In early spring the fragrance of citrus flowers fills the air, and in the timeless march of the seasons the trees are soon laden with sweet fruit. Year round, the scent of the azure Mediterranean freshens the breeze, and the countryside in all directions is pleasing to the eye. It is here, in the beautiful Sharon region of Israel, that a group of exceptional Arabian horses are found, their home an ancient land where the hoofbeats of their ancestors echo through time.
"May the love, care and admiration of the Egyptian Arabian horse
become a bridge between people across the borders."
Mohamed Bassuni, Ambassador of Egypt, as a guest of honor at Ariela Arabians.
Scattered stones are all that remain of the great stables at Megiddo,
yet they serve as an important reminder that the land of Israel was once home to the finest collection of Arabian horses in the ancient world.
"There was no Precedence for their Magnificence," it was said of the legendary horses of King Solomon's time, an age when the gift of a fine steed symbolized goodwill between nations and people.
Eitan Wertheimer, owner of Ariela Arabians, understands that love of the noble Arabian horse has always transcended differences between disparate peoples and cultures. Indeed, it is his personal commitment to this philosophy which is the driving force behind the farm.
In the early 1990's Eitan met Uri Ariely, the founder of Ariely Arabians, and a long-time admirer of the breed.
"He told me about his Arabians," Eitan explains, "but I must admit I had no previous experience with horses." When Uri explained his own passion for the breed, however, and commented on the international contacts and travels he had made because of his fascination with these horses, Eitan was immediately captivated.
"When I saw the beauty, charisma, and charming personality of these animals," he relates, "I realized the Arabian horse was a living ambassador for peace between nations - the perfect way to facilitate positive international communication." Eitan immediately became a partner with Uri Ariely, and the two co-owned the stud, known as Ariely Arabians, until 1999. Upon Uri's departure from the venture, the stud, now owned solely by the Wertheimer's, was re-named Ariela Arabians in honor of Eitan's wife, Ariela, and in keeping with the name which had become synonymous with fine Arabian horses. Chen Kedar remains on board as stud farm and breeding manager, and as the capable representative of the farm, both in Israel and abroad.
The stallions of Ariela have a long and distinguished history, beginning in the 1980's with the importation of such well-known horses as Malik (Hadban Enzahi x Malikah) bred by Dr. Erwin Filsinger of Germany, and Nizam (Sharaawi x Nazeema) bred by El Zahraa, the state stud of Egypt. The quest for superior stallions continued and in 1994 the world-famous Imperial Imdal (Ansata Imperial x Dalia) came from the United States to Israel. A stallion worthy of King Solomon's stables, his exceptional beauty, almost faultless conformation, and joyous character garnered him the honors of World Champion Stallion in Paris, U.S. Reserve National Champion, and twice Egyptian Event Supreme Champion. Already the sire of well-known champions in the United States, Imperial Imdal was given the opportunity to breed the fine mares of Ariela during his three-year stay. The results have proved significant well beyond the short time span, as his offspring bred in Israel have already had a major international impact on the Arabian breed, making a name for themselves and the Ariela breeding program around the world.
One significant lesson to be gained from the history of Arabian horse breeding is that the mare is of greater importance than the stallion in creating a superior breeding program. In the spirit of this tradition, the mares of Ariela have been selected with the utmost care, representing bloodlines from the most influential breeding programs in the world, with an emphasis on the precious Dahman Shahwan and Saqlawi Jidran families. Renowned beauties such as AK Latifa, Maar Bilahh, Bint Bint Wedad, Nil Nour, BSA Aliya, Imperial Im Phayana, Tiffaha, and The Vision HG are but a few of the luminaries which have graced the pastures of Ariela and brought championship ribbons home to Israel from some of the most prestigious shows in the world. A continuing emphasis on fine mares of elite bloodlines ensures Ariela's tradition of excellence will continue for future generations.
Today, Ariela Arabians maintains approximately 20-25 horses featuring the treasured bloodlines of the straight Egyptian Arabian, a rare but highly prized strain comprising less than two percent of all Arabian horses. Each year, five to ten foals are born at the farm, with some retained as future breeding prospects, while others go to new homes in Israel and throughout the world.
At the dawn of a desert morning, the Arabian horses of Ariela are a graceful reflection of their glorious past in this ancient and beautiful land, as well as a living celebration of beauty, goodwill, and hope for a joyous future.
"Hallelujah for the freedom, for peace and love, which glorifies our ancient land, the good people in our midst, and their enlightened dreams. Hallelujah the noble stallions, whose mane is the link to quality and goodness."(Samih El Kaseem)