ALWAYS AN ANGEL
Breed: Purebred Arabian
ARISTOCRAT DAM | THREE UNANIMOUS AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
An Angel Ascending
Over the last quarter century, the family of M ANGELIQUE has been a prolific source of some of the most talented and accomplished Arabian show horses and athletes produced in Australia. An impressively large majority of these same horses have gone on to have a significant impact as breeding horses, making this “Family of Angels” one of the most valuable and influential within the Mulawa program.
Most recently, one member of that family achieved iconic status as a broodmare following the final tabulation of results at the Australian National Championships in early March. Not only did ALWAYS AN ANGEL go down in history as the dam of two unanimous Australian National Champions at one event, she also became the only mare ever to produce three unanimous Australian National Champions, having scored her first winner two years prior with her youngest daughter. Even more notable is the fact that all three of these celebrated champions are full siblings, each proudly carried and raised by their invaluable dam two years apart.
The story of ALWAYS AN ANGEL and her unprecedented success began in the early 1980’s, when Mulawa was expanding their broodmare band, in search domestically of well-bred mares to join their esteemed collection of European & US imports. This search led to one of the continent’s leading programs, Arabian Park, long a source of Australia’s best primarily Crabbet bloodlines. From amongst this outstanding collection of horses, two mares were selected: ARABIAN PARK LADY CONSTANCE (Ivan x Dimity by Banderol) and her daughter ABANDA, a promising young mare sired by Arabian Park’s leading stallion BANDEROL (Sindh x Balsora by Riffal). Representing the best Crabbet bloodlines available anywhere in the world, both mares traced tail-female to the historical Fenwick Stud’s NASIRIEH (x Nisreen by Nureddin II), a three-quarter sister to the highly influential NASEEM and the only direct get of the legendary SKOWRONEK ever to be imported to Australia.
At Mulawa, ABANDA proved to be the better broodmare, crossing well with the imported Mulawa stallions. She hit the jackpot with VISION (Jamil x Euni by Bandos), producing an exquisite bay filly in September 1986, elegant and refined, with an aristocratic femininity, exceptional quality of skin, harmonious proportion and natural athletic ability. Prophetically named M ANGELIQUE, the “M” designating the stud prefix at the time and the “ANGELIQUE” denoting her heavenly phenotype, she would go on to establish one of the most important dam families at Mulawa, creating in the process an entire legion of “Angels”.
Incredibly prolific, M ANGELIQUE crossed well with almost any stallion to which she was bred, achieving aristocrat status as the dam of seven champions. A East Coast Reserve Champion Junior Filly as well as an Australian Top Ten Mare, M ANGELIQUE would produce her first champion produce on her first effort: East Coast Champion Junior Filly & National Stud Show Reserve Champion Senior Mare MULAWA ANGELICA. Sired by WANTED KE (Warranty x Feature by Vision), a King Estate stallion of all-Mulawa and predominantly Pure Polish pedigree, ANGELICA incorporated the best of the Mulawa foundation bloodlines, including original imports AMBITION (Bask x Bint Ambara by Comet) & DZINA (Buszmen x Dzisna by Naborr), and Australian National Champion WARRANTY (Aladdinn x Wizja by El Paso). The mating of M ANGELIQUE to WANTED KE also made MULAWA ANGELICA uniquely double VISION, further solidifying her already double BANDEROL pedigree through her dam. Very much resembling an ideal Polish-Crabbet cross, ANGELICA is a large framed, strongly coupled mare of superlative structure, substance and athleticism, with distinct dryness and refinement, exceptional length and shape of neck, perfect proportion and arguably the most ideal set of feet and legs in the Mulawa program. She has joined her dam on the Mulawa Aristocrat list with four champion produce of her own. As a producer of primarily fillies, MULAWA ANGELICA, still looking incredibly well for her age, remains an essential part of the Mulawa program at 23 as one the best nannies at Alabama, supervising a small group of young fillies each year.
The generational progress of the M ANGELIQUE family very much represents the natural evolution of the Mulawa breeding program. As MULAWA ANGELICA embodied the best of the earliest Mulawa imports in her pedigree, crossing her to the most recent of the new wave of overseas imports in the 1990’s was the next logical step. Born in 1997, MULAWA ANGELICA’s first filly was also from the first Australian-bred foal crop of FAME MAKER R. Aptly named ANGEL OF FAME, this inherently showy filly would go on to become one of the first show ring winners for her sire as Reserve Champion Yearling Filly at the prestigious East Coast Championships. More compact and flamboyant than her dam, ANGEL OF FAME exhibited the trademark topline, tail carriage, animated trot and upright forehand of her sire, while retaining the inherent quality, structure, and athletic substance of MULAWA ANGELICA.
