The 2017 All Nations Cup Festival
The 2017 All Nations Cup Festival
By Lisa Abraham
With a Tribute to Ignacy Jaworowski
By Scott Benjamin
A Tribute to Gazal Al Shaqab
By Michael Byatt
The 2017 All Nations Cup (ANC) Festival, which took place from September 21-24, was a spectacular Arabian horse show with nonstop entertainment. After the busy show season of summer, the excitement in Aachen was elevated as this was the first leg of the European Triple Crown. It was here that the farms chose who was to represent them—and all stops were pulled. Promotional output was high and so were expectations. Once again, all activities took place in the Albert-Vahle-Halle, located in the heart of the charming German city of Aachen. The agenda in Aachen is always packed, but this year’s schedule of events was impressively extensive.
From nearly the very beginning, it has been important to the organizers of the ANC to not only provide a show of world class quality, but also to also ensure that guests are thoroughly entertained. Although this has been famously accomplished year after year, the 2017 show brought continuous entertainment to an entirely new level. Each break was filled with lavish presentations featuring some of the most important horses in the world; world class tenor Paul Potts performed on two separate occasions; for the second year in a row, a specular laser show opened and closed the Championships; and last but certainly not least, a spectacular evening featuring an unforgettable inaugural auction.
Although the ANC is one of the most important competitions for Arabian horses in the world, the tight-knit sense of community at the show is equally impressive. Like all major shows, this was an enormous production. But there is always a strong feeling that those working the show are motivated by their passion and commitment to ensure that the ANC remains at the top. These individuals who contribute to make the show special are doing so with a personal commitment that far outweighs mere responsibility. It is not uncommon to share in discussions about previous shows that have a warm tone reminiscent of family stories told around the Christmas tree. Furthermore, the amount of people dedicated to the success of the ANC is awe inspiring—many of whom are volunteers and work entirely behind the scene.
Mike Ashmore (GBR): The ANC is truly a people’s show. As a community, we all work together to create a memorable show that people will talk about and other shows will be measured against. The organizing committee for the ANC is long and vast, from the people in the office, to the security at the entrance gates—everyone plays an important part. This year I arrived on Tuesday (9-21-2017) after an overnight drive from England. Immediately, Chris Lowe and I went to work building the European Breeders Trust booth—lack of sleep was not an issue. Just like every year, many people offered to help as everyone wanted to be a part of it. However, once Thursday arrived—it was “full on”. As one of the speakers, along with many others working in various show capacities, my responsibilities were nonstop. During the lunch breaks I did the speaking for the various presentations offered and every other available minute was spent with Erik Blaak, Karl-Heinz Stoeckle, Gregor Aymar and Dr. Nils Ismer to coordinate events and ensure the timetable. Since we have all worked together for a long time, our level of teamwork is quite high—this helped immensely. But overall, so many people contribute enormous amounts of energy and time to making Aachen the greatest show on earth. To those of us involved, the ANC is not just another horse show—it is a living breathing entity in which we are all proud to be associated.
European Breeders Select Sale, offered by The European Breeders Trust
The 2017 ANC was also the stage for the introduction of the European Breeders Trust AG (EBT), which was formed earlier in the year by founding members Karl-Heinz Stoeckle, Gregor Aymar and Dr. Nils Ismer (all from Germany). The purpose of the EBT is to combat many of the problems resulting from the decline of the Arabian horse industry in Europe by creating both financial and political influence. It seeks to address both the reduced number of foals born and availability of perspective buyers; and to create greater accessibility to important industry resources such as high-quality stallion services and competitive marketing opportunities. EBT is a “shareholding company” and available only to European breeders. To ensure the stability needed to grow, EBT has formed a partnership with the Arabian Futurity Europe, a non-profit organization which is well established.
Dr. Nils Ismer (DEU): The idea which led to the formation of EBT came during a discussion between Heinz, Gregor and myself. We agreed that there are many European breeders who are aiming at the same goal: to breed excellent horses and survive in this tough market. We also agreed that in addition to being dedicated breeders like ourselves, many are very nice people with whom we would love to cooperate. This led us to two questions: (1) How could an organized cooperation among breeders work? and (2) What would be the terms of the cooperation?
