To this day, maintained are the two bloodline pools, English and Russian," Jane comments, "and we either breed them straight, or blend them. We're constantly seeking to improve, aiming for our vision of the ideal. We're not there yet (is anyone, ever?) but several horses come close: the Russian/English mare Maliya (Mag x Maysuna), Tamira (Andoy x Queen's Topaz), the 'English' filly Dahisha (Imad x Dancing Queen) and the stallion Daas."
Eighty horses currently reside at Al Waha in England, 20 of those belonging to people who live abroad and use similar bloodlines. The stud is comprised of two main yards - the 18-acre Castle Copse, where the stallions are stabled and mares foaled, and the 40-acre Valewood, where the young stock is kept - and the original stable block near the house, which is now used mainly as a quarantine yard.
Mares are foaled in a special foaling unit at Castle Copse with sleeping accommodation, and staff live in a cottage on the main grounds of the house.
"Living abroad for eight to ten months of the year in Abu Dhabi means that I rely totally on my stud manager, Ronnie Booth, and Kathy Etherington, the office manager, for the day-to-day running of the stud - their expertise and knowledge have been a major part of Al Waha's success," says Jane. "Kathy Etherington does all the paperwork and anything else (she's a great cook too!). I'm on the phone twice a week, so you ought to see my phone bills!"
Ronnie Booth came to Al Waha after Mr. Michael Pitt-Rivers closed his well-known U.K. stud in 1986, bringing with her the traditional stable management techniques she'd learned from her early years with Grade A show jumpers and hunter liveries. She then became headgirl at Rosevean Stud, the major pony show and breeding stud of its day, and then on to Forge Farm Stud. Ronnie also trains and shows the Al Waha horses with occasional help from outside handlers.