Triple Crown shows were next.

In Aachen, Excalibur took everyone’s breath away as, in his class he scored 95.33 points, the highest score ever awarded at the All Nations’ Cup. The following day, took the Gold Junior Male Championship, following this up with Gold at the European Championships in Moorsele a few weeks later.

With the Paris World Championships offering a very different competition, Laetitia and Olivia hardly dared to wonder whether Estancia Las Rosas, a relatively unknown farm from Uruguay, and their beloved Excalibur EA would take the last title of 2014. Having won his class, all anyone could do was wait, and hope… Come Sunday, Las Rosas, and Uruguay, won their first World Championship as Excalibur EA took the title – and the 2014 Triple Crown award in the process.

Photo by Carmin

LR Princess Laetitia

IA Samurai
Photo by Contraluz

Photo by Nawaf Al Johani


History does, it seem, repeat itself: just as Excalibur was born the same year that his sire nearly won the Triple Crown, so the 2014 year proved to be great for the next generation. From that first foal crop bred at Ted’s came two international champion two-year-old colts, Exxalt (ex Vesperra by SF Veraz) and Alexxanderr (ex AR Most Irresistible by ML Mostly Padron). Exxalt wowed all in his yearling debut at Scottsdale last year, winning the Gold International Junior Male Championship for his owners/breeders Francis Butler, Sybil and Jeff Collins, and Kay and James Smith, while Alexxanderr, bred by Brandi Carson and Francis Butler, has gone on to take a host of titles for AlSayed Stud from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These include Gold Yearling Male Champion in Menton, Silver Yearling Male Champion in Paris and, just recently, Gold Junior Male Champion at the Prince Sultan International Arabian Horse Festival. Meanwhile, at Estancia Las Rosas, the filly LR Ellinore (ex Fhemyna Serondella by Alessandro El Jamaal) was Junior Female Champion at the Expo Otoño, Uruguary, in 2015. At the same show, IA Samurai (ex ROL Ithadtobeyou by Out of Cyte) was Junior Male Champion. He would go on to take the same title at last year’s Uruguayan Nationals, while LR Princess Laetitia (ex Gaia El Lethyf by Lethyf El Jamaal) was crowned Junior Female Champion. LR Axxel (ex LR Aguamarina by FA El Shawan) and Chewaka OD (ex Partyssima OSB by Sir Fames HBV) stood respective Reserve Champions for their owners/breeders. All in all, the potency of Excalibur as a breeding sire as well as a show horse is truly underlined.

Excalibur EA
Photo by Javan

Excalibur EA will return to Europe again this year, to meet his breeding responsibilities. As for the future, with Exxalt and Alexxanderr already winning so well, you know that there is much more to come. Every day, Olivia rides Excalibur around the Estancia in Uruguay, telling me: “For us, Excalibur is a wonderful combination of very correct conformation, unbelievable carriage and incredible charisma.” A stand out Triple Crown Champion, I think we can all look forward to seeing the next chapter in the story of Excalibur EA.

About the Author

Samantha Mattocks Go to the author's page

Freelance journalist & writer specialising in food writing and photograph, travel & Arabian horses. Owner of nourish magazine, The Arabian Magazine & The Delicate Diner. Debut novel Sandstorm out now.

I founded The Arabian Magazine at the end of 2004 in partnership and became a sole owner in August 2008.

With the magazine, I have interviewed some of the biggest names in the Arabian horse world, visited some of the finest Arabian horse studs and also seen some of the legends in breeding programmes first hand. I My travels have taken me through Canada and the USA, across Europe and the Middle East and down to Australasia and South Africa.

My goal is to make The Arabian Magazine a household name while at the same time, continuing to push for the excellence I believe in so much. Arabian horses are about passion and dedication, not just a trophy cabinet.

In 2010, The Arabian Magazine was a winner at the one-off Dubai International Arabian Horse Championships Media Awards, taking the runner up prize in the Best International Media section."
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