26 December, 2009

A Love Song for a Queen

Maar Bilahh died last week, on December 19th. She was 25 years old.

For me, it is like the most beautiful music no longer sounds as beautiful, it is as if the color blue has been completely erased from the sky, it is as if the flowers have lost all of their perfume and the honey has lost all of its' sweetness. It is as if the whole world suddenly has become gray.


Maar Bilahh is gone...forever.

The sweet-faced daughter of El Halimaar and Bint Nabilahh (Farasha's daughter, Nabilahh, produced Bint by the stallion *Morafic), Maar Bilahh was bred by the Cruz family of Rancho Bulakenyo and was purchased by Barbara Griffith of Imperial Egyptian Stud. In an interview with Nancy C. Ryan of Arabian Horse World, Jody Cruz said,

"...my father was able to buy some amazing horses, he bought a 'barren mare' named Bint Nabilahh for nearly nothing and when she arrived, she was pregnant by Shaikh Al Badi. We then bred her to our stallion, El Halimaar and she produced a filly named Maar Bilahh, who kind of won the world over."
She was an Egyptian Event Supreme Champion Mare, an East Cost Champion Mare, a Region 15 Champion Mare, a U.S. Top Ten Futurity Mare, an Israeli National Champion mare and a Middle East Reserve Champion mare.

"You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.”-from the song, You’re Beautiful, written by James Blunt, Sacha Skarbek and Amanda Ghost
I wrote about Maar Bilahh in June of 2006:

A Really Sweet Treat

When she was sold to Ariela, I knew that I would never see her again and my heart broke, to think of it. I loved the mare very much and in my fantasy day-dreaming, I thought that I would be able to one day buy her. Already a successful broodmare at Imperial Egyptian Stud, the beautiful foals that Maar Bilahh would eventually produce in Israel, made her absence a little more tolerable. In America, she produced by Imperial Madheen, the stallion Imperial Mahzeer (who eventually became the herd sire for Al Nasser Stud in Qatar and sired Bint Saida El Nasser, the 2002 Reserve World Champion Mare at the Salon du Cheval) and the mare, Imperial Mahzeera who produced the full brother and sister by Imperial Al Kamar, the grey stallion, Badraan Al Majid and the bay mare, Medallela. Before being exported to Belgium, she also produced full siblings by *Simeon Sachi (Asfour x Simeon Sheba): Melissa Al Atiq and Mishaal Al Atiq. Also in America, by *Orashan, she produced the mare, Imperial Orbillah, who produced 3 stallions (MB Talmaar, MB Talman and MB Tamaal, all by the Amaal son, Talmaal) and MB Bilaza, a daughter by the Ruminaja Ali son, Anaza el Nizr. In Israel, by Imperial Imdal, she produced a daughter, Mar-Halla and two sons, Mahbub (2000 Israeli Reserve National Champion Stallion) and Muhajjal (1997 and 2000 Israeli Reserve National Champion Colt). The mare Mar-Halla has foaled two mares, Maar Silahh by El Thay Mashour (Madkour I x El Thay Bint Kamla) and Mar-Hiba by NK Hafid Jamil. Mar-Hiba has already produced a colt, Ibn Kamaahr by Kamaahr (Al Maraam x Imperial Kalatifa). By Al Maraam, she produced a son, Al Safir AA (who sired the successful stallion, Al Hakim) and by Al Ayad, she produced her last filly, Maar Miri AA, who is pictured with Maar Bilahh in the photo.

"Maybe I can go to Ariela Arabians in Israel and visit her?" were thoughts that crossed my mind, from time-to-time. Even though the reality of owning such a horse was not realistic, just knowing that she was alive and being a good mother to her babies was comforting. But now, she is really gone, forever and no matter what happens; even if I am able to go to Israel, I will never be able to see Maar Bilahh again. I will never see her at any gate, her left foreleg lifted in anticipation and her ears pricked forward, in anticipation of the human that was coming to visit her and shower her with affection. I will never be able to wrap my arms around her neck and squeeze her as hard as I could and hear the happy, little grunt that she made. I will never feel the weight of her head on my shoulder, as I proceeded to scratch her on her wither. She really loved people. If my jacket pocket was large enough, she would have jumped into it.

"Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose." -From the television show, The Wonder Years
The Queen is gone and she has taken a little piece of the hearts of all who knew and loved her. She was not a tall horse but yet, she had a lot of substance. In her company, the combination of her personality and her beautiful type was enchanting. The following photo of Maar Bilahh, as the Israeli National Champion mare, shows her in superb show condition (I want to remember her like this):

I wrote to Chen, as soon as I learned the news because I knew how much she loved Maar Bilahh and how sad she must feel over her death. If there was one person who would understand how I feel about Maar Bilahh, it would be Chen:

"...Now, her stall is empty and I have a big hole in my heart. I really miss this old lady. She had a part in my life for the last 15 years and was the horse who has been here the longest with me at Ariela Arabians. I'm doing my best to remember that she had very good life, always with the people who loved her."
Her legacy will continue, through her sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, thanks to Ariela, who recognized the potential of this very special horse. Your presence made life so much better "Marbie" and while I will miss you, I know that you will live on in your progeny. They will keep your memory alive and remind the world what a special mare you were. And maybe, sometime in the near future, I will have "my own private Marbie" to love and cherish.
“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up."-Neil Gaiman
Good-bye Maar Bilahh...it was very good to know you,


Laura said...

Sorry for your loss it sounds like you really loved that horse. I have lost a few one to colic and I know how hard it is to lose such a close friend.


JoAnna said...

She was loved and lived the life of a queen that she was. Deepest sympathies.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your heartbreaking loss. May God grant that you will remember her in your heart and mind as clearly as if she were in front of you. Godspeed to her, God's grace to you.