Al Badia Arabian Stud is owned by Martin and Laurie Schmelzle of Seneca, Kansas.
Laurie started riding Arabian horses in the early 1980’s at the age of 11. She was a student at Gatewood Arabians in Miami, FL under the instruction of Fran Lee. Laurie spent several years traveling the US and Canada with Gatewood Arabians, showing her Arabian gelding Windward Allmajed ++//.
While in high school, Laurie began riding and showing straight Egyptian Arabian horses for Willis and Immogene Flick’s Glenglade Arabian Horse Farm. Willis and ‘Jimmie’ Flick belonged to a small group of visionary breeders who founded the Pyramid Society in 1969. While at Glenglade Laurie showed many high quality straight Egyptian Arabian horses, most sired by the Flick’s beautiful foundation stallion Ansata El Naseri ( Ansata Ibn Sudan x Ansata Bint Bukra ). Perhaps just as important though, was that Laurie had the opportunity to form a lifelong friendship with the Flicks; a special couple considered by many people around the globe to be among their most cherished friends.
Martin moved to Southern California in 1987 to begin a career as a recording engineer. He first became involved with Arabian horses in the early 1990’s when he purchased a very good race-bred bay mare named Ellipse ( *Pesniar x *Enora ) from Ventura Farms. Ellipse produced several highly successful endurance horses for Martin, including two Tevis Cup top finishers and the 2005 AERC National Champion in the 50 mile division, Tycho’s Comet.
Laurie moved to Southern California in 1990 to attend UCLA, where she studied biology and philosophy. Martin and Laurie met in Los Angeles, and discovered their mutual interests in music and Arabian horses. During the 1990’s, they traveled to visit many Arabian horse breeders, to study their breeding programs, and to watch their herds from one generation to the next.
Several years later, Martin and Laurie began searching for a foundation mare to begin a small herd. In 2005 they found the mares they had been looking for, after a search that spanned well over a decade. They purchased the beautiful, classic mare SA Alaa Sashay ( Ali Zaar x Ramses Effendi ) from Jerel and Daphne Kerby’s Dogwood Springs Arabians in Daingerfield, Texas. The following year, they purchased a second mare, Shadenn ( Shaikh Al Badi x El Sharie ), also from Dogwood Springs Arabians. Shadenn was of special importance to Laurie for another reason. Shadenn’s maternal grandmother *Sharara had been imported to the U.S. in 1975 as a yearling by Willis and Jimmie Flick, from Dr. Sayed Marei's Albadeia Stud in Egypt.
In December of 2006, Martin and Laurie's good friend Abbot Owen Purcell visited the farm, and blessed the mares, along with a new barn which contained an inscription Abbot Owen had coined. During an earlier trip to visit Abbot Owen at the monastery where he resided, Martin and Laurie observed the Latin inscriptions laid in the stone of the threshold to different parts of the abbey, like "Silentivm" for areas that require silence. Abbot Owen is also a Latin professor, and they asked him if he would suggest an inscription for their barn. Abbot Owen wrote one day, and suggested "Equa Alba Donum Dei," which translates "The White Mare, a Gift of God." They thought Abbot Owen had captured something special in the phrase, and had the inscription laid into the entrance to the barn. Consequently, Al Badia has had four foals since; three they bred along with one purchased in utero. To everyone's surprise, including Abbot Owen's, all four have been grey mares.
Al Badia welcomed the arrival of three grey fillies by Al Adeed Al Shaqab in 2008. Amal Al Badia out of SA Alaa Sashay was foaled in April of 2008, followed by Hanaa Al Badia out of Shadenn in May. Just over a month later in June, Sashay's aged dam Ramses Effendi foaled a filly as well. This last filly, Safina Al Badia, was bred by Lyday Farms in Texas, and was purchased in utero by Al Badia for her linebreeding potential. The preceding mares became the foundation of Al Badia's breeding program.