Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

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Ahmed bin Salman
Born 17 November 1958
Died 22 July 2002(2002-07-22) (aged 43)
Burial 23 July 2002
Al Oud cemetery, Riyadh
Spouse Lamia bint Mishaal bin Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Issue 5
Full name
Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
House House of Saud
Father Salman bin Abdulaziz
Mother Sultana bint Turki al Sudairi
Religion Wahhabi Hanbali Sunni Islam

Ahmed bin Salman (17 November 1958 – 22 July 2002) was a member of the House of Saud and a media executive who was also a major figure in international Thoroughbred horse racing.

Early life[edit]

Prince Ahmed was born in Riyadh on 17 November 1958.[1][2] He was the third eldest son of Salman bin Abdulaziz, King of Saudi Arabia, and Sultana bin Turki Al Sudairi who died in July 2011.[3] She was a daughter of Prince Salman's uncle, Turki bin Ahmed al Sudairi,[4] a former governor of Asir.[5] Ahmed bin Salman is full brother of Prince Fahd, Prince Sultan, Prince Abdulaziz, Prince Faisal and Princess Hassa.[6][7]


Prince Ahmed first studied at Colorado School of Mines.[8] He then graduated from Wentworth Military Academy.[8] After graduation, he returned to Saudi Arabia and joined the Saudi Air Force.

Later, Ahmed bin Salman continued his studies in the US and attended University of California, Irvine.[1][2] He studied comparative culture and graduated from the university in the early 1980s.[9][10]


In Saudi Arabia Ahmed bin Salman joined armed forces before dealing with business.[11] After leaving armed forces in 1985 he established ASAS, a company which specialized in maintenance and contracting.[8] He became chairman of Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) in 1989,[8][12] a media company with offices in Riyadh and Jeddah as well as in London[2] and Washington D.C.[13] Prince Ahmed also bought 80% of the daily, Asharq Al Awsat, which is a publication of the SRMG.[14]

SRMG is reported to be the largest media company in the Middle East.[15] However, the business was worth $90 million when Prince Ahmed took over the company. Its assets were worth nearly $533 million at the period when he died.[16] After his death his full brother Prince Faisal became the chairman of SRMG.[14]

Involvement in horse racing[edit]

Ahmed bin Salman began horseracing activity with his college friend Richard Mulhall as his horse trainer and eventually his manager of racing operations.[2] First he bought a gray stallion named Jumping Hill.[10] Then, Prince Ahmed began racing under the name Universal Stable until 1994.[2] Later, he created the Thoroughbred Corporation[1] and became the principal partner of this company.[2] In 1999 Ahmed bin Salman won The Derby with Oath.[1] He also won the Preakness and Belmont Stakes with the 2001 horse of the year, Point Given.[17] He also achieved another dream by winning the Kentucky Derby with War Emblem in May 2002, making him the first Arab horse owner to win this race.[1][16] War Emblem was sold to Prince Ahmed just three weeks before the race after the horse won the Illinois Derby. The price of the horse was $900,000.[16] Prince Faisal, his brother, succeeded him as the head of the Thoroughbred Corporation after his death in 2002.[18][19]

Ahmed bin Salman also owned Spain, horse racing's all-time female money-winner.[2][17] He is one of only four men to have raced both a Kentucky Derby winner and an Epsom Derby winner. The others are John W. Galbreath, Michael Tabor, and Paul Mellon.[1]

Other positions[edit]

Ahmed bin Salman was appointed secretary-general of the Prince Fahd bin Salman Charitable Association for Kidney Patients and a member of the charity’s board of directors following the death of his elder brother Fahd bin Salman in 2001.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Prince Ahmed is survived by his wife, Lamia bint Mishaal, daughter of Mishaal bin Saud Al Saud.[13][21] He had four daughters and a son.[22] His family owns three percent of Saudi Research and Marketing Group.[15]

Death and funeral[edit]

Ahmed bin Salman died of heart failure at age 43 in Riyadh on 22 July 2002.[23] He was buried in Al Oud cemetery on 23 July 2002 after funeral prayers at the Imam Turki bin Abdullah mosque in Riyadh.[4][24][25] His cousin, Sultan bin Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah, brother of Abdullah bin Faisal, was coming to Riyadh to participate in funeral prayers for Prince Ahmed when he was killed in a car crash. The cousins were buried together.[24][26]

War Emblem's win in the Preakness[edit]

With his college friend Richard Mulhall as trainer, he got into the racing business initially as Universal Stable.[27] In 1994 when the operation resurfaced as The Thoroughbred Corporation, with Mulhall retiring as a trainer and taking on the job of racing manager. Mulhall is currently the president of the operation. The pair would go on to racing greatness, both with sales purchases and homebreds. The Thoroughbred Corp.'s roster reads like a who's who of racing in the past decade, with such greats as Sharp Cat, Lear Fan, Jewel Princess, Windsharp, Military, Royal Anthem, Anees, Officer, Habibti, Spain, 2001 Horse of the Year Point Given, and this year's dual classic winner War Emblem.[27] Currently Thoroughbred Corp. has approximately 60 horses in training mostly stabled with Bob Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas, and John Shireffs, along with 45 broodmares, mostly at Mill Ridge Farm in Lexington. His name will always be associated with War Emblem, his one Kentucky Derby winner, which he quipped was "one of the best investments I ever made in my life, besides buying oil in Saudi Arabia," after he won the Preakness. He bought a 90% share in the colt just three weeks before the Derby, and with the win, became the first Arab owner to capture the Roses.


