The future endowment of the Marymount College School of Business Administration spent yesterday munching on the lawn.
It was a perfectly suitable pastime for the 6-month-old purebred Arabian colt who is expected to fetch the Arlington college more than $25,000 when he is auctioned in the spring.
The colt, Maalim, was a gift to Marymount President Sister M. Majella Berg from an alumnus who tired of answering college donation letters in the conventional manner.
Jan Holder Flint, class of '78 and owner of Maalim, wanted to contribute something valuable. When Berg recently visited Deep Meadow Farm in Waynesboro, Va., where Flint works, the idea clicked.
A horse? Of course.
"It was a very delightful surprise," said Berg. The six previous college auctions have included trips and cutlery, afghans and dinners for two at Washington restaurants. "We've had cruises, we've had Oriental rugs. Everything from tiny things to very expensive jewelry . . . everything you can think of" -- except a purebred Arabian colt.
Maalim's sire, A.K. El Maalouf, is a gray Arabian stallion owned by Deep Meadow Farm owners Erica and Stuart Montgomery and estimated to be worth more than $1 million. Horse owners pay $3,000 to breed their mares with Maalouf, whose foals have sold for $25,000 and up.
Marymount officials expect Maalim to capture the fancy -- and the pocketbooks -- of guests at the April Angels' Auction, the annual fund-raiser for the Catholic-founded college.
Maalim, too little to travel, stayed in Waynesboro yesterday while daddy was on business. A.K. El Maalouf, draped in a regal purple traveling blanket emblazoned with his name in silver script, seemed incongruous only briefly in front of the whitewashed columns of Marymount's stately Main House in North Arlington.
He quickly settled down to the business of college fund raising, allowing himself to be preened and polished, posed and photographed for almost two hours with nary an impatient whinny.
A.K. El Maalouf stood still while trainer Scott Brumfield swabbed shoe polish on his head -- "It accentuates the dark areas," explained Erica Montgomery -- put Vaseline on his nose to make it gleam, wiped his ears with a dish towel, spritzed his mane with frosted hair spray and dabbed ginger, which stings, under his tail to make it arch.
Then Brumfield produced a full-length mirror -- not to gauge his subject's reaction to the makeup job, but to create the illusion of a fellow stallion -- making Maalouf stiffen his ears and shake his tail.
"There's nothing worse than a picture of a horse with his ears down," said Erica Montgomery. "It makes them look like donkeys."
Maalouf's ears stretched forward, and the cameras clicked.
Flint and Erica Montgomery said the son is very like the father, sharing Maalouf's gray coat, wide jet-black eyes and cool temperament