As the entire Arabian horse market has achieved such a high degree of professionalism in breeding, presentation, sales and marketing—a cooperation among smaller breeders has become imperative for survival. Considering the new demands of the market, it is nearly impossible for a single breeder to compete on a global scale, let alone enter new markets such as China. Although still in the initial phases, I am very hopeful for the future of EBT. In a big forest, a single ant does not have a chance. But an organized state of ants, through combined efforts, can achieve great recognition—this is why we need an organization such as EBT.
As a shareholding company, resources developed by EBT will only be available to those who own shares. Through several projects aimed at assisting shareholders, EBT intends to improve the buying and selling environment, which includes conducting auctions. The first of which was the European Breeders Select Sale, which took place on Saturday, September 23, following classes. On this evening, the Albert-Vahle-Halle was transformed from a horse show arena, to an elegant venue appropriate for a more formal evening activity—yet still safe for horses.
As auctions are becoming popular a way to sell horses and excite breeders, organizers are investing enormous efforts to ensure their success—and that is exactly what the EBT did for the European Breeders Select Sale—in spades. Cohesive marketing for the auction began months before the show. Top quality designs and images promoted the prestigious lots to be offered and social media was used quite effectively for this purpose.
Festivities started at 6:30 as guests strolled in for early cocktails and socializing. Although the evening began on a light note, there was a thread of pending excitement woven through the air. After guests enjoyed a lovely dinner, pre-auction entertainment was performed by tenor Paul Potts. The auctioneer was Andrew Nolan (IRL), while the speakers included Mike Ashmore, Eric Blaak (NLD) and Rory O’Neil (USA).
At 8:00 PM, the auction opened with a bang—Lot #1 was the embryo right to FT Shaella with FA El Rasheem and was represented by FA El Rasheem himself, with Paolo Capecci (ITA) at the lead. The very center of the arena was arranged with a floor and tables, leaving a perimeter of about 10-15 feet of show footing. This arrangement allowed ample room for a horse to be presented, yet was easily visible from all angels as well. The grandstands surrounding the arena were filled to the very top on all sides—yet, due to the well thought out strategy of this arrangement, there was not a bad seat in the house. In the end, there were a total of fifteen lots presented and earned a grand total of 1,065,000 EUROS. The lot which earned the highest amount was #15: one breeding right to Donna Molta Bella SRA and FA El Rasheem. After fierce competition, the hammer was finally lowered at 230,000 EUROS.
Lifetime Achievement Award for a Person
In 2016, the ANC introduced this award to recognize someone who had known significant achievement as both a breeder and individual within the Arabian horse community. Its inaugural recipient was Judith Forbis of Ansata Arabian Stud (USA), a woman who not only bred an influential dynasty whose reach has been both generational and international, but has also written numerous books and articles which are coveted as resource treasures. The 2017 ANC Lifetime Achievement Award for a Person was awarded to Ignacy Jaworowsky (1924 - 2004). Ignacy Jaworowsky had been a director of Polish State Stud Michalow and was represented by his daughters Dorota Janiszewska and Agnieszka Rozwadowska.
A Tribute to Ignacy Jaworowski
By Scott Benjamin
The extraordinary history of Michalow is inextricably interwoven with that of Ignacy Jaworowski, the stud’s founding Director and breeding genius that masterfully guided the rise of the most modest of the post-war State Studs of Poland to unprecedented international prominence, universal acclaim and uncompromising respect.
Born into a prominent Polish Family in 1924, Ignacy Jaworowski came of age during the most turbulent time in Poland’s modern history, amidst the brutal Nazi occupation of his homeland. Secretly studying agriculture during the war in the nation’s capital, a young impassioned & ideal-minded Jaworowski joined the resistance as a cavalryman serving in the Zagrobla Unit of the Home Army during the infamous Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Post- war, Jaworowski completed his Masters Degree in Horse Breeding, training first at the leading Polish Thoroughbred farm in Racot, before relocating to Posadowo in 1948, home to the Arabian herd repatriated from Germany under the direction of Janow Podlaski Director and legendary horseman Andrzej Krzysztalowicz. It was here that the lifelong friendship and collaboration of these iconic breeders began, and the interest in Arabian horses was kindled for Jaworowski. Transferred to Klemensow in 1951 as breeding director, Jaworowski was promoted to Director of the fledgling stud when it’s twenty-two mares and two chief sires were relocated to small village of Michalow in August of 1953.
