THE LEGENDARY AMER HAS DIED
Amer, the best Purebred Arabian stallion in the world, died at the age of 33. Born in 1984, he was a very good racehorse, especially over the mile. But it is as a sire that he became famous. In the history of racing, he is the stallion that produced the biggest number of Group race winners, just like Galileo did in the Thoroughbred studbook.
A huge breeding impact. The offspring of Amer has won more that 130 Group races, including 80 Group Is. He is the first sire to achieve that number. Around the world, hundreds of his sons are used as stallions in studs. Seven Qatar Arabian World Cup Winners are sons or grandsons of Amer. In France, for the 2016 racing season, he was the leading sire. His sons Dahess, Af Albahar and Majd Al Arab, were second, fifth and eighth in the same stallion ranking. In 2017, he was available at a record stud fee for a Purebred Arabian sire (€ 40.000).
An improving sire. Alban de Mieulle is the trainer of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani. He has trained some of the best Amer sons and daughters. Alban de Mieulle is also the headmaster of the haras du Grand Courgeon, where the stallion was standing for his last years. He told us: “The horse was tired these last days and he finally died this morning. He arrived at the Haras du Grand Courgeon in 2010. His semen was no longer collected. But his sons and daughters are still spreading his genes around the world. I had the chance to train some top class horses by Amer, like Dahess (27 wins including 10 Group Is), General (winner of two Qatar Arabian World Cups), Al Dahma (winner of 12 Group Is)… Amer himself was a good racehorse, but not as good as his grandson, the champion Al Mourtajez. Amer was an improving sire and better as a stallion than as a racehorse. He produced horses that could win over any distances but they were not early maturing. You had to be careful not to push them too early at 3 years old because they need time to give their best. His son General seems to produce like him: horses with class but late maturing. Amer mated perfectly with French and Tunisian blood. He transmitted his excellent temperament and some bones. They are cold minded horses with a great will to run. He was very Arabian in his way to move. He is the base of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani's breeding program.”
A horse apart. Val Bunting is one of the persons that trained Amer. She told us a few months ago: “Amer is without doubt the best horse I have trained, with Djelmila (Manganate) and Djebbel (Djelfor), who were very good but also very complicated. Amer’s best distance was the mile. I trained him in 1989 and 1990. He won four races and was second once in Qatar, for horses bred in Qatar. From 1991 to 1996, he couldn’t run for administrative reasons. In 1996, we sent him to Great Britain, where he ran although he was already 12 years old. Even if he didn’t have much experience, he always wanted to run. We wanted above all to make him a stallion, so we tried to only run him in races where he had a winning chance. I did not, for example, take the risk of running him in France. He never let us down, winning each time, except in the Dubai Stakes where he finished third. However the ground was too firm for him.”
Calm and easy to train. “He was a very easy horse to train. He was very calm, I could ride him myself in the mornings. He was just as easy in his races. He could run in front or behind, even though he preferred to go in front. I think that the stamina in his progeny comes from the dam side. He has had marvellous results with –but not exclusively– French crosses. It was not a horse that had any particular problem, just his feet. He foundered but that was due to the environmental conditions.” The 14th of June, she added: “Like a lot of Purebred Arabians, he was very smart. But when he was in the racetrack, Amer was very professional. He was so easy to train. To live such a long life, he must have a good physical form. I can tell that he was better at stud than in the racetrack, because he was an oustranding sire.”
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