Uniquely, Mulawa looked outside of the breeding program but within Australia to choose the first mating for ANGEL OF FAME. Long having been a fan of Fairview Arabians’ US import SK SHAKLA KHAN (Sanadik El Shaklan x Sun King Raindrop by Hilglor Rainmaker), Julie petitioned her husband, Greg, and sister-in-law, Jane, to try the cross on a young mare from a proven dam family. With everyone in agreement, the outcross mating was pursued, resulting in a striking chestnut filly born in 2001. Blessed with the name ALWAYS AN ANGEL, as to ensure instant recognition of her family heritage, this charismatic young showstopper wowed audiences all across the country in her debut year as Reserve Champion Yearling Filly at the National Stud Show, the East Coast Championships and Australian National Championships. She would later go on to win Senior Champion Mare honours at the Victorian Classic, as well as three Australian National Top Ten titles, one a Junior Filly, and two as a Senior Mare. Captivatingly feminine and elegantly refined, ALWAYS AN ANGEL exemplifies the large black eyes, exceptional forehand, authentic desert type and noble quality of her sire, while resembling most strikingly her tail female-descendants in her overall structure, harmonious design and innate athleticism.
At the conclusion of her show career, ALWAYS AN ANGEL joined the Mulawa breeding program, producing her first foal in 2008. Sired by Magnum Forty Four, the lovely ALLEGRA MI was sold to Sharon Barry of Victoria as a yearling, where she was sadly lost before her second birthday. It was with the next mating, however, that ALWAYS AN ANGEL would find her now world-famous nick: DA VALENTINO (Versace x DA Love by Padrons Psyche). Having been the Farrells’ first choice for ALWAYS AN ANGEL the year prior, the DA VALENTINO frozen semen was subject to the often delayed process of overseas import, due in large part to the heavy demand of the stallion in question, as well as the half-year difference in breeding season between the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Once the semen arrived, however, ALWAYS AN ANGEL indicated her willingness to make this cross successful, landing safely in foal with the very first insemination.
The resulting foal was ALWAYS VALENTINE MI, a sensational bay filly born on 30 September 2009. Retaining the characteristic elegance, attitude and structure of her dam, ALWAYS VALENTINE was blessed with the greater scope and size of her sire, as well as with his trademark length of neck and distinct refinement, in a complete package of very North American appeal. Born at Mulawa during the expansion of the program when both the quality and quantity of horses was on the rise, the decision was made to send ALWAYS VALENTINE to the United States to compete with the best young horses in the breed. Having partnered successfully with Andrew Sellman on several occasion prior, ALWAYS VALENTINE was entrusted to the capable team at Argent Farms for her Scottsdale debut.
Given the unfortunate consequence of her September birthdate, ALWAYS VALENTINE was entered as two-year old filly at the February 2011 event, in the division for fillies born after April 15th. As the youngest filly in the qualifying class, she was the last to show, besting the competition with two firsts from the three judge panel. In a rare indoor Junior Filly Championship final due to unseasonably cold and rainy weather on Sunday morning, ALWAYS VALENTINE MI was named Scottsdale Reserve Champion Junior Filly, a tremendously successful result for Mulawa’s first foray into showing homebred horses overseas.
ALWAYS VALENTINE’s campaign continued at the Arabian Breeders World Cup in Las Vegas in April, where she was again honoured as Reserve Champion, this time in the Junior Two Year Old Filly division, before bringing home Top Ten accolades for Mulawa in the Junior Filly Supreme Championship. Her next big win was Region 13 Champion Two Year Old Filly in July, qualifying her for the most prestigious competition of the season: the US National Championships. Having just turned two years old a few weeks prior to the October extravaganza, ALWAYS VALENTINE held her own against the seasoned field, earning the title of United States National Reserve Champion Two Year Filly, a first for Mulawa on foreign soil.
Given the success of her North American campaign and the arrival of her younger sister a few moths earlier, the decision was made to bring ALWAYS VALENTINE home in 2012. Needing a well-deserved break from the show ring and time to recover from the cross-hemisphere return, ALWAYS VALENTINE was incorporated into the broodmare band at Alabama the following season, delivering and raising the handsome colt MARVEL MI (ZT Marwteyn) in 2013. After weaning, ALWAYS VALENTINE joined Team Halter as the principal senior mare candidate for the 2014-2015 show season. Making her Australian debut at the NSW State titles in September, ALWAYS VALENTINE earned her first title on home soil as Senior Champion Mare under Canadian-born Australian resident Doyle Dertell. The universally respected Van Jacobsen gave ALWAYS VALENTINE her second Aussie title in November as National Stud Show Champion Senior Mare, followed by a third win under Brazilian Judge Luiz Rocco in February 2015 at the East Coast Championships. Her final triumph was by the unanimous decision of a three judge international panel – Marianne Tengstedt (Denmark), Lewis McKim (Canada) & Glenys Lilley (Australia), who collectively awarded her the highest score amongst the senior female entries and the ultimate title of Australian National Champion Senior Mare. It was a glorious return to Australia for the filly that marked Mulawa’s first show ring success overseas, finishing the season undefeated in four outings and as a unanimous National Champion.
