Simeon Shai's 24th Birthday Party
*Simeon Shai at 24 years old:
By Christie Metz
In 1991 I saw Shai+ for the first time during the Arabian Show in Scottsdale, Arizona. Henry and I had made the decision to begin breeding these fabulous and magical horses so I was attending the show in order to "learn" more about the Arabian horse. Of course I knew next to nothing but I recognized "special" when I saw Shai+!!! It was an unforgettable moment when he entered the show ring. He carried his tail like a flag, a dark silken fountain, his coat shone in the sun and at times he seemed to be a bronze sculpture so perfect was his outline when he struck a pose. Shai+ exhibited such pride in his carriage and truly seemed to enjoy showing. When he left the ring I followed him back to the stalls at Vantage Point Farm and booked our first straight Egyptian mare, Glorietasayonaara (Ansata Abu Nazeer x Glorieta Shalima) to him for the 1991 season.
Impressions like the one Shai+ made that day stay with you forever, they enter your heart. I think there is a permanent etching of him there on mine and the emotion I feel about him has grown along with respect for him as a horse. Life is serendipitous and yes, we began to stand Shai ten years later beginning in 2001 at Silver Maple Farm in Naples, Florida. He came to us at the age of seventeen and we have continued to appreciate what is so very special about this stallion but we have also learned by living with Shai+ what exactly it means to live around a legend; the treasure and measure of this stallion. Not just through the venue of the show ring but what traits and characteristics he has been able to pass forward to his foals. The foals have a harmony and balance of structure, exotic beauty, athleticism and most of all the wise minds plus a pleasing personality that seems to know just what you need and want from them. Always they are willing to work.
Shai+ has accomplished wonderful success in the show ring, winning the United States and Canadian National Championships, Scottsdale Supreme Champion Stallion and World Champion Stallion at the Salon De Cheval in Paris, France in 1991. All of these accomplishments happened within a ten month period of time an unequalled feat. His kindness shines out of his eyes and even though he enjoys the adulation of a crowd he is not aloof and is always happy to meet and greet humans.
The purebred straight Egyptian Arabian stallion *Simeon Shai+ from the land "Down Under" has lived at Silver Maple Farm for the last seven years and his impact on our lives continues to amaze and delight us. In 2004 Henry and I registered Shai in the name of Silver Maple Farm. We feel honored that we are his stewards. Physically he seems and looks much the same as when I first saw him in 1991 except he is even more beautiful. Stuart Vesty photographed him in 2007 and was so happy to see that he is aging well. Honestly, I think Stuart wondered why we were bringing this decrepit old stallion down to the Santa Ynez river to take a photo; imagine his surprise! There are some white hairs on Shai's face that make me tear up when I realize he is truly twenty four years old even though he rarely acts his age. Shai+ makes us smile even on the worst day and has enriched us in many ways; especially through the people he has brought into our lives.
His breeder Marion Richmond of Simeon Stud in Sidney Australia keeps tabs on her "Son", Gerry Alexander and Bruce Clark of BruMarBa Arabian Stud fame and of course Ron Palelek of Vantage Point Farm. They are the three men who originally brought Shai to the USA and formed the Shai Alliance. In addition there are the many, many people who have bred to Shai over all the years; we never tire of hearing about their foals especially how much they love their Shai foals and how enjoyable they find them. In addition trainers who we have sent Shai progeny to say to us "Send all the Shai ones to me please"!
On Arabian Horse Data Source it lists Shai+ as having 457 first generation foals, with an almost even split between colts and fillies. His second generation progeny listing is over 1000. Shai+ himself earned the points to become a "Legion of Honor" stallion within the Arabian Horse Association. He is recognized by the Arabian Horse World magazine as a "Sire of Significance" for his contribution as a sire; with champions on most continents and in over ten countries. Henry won the first National championship trophy for Silver Maple Farm with a *Simeon Shai+ great granddaughter, Om El Shadream (Dreamcacther SMF (BB Thee Renegade x Shaia+) x Om El Shadina by Sanadik El Shaklan.
On October 4, 2008 we gave a birthday party for Shai at Silver Maple Farm; over 100 people came to help us celebrate this fine stallion's life and the legacy of his progeny. We presented seventeen horses who were direct progeny, grand get or great grand get under saddle, loose and in hand to the appreciation of the crowd. It was amazing to even Henry and me to realize his influence on our breeding program over the last seventeen years. One guest commented that" he wondered if this many people would show up for his birthday"? During the luncheon we toasted Shai and at the end of the presentation he was turned loose for all of us to enjoy. I believe he knew the day was in tribute to him and he enjoyed every minute; including his birthday cake while being sung Happy Birthday. He is still the King at Silver Maple Farm; "Long live the King!"
For more photos from the Party, please visit