For the next 44 years, Ignacy Jaworowski refashioned the humble beginnings of the Michalow herd into the most well respected and elite collection of Arabian horses in the world. Unequivocally committed to his uncompromising standard of the Saklawi-style Arabian, Jaworowski used the stallions AMURATH SAHIB, NABOR, GWARNY, ELF, NEGATIW, AQUINOR & COMET to build the early foundations of the breeding programme. The utilization of chief sires PALAS, PROBAT, EUKALIPTUS, PENITENT & PIECHUR propelled Michalow into the modern age, resulting in an unrivalled collection of elite Arabian mares. With great conviction and clarity, Jaworowski pursued his vision as a breeder with passion and purpose, never afraid to pursue possibilities and experiment without constraints. His decisions to incorporate stallions considered distinctly ‘un-Saklawi’ in phenotype or those that were unproven and/or unpopular proved essential to the long-term success of Michalow, fortifying his breeding genius while positively and profoundly impacting the future of the breed. Just a few examples of these brilliant and courageous choices include: EL PASO - sire of WIZJA & WILEJKA; CARYCYN – maternal grandsire to the immortal EMIGRACJA; BURKAN – ancestor of EKSTERN; TALLIN – sire of WOJSLAW; PESENNIK – maternal grandsire of KWESTURA; ARBIL – sire of WIAZMA & WACHLARZ; FANATYK – maternal grandsire of GANGES; ENRILO – maternal grandsire of ZAGROBLA, named in honour of the men with whom he fought for his homeland in his youth; and, unquestionably, MONOGRAMM - Jawoworski’s final tribute to the breed to which he dedicated the entirety of his life, energy & talent – the now legendary stallion who subsequently rewrote the standard of success for what was already the world’s leading Arabian breeding programme.
The list of breeding accomplishments for Ignacy Jaworowski is awe-inspiring, especially when one considers that he bred more US National, World, European, All Nations Cup & international champion mares than any other breeder in history by an overwhelming margin. His acknowledgment of and devout dedication to his undeniable natural talent as breeder was one of his greatest gifts to this world, one that miraculously endured against the back drop of world war, decades of Communist oppression and the uncertainty of the ‘new world order’ established after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
His most enduring legacy, however, is the standard of excellence he left behind. Knowing him, he would be proudest of the standard he established for the Arabian mare – his greatest love as a horseman, an ideal that still serves as the beacon that lights the aspirations of breeders across the globe. For those he inspired with his actions and achievements, his courage, conviction and wholehearted commitment to his instincts continue to set the benchmark as we pursue our own involvement with the Arabian horse with passion & enthusiasm. For those who knew him personally, his warmth, his authenticity, his ‘larger-than-life’ personality and boundless generosity inspired us all to work towards a more connected world full of infinite possibility, united together under the banner of our mutual love, respect and unwavering commitment to the Arabian horse.
His longtime friend and colleague, the late Izabella Zawadzka, former Chief Arabian Horse Specialist for the Polish government, had this to say about the man she immeasurably admired following his death, “Tyle z nas pozostanie, ile dobrego uczyniliśmy dla innych...Mało kto, uczynił tak wiele dla innych, jak Dyrektor Ignacy Jaworowski” – ‘that which will most endure, is the good we have done for others. There are few, who have done so much for so many as Director Ignacy Jaworowski’.
Thank you, Pani Iza, for summing up the contribution of the man we knew and loved as Ignacy Jaworowski so perfectly. May we all aspire to serve the world in which we live, our fellow man and our beloved Arabian horse with the same passion, purpose and conviction...
