The "extra ingredient" in the Al Waha breeding pot is the preference for performance, with the idea in mind - like that of the Poles - of testing for soundness. "But we don't mind winning, either!" says Jane. "Though a show championship still gives me a buzz, racing has really taken off in England. It's an amateur sport - the prize money hardly covers the cost of the petrol to get to the track - but the quality is tremendous. The Dubai International this past July had the best horses in the world, followed by the U.A.E. President's Day in September. When I made the decision to use the Russian horses as an outcross, I had no thought of the racing history behind them until 1989, when I bought three racing stallions at public auction for a client. In 1990, he was Leading Owner and owned the Leading Four to Five Year Old. Now we sell as many horses to the performance fraternity as to the showing people.
"The interest in racing and performance has presented a whole new set of breeding decisions," Jane continues. "Type, quality, style and temperament have always been paramount in our selection procedures, and now the extra element of speed has been added, whether through the horse itself or its immediate pedigree. Time will tell if we can breed a National Champion that can also be a racing star - that's our goal, elusive as it may be."
All the stallions at Al Waha have excellent race records, and the stud is in the process of establishing successful racing dam lines. Mares and stallions have been leased or loaned including Kalitva (Aswan x Carolina by Salon), and Sengala (Roxan x Sengamina Sal). "Sengala has an interesting history," adds Jane, "having been sold to Saddam Hussein just before the outbreak of the Gulf War; she was never paid for or exported and started racing in England at the age of seven with a record of 2/5 (3-2-0)."