Ariaban Essence

When thinking outside the box, the result is often golden…
By Evangeline Parker

For over 40 years, it is fair to say that there is one horse that has given the arabian breed one of the biggest influences of all time. He was created with a special cross by a small German breeder, who did not know at the time what great heights this incredible horse would take them to.

Born in 1975 to Om El Arab, Germany - it is of course the great *El Shaklan.

*El Shaklan was sired by Shaker El Masri, a Morafic son out of Zebeda, bred by the Egyptian Agricultural Organisation. Shaker was purchased by Sigi Siller in Egypt, who immediately fell in love with the beautiful Straight Egyptian stallion and brought him back to Germany. Upon being informed that Shaker meant “thankful” she added El Masri onto his name, which now meant “thankful to Egypt.” His life was tragically cut short due to a pasture accident, but his life on Earth was nothing but valuable, leaving behind the great *El Shaklan, amongst others, for the world to enjoy.

Shaker El Masri

*El Shaklan’s mother, *Estopa (Tabal x Uyamia), was born in 1965 to Osuña Escalera, Spain. Purchased by Sigi on a visit to Spain in 1970 during her summer break from university. *Estopa was a radiant mare with a fierce, protective nature. She was valuable in every sense of the word, with a refined body, large round eyes and a consistent ability to “out produce” herself. *Estopa was a dynasty, breeding countless treasures and became a concrete stepping stone for the beginning of Om El Arab.

The incomparable Sigi Siller and *Estopa.  

*Estopa’s beautiful and refined head.


*Estopa, poetry in motion.

*Estopa in show.

As Sigi soon found out, when Straight Egyptian blends with Spanish, the magic result - coined the “Golden Cross” - is *El Shaklan.

The meeting of *Estopa and Shaker El Masri

*El Shaklan’s influence and ability to become a worldwide legend is undeniable.He started his journey at the first home of Om El Arab in Germany, before spending two breeding seasons in England with Pat and Johanna Maxwell (the original lease was for 3 seasons, but after the sudden death of Shaker El Masri, the Maxwells graciously returned him to Germany.)

Meanwhile, Sigi had visited the US where she was captivated by the Santa Ynez valley. It was soon decided that Om El would find a new home, and after *El Shaklan’s 1982 breeding season, he left Europe for his new adventure in America, standing first with Doug Dahmen. He spent time impressing American breeders who fell in love instantly with what they saw.

In 1985 *El Shaklan was sold to Brazil to the Audi family, which received a standing ovation from Brazilian breeders. *El Shaklan was at this point 11 years old and an International superstar. He had left quite the mark in Europe and USA, and now it was Brazil’s turn.


*El Shaklan and Adelia Audi at Haras Santa Gertrudes.

*El Shaklan.

He spent 5 years in Brazil before moving to his next and final home in Argentina. Sold to Count Frederico Zichi-Thyssen, the rolling pastures of Zichy-Thyssen are where *El Shaklan lived his final years, treated and loved like a King. In 2000, the journey of *El Shaklan ended and the arabian world mourned the loss of an incredible stallion who set a benchmark for type, which has yet to be challenged.

1987 Brazilian National Champion, shown by David Boggs.
Photo by Luiz Rocco.


*El Shaklan and David Boggs.

*El Shaklan in Brazil.  

*El Shaklan at Zichy-Thyssen’s stud, Argentina.

Influential direct progeny of *El Shaklan include:


CH El Brillo (*El Shaklan x AZH Basknaborra by AZH Naborr)
photographed by Gigi Grasso.
Bred in the USA and exported to Austria in 1990 to La Movida stud,
where he was owned and loved until his passing in 2018.
He is a highly successful sire of show winners.



El Sher-Mann (*El Shaklan x Gazira by Gazi)
photographed by Barbara McConnell.
Sire of Vona Sher-Renea, a mare who created many dreams!


HW Egyptian Art (*El Shaklan x Hal Sheena by Hal Gibby)
Photographed by Glenn Jacobs.
1997 Brazilian Reserve National Champion Mare.
Later becoming a valuable addition of Al Zobair Stud, UAE.