Prior to the return of ALWAYS VALENTINE MI, Mulawa was already celebrating the arrival of the second foal out of ALWAYS AN ANGEL by DA VALENTINO: VALENTINO’S ANGEL MI, born on the 12th of September 2011. A gorgeous flaxen-maned filly with an exuberant self-confidence, VALENTINO’S ANGEL was more exquisitely refined than her elder sister from the onset, with more definition and dish to her face, greater length, cleanliness and shape to her neck, a softer European-style femininity and a more dynamically animated trot. She was the logical choice to lead Team Halter as the top yearling filly prospect the following season, setting a record as only the second filly to go undefeated in her debut season as National Stud Show, East Coast & Australian National Champion. Not only did VALENTINO’S ANGEL best the record of her dam by winning the championship title at each of these major events, she became the first Australian National Champion for her dam in 2013, winning unanimously under judges from Canada, South Africa and Australia.
VALENTINO’S ANGEL was soon after spotted by Dr. Bruce McCrea on a winter visit to Australia. Having already had considerable intercontinental success with the Mulawa-bred PRUSSIA MI (ABHA Qatar x Parada by Magnum Forty Four), Bruce decided to add ANGEL to the growing collection of international winners owned by Al Mohamadia Stud of Saudi Arabia. She made her debut for new owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Fahd Al Saud in September that same year on one of the world’s biggest stages: the All Nations Cup in Aachen, Germany. Having just turned two just 15 days prior to the show, VALENTINO’S ANGEL won the first section of two year old fillies with Tom Schoukens at the lead, earning the highest score amongst the junior filly entries at the show. Glenn returned with the very well received ANGEL to the Championship on Sunday afternoon, claiming the Bronze Junior Filly Championship for her ecstatic new owner. From Scottsdale to US Nationals and now to the All Nations Cup in Europe, the Mulawa horses had arrived with universal acclaim, thanks in no small part to the contribution of ALWAYS AN ANGEL.
VALENTINO’S ANGEL continued to hop continents in early 2014, arriving in North America a year older than her elder sister during her competition year. Her first success was at the Arabian Breeders world Cup in Las Vegas, earning the titles of Reserve Champion Three Year Old Mare and Supreme Bronze Champion Junior Mare. With Andrew Sellman once again at the lead, ANGEL won her next successive titles by unanimous decision: Region 14 Champion & Canadian National Senior Champion Mare. These impressive wins gave VALENTINO’S ANGEL the momentum needed for her most important North American competition: the United States National Championships. Winning in grand style and taking home Champion Three Year Old Filly honours, VALENTINO’S ANGEL became the first Mulawa-bred horse to claim the coveted title of US National Champion.
VALENTINO'S ANGEL raised the bar even higher in senior mare competition in 2015, garnering the Arabian Breeders World Cup Championship for Four Year Old Mares, and claiming the Supreme Bronze Champion Mare title in Las Vegas. Later that same year, she made breed history by becoming the very first Gold Champion Senior Mare at the inaugural US Arabian Open in New York City's Central Park, once again with Andrew Sellman by her side one final time. Once again in Europe for 2016, VALENTINO'S ANGEL has since been honoured as unanimous Emerald Trophy Senior Champion Mare & Best in Show in Belgium, continuing her winning ways as one of the most decorated and accomplished mares on the global stage.
Just as ANGEL was capping off a phenomenally successful show year in North America for Al Mohamadia, the most recent of the ALWAYS AN ANGEL x DA VALENTINO crosses was about to make his debut on home turf a few weeks later. This was VANGELIS MI, born 31st August 2013, a commanding young colt of impressive size and scope, possessing the show ring presence and superlative build of his celebrated sire, coupled with the aristocratic quality and refinement, harmonious balance and effortless athleticism of his acclaimed dam. Blessed with enormous eyes, a astoundingly long, clean, shapely and upright neck, faultless structure and an intense desire to please, VANGELIS has been an undefeatable superstar in the show ring, repeating the successive wins of older sister VALENTINO’S ANGEL in the colt division as National Stud Show, East Coast & Australian National Champion Yearling Colt, an Australian first for full siblings. He won each of these titles at the same shows where his elder sister ALWAYS VALENTINE was named Senior Champion Mare, another first for full siblings, made even more impressive by the fact the each feat was accomplished with a different full sister. VANGELIS’ Australian National Champion title was won not only by unanimous decision, but with the highest score of the entire show, besting the score of every male entry at the show in every single category. VANGELIS was the undisputed crowd favorite of the entire National Show, and just a few days later, a bonafide superstar at the annual Vesty photo shoot with Cameron Bonney at the lead, the man who, remarkably, has shown all three of the full siblings to their unanimous Australian National Championship titles.
