Prince Khalid is one of the sons of Abdullah bin Abdul-Rahman a younger half-brother of King Abdulaziz. Prince Khalid is a half first cousin to all the sons of King Abdulaziz and the six siblings who have ruled modern Saudi Arabia in succession to their father the founder.
Prince Khalid's wife, Al Jawhara bint Abdulaziz, is herself a daughter of King Abdulaziz, by his wife Hassa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi,. She is therefore a full sister of the group of sons known as the Sudairi Seven, who include King Fahd and the present monarch, King Salman. Princess Jawhara is reported to have been particularly close to her brother late Prince Sultan.
Prince Khalid was born in Ta'if, Saudi Arabia, in 1937. He studied history in the United States and Riyadh, was employed for a time at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He then embarked on an extremely successful career in business, serving an apprenticeship under the guidance of Sulaiman Olayan.
Khalid Abdullah's main business vehicle is Mawarid Holding, one of Saudi Arabia's largest and most diversified private businesses, with extensive dealings in financial services, manufacturing, construction, medical supplies, catering, telecommunications and the media. A study of the commercial activities of members of the House of Saud published in 2001 listed 65 separate entities in which Prince Khalid held an interest. He is the owner of Orbit Communications Company. Until 8 February 2009 he served as chairman of the Saudi Chemical Company's board of directors and as chairman of Saudi Arabian Amiantit Company.
By the early 2000s responsibility for running his business had passed, in part, to Prince Khalid's four sons.
In 1990, Prince Khalid's wealth was estimated by Fortune magazine at $1.0 billion.
Although Prince Khalid's father had owned horses, he had not kept them for racing. Prince Khalid's introduction to the sport came on a trip to Longchamp with friends in 1956. Even so, he did not start owning racehorses himself until the late 1970s. Prince Khalid's purchases of yearlings at that time heralded the start of the large scale investment in horseracing by owners from the Middle East that was to transform the sport.
In 1977 Prince Khalid's first racing adviser, the former trainer Humphrey Cottrill, bought for him four yearlings at the Newmarket sales. The following year Prince Khalid bought the top two lots in the Houghton Sales at Newmarket, although the top-priced yearling, Sand Hawk, for whom he paid a record 264,000 guineas, proved largely a disappointment; as would Convention, for whom he paid 1.4 million guineas in 1983. However, Cottrill and the trainer Jeremy Tree had also paid $225,000 for a dark bay colt by In Reality at the Keeneland Sales of 1978, their single purchase, as Known Fact, won the Middle Park Stakes in the autumn of 1979 and then, after Nureyev's disqualification, the 2,000 Guineas of 1980, following up his victory with a win in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
Known Fact's victory in the 2,000 Guineas was not only Prince Abdullah's first victory in an English Classic race but was also the first by any Arab owner. His first winner of any kind had come the previous season, when Charming Native came home first at Windsor, while Abeer had provided his first victory at Royal Ascot with her win in the Queen Mary Stakes.
Prince Khalid's colours, of green silks with white sleeves and a pink sash and cap, soon became a regular feature of the winner's enclosure in all the classic races of the world. In 1985, Rainbow Quest won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. The following year, Dancing Brave repeated that success and also won the 2,000 Guineas and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Furthermore, Dancing Brave failed only narrowly to add a victory in the Derby to this remarkable season.
In 1982 Prince Khalid had his first home-bred winner with Fine Edge at Newmarket. His Juddmonte breeding operation soon produced Warning, by Known Fact out of the broodmare Slightly Dangerous, who became Europe’s champion miler in the 1988 season. Remarkably, Prince Khalid went on to win all five British Classic races with homebred horses: Quest For Fame, sired by Rainbow Quest, won Juddmonte's first Epsom Derby in 1990, followed by Commander In Chief (a son of Dancing Brave) in 1993, and finally the fourth-generation Juddmonte-bred Workforce, who broke the course record at Epsom with the victory in 2010. Toulon won the St Leger of 1991 and Zafonic carried off the 2,000 Guineas brilliantly two years later, as did Frankel in 2011. Reams of Verse won the Epsom Oaks in 1997 and Wince won the 1,000 Guineas in 1999, followed by Special Duty's victory in the same race in 2010.
The winner of not just the 2,000 Guineas, but also of multiple Group One races, including the Juddmonte-sponsored International Stakes at York, Frankel was bred by Prince Khalid through three generations via his mare Kind. He is named after Bobby Frankel, who had trained Prince Khalid's horses in America. Many regard him to be one of the greatest racehorses of all time.
Juddmonte also bred a clean sweep of French Classic winners. Sanglamore, won the Prix du Jockey Club in 1990, whilst Houseproud, Zenda and Special Duty won Poule d'Essai des Pouliches in 1990, 2002 and 2010. Jolypha and Nebraska Tornado won the Prix de Diane, in 1992 and 2003 respectively, and Raintrap and Sunshack were the winners of Prix Royal-Oak, in 1993 and 1995, before American Post took the Poule d'Essai des Poulains in 2004. Finally, there was victory for Rail Link in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe of 2006, a success repeated by Workforce in 2010, making this horse only the sixth horse in history to win both the Derby and the Arc.
