ATHENAA was originally bred in Germany, in cooperation by the dam's owner, Ralf Heckenbücker, and his friend, Frank Spönle. After ATHENAA's dam, ASS WINDI having been bred to the straight Egyptian ASHHAL AL RAYYAN, she was sold to Delyth and Mark Gamlin, from Great Britain. She gave birth to a lovely filly foal in England in 2002 which was named ATHENAA. Upon the system in England, the foal born became registered with the Gamlins as breeder. However, they were excited by this filly from the very beginning, and soon they knew that they should show her. This is what Mark Gamlin did when she was a three years old, taking her to the all Nations Cup in Aachen, after she had been already successful in England. ATHENAA immediately became 2nd in her class and 'Top Five' Filly of the 2005 Aachen show, and at the World Championships in Paris in the same year, she succeeded in the 'Top Ten' group of Junior Females.
ATHENAA is not only a very typey mare, she also has a very good overall quality, with substance, balance and size. This doesn't amaze too much when we study her pedigree: her sire, ASHHAL AL RAYYAN, comes from one of the most important damlines in the straight Egyptian breeding, the famous MALIKAH line who was a Ghazal daughter. On dam's side, ATHENAA traces back to a famous Russian/ Crabbet bred mare, SASKIA RJ, a Plakat daughter out of Barwna, who is a full sister to World Champion Stallion Warandes Plakat.
In 2005, the Gamlins spoke to Mutlaq Ben Mushref, Managing Director of Al Khalediah Stables, about their mare. Mutlaq ben Mushrif liked her and saw her potential and qualities as a show horse, which is why he did not hesitate to purchase the filly. He took her straight away to Paris where she became 'Top Ten'Filly once more in 2005, this time as a three-year-old.
After this success in Paris for her new owners, ATHENAA moved on from the cold winters in Europe to the convenient desert climate in January flying to her new home at Al Khalediah Stables in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
With 2006, ATHENAA had to prove herself in the senior classes. Al Khalediah took her to the Dubai International Arabian Horse Championships in March, in the excellent hands of the Belgian trainer, Philippe Hosay, ATHENAA took the Champion Mare title in best manner and style. This great success followed a rest back home in Saudi Arabia, to enjoy her life in the paddock and in good daily care. With only one more show in that year, she went on to become the Middle East Champion Mare reserve in Jordan. Thereafter she took a rest from all the shows and traning, before HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan Al Saud decided to take the challenge with a small group of horses at the very first World Arabian Horse Breeders Cup in Las Vegas in April 2007. A group of three horses went from Saudi Arabia to Michael Byatt's place to be prepared and shown in Las Vegas, among ATHENAA.
And the plan worked well: ATHENAA finished the Vegas show by winning her class and receiving the trophy as Champion Mare reserve.
Her qualities as show horse, ATHENAA definetely proven already. Now we are curiously waiting to see her first foals and how she will improve as a broodmare.