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Al Lahab – More Than a Horse
You wouldn't do Al Lahab justice if you only saw him as a show horse or a breeding stallion. This horse is much more than that! For his owners, Al Lahab is a once in a lifetime horse. He is a rare and precious jewel that has a special place in the Friedmanns' life and that they take care of with all of their heart.
The Friedmanns are aware of owning an excellent stallion. On the Lunzenhof stud farm in the southern part of the Black Forest, they made him a home worthy of the renowned horse he isHisH. Al Lahab is the unchallenged king of the Lunzenhof farm. Here he can hold court, breed his mares, but also enjoy a carefree life, simply being a horse, and time and again discover the beauties of the Black Forest landscape while taking relaxed rides with his horseman.
However, what makes this stallion is more than his extreme type and the floating movements that serve so well to demonstrate elegance and Arabian noblesse. All Lahab also convinces with his outstanding character. There are horses that have an especially big heart and a very sensitive way to show their friendship and their trust in people. Al Lahab is one of those very special horses. "We never own a horse, it is entrusted to us." This old Arab saying Inge Friedmann uses to describe her relationship with Al Lahab.
Al Lahab – An Unparalleled Career!
His most important victories led him all around the globe. Even as a yearling, he came Junior Champion at the ASIL WORLD CUP and achieved the Reserve Champion title at one of the most prestigious shows in Europe, the ALL NATIONS CUP in Aachen. Only one year later, then two years old, he was able to name himself European Champion, winning the Junior Champion title at the EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS in Verona in Italy.
At the beginning of the year 2006, he took a plane to the USA. To the delight of his owners Al Lahab topped his stay there with a historical win at the 2006 EGYPTIAN EVENT staged by the Pyramid Society in Lexington, Kentucky. Everybody who saw Al Lahab live in the show ring then will remember for life. Two outstanding stallions met one another, father and son. Laheeb left the ring as Reserve Senior Champion Stallion. Al Lahab will be remembered in Kentucky as Supreme Champion, living up to the grand name of his father. As Al Lahab's stay in the US drew to a close, Inge and Hans Jürgen Friedmann and their handler Frank Spoenle began to organize the return of their stallion to the European show rings.
In July 2006, Al Lahab again occupied his box stall at Frank Spoenle's stables in Germany. Only a few weeks later, the stallion competed at the prestigious ELRAN CUP in Borgloon where he charmed audience and judges. He returned as Senior Champion Stallion
However, that was only the beginning of the incredibly successful return of Al Lahab. Just a week later, the white horse outclassed all of his competitors at the A show in TOWERLANDS, UK, and won himself the title of Senior Champion Stallion. At the end of September he dared to face one of the hardest shows in Europe, the ALL NATIONS CUP in Aachen. And again Al Lahab proved himself as the graceful stallion full of type he is by winning his class with an incredible score. Once again outclassing his competitors, Al Lahab left Aachen as brilliant All Nations Cup Winner.
At this point, there was only one more step to go for Al Lahab to finally reach the top and enter history as one of the best Arabian horses ever: the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in Paris. As this big moment drew nearer, the excitement grew to an unbelievable level. Al Lahab was ready to go and confirm himself as the World Champion Stallion. The stallion entered the show ring as if he knew, what price there was to gain. Majestically, with incredible presence and elegance, he won the hearts of the judges and crowd in Paris. The audience was thrilled by the show he put on. With a huge score, with 20s in type, head and neck, and movements, he won his class, leaving all doubters to reconsider!
By now it was obvious that this had been the perfect show of the coming World Champion. Inge and Hans Jürgen Friedmann experienced unforgettable, moving moments when their great dream finally came true. Al Lahab was World Champion 2006! Al Lahab had reached the top!
In the spring of 2007, after a deserved break, the stallion reached the Middle East to participate at the famous DUBAI INTERNATIONAL SHOW. There again he, as usual, displayed his qualities and won the title of Supreme Champion Stallion. In addition, he was awarded with the Dubai Gold Cup title for being the most successful European stallion at all important European shows. Al Lahab had nothing to prove anymore!
During his unparalleled show career, such as in 2007, he won important titles and achieved great honours. His offspring are following their renowned sire's footsteps in show rings all over the world.
But once again, Inge and Hans Jürgen Friedmann wanted to call the challenge for their undisputed star and share their great stallion with the world once more. One last time Al Lahab was to enter the most important show rings in Europe and work his magic.
So, in 2009, Al Lahab would once more prove his outstanding reputation and show why he is amongst the best stallions in the World. Al Lahab knows what to do. He is aware of his aura and he loves to display his natural grace. With his power and charisma he came to MENTON, France, and left as a winner.
The freshly minted Senior Champion of the show in Menton indicated that he would be a serious if not unbeatable rival at the ALL NATONS CUP in September 2009. And he made come true what not only the Friedmann family but also all his countless fans had dreamed of: crowned with dozens of yellow roses, Al Lahab left the show ring of the Aachen All Nations Cup as Senior Champion.
And once again the successful Al Lahab Team dares to call the challenge: for the second time after 2006, his trainer and friend Frank Spoenle prepares the stallion for the 2009 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in PARIS. Once again Al Lahab faces huge competition, as he tries to confirm his title as World Champion.
However, during this World Championships in 2009, in Paris, things went differently: in a thrilling and much discussed fight for the title, Al Lahab became the World Reserve Champion.
In 2010, Al Lahab finally returned home to his barn on the Lunzenhof farm, to regenerate on the green pastures back home in the Black Forest, and to cover the many mares that were already waiting for him.
So in 2011, Al Lahab was the big star again, an approachable stallion, an iconic figure of Egyptian Arabian breeding, a model, and a childrens' favourite. Thousands came to see and celebrate him when the Friedmann family invited for the 15-year-anniversary of their stud in the summer.
In 2012, his owner Hans-Juergen Friedmann was gravely ill, so this was a quiet year for the stallion, serving mares and relaxing on the vast paddocks of his home stud.
In the summer of 2013 however, after the health comeback of his friend and owner, people were also wondering out loud about Al Lahab`s comeback. In October, he flew to the Emirates, to Ajman, accompanied by his trainer Frank Spoenle, to be prepared for taking part in some selected shows in the Middle East. Would he be able to become Champion once more?
He was able, as even during the SHARJAH EGYPTIAN EVENT, Al Lahab was made Senior Champion. In 2014 in February, at the age of 15, he outdistanced his junior competitors once more and became Gold Champion in Abu Dhabi again.
Later on in Dubai, during one of the biggest shows in the Middle East with 400 horses participating in the dfferent classes and disciplines, he became Bronze Champion. Although this time and after so many Championship titles, he was not able to leave the ring as the winner, the excitement in his favour was touching. For several minutes, an enthusiastic audience applauded with standing ovations, refusing to let him leave the indoor arena. They had probably understood that this was a farewell, with the next appearances of Al Lahab to be held in the context of displaying his offspring.