In Ireland, the list of Juddmonte-bred successes includes Irish Oaks winners Wemyss Bight and Bolas in 1993 and 1994. In North America, the winning horses include Empire Maker, winner of the Belmont Stakes of 2003 and Flute, the Kentucky Oaks winner in 2003. The Eclipse Award champion mares include Ryafan in 1997, Banks Hill in 2001, and Intercontinental in 2005. The last two of these both won the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, which was also won in 2009 by Midday, a three-time winner of the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.
In North America, Prince Khalid was the recipient of an Eclipse Award as Top Owner in 1992 and 2003, and received five awards as the Top Breeder: in 1995, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2009. In 2003, Prince Khalid finished third in the American owners' championship.
In Europe, Prince Khalid's 78 winners in Britain and 58 winners in France made him the champion owner in both those countries in 2003, and he was British flat racing's champion owner again in 2010, with 74 winners and prize money of more than £3 million. He took the British title once more in 2011, when he had 63 winners and won more than £3.4 million in prize money.
In 1983 he was made an honorary member of The Jockey Club.
Prince Khalid's horses were initially trained mainly by Jeremy Tree, to whom he was introduced by Humphrey Cottrill, and by Guy Harwood, who trained Dancing Brave. The circle of trainers widened to include the yards of Roger Charlton, Andre Fabre, Henry Cecil, Barry Hills, John Gosden, Pascal Bary and others, as well as latterly Sir Michael Stoute. In the US, his horses were for a long time in the care of Bobby Frankel. Prince Khalid's support for Cecil helped maintain the trainer's Warren Place stables through lean years in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
In 1982, Khalid bin Abdullah purchased Cayton Park Stud at Wargrave in Berkshire, renaming it Juddmonte Farms. From the early 1980s he built up a collection of carefully selected mares, in the early days buying from Robert Sangster. By 2011 these represented, according to Lord Grimthorpe in an interview given to the Financial Times, "one of the greatest brood-mare bands in the history of breeding”.
The British arm of the Juddmonte operations came to include Juddmonte Dullingham and Estcourt Estate in Gloucestershire, as well as Side Hill Stud and Banstead Manor in Newmarket in Suffolk. There, Prince Khalid stood a number of leading stallions, notably Dansili and Oasis Dream; in 2011 their nomination fee was £65,000 and £85,000 respectively for each mare in foal. Juddmonte also owns Ferrans Stud and New Abbey Stud in Ireland, as well as Juddmonte Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, where Empire Maker, winner of the Belmont Stakes and son of the Juddmonte broodmare Toussaud, stands at stud.
The studs in Britain and Ireland are managed by Philip Mitchell, who joined Juddmonte as General Manager of European Operations in 1988, while John Chandler handles arrangements in America. Humphrey Cottrill acted as his racing manager and adviser from 1977 to his retirement in 1982, when he was replaced by Grant Pritchard-Gordon, who was in turn succeeded by the current racing manager, Lord Grimthorpe, in 1998.
Prince Khalid was responsible for the allocation of horses to trainers and for approval of mating lists. In a rare interview in 2010 he told The Racing Post: "When I was at the sales I realised that it would be easier to buy horses and race them, but I got the feeling that this was not enough, that it would be more fun to do what people like the Aga Khan and Lord Howard de Walden did and build up your own families." He said that he had his stud book with him all the time.
In 2011 the Juddmonte operation employed around 250 people and extended to 700-800 horses around the world, with a racing stock of about 250. That year they bought just two yearlings while selling more than 100 horses. In his Financial Times interview Lord Grimthorpe said Juddmonte was "not run as a commercial operation"; Prince Khalid once told The Racing Post, "It is still my only hobby".
Prince Khalid is married to Al Jawhara bint Abdulaziz, daughter of King Abdulaziz and Hassa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi. They have four sons and three daughters.
Prince Khalid is father-in-law to the late Prince Fahd, son of King Salman, who married his daughter Nuf bint Khalid bin Abdallah. The son-in-law Prince Fahd owned Generous, winner of the Derby in 1991.
Prince Khalid was one of the closest friends of the late King Fahd, his brother-in-law.
Prince Khalid has homes in Saudi Arabia and overseas, close to his various stables or to the classic racecourses. In the United States, he has a home in Kentucky, in Europe, a townhouse in France, on the Parc Monceau in Paris, and, in the United Kingdom, houses in London, Newmarket and Kent, where he owns the 1,000-acre Fairlawne Estate, adjoining Plaxtol, near Shipbourne.
He is widely reported to be studiously courteous and personally unassuming.
His son Saud serves as Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al-Mawarid Holding Company and as Vice chairman of the Board of Directors of the Orbit Satellite Television and Radio Network.