Lifetime Achievement Award for a Horse
Like the Award given to a person for a lifetime of achievements, this was the second year that a horse was honored as well. In 2016, the famous El Shaklan was the worthy recipient, represented by his owner Janina Merz of Om El Arab (USA). This year it was Gazal Al Shaqab who was honored. There are very few horses in our breed that have achieved the level of accomplishment as Gazal. Due to his strengths as a sire, he has influenced nearly every important breeding program in the world, producing important breeding and show qualities in both his female and male progeny. At the 2017 ANC, his influence was notably prominent as he was present in thirteen pedigrees, of the eighteen Champions, a total of sixteen times. Furthermore, he was the sire to the Senior Mare Bronze Champion. As an individual, it is also fair to write that he has also touched the heart of the entire Arabian horse community. Gazal Al Shaqab was personally in attendance with his breeder, Sheikh Hamad bin Ali Al Thani of Al Shaqab Stud (QAT), and was presented by someone who has known and loved him for many years, Michael Byatt (USA). The presentation of this award was unforgettable, and for many, viewed through streams of heart felt tears.
A Tribute to Gazal Al Shaqab
By Michael Byatt
At the heart of our farm, there is a paddock called The Gazal Paddock. There, for 10 years, Gazal reigned over all things at Michael Byatt Arabians. At 8:30 AM he let it be known he wanted to be taken to his paddock, and at 4:30 pm he wanted to be taken back inside. There was very little deviation from this: rain or sun, cold or hot. What did deviate, very strategically, was where Gazal would be during the hours of the day; he was always where he would be the most comfortable. In the cooler hours of the morning, he would be in the sun enjoying the rays. During the hotter parts of the day, he would retire to the shade. If during the course of the day a horse passed down the lane that did not appeal to Gazal, he could bolt off in a spirited challenge to keep his world order. Or, just as easily, he might look up from grazing and not give the passerby another thought. He dictated his response to any “intruder.” And towards the end of the day when HE was ready to come in, he would stand right at the gate. Gazal is a supremely intelligent horse. He knows how to take care of himself. Although Gazal has not lived in New Ulm for many years, we still refer to the paddock where he enjoyed so much peace and tranquility, THE GAZAL PADDOCK.
As a breeding horse, there are no accolades he does not deserve. Through his progeny, much of what has come to be known as “the standard” trace their lineage to him.
To my friend Sheikh Hamad bin Ali Al Thani and the Al Thani family at large, I give a collective thanks for all the contributions you have made to Arabian horse breeding over the last several decades. You have shared your wealth, and we have all prospered.
The Classes were judged by a panel of six, chosen from a total group of nine, who were picked through a lottery system before each class. The categories for scoring included: Type, Head, Neck, Body & Topline, Legs and Movement. Scoring was based on a 20-point system with half points. In the case of a tie, the horse with the most points for TYPE received the higher placement. If this did not resolve the tie, then the score for MOVEMENT decided. The Championships were judged comparatively.
The 2017 ANC panel of Judges included: Annette Dixon (UK), Raouf Abbas (EGY), Urs Aeschbacher (CHE), Willie Brown (ZAF), Dr. Gianmarco Aragno (ITA), Holgar Ismer (DEU), James Constanti (USA), Dr. Mohammed Machmoun (MAR) and Allan Preston (AUS).
The Yearling Filly Championship exhibited incredibly high-quality youngsters. Although she was not a unanimous Champion, LR ERA De Excalibur (Excalibur EA X Expected Beauty RP) was chosen by six of the nine Judges for Gold. In her Yearling Qualifying Class, LR ERA De Excalibur, who was bred by Las Rosas Estancia S.R.I. (URY) and owned by Al Sayed Stud (KSA) and Las Rosas Estancia S.R. I., earned a score of 93.13, which was the highest of all yearlings and the fourth highest of the show. Also, her averaged score of 19.83 for TYPE was the second highest of the show. Lastly, with a birthdate of November 11, 2016, LR ERA De Excalibur was not even a year old and was the youngest of all the Champions. The Silver was awarded to D Mumayyazah (FA El Rasheem X M Randy), who was bred by and is owned by Dubai Arabian Horse Stud (UAE). The Bronze went to Seranza (Kanz Albidayer X Evening Serenade), who was bred by Michael Byatt and is owned by Sheikh Mohammad Sulliman (ISR). In her Qualifying Class, Seranza received the highest score for MOVEMENT of all the Yearling Champions. In addition, before her European debut, Seranza made a strong impression at the Arabian Breeders World Cup (Las Vegas) where she was not only the 2017 Yearling Filly Bronze Champion, but also earned the third highest Qualifying Class score of the show
In the Yearling Colt Championship, the Judges were also relatively decided on the medal winners. Chosen by five Judges to earn Gold honors was HL El Ganador (HP Shakir TE X Lonco Bay Maria), who was bred by Famila Duch Matthei (CHL) and is owned by Hanaya Stud (CHE). HL El Ganador, who was also his Qualifying Class winner, was awarded two 20’s for TYPE. The Silver Medal was earned by RD Harenaado (Hariry Al Shaqab X DM Endless Romance) who was bred by Murray & Shirley Popplewell (USA) and owned by Al Saqran Arabian Horse Stud (KWT). The Bronze went to the youngest of all Colt Champions, D Shallal (FA El Rasheem X D Shahla), who was bred by and is owned by Dubai Arabian Horse Stud (UAE). Both RD Harenaado and D Shallal were chosen for Gold by one Judge. Furthermore, Hatem Athbah, who placed directly behind D Shallal, was chosen for Gold by one Judge and for Bronze, by two.
