Flaxman Arabians … 40 Years Of Breeding Arabians
by HELEN VAN NES
Flaxman Arabians was founded in 1978 by the late Jan van Nes, when he bought a larger pony for his daughter, Helen.
Jan had been breeding Welsh section-A ponies since 1966, so the move to a bigger version was not so difficult. In 1978, Jan bought a small Polish/Crabbet cross mare named Allegria, born in 1974. Bred by a small Dutch breeder, she was by Gon (Negatiw x Gomorra) and out of Deglet Noer (Goldbey x Gamar, a Merrymount Emma daughter).
Jan bought Allegria wanting to be sure she stayed within the large pony size, so she measured only 144 cm. At the time, she was in foal to Ibn Argos (by Argos) and produced a lovely filly which the family named Flaxman’s El Myrrah in 1979. Both mares lived their entire lives at Flaxman Arabians; Allegria living to be 31 years old, and El Myrrah, 33. They gave them numerous foals by different sires. One special filly, Flaxman’s Sahra, by Waseem Saaraakh, was kept by the family and still lives with them today.
After buying Allegria, Jan was on the lookout for other bloodlines besides Polish and Crabbet and fell in love with the Egyptian bloodlines. A visit in 1978 led him to Stoeterij Arabica in Vlimmeren, Belgium, owned by Mr. Peeters at the time. There he saw the liver chestnut stallion Aber (by Anter) and he fell in love. He bought two yearling fillies from Mr. Peeters, Naxaba, out of the Crabbet mare Naxindos, and Umbra, out of the Polish mare Mazurka. Both fillies were Egyptian related, but a good step in the right direction for him.
Raising these youngsters was a new adventure for the family which involved all members. A year later, Jan purchased another Aber daughter from Mr. Peeters named Varacina, out of the Tersk-bred mare Persona (by Naslednik), a chestnut filly, as Jan loved his chestnuts.
A visit was also planned to Smaroel Arabians, the Smarius family, in Tilburg. Jan purchased two straight Egyptian youngsters both by Fikri (Ramses Fayek), a chestnut filly with flaxen mane and tail named Omara S (out of Nora), and a grey colt named Hassan “S” (out of Bint Fayek). Hassan “S” also lived his entire life at Flaxman Arabians until he was 26 years old.
And so the collection slowly started. As there were hardly any straight Egyptians for sale at the time in Germany, Jan took a big step and flew to the States to visit Imperial Egyptian Stud. He bought a lovely yearling filly named Imperial Monfisah, by Moniet el Nafis. And with this purchase, the straight Egyptian program of the stud started. This was the first filly Imperial Egyptian Stud had exported into Europe from the States. Jan was always on the lookout for other bloodlines, especially Egyptian. Visits together with Sjef Smarius to the States and to other farms in Germany and Switzerland, led to the purchase of Shahd, a daughter of Amlam, bred by Fatma Hamza from Cairo, Egypt. This mare was already located in Germany and was bred to Kasr el Nil (by Tuhotmos). Shahd produced a lovely filly in 1983 which the family named Flaxman’s Chaniah.
Jan clearly was infected with the virus called “Arab-itus” and he started planning to build new facilities in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, so the stud could grow. In 1985, a new stud was built, and horses were moved in at the end of that year. The breeding program slowly grew, with the amount of horses having grown to over 25 animals. Jan’s daughter, Helen, started her professional career in Arabians when the building of the stud was finished. Before that, she had helped in the office of Nestaan Holland, the insulation material company her father, Jan, had started. Very active as a dressage rider, Jan bought her a beautiful bay stallion named Porsche (by Tamerlan and out of Serinda), not from Egyptian lines but a Russian Crabbet cross-bred by Arabica in Belgium. He was the favorite riding horse of Helen for years to come. Helen and her brother, Pieter, also began to show in-hand and competed in numerous local shows as well as Aachen and Paris; resulting in a very nice second place with Naxaba (by Aber) with Pieter at the lead in Paris. Every year, foals were born, and a selection was made of which ones to keep and which ones to sell; not an easy task, as everybody had their favorites.
Helen also took on an apprentice job in the States with Bill and Evelyn Larsen at Eldorado Arabians in Arkansas for five months. There she learned a lot from Kaia Larsen about show training and conditioning horses. While there, she fell in love with a very handsome grey straight Egyptian colt named Shah al Jabbaar. He was by Ansata Ibn Shah and out of Dars Hideeba. He was brought over to the Paris show next to Ansata Halim Shah before he was shown at the Salon du Cheval. Unfortunately, Shah al Jabbaar did not live that long after breaking his leg at the age of six..
