Maroon Fire Arabians and Shea Stables …
A Match Made in Arabian Horse Heaven
When Dave and Gail Liniger made the decision to buy a young, untried stallion named Afire Bey V and to work with Arabian horsemen Tim and Marty Shea it turned out to be a match made in horse heaven. The Sheas had been involved with Arabian horses since the mid-1960’s, while Dave Liniger and his partner Gail had been developing the ReMax Real estate Corporation since 1973. With the help of the Sheas and Sheila Varian, the Linigers purchased Afire Bey V in 1989. For the next 25 years, the combination of the Linigers’ marketing and promotional expertise and the Sheas’ extraordinary knowledge of horses and the horse business put the Maroon Fire Arabians’ breeding program on the fast track to success.
By the time Afire Bey V was ten, he was the Leading Sire of Champions in the breed… a title he has held now for well over a decade. At 29, he is now the Leading All-Time Arabian Sire of National winners (over 300 at the U.S., Canadian, Youth and Sport Horse Arabian Nationals), and of Arabian Champions (well over 600). His national winning get have won over 2,000 Top Ten Awards, over 75% of them in English-style competition. Afire Bey V has sired over 1,300 registered purebred and Half-Arabian offspring.
In 2001, the Liniger/Shea breeding program selected another sire to breed to the Afire Bey V mares. IXL Noble Express was their carefully selected outcross. He was soon named National Champion Park Horse and Top Ten Halter Stallion. He has been in the top three of the Leading Sires of Performance Winners listing for the past few years.
Over the 25 years of their partnership the combination of the Liniger/Shea breeding program has produced over 50 National and Reserve National Champions that have accumulated well over 100 National and Reserve National Championships. Today, their collective herd consists of 110 horses, featuring three stallions and 40 broodmares.
The two couples have won many awards. Nominated for the APAHA Horsemen’s Awards every year since its inception, the Linigers have won the award twice and the Sheas once. The partners have been nominated for the Arabian Horse Times Readers’ Choice Awards. Two of the farm-bred horses have been nominated for USEF Horse of the Year: Afires Heir and Adams Fire. In 2013, those same two horses were inducted into the USEF and Equus Foundation Horse Stars Hall of Fame during inaugural class. The Liniger/Shea breeding program was awarded the prestigious USEF Pegasus Award for 2012 Breeders of the Year.
The Mission Statement of this partnership is deceptively simple: to continuously improve their breeding program, creating horses that personify the best of the Arabian breed in type, correct conformation, temperament and superior athletic ability, culminating in a horse that anyone can own, ride and enjoy. That sounds like a horseman’s description of horse heaven!
by Christy Egan / Arabian Horse Times