The Junior Filly Championship exhibited deep quality with fillies who were well known for their accomplishments. To illustrate the depth of this Championship, of the ten competitors, four were chosen for Gold while eight were chosen for medals. Ultimately the Championship was narrowly won by a filly who has already earned medals on some of the world’s most prominent stages such as Aachen, Paris and Las Vegas: Mozn Albidayer (SMA Magic One X Mattaharii). In her Qualifying Class, Mozn Albidayer, a 2014 filly who was bred by and is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qassim of Al Bidayer Stud (UAE), was awarded two 20’s for TYPE and five for HEAD. The Silver went to D Ajayeb (RFI Farid X Lady Veronkia), a 2015 filly who was bred by and is owned by Dubai Arabian Horse Stud (UAE). With a Qualifying Class score of 93.47, D Ajayeb earned the highest score for a female and the third highest of the show. Also, in addition to other important accomplishments, D Ajayeb was the 2016 ANC Yearling Filly Gold Champion. Both Mozn Aldibayer and D Ajayeb were their Qualifying Class winners and were each chosen by three Judges for Gold. The Bronze Champion was Loulou Al Nasser (RFI Farid X Rihab Al Nasser), a 2015 filly who was bred by and is owned by H.E. Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser Al Thani of Al Nasser Stud (QAT). In her Qualifying Class, Loulou Al Nasser earned three 20’s--one each for TYPE, HEAD and MOVEMENT; and with an averaged MOVEMENT score of 19.58, she had the third highest of the show. Loulou Al Nasser was chosen by two Judges for Gold. The final horse chosen for Gold was DA Alihandra, who followed Loulou Al Nasser in final placement. Other fillies chosen for medals included: Bint Seduction HBV, D Jawaher, Malikat Al Moluk and Menwah Al Shaqab.
In the Junior Colt Championship, all three medal winners were born within a three-month period and competed against each other in the Qualifying Class of Three Year Old Colts. Top honors went to Alexxanderr (Excalibur EA X AR Most Irresistable), a 2014 colt who was bred by Frances Butler and Brandi Carson (USA) and is owned by Al Sayed Stud (KSA). With a Qualifying Class averaged score of 19.92 for HEAD, which included five 20’s, Alexxanderr was the recipient of the ANC Most Classic Head Award. The Silver medal went to a AJ Azzam, a young stallion who made a strong impression on the world as a yearling, when he became the 2015 European Triple Crown winner. AJ Azzam (AJ Mardan X Ysadora) was bred by and is owned by Ajman Stud (UAE). Interesting to note, in 2015, AJ Azzam was the ANC Yearling Colt Gold Champion, while Alexxanderr earned Silver. The Bronze Champion was Izan Al Cape (Shanghai EA X Wioletta EA), a 2014 colt who was bred by and is owned by Al Cape Arabians (ESP).
