By Beth Ellen Hunziker and Elisa Grassi
Nayla Hayek of Hanaya Arabian Stud in Switzerland, has been breeding straight Egyptian horses for many years. The very first Arabians she purchased came from Egypt, nearly 30 years ago. This was the beginning of Hanaya Stud and her internationally respected breeding program.
Nayla shared some of her history, "I have been around horses all my life and my very first horse was an Anglo Arab mare. My very first encounter with a purebred Arabian horse was a real gift to me and formed my future life. When I was just a young girl of 17 years, a prince from Saudi Arabia was visiting with my family. This gentleman told me he would gift me with an Arabian mare and shortly after, I received Aisha. I could not register her in the Swiss Arabian Horse Stud Book, because at the time, some registries did still not recognize horses from Saudi Arabia. Even though Aisha was never recognized as a purebred Arabian, I still decided to breed her and had three foals from her that were registered as partbred Arabian horses.
"Horses have always meant a lot to me. They are a very important part of my life and are like part of my family; most of my free time is dedicated to them. My decision to breed Straight Egyptians is not related to any particular bloodline. It's mainly a matter of taste, and the Egyptian horses are my favorite."
Nayla built her farm, Hanaya Arabian Stud, on the Swiss mountains in a very beautiful, quiet and serene place. It is an ideal place for the horses to have a peaceful life. The fields are expansive and the horses are able to spend most of the summer time outdoors. The facility was designed with the horses' needs, health, and well being in mind. The stallion barn has large, spacious stalls; each has an attached, private paddock outside, so the stallions can go out and come in whenever they like. In addition, the mare and foaling barn has huge boxes for the moms and babies to enjoy.
Nayla loves her horses and it is important to her to have them near. Although many of Nayla's horses stand in Germany with Frank Spoenle and Elisa Grassi, due to show or breeding reasons, Nayla is always most happy when her horses return back home. One of the horses Nayla had the hardest time being separated from is her beloved mare, Elf Layla Walayla. That is why Nayla decided to bring Elf home from Germany and retire the mare from breeding. To the world, Elf Layla Walayla is an icon of Arabian beauty. She is an international champion and the dam of champions including the international superstar and important sire, El Nabila B, by Kubinec. To Nayla Hayek, Elf Layla Walayla is all these things, but she so much more - something that is almost impossible to express.
Nayla and Elf have a very close relationship; Nayla always calls her a once in a lifetime mare. Elf is more precious today than ever. A few years ago, Nayla experienced deep heartache when she lost two of Elf's fillies. However, that terrible loss was softened when Elf blessed Nayla with two more beautiful fillies; Hanaya Habibtee and Hanaya Elissar. The first filly was sired by Nayla's own stallion, El Khaled, and the second filly was sired by Nader El Jamal. Today, both fillies are at home in Switzerland with Nayla, who says she loves seeing them daily and loves to watch them enjoying their life. These fillies are Elf's legacy at Hanaya Stud and soon they will start their own breeding careers. No doubt, when the time comes, Nayla will carefully select just the right mate for these precious fillies - perhaps a stallion from her own exceptional herd.
Hanaya Arabian Stud stands more than ten stallions and in the last couple of years, Nayla added some really outstanding stallions to her breeding program. Last year she purchased ZT Farid (Anaza El Farid x ZT Fardiyyah by ZT Fa'Iq), a handsome young bay straight Egyptian colt from the renowned farm of Count Frederico Zichy Thyssen in Argentina. ZT Farid is standing in Germany with Frank Spoenle and Elisa Grassi. They say ZT Farid is a very promising young colt, "ZT Farid shows all the same extraordinary qualities that made this bloodline so influential in our world through horses like Gazal Al Shaqab and Marwan Al Shaqab. We believe ZT Farid will be a great breeding stallion and has the potential to have a strong, positive influence on mares of all bloodlines. We all love him!"
More recently, Nayla acquired the straight Egyptian stallion Laheeb Al Nasser (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Bint Saida Al Nasser by Imperial Mahzeer). Last year, Nayla fell in love with one of his daughter; Desha Bahreyn, out of Bint Katyah by Ansata Hejazi, that she purchased from her breeders at Deshazer Arabians. When Nayla was presented with the opportunity to have Desha Bahreyn's sire, Nayla didn't think twice and bought him. Laheeb Al Nasser was recently welcomed in Germany by Frank and Elisa who said, "Laheeb Al Nasser is an incredible stallion. He has all the qualities you look for in a breeding stallion; classic type, a beautiful face, correct conformation, powerful movement, and on top of it - he is a real gentleman. Everybody in the barn loves him. Laheeb Al Nasser's book for the 2013 breeding season will be closed because Nayla wants to breed a selection of her mares and possibly take Laheeb to some shows. Laheeb was shown only once in Qatar as a young colt, and we are all excited to see what he will be like in the show ring."
In 2013 and 2014, Nayla will also have an exciting young colt coming from Egypt, Kenz Albaydaa, bred and owned by Al Baydaa farm. Nayla leased the stunning grey colt for two years. Kenz Albaydaa is sired by Jamil Al Rayyan and he is out of the exotic, beautiful snow white mare, Karima Sakr by El Habiel. Nayla also purchased Kenz's full sister, Kamla Albaydaa. The full siblings will arrive in Germany early in 2013.
Today, Nayla is as active as ever in breeding and buying beautiful straight Egyptian horses. She is always very busy because the breeding program at her farm continues all year round. Nayla's excitement for the 2013 foals is very high. She has approximately 12 foals coming from the sires Al Adeed Al Shaqab, Ansata Nile Echo and from her own stallions, El Khaled, Laheeb Al Nasser and Al Aneed LDA.
As the new year begins, Nayla will gather all of her horses closer to home. Soon the last horses she had in Texas with Arabians ltd. will arrive in Germany. This will be a happy time for Nayla - to have all her horses on European soil and not so far away from home. In the group arriving from the United States, Nayla looks forward to welcoming an exotic, flea-bitten mare, a daughter of Thee Desperado, Bint Fariha Magidaa, out of Fariha Magidaa by Shahir IASB. Nayla cherishes the bloodline of Bint Magidaa and she fell in love with the beautiful Bint Fariha Magidaa at first sight. Although a horse's pedigree is important, most important to Nayla is the overall quality of the individual and Bint Fariha Magidaa meets both criteria for Nayla. This philosophy is evident throughout her herd of beautiful, and well-bred, straight Egyptian stallions, mares and precious foals. The arrival of the horse from Texas, gives Nayla exciting new possibilities to enhance and expand her straight Egyptian breeding program.
Wherever Arabian horses exist, the Egyptian Arabian continues to be revered for its history, cherished for its beauty, and valued for its priceless contributions to the breed. Nayla Hayek acknowledges that every day she is blessed with the joy her Egyptian Arabians bring to her and she is dedicated to preserving these horses, and these bloodlines, for future generations to enjoy.