As Precious as Gold (*El Shaklan x Autumn in Gold by Classy McCoy)
Photographed by Jerry Sparagowski.
This aristocrat mare excelled in multiple disciplines, including halter and pleasure driving.
She did not have as much progeny as some other highly esteemed mares,
but those she did have were valuable and full of quality;
Trussardi and Versace to name two!

Sanadik El Shaklan (*El Shaklan x Mohena by Hadban Enzahi)
Photographed by Daryl Larson.
Sanadik followed in his sires’ hoof steps, leading the way in type, quality and popularity.
Notable titles include World Champion Junior Colt and Supreme Champion Stallion
the Egyptian Event, USA.
Sire of El Dorada, Om El Shahmaan, Eagleridge Passionata.

ZT Shakfantasy (*El Shaklan x RH Light Fantasy by Bey Shah)
Photographed by Gigi Grasso.
Bred by Zichy-Thyssen Arabians in Argentina, owned by La Movida, Austria.
Gaining Scottsdale and World Champion stallion titles.

But it was not just with direct progeny that *El Shaklan left his mark. He continues to be a precious gem to this day as his blood runs through many of our most modern and popular horses. Notable horses (and their offsprings) include:

ZT Magnofantasy (ZT Magnanimus x ZT Fantmaisa)
Photographed by Gigi Grasso.
Carrying the line of the great *El Shaklan through his grandfather, ZT Shakfantasy.
Magnofantasy himself is a successful sire and grandsire of champion winners and top producers.

Versace (Fame VF x Precious As Gold by *El Shaklan)
Photographed by Suzanne Sturgill.
Bred and owned by Rojo Arabians for his lifetime, siring horses such as Vervaldee,
DA Valentino, Da Vinci FM and Odyssey SC.

WH Justice (Magnum Psyche x Vona Sher-Renea by El Sher-Mann)
Photographed by April Visel.
The Champion Maker, as he is aptly nicknamed continues to take the world by storm
with multiple championship titles from get and grand get.

Jullyen El Jamaal (Ali Jamaal x Jullye El Ludjin by Ludjin El Jamaal)
Photographed by April Visel.
Bred by Haras Mei Lua, Brazil and exported to Varian Arabians, USA.
Carrying *El Shaklan blood through Lydira El Shaklan, dam of Ludjin El Jamaal.
Jullyen was purchased as an out cross for Varian Arabians and as a result
became a premier stallion for their breeding programme.

Abha Qatar (Marwan Al Shaqab x ZT Ludjkalba by Ludjin El Jamaal)
Photographed by Suzanne Sturgill.
Abha Qatar, bred by Ses Planes and owned by Al Mohamadia Stud,
needs no introduction as a sire or as a show horse.
Much like Jullyen El Jamaal, he carries his cross to
*El Shaklan through Lydira El Shaklan,
dam of Ludjin El Jamaal.

*El Shaklan was undeniably not only a sire of significance but a fantastic show horse, often spoken of as “close to perfect” by judges, breeders and enthusiasts alike. Some of his results include:

-1977 European Champ Junior Colt
- 1978 British Nat Champ Junior Colt
- 1978 German National Champion Junior Colt
- 1978 European Champion Junior Colt
- 1983 US National Top 10
- 1985 US National Top 10- 1987 Brazilian Nat Champ Stallion

We owe a lot to *El Shaklan and we thank Om El for creating The Golden Cross.

About the Author

Evangeline Parker Go to the author's page

Like many, I was captivated by the Arabian horse since a young age. I was 11 years old when we were lucky enough to acquire a beautiful Piechur daughter bred by Halsdon Stud, and since then I have never looked back... I have spent every moment researching, with my head in a book or magazine, and attending all of the shows possible to take in as much as I could of this magical breed. 

In 2013, I began working for Johanna Ullström, where I found my heart horse, WW Indigo (Ajman Moniscione x WW Indih by QR Marc). We have had many adventures together with much more to come.

In recent years, I have enjoyed combining my passion for the Arabian with my love of writing, photography, design and all things creative!

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