The Senior Mare Championship not only showcased some of the most beautiful mares in the world, but was also intensely competitive. While the Judges chose seven horses for medals, all three medal winners were chosen for Gold, by at least two Judges; and in this final competition, the Gold and Silver Champions were tied. With a Qualifying Class score of 19.75 for TYPE, it was Anood Al Nasser who reigned as the ultimate Champion. Also in her Qualifying Class, Anood Al Nasser (Ashhal Al Rayyan X Aleysha Al Nasser), a 2008 mare who was bred by and is owned by H.E. Sheifkh Nawaf bin Nasser Al Thani of Al Nasser Stud (QAT), was awarded seven 20’s-- three for TYPE and four for HEAD. The Silver went to Bint Hazy Al Khalediah (El Palacio VO X Hazy Al Khalediah), a 2013 mare who was bred by Al Khalediah Stables (KSA) and is owned by Alorasia Arabian Horse Stud (KSA). Interesting to note, of the eight judges, four chose her for Gold. Also, Bint Hazy Al Khalediah’s performance was a perfect example as how the Championship does not always reflect Class performance as she was third in her Qualifying Class of Mares 4-6 following Galerida and Elle Flamenca. Finally, the Bronze went to the eldest of all Champions, Ekspulsja (Gazal Al Shaqab X Elandra), a 2004 mare who was bred by Stadnina Koni Michalow SP (POL) and is owned by Shirly Watts of Halsdon Arabians (GBR). In her Qualifying Class, Ekspulsja also (with Loulou Al Nasser) earned an averaged MOVEMENT score of 19.58, the third highest of all the Champions. Other mares chosen for medals included: Galerida, Elle Flamenca, Perfinka and Delight’s Divah RB.
The Senior Stallion Championship was exactly what it should have been—an exciting showdown of some of the breeds most important stars. The Senior Stallion Gold Champion was one whose importance is growing by the minute: Excalibur EA (Shanghai EA X Essence Of Marwan EA), a 2011 stallion who was bred by Equus Arabian (ESP) and is owned by Al Saqran Arabian Horse Stud (KWT). In 2014, Excalibur EA “took the house down” as the ANC Unanimous Junior Stallion Gold Champion. That year, he was awarded the highest score of the show and received four 20’s for TYPE and straight 20’s for MOVEMENT. This year, with a Qualifying Class score of 94.72, he was again the recipient of the highest score. He also earned a total of eleven 20’s--six for TYPE, two for HEAD and three for MOVEMENT. Excalibur EA’s score for TYPE and MOVEMENT were also the show’s highest. Finally, as a sire, Excalibur EA shined as he was the sire to both the 2017 ANC Yearling Filly Gold Champion and the Junior Colt Gold Champion.
In this Championship, the Judges were very decided who was to be considered for Gold, but they were divided on who was to be the eventual champion, as both stallions are of our breed’s highest quality and both capable of winning any title in the world. Although three judges chose him for Gold, the Silver was earned by Emerald J (QR Marc X Emandoria), a 2010 stallion who was bred by and is owned by Jadem Arabians (BEL). With a Qualifying Class score of 94.24, Emerald J was awarded the second highest score of the show. He also earned nine 20’s--three for TYPE, four for HEAD and two for MOVEMENT. The Bronze went to Morion (Kahil Al Shaqab X Mesalina), who was bred by Stadnina Koni Michalow SP (POL) and is owned by Al Thumama Stud (QAT). Born on April 5, 2013, Morion was the youngest of the Senior Stallion Champions.
All Nations Cup Awards
The All Nations Cup concluded with two very important Awards. The first of which was the The Ian Hedley Memorial Trophy: The All Nations Cup Breeders Trophy. The guide stated, “This is a perpetual trophy donated by the Hon. Mrs. Mary Ann Wragg and Mrs. Annette Hedley. This award recognizes the country which had bred the most prizewinners each year on the occasion of the Nations Cup Show.” The second, and most important, was The Lady Harmsworh Blunt Memorial Trophy: The Nations Cup. This Award was given to the nation whose entries score the highest number of points per a predetermined scale. The United Arab Emirates was the recipient of the ANC Breeders Trophy, and for the second consecutive year, earned The Nations Cup as well.
For a FULL SIZED gallery of Images by Lisa Abraham:
For information on the All Nations Cup and the 2017 Show results:
For information on the European Breeders Select Sale:
For information on the European Breeders Trust:
For information on the sponsors of this coverage: Judy and Kim Nordquist:
Lisa Abraham is an International Journalist and Photographer from the United States. Although she does free-lance for various media, her primary dedication is to Arabhorse.com as a Premier Contributor and Representative.