Faisal bin Salman announced in 2004 that Prince Ahmad bin Salman Institute for Applied Media Training would be established to train journalists.[28]

Alleged involvement in 9/11 attacks[edit]

In Why America Slept (2003), Gerald Posner claimed that Ahmed bin Salman (along with Sultan bin Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah and Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Saud al-Kabir) had had ties to al-Qaeda and had advance knowledge of the September 11, 2001 attacks. All three died within days of each other, and soon after the CIA inquired about their possible connection to the attacks.[29] The story was strongly denied by his family, who claimed that he admired the United States, spent a great deal of time at his home there in Bradbury, California, and invested heavily in the American horse racing industry. His friends in American racing stated their knowledge of him and his attitudes made it impossible to believe the allegations.[30]



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Prince Ahmed bin Salman 1958 - 2002". About.com. 23 July 2002. Retrieved 19 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Prince Ahmed bin Salman 1958 - 2002". Horse Races. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "Princess Sultana bint Turki Al Sudairy dies". Arab News. 1 August 2011. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Abdullah =Al Oraifij (3 August 2011). "Sultana, wife of Riyadh Emir, passes away". Saudi Gazette. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Sultana bint Ahmad bin Muhammad al Sudairi". Datarabia. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "Family Tree of Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud". Datarabia. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Kingdom mourns loss of princess". The Siasat Daily. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Prince Ahmad ibn Salman passes away". Arab News. 23 July 2002. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  9. ^ David Wharton (23 July 2002). "A Charming Prince Is Lost". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Joe Drape (18 May 2002). "Horse racing; A Prince's Passion finally Pays Off". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Sabri Sharaf (2001). The House of Saud in Commerce: A Study of Royal Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia. Sharaf Sabri. p. 142. ISBN 978-81-901254-0-6. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  12. ^ Abdul Bari Atwan; Jihad Khazen (1996). "In the Saudi pocket". Index on Censorship. 25 (2): 50–55. doi:10.1080/03064229608536032. 
  13. ^ a b Ray Paulick (9 August 2001). "Profile of an Owner: Prince Ahmed bin Salman". Blood Horse. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  14. ^ a b William A. Rugh (2004). The Arab Mass Media: Newspapers, Radio, and Television in Arab Politics. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-275-98212-6. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "İdeological and ownership trends in the Saudi media". Wikileaks. 11 May 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c "Saudi prince, a top owner o racehorses". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 23 July 2002. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  17. ^ a b "Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz". Chicago Tribune. 28 July 2002. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  18. ^ Kristin Ingwell Goode (1 August 2002). "Prince Faisal Salman to Head Thoroughbred Corporation". Blood Horse. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  19. ^ David Lawrence (1 August 2002). "Faisal to step into the breach". The Racing Post. London. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "Prince Ahmad named secretary-general of Prince Fahd charity". Arab News. 31 July 2001. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  21. ^ "Family Tree of Ahmad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud". Datarabia. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  22. ^ Etab Noor (7 August 2013). "Prince Ahmad: A force behind Arab media". Arab News. Riyadh. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  23. ^ "Saudis Mourn 2 Princes". The New York Times. 24 July 2002. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  24. ^ a b Bradley, John R. (23 July 2002). "Prince Ahmed's cousin killed on way to funeral". USA Today. AP. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  25. ^ "Prince dies in car crash on way to Ahmad's funeral". Arab News. 24 July 2002. Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  26. ^ "Second tragedy strikes Saudi Royal Family". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Riyadh. AP. 24 July 2002. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  27. ^ a b http://horseracing.about.com/library/weekly/aa072302a.htm
  28. ^ "Prince Ahmad Institute for Media Training Set Up". Arab News. 1 November 2004. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  29. ^ McGeary, Johanna (31 Aug 2003). "Confessions of a Terrorist". Time. Retrieved 1 Apr 2016. 
  30. ^ O'Keeffe, Michael (23 May 2004). "War Emblem owner dead but 9-11 rap has life of its own". NY Daily News. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  31. ^ "Royal Family Directory". www.datarabia.com. Archived from the original on 18 March 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 

Other sources[edit]