Soon after earning the high score of the show at Australasian Arabian Breeders Showcase, and the title of Gold Champion Junior Colt, VANGELIS MI assumed his rightful destiny and boarded a plane for North America, bound for fame and fortune overseas with Andrew Sellman once again at the lead of yet another full sibling. This time around, it was the Scottsdale International Breeders Classic Championships that would test the rising Mulawa superstar, with the international score card and a universally respected team of judges representing expertise and experience from around the globe. Competing as a three-year-old given his August birthdate, VANGELIS scored an impressive 331.5, the highest amongst all the junior colt entries and identical to the score earned just three months earlier at the Australasian Breeders Showcase. Returning the following evening in a more confident and composed mood, VANGELIS stood head and shoulders above the competition in the final comparative line-up, earning the prestigious honour of Scottsdale International Breeders Classic Gold Champion Junior Colt by the unanimous consent of five judges. As fate would have it, the Farrell Family present at Scottsdale was more than double in size from its usual contingent, with Greg & Jane’s eldest sister Julia in attendance, as well as both of Greg & Julie’s grown children, Gregory James and Katharine. This fortuitous coincidence made for one of the most treasured and memorable win shots in Mulawa’s five long decades of dedicated commitment and passionate involvement with the Arabian horse.
With the premature passing of DA VALENTINO in 2011, and access to his frozen semen more limited, Mulawa made the decision to put ALWAYS AN ANGEL in foal to home-bred supersire KLASS. Given her incomparable production record with DA VALENTINO and the record–setting success of the KLASS offspring at home and abroad, the expectations are high for the next chapter in the ALWAYS AN ANGEL saga. She has already proven herself worthy as one of the most esteemed broodmatrons in breed, and a mare whose legacy is certain to leave a positive and lasting influence in all corners of the globe for decades to come.
- Australian National Top Ten Senior Mare | 2007
- Australian National Top Ten Senior Mare | 2006
- Victorian Classic Champion Senior Mare | 2006
- Australian National Top Ten Junior Mare | 2004
- Australian National Reserve Champion Yearling Filly | 2003
- East Coast Reserve Champion Yearling Filly | 2003
- National Stud Show Reserve Champion Yearling Filly | 2002
- Australian National Champion Senior Mare | unanimous | 2015
- East Coast Champion Senior Mare | 2015
- National Stud Show Champion Senior Mare | 2014
- NSW State Titles Senior Champion Mare | 2014
- Scottsdale Top Ten Three Year Old Mare | 2012
- Arabian Breeders World Cup Reserve Champion Two Year Old Filly | 2011
- Arabian Breeders World Cup Supreme Champion Top Ten Junior Mare | 2011
- Region 13 Champion Two Year Old Filly | 2011
- Scottsdale Champion Junior Two Year Old Filly | 2011
- Scottsdale Reserve Champion Junior Filly | 2011
- US National Reserve Champion Two Year Old Filly | 2011
- Bruges International Best in Show | 2017
- Bruges International Gold Champion Senior Mare | 2017
- Emerald Trophy Best Female in Show | 2016
- Emerald Trophy Gold Champion Senior Mare | 2016
- Arabian Breeders World Cup Champion Four Year Old Mare | 2015
- Arabian Breeders World Cup Supreme Bronze Champion Senior Mare | 2015
- Scottsdale Second Place Four Year Old Mare | 2015
- US Arabian Open Gold Champion Senior Mare | 2015
- Arabian Breeders World Cup Reserve Champion Three Year Old Mare | 2014
- Arabian Breeders World Cup Supreme Bronze Champion Junior Mare | 2014
- Canadian National Champion Senior Mare | unanimous | 2014
- Region 14 Champion Senior Mare | unanimous | 2014
- Scottsdale Top Ten Three Year Old Filly | 2014
- United States National Champion Three Year Old Mare | 2014
- All Nations Cup Bronze Champion Junior Mare | 2013
- Australian Champion Yearling Filly | unanimous | 2013
- East Coast Champion Yearling Filly | 2013
- National Stud Show Champion Yearling Filly | 2012
- Scottsdale International Breeders Classic Gold Champion Junior Colt | unanimous | 2016
- United States National Top Ten Junior Stallion | 2016
- US Arabian Open Gold Champion Junior Colt | 2016
- Australasian Breeders Cup Gold Champion Junior Colt | 2015
- Australasian Breeders Cup | High Score of the Show | 2015
- Australian National Champion Yearling Colt | unanimous | 2015
- Australian National Championships | High Score of the Show | 2015
- East Coast Champion Yearling Colt | 2015
- National Stud Show Champion Yearling Colt | 2014