Thursday, June 04, 2009


Obama begins tour at Saudi Arabian farm 

United States President Barack Obama visited Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to begin his tour of the Middle East and met with King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz at his Al Janadriyah Farm near Riyadh. The king presented the president with a gold necklace at the farm prior to a bilateral meeting and a dinner. The two met two months ago at the G-2 economic summit in London. Al Janadriyah stands Thoroughbred stallions Torrey Canyon, an English stakes winner who was Saudi Arabia leading sire in 2007 and 08; Blue Burner, runner-up in the ’02 Florida Derby (G1); multiple graded stakes winner Dynever; and Official Flame. Tasso, champion two-year-old male of 1985, is a pensioner at Al Janadriyah. The farm also stood 1987 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) winner and Horse of the Year Alysheba from 2000 until last fall, when King Abdullah sent him home to Kentucky as a gift to the American people. Alysheba, who suffered from a degenerative spinal condition, was euthanized at age 25 on March 27 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Al Janadriyah also is home to several hundred Arabian horses, who are kept in air-conditioned stables, the New York Times reported, and is a frequent stop for American presidents. George W. Bush visited in January 2008. King Abdullah enjoys spending time at Al Janadriyah, according to the farm’s website. “Despite his many official duties in the kingdom, perhaps the favorite moments of King Abdullah are quiet afternoons spent at Al Janadriyah, when he visits his beloved stallions, mares, and foals and delights in presenting them to visiting dignitaries and friends,” the website stated. “With prancing steps and heads held high, the horses gaze afar to the distant dunes, providing a treasured glimpse into the past and symbolizing hope for a future bright beyond measure.”— 

Myra Lewyn 

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