The family was devastated, but the search for a new stallion began. Having always wanted a black stallion, Jan’s first black straight Egyptian Arabian arrived in The Netherlands to Flaxman Arabians from breeder Waseem Arabians of Texas. Waseem Saaraakh (AK Waseem Montaal, by Amal x Bint Serasaab, by Ansata Abbas Pasha), born in 1985, was Jan’s absolute favorite stallion. He was a classic black, five-year-old at the time with super character (vry sweet and kind to handle). He sired some lovely foals, including very good race and endurance horses. Saaraakh lived the rest of his life at Flaxman until he passed at the age of twenty-seven.
In the meantime, the Larsen family was slowing down on their breeding program and the opportunaty came along to buy their chief sire which was a half-brother to Shah al Jabbaar. The snow white El Masri Amir, born in 1981, was by The Egyptian Prince and out of Dars Hideeba. He sired some very typey foals and put his stamp on Flaxman’s Egyptian breeding program.
The tax rule changes in the States and Canada also caused a lot of big Egyptian breeders to give up. This resulted in Jan buying several new horses for the farm but also to sell on; mainly to Italy, as this was the new market at the time. Over 100 staight Egyptian horses were flown into Amsterdam and became part of the breeding program of Flaxman and many other farms in Europe and the Middle East.
During this time, local government changes of surrounding lands around the current farm led to no space for their animals to graze on, necessitating the need for the van Nes family to search for a new facility for their over 60 animals. Not only did they have Arabians, but also a lot of miniature shetland ponies, which Helen bred for many years.
In April of 1996, a new facility was found in Brecht, Belgium, and small alterations were made to make this farm work for the family, including for Helen and her husband Kay Hennekens, who met at a horse show in 1987 and later married in 1991, resulting in two children, Sophie in 1996 and Koen in 1998. With everyone happy and more land and stables available at the new location, the number of horses increased to around 100, which is still the number of horses today.
The new facilty was led by Gust Lambrechts, the former farm manager of Arabica Stud. Gust did his job with pleasure for many years until health issues forced him to shift his work career in a different direction. Gust now works for Nestaan Holland and is a very capable sales agent of polyurethanes in Belgium. A new trainer was found in Peter Wilms, who remains today, having shown the horses of Kay and Helen Hennekens for the last 10 years when they became owners of the farm with the move to Belgium.
Sadly, Jan passed away in 2009 at the age of only 71. To honour him, Kay and Helen have kept his favorite horses. Ever a true horseman, Jan did his best for the Dutch Arabian Horse Society with a position on the board for over 20 years. Before he died, he bought his all-time favorite horse, the liver chestnut stallion Ibn Barrada, born in EAO El Zahra in Cairo, Egypt, in 1990 by Gad Allah and out of the Ikhnatoon daughter Barrada. Coming to Belgium as a yearling, Ibn Barrada was bought by Jan at 10 years old. A very special stallion with an extreme pretty face; very much a Koheilan in every way, he lived at Flaxman until his passing 2012 from colic.
Kay and Helen’s daughter, Sophie Hennekens, was a keen horse person from day one. She rode shetland and Welsh ponies until she grew out of them and Helen found her a nice Arabian gelding to ride on. Though she had a lot of fun on her ponies, she gave up riding at the age of 15, losing interest in horses in general. She now studies economics in Amsterdam and just finished her Bachelor’s degree. She will continue for her Master’s next season, and is still very helpful when there is something to do, like an open house or horse show, and loves to take care of the catering and run the bar.
Their son, Koen Hennekens, did not show any interest in the horses until Helen made him show the gelding Fa Emerald (Kar Tiburon x Krystal C) in the junior handlers class at the Emerald Trophy in Brecht at the age of 13. He always said he liked soccer better than horses, but gave it up when he got more involved with the horses. Initially, he never liked riding, but tried as a child at the ponyclub. But after high school, he decided to study horse management, and this caused him to start riding again with Dutch warmbloods and Trakehner horses. His goal is to be a professional handler after one more year of studies in college, and has already done an apprenticeship with Fernando Poli in Florida, where he learned a lot about schooling and conditioning. He has grown as an amateur, resulting in Best Amateur and Experienced Amateur Handler in the Aljassimya Challenge three years in a row. Now showing with the big boys, Koen has also learned a lot from his mentor, Peter Wilms. Koen loves to show his geldings, the 2011 grey Emirzo (Enzo x Emira), bred in Michalow and bought by Helen as a 3-year-old, and Nabeel al Nasser, a 2015 grey (EKS Alihandro x Noof al Nasser). Always on the lookout for new horses to show, Koen has been very successful in 2018 with Esfahan, a 2012 bay stallion by Ekstern and out of El Fatha, by Entyk; and Etoryk, 2010 grey stallion by Om el Shahmaan and out Etnologia, by Gazal al Shaqab. Both stallions were bred in Poland by Janow Podlaski. Koen has also been very successful with Jannat al Jassimya, a 3-year-old chestnut filly by WH Justice and out of the Dakar el Jamal daughter Karenina Dakar. Koen has his favorites at the farm and most of them have a name which start with an E: Emerald, Ebenos, Etoryk, Esfahan, Erasmo, Esperado, etc.
