FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Elizabeth McCall / 310-720-4096
Mark Miller Jumps in the Saddle with Changing of the Guard at AL-MARAH
Innovation, Preservation and Arabian Horses
Continue a Legacy Hand-in-Hand with Entertainment
and yes... he really rode Trigger!
KISSIMMEE, FL—Apr. 30, 2013—You could say Mark Miller’s taken up his own kind of Roman riding. Galloping with one foot atop his Orlando-based equine entertainment dinner attraction Arabian Nights, the other is firmly planted on Al-Marah LLC, which continues the world-famous Al-Marah Arabian horse farm in Tucson, established by his mother the late Bazy Tankersley.
“I literally grew up in the Arabian Horse industry,” says Miller, a Chicago native, who was born one month after Al-Marah’s foundation stallion Indraff (Raffles’ son) arrived at his mother’s. Miller also grew up surrounded by horse world and entertainment luminaries at large, who often laid over at Al-Marah while touring, during the quarter century when the farm was located near Washington, DC. And, yes, Miller really did ride Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger!
“Bazy was always full of innovative ways to bring Arabian Horses not only into the mainstream of the horse industry, but also into the mainstream of American life. And, she remained to the end, a person who never bred a horse to please anyone, but Bazy,” reflects Miller, who’s devoted his own life to preserving equestrian arts and sharing horses with millions of visitors since opening Arabian Nights (www.arabian-nights.com) for business on leap day, February 29, 1988. “When I built Arabian Nights 25 years ago, I wanted to make a showplace for the herd of Arabian Horses that has been part of my family for 70 years,” notes Miller, who had the foresight to choose an Orlando location just minutes from Disney World when it was still in its infancy.
“It was once written that Mother’s eye was always on tomorrow,” adds Miller, who shares the talent and trait. He’s in the final phase of developing a new production for launch at Arabian Nights this summer (while the current show continues without interruption), on top of keeping the Al-Marah flame burning bright. Miller remarks, “My mother dedicated the majority of her life to preserving and improving one band of horses. 2014 will be the 200th year they have been a herd and I am the 6th person in only the 3rd family to have the honor of keeping them together.” Miller, who owns Al-Marah LLC, explains, “I have been told they are the oldest, privately-owned, continuously bred band of horses in the world.”
Like their Arabian ancestors, travel lies in the future. “Over the next two years, the Al-Marah herd will once again relive its nomadic roots and migrate from Tucson, Arizona, to Kissimmee, Florida,” says Miller, who lives near Orlando. (Meanwhile, breeding operations are continuing and competition horses are making their rounds on the show circuit.) “Jerry Hamilton, my mother’s longest tenured employee ever (now 32 years and counting) will help me keep Bazy’s vision alive and create horses she would be proud to call Al-Marah Arabians.”
* * ** *
The largest family-owned and operated entertainment business in Central Florida, Arabian Nights features a cast of 50 horses and 20 human performers in a 90-minute dinner show performed without intermission, 365 days a year. Founded by Mark Miller in 1988, Arabian Nights is located in Kissimmee (Orlando), Florida, just moments from Disney World. Devoted to preserving equestrian arts, Arabian Nights is a “sister company” to Al-Marah LLC.
Established by the late Bazy Tankersley, Al-Marah Arabians celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2012. Carl Raswan (author of the book Drinkers of the Wind) named her Tucson, Arizona farm Al-Marah (Arabic for “The Oasis”). Known for producing national champions in all divisions to Tevis Cup contenders, Al-Marah continues Bazy’s mission to produce the best Arabians possible. Classic beauty, amenable dispositions and athletic ability, are stated priorities for Al-Marah Arabians.