Today we’d like to introduce you to Peter Kurzhals.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My association with horses dates back to my boyhood when my family rented a room in the castle of a small town in Austria. As part of the rental agreement, I had to exercise and care for several horses, so I used to ride them in the meadows surrounding the castle and too often take them swimming in the nearby river. Fast forward 60 years through my career as an aerospace executive at NASA and Boeing to 2007, when I began looking for something new to do after my future retirement from Boeing. That year we took a tour of Arabian horse ranches in Santa Barbara, and I was hooked. This was something that I had to experience for myself.
Accordingly, I bought my wife, Trina, a grey Arabian mare, and we found a ranch in Temecula to board her. Of course, I also needed my own horse, so I bought the black mare NVF Amazing Grace and we were in business. The first step was to find a champion stallion to breed to; and we decided to start with Ever After NA, Arabian Horse Breeders Association (AHBA) Supreme Bronze Champion Stallion and Que Serah Serah. The resultant filly Forever Amore showed a lot of spirit, so we decided to have her handled by Ricardo Rivero, an internationally famous trainer. We then entered her in the Arabian Breeders World Cup (ABWC) and sold her to Claudio Cristiani of Argentina. She did us proud at that competition by earning the highest score among all competing mares and being crowned Silver Supreme Champion Mare.
Since then, we have learned a lot about the breeding process, which typically starts with the shipping of cooled or frozen semen bought from a champion stallion.
The objective here is to find a champion stallion whose attributes and pedigree compliment the mare, so that the foal will hopefully exhibit the best attributes of both parents. Once successfully inseminated by a vet, the gestation period is about 340 days until the foal is born. The foal is then weaned by its mother for around 4 months, after which it is moved into its own stall or corral for further conditioning and training.
All weanlings become Yearlings on January 1st of the year after they were born, regardless of what month and day they were actually born. They can be now entered in to competitive shows such as the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, the ABWC, the Arabian National Breeders Finals (ANBF) or various regional or national shows.
That process is typically repeated as a 2 Year and 3-Year-old until the foal is sold or kept for other reasons such as a breeding stallion or mares.
We thus followed this approach for our two mares. NVF Amazing Grace was bred to El Nabila B, a former US National Champion Stallion, to produce the 2011 grey colt Fabio SA, named after his good looks. She was also later bred to ROL Intencyty, Canadian Champion Futurity Colt, to produce the 2013 black colt Audacity SA, both colts were sold to local buyers after they were shown.
Que Serah Serah was bred three more times over the subsequent years. First to Escape IBN Navaronne-D, past World Champion Stallion, to produce the 2012 grey colt Escapade SA, now a gelding. Next, she was bred to Excalibur EA, then ABWC Supreme Champion Junior Colt, to produce the 2014 grey colt Explorer SA. Both colts did well in the shows, but are still available for sale.
Her final breeding was again to Ever After NA to produce the chestnut colt Everest SA a full brother to Forever Amore. He has done extremely well this year.
Specifically, he was SAHS unanimous Breeders Cup Champion Yearling Colt ATH, and was ANBF Bronze Champion Junior Colt, Reserve Champion Yearling Colt, Breeders Cup National Champion Yearling Colt ATH, and Top Five, Scottsdale Signature Stallion Yearling Colt ATH winning multiple trophies and over $5,000 in prize money. He is currently entered in the 2918 SAHS competition, and we have great hopes in him as a future breeding champion.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As a small breeder in a market dominated by large Arabian ranches, it has been tough to compete. They have millions of dollars to spend on advertising and marketing their horses, have priority access to the best trainers, and dominate the show circuit with their sponsorships and private booths at each show.
Breeding is also a high risk business. Many times, the artificial inseminations will not take, so that we’ve spent many thousands of dollars without producing a foal.
In addition, the sex of the foal is sometimes a challenge. We’ve always tried for a filly, since she can eventually have her own babies, but we ended up with one filly and five colts…. these are always a challenge unless they can win enough competition to become a champion breeding stallion.
Please tell us about Stellar Arabians.
We specialize in breeding our mares to the best of the best champion stallions to fulfill our motto “Aiming for the Stars” in producing outstanding Arabian horses.
We also enjoy spreading the word about the magic of Arabian horse ownership wherever we go…there is nothing like it in the world.
We have traveled to Europe and all over the United States to meet with other Arabian horse enthusiasts, and share their love of all the things that Arabian horse ownership can bring.
- Address: 11037 Warner Ave, Suite 109
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
- Website: http://www.StellarArabians.com
- Phone: 714-775-1384
- Email: PeterKurzhals@gmail.com