In addition to the straight Egyptian program Jan van Nes loved and cherished, Flaxman Arabians feels there is also room for other bloodlines. Kay and his sister, Suzanne, were brought up with Russian Arabians at their parents Shamrock Arabians in the Netherlands. They had a very nice stud with a great selection before moving to Portugal. Kay’s favorite stallion, Myca, a 1985 liver chestnut by Kilimandscharo and out of Pinega 30, moved with him after meeting Helen. A straight Russian, he was a wonderful horse to ride; Helen even having a lot of fun with him under saddle. Myca lived at Flaxman until his passing at 24 years. Because of his love for Russian Arabians as great movers and super show horses, Kay sought out Russian blood. He bought the yearling colt Pristice Kossack, a grey born in 2009 by WH Justice and out of Prisiage, by Gordon at the Kossack Stud in 2010. A very special horse who had serious colic surgery at the age of three, the Hennekens know they are very lucky to have this proven sire still with them. Another WH Justice son was purchased from Aljassimya Farm in 2014. Jeryan al Jassimya was born in the U.S. and came to Europe as a 2-year-old. Shown in Scottsdale, Las Vegas and Menton by Ted Carson with great results, he is the new star at the farm,. Now at STC and shown by Glenn Schoukens, he has been very succesful this summer with four silver medals from St.Oedenrode, Bruges, Addington and the Belgian Nationals in Lier.
Kay’s love for the WH Justice line has resulted in the purchase of several nice daughters, including: A Golden Girl of Kossack (x Abakana Kossack); Julnar al Jassimya (x Ventures Serenade); Jawa al Jassimya (x Pagentry); Jubella al Jassimya (x Om el Belinda Estopa); Julie al Jassimya (x Belle Song); and Jannat al Jassimya (x Karenina Dakar. Other WH Justice sons at the farm are MM Sergio (x Sarah el Bey) and FA Napoli (x Accona Shaell FF.
Helen also has a love for Spanish Arabians, which resulted in the purchase of Kar Tiburon in 1994 from Karolinenhof in Germany. Kar Tiburon (1993) was by El Tabal and out of Ornela, by Uzacur. He was a gold medal stallion for the studbook and had many wins in the show ring. He passed away at the age of 25 this year. Flaxman still has a beautiful son of his named FA Wisznu out of Krystal C, by Alzubio. From their small breeding program, Tiburon has left some straight Spanish daughters to cross with, resulting in the broodmares: Krystal C, 1987 (imported from U.S.), by Alzubio and out of Ismaelia, still at the farm today; Rashidaa, 1993, by Mel Nebli and out of Mel Razina; VD Erinda, 1996, by Mel Rintin and out of Mel Idola; Princess Odessa, 1997, by Kar Uranio Son and out of Osiris; as well as some nice daughters and granddaughter of Kar Tiburon which are now being crossed to modern show lines, such as WH Justice and RFI Farid.
Current straight Egyptian stallions at stud:
~ Shaikeel (Simeon Shai x Glorieta Sayonaara) - 1992, black (imported from U.S.), bred by Silver Maple Farm. Though retired, he is still full of life.
~ Flaxman’s Rabdan (Niyashin x Waseem Serasaaba (aka Waseem Montaal) - 1996, black; a homebred
~ Dalishah (Ansata Halim Shah x AK Bint Dalia II) - 1994, grey
~ Fa Earl Grey (Fa Zain x Flaxman’s Nakaana) - 2006, grey
~ Black Diamond LDA (Thee Desperado x Alia Amal LDA) - 2005, (imported from U.S.), bred by LD Arabians
~ GH Meknes (Muddassir B Mehaman x Al Kadaira, by Shaikeel) - 2009, black (imported from Germany), bred by Haegerhof
~ FA Munir (GH Meknes x Flaxman’s Faserra, by Shirkhan el Chamsin) - 2014, black; a homebred
Other stallions from modern show lines include:
~ Etoryk (Om el Shahmaan x Etnologia, by Gazal al Shaqab) - 2010
~ Ebenos (Om el Bellisimo x Enaam, by Ekstern) - 2012
~ Esfahan (Ekstern x El Fatha, by Entyk) - 2012
~ MM Esperado (RFI Farid x MM Eluise, by WH Justice) - 2014; bred by Mario Matt Arabians, Austria
~ MM Erasmo (RFI Farid x MM Estefania, by WH Justice) - 2015
~ Fa Napoli (WH Justice x Accona Shaell FF, by Shael Dream Desert - 2015
~ MM Sergio (WH Justice x Sara el Bey, by Bey el Jamal) - 2010
~ Fa Wisznu (Kar Tiburon x Krystal C, by Alzubio) - 2000
Focusing on these bloodlines, Flaxman Arabians looks forward to competing in Aachen and throughout Europe.