On The Cover: RA Nocturne


By Ally Nelson


As featured in the Spring 2024 issue of Arabian Horse World

Nocturne’s breeder, Greg Grow, is today a private pilot who flies a handful of well-known Rock Bands (most of us would recognize these guys by name) around the world. He is a former Marine and, for several years, flew commercial 717s overseas. Greg and his wife, Monique Siex, are passionate animal lovers. It does not matter if it is a hungry, stray kitten they find on the side of the road or a horse in some way in great need of help; Greg and Monique always jump in more times than one can count,

Above from left to right: Mark & Deb Burke, David & Simone Boone, Monique Siex, RA Aleeyah (The Sequel RCA x Zaarina Sanaa by *Mishaal HP), Shawn Crews and Greg Grow.

When Monique’s sister Simone Siex and Simone’s husband David WM Boone began spending time with Greg and Monique’s new straight Egyptian filly RA Aleeyah, it became apparent that the love of animals and specifically horses run deep in the Siex, Boone, and Grow family. Soon, Simone and David became partners with Monique and Greg in their beautiful bay filly, RA Aleeyah.

Aleeyah was shown at the Egyptian Event as a yearling by Shawn Crews. Shawn remarks, “Honestly, I can’t remember if there were twenty-five or thirty in her futurity that year, but it was a deadly, deep competition!” As she is so beautiful, correct in every way, and intelligent beyond belief, Shawn was not too worried about her performing well that night. Then, shortly before Aleeyah’s class, Shawn went to check on the filly. She was laid flat out in her stall, sleeping like Seabiscuit. She was thinking, ‘Oh, this is great.’ The team woke her up, and she looked at them as though her alarm had just gone off after a fabulous night’s sleep. She gladly rose to her feet and was prepared for competition. Aleeyah calmly walked to the arena and entered the ring like a million bucks, wowing the crowd with a powerful entrance. When reminiscing on that day, Shawn adoringly says, “I have been in love with her ever since.”


Shawn and Aleeyah were crowned Reserve Champion that night. This win meant so much as it would be the last time the Boone, Siex, and Grow families were together in Lexington for the Egyptian Event. However, Aleeyah’s story would not end there. In fact, it was just beginning. Two years following her fabulous entrance in Lexington, now a glorious four-year-old mare, it was time for her to become a mother. Her first foal is none other than RA Nocturne. RA Aleeyah is sired by The Sequel RCA and out of a Mishaal HP daughter who is out of a Magic Elixir daughter whose female line goes to one of Shawn’s all-time favorite straight Egyptian mares, *Deenaa.

Nocturne is sired by the well known champion and champion producer Bellagio RCA. He is black like his father; luckily for everyone involved, he is also homozygous black.

Newborn colt, RA Nocturne and dam RA Aleeyah with breeders Monique Siex (left) and Simone Siex Boone (right).
During her pregnancy, Aleeyah lived at Mark and Deb Burke’s Amethyst Acres Equine Center, Inc. in Buchanan, Virginia. Amethyst Acres is just minutes from Greg and Monique’s farm, Rockbridge Arabians. Mark called Shawn as soon as Nocturne was born, and she said, “Mark never calls me about the colts, but he said, ‘You might want to get out here. Your mare Aleeyah just had a pretty impressive colt. By the way, he is black.'”

Shawn hurried to Virginia to see Nocturne when he was about three months old. Mark and Shawn told Greg, “Hang on to him and let him grow up. Let’s watch this one.” As he turned a year old, he looked fantastic, and the well-known photographer Suzanne Sturgill came out to capture him in all his glory.

Armed with those photos to start showing him off, several breeders were interested in buying the colt. If Nocturne had been better to video, there would be no telling where he would be today, but that was not the case. He ran like Seattle Slew for thirty minutes every time they tried to video him. Meanwhile, he is growing up prettier and prettier and has never gone through the rough, gawky stage that most colts do.

RA Nocturne showed promise as a yearling.
Breeders Greg Grow, Monique Siex and Simone Siex Boone with RA Nocturne and handler Mike Wilson at the 2022 Classic Egyptian Championships in Ocala, Florida.
As things often happen in our business, Shawn was sitting around a fire having a drink with Mark and Deb one evening after trying to video their “Egyptian Racehorse.” Shawn asked Mark and Deb if they thought Greg, Monique, and Simone would keep Nocturne if they all partnered with them. Shortly after that was the birth of the RA Nocturne Alliance.

And what a group it is…

Monique is a DVM, not only a veterinarian but one who has studied the number of genetic issues that all horse breeders should know.

Simone is an attorney and successful businesswoman who counsels them on matters related to Nocturne, their farm businesses, and more.

Mark has managed the breeding careers of the most famous breeding stallions, managing every aspect, from their health and happiness to shipping their cooled semen and collecting and storing their frozen semen. Nocturne is home with Mark and Deb in Virginia when he is not showing.

Deb is Nocturne’s Stallion Book Manager. She communicates with each mare owner and Mark to ensure the semen shipments are coordinated.

The Alliance thanks Mike Wilson for his expertise and dedication in showing Nocturne. Also, a thank you to handler Lucho Guimaraes and photographer Suzanne Sturgill for their help.
RA Nocturne was named the 2024 Scottsdale International Straight Egyptian Reserve Senior Champion Stallion.
The Alliance is lucky to have such an outstanding colt and, for sure, a talented “Dream Team” around him. The Arabian horse community is fortunate to have such an impressive stallion representing the straight Egyptian horse, and Arabian Horse World is lucky to have this majestic creature on the cover of the 2024 Spring issue.

In closing, if anyone wants to see Nocturne trot like a park horse, that is now on video. From the day the Alliance told him he was no longer for sale, he quit running like a racehorse. It appears as though he is as smart as his mom.