Sunday, November 09, 2008
With his bay coat gleaming and his feisty temperament on full display, Alysheba looked fabulous Friday afternoon upon his arrival at the Kentucky Horse Park. One of his first moves was to try to bite Chris McCarron, his jockey and partner in winning the 1987 Kentucky Derby.
Alysheba returned to the United States as a gift to the American people from Saudi Arabian King Abdullah. The son of Alydar has lived in Saudi Arabia for eight years since leaving Lane’s End Farm. He retired from breeding two years ago.
The gift of Alysheba was a result of a chance remark that President George W. Bush made while on a state visit to Saudi Arabia last January. King Abdullah was showing him the horses at his 2,000-acre Janadria Farm near Riyadh when the King asked the President if he was familiar with Alysheba, since the horse had come from the United States.
Bush reportedly replied, “Everybody knows Alysheba.” The King then began to realize how important this horse was to Americans. He decided to return the horse to the United States as a gift.
King Abdullah quite correctly realized that Americans love Alysheba. Upwards of 400 persons attended the welcome home ceremony Friday at the Horse Park. McCarron, along with Alysheba’s trainer, Jack Van Berg, and Preston Madden, co-breeder with his wife, Anita Madden, were among those who shared their memories of Alysheba during the welcoming ceremonies. Another who spoke was Frank McGovern, general manager for King Abdullah’s racing and breeding operations. He accompanied Alysheba on the horse’s journey, which took approximately two months.
Continue Reading Alyshebas Arrival
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