By Scott Benjamin
The story of Mulawa is one of passion and vision, of purpose and ambition, of authenticity and integrity - a story that began with a young man - Greg Farrell Jr. - and a fervent desire to own an Arabian horse. Universally acknowledged as a leader and innovator within the Australian domestic industry, Mulawa is one of the most respected, enduring and accomplished breeding, training, show and performance programs in the country's long and proud history. Now embarking on four decades of involvement with and dedication to the Arabian horse, Mulawa Arabian Stud can proudly count amongst its long list of accomplishments the celebration of six successive generations of vision, achievement & results.
The story began in the early 1970s, when the Farrell family began a passionate search for quality Arabian breeding stock throughout Australia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. Several key imports were introduced in those foundation years including the BASK son AMBITION and the mare DZINA (purchased from Lasma in the USA), the extraordinary Polish-bred EUNI and her in-utero JAMIL colt VISION (from Dr. Nagel in Germany), as well as several Crabbet-Polish cross mares from the UK. The treasured KARMAA was purchased as a wedding gift a few years later whilst Greg & Julie were honeymooning in Scottsdale. The young PADRON grandson GLF APOLLO, US National Champion AMURTAH BEGUILE, and US & Canadian National Champion FAME MAKER R were introduced in the late 1980s to emphasize international appeal with resounding success. Brazilian National Champion TS AL MALIK arrived in the 1990s to add his superior structure, size and athleticism. Most recently, MAGNUM FORTY FOUR and GUILIANO have brought more extreme type and quality to the program, as has the successful use of frozen semen from international champion, MAGNUM PSYCHE. The careful combination of these foundation sires and dams has resulted in a very distinct "Mulawa Arabian horse", highly respected throughout the world for its phenotypic appeal, genetic strength and competitive advantage, both in-hand and under saddle.
The fundamental mandate of creating beautiful Arabian athletes is central to the Mulawa breeding philosophy. For nearly forty years, this principal mission has been to create and breed Arabian horses that:
- are beautiful, correct and functional
- have readily apparent presence, attitude and trainability
- have wonderful temperaments; they must be kind and pleasant to be around
- can excel both in the halter and performance competition
- are capable of not only reproducing the superior qualities they possess, but improving upon these characteristics in the next generation
The most recent foal crop at Mulawa is proof positive that their commitment to producing world-class Arabians is succeeding brilliantly. Several superstar foals by GAZAL AL SHAQAB, DA VALENTINO, MAGNUM FORTY FOUR, GUILIANO and KLASS comprise the best Mulawa foal crop to date. Add to this the expectation of foals by WH JUSTICE and ARIA IMPRESARIO, the recent importation of Australian Champion mares PRINCIPESSA CCA and RIMARAA, the ultra-exotic W ALEGRIA, and the impeccably bred MI VALENTINE, as well as three young fillies from the USA including unanimous Champion Scottsdale Signature Auction Yearling Filly LLC BRIANA, and one begins to understand that Mulawa is now more serious than ever in creating and expanding its reputation as the source of the most elite Arabian horses in the world.
Quality of life - for horses and humans - might just as well be the Mulawa mantra - it is evident in the fabric of daily routine at every level of the program. Greg and Julie are the heart and soul of Mulawa. Joining them in charting the ongoing success of the program as full partner is Jane Farrell, a beacon of positive energy and the cheerleader for all things Mulawa.
Greg, Julie, and Jane have long understood the paramount importance of superlative dam lines, first gleaned from the wisdom of the Poles and later more dramatically and emphatically learned through the challenges of their own breeding operation across four decades of meticulous, insightful, and oftentimes painful selection, planning, assessment, culling and experimentation. At present, Mulawa is home to ten dam families, seven of which are represented by multiple mares in production. Of the seven enduring dam lines, all but one were founded upon mares purposefully imported to Mulawa with the intent of broadening the genetic palette and improving the general quality of the Arabian horse in Australia.
In terms of show ring success, Mulawa enjoyed one of its most successful show seasons ever in 2009-2010. The darling of the Aussie show ring this past season was undoubtedly the mare PARADA, who finished the season undefeated and unanimous champion on all her outings, including wins at each leg of the Australian Triple Crown (National Stud Show, East Coast Championships and Australian Championships). This exceptional young mare traces directly in her tail-female line to the original foundation mare DZINA, and is the product of five generations of Mulawa breeding. The show ring debut of the eldest KLASS fillies also proved to be a resounding success, with KLASSICAL DREAM MI winning the East Coast Yearling Filly Championship and National Stud Show Reserve Championship, and KLASSICAL HARMONY MI (who represents seven generations of Mulawa breeding) earning the title of Australian Reserve Champion Yearling Filly. In addition, GUILIANO earned the Supreme Junior Stallion Championship at the National Stud Show, whereas the Mulawa-bred BECAUSE earned the Senior Stallion title at the East Coast Championships. The Mulawa performance team also finished another record-setting year of success for the both purebreds and the derivatives. Reigning Australian Champion Stallion KLASS (out of foundation mare KARMAA) became only the second Arabian stallion in Aussie history to earn back-to-back Australian Championships in-hand and under saddle when he was named 2010 Australian Champion Ridden Arabian Stallion.
If there is a heaven on earth for horses, Mulawa is undoubtedly the principal address. Spread over four properties in three locations across two Australian states, the comprehensive scope of the operation is simultaneously ambitious, efficient, enterprising, equine friendly and impressively all-encompassing. Nowhere else on earth outside of royally affiliated stables or any of the nationalized state studs is the Arabian horse bred and raised on such a grand scale or with such self-sufficiency and attention to detail.
As every visitor to any of the MuIawa farms can attest, the predominant atmosphere is one of peaceful calm orderly efficiency, and confident serenity. This prevalent positive energy is a direct result of a highly capable, responsible and caring staff as well as the thoughtfully conceived layout of each operation. In both design and detail, the extensive facilities on all the Mulawa properties have been created with the psychological and physiological well being and comfort of the horse in mind.
Faithfully stewarding the Arabian breed now for nearly four decades with passion, integrity and dedication, the Farrell Family and Mulawa Arabian Stud have charted an ambitious, progressive and ever-evolving path towards success - for themselves, for the worldwide industry and for the breed and the horses they love. We can look forward to the next chapter of this inspiring saga with great anticipation and shared rewards for all.
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