2008 ARABIAN BREEDERS WORLD CUP
Written by Jim Robbins
Photos courtesy of Avalon Photography
I've heard Las Vegas referred to as the city where "anything can happen" and that was my experience at the 2nd annual Arabian Breeders World Cup Show. Held at the South Point Hotel and Casino, Thursday April 17 through Sunday April 20, the Breeders Cup is rapidly gaining in reputation as the International Arabian horse show not to be missed. Through the tireless efforts of the shows founding members and board of directors, the World Cup has brought together horses and owners representing 21 countries throughout the world. No small feat in a day and age where these vastly different cultures and social climates could only be united for the good of sportsmanship and the Arabian horse.
The South Point Equestrian Center, where the show was held, was my first glimpse of Las Vegas life in the twenty years since I'd last been there. Built on the southern edge of "the strip", the South Point is owned by Michael Gaughan, a second generation hotel and casino owner and son of Jackie Gaughan, one of the early casino and hotel owners on the strip. The hotel was a great experience, with a friendly staff, a 16 screen movie theatre, amazing day spa, several great restaurants and ample parking. Add in the casinos and it offered something for everyone, even the non-horsey spouse or parents who had small children. The equestrian facility was state of the art, with 1,200 climate controlled stalls, stadium seating for over 4,000, a 125 by 250 foot arena and a huge adjacent exhibit hall featuring vendors with a great variety of clothing, tack, world-class art work and every type of horse accessory one could want. And as somebody who's been to a few hundred horse shows over the years, it was really great having good concession food and drinks handy during the entire show. All in all, I'd give the South Point an A+ from a spectator's standpoint for having everything under one roof in a quality, friendly atmosphere.
Judging at the World Cup differed from many of the American shows in the fact that breeders from around the world judged the classes, which I feel gave the halter classes a more breeding horse or potential breeding horse slant to them. The judges represented five countries and five continents and were Gianmarco Aragno of Italy, Allan Preston of Australia, Eduardo Moreira Caio of Brazil, Majdi-Al Saleh of Jordan and Karen Homer-Brown and Cathy Murphy-Wright from the United States. What intrigued me from the first class I sat through on was the consistency of the scores and the judging in the show. With this many cultures and bloodlines of Arabian horses represented I reasonably expected some variance in the judging and scores. But, there was little, proving that good judging knows no international boundaries and quality horses placed and won in every class. As a side-note, I want to add that Mr. Preston was probably one of the snappiest dressers I'd seen judging a horse show in years. In the past I've barely made it out of a halter class without horse residue covering most of me and he judged all day and walked out of the arena like he just stepped out of the pages of Gentleman's Quarterly.
I didn't arrive in Las Vegas until later Thursday afternoon, so I missed the first classes of the show and really can't comment on them. Before I get into the show, there was the Gala at the Wynn Hotel on Thursday night which was truly amazing. The Wynn is one of the most elegant hotels on the strip and the staff of both the hotel and the Breeders Cup out did themselves to make sure everything was first class. It was held in the Margaux room at the hotel, which is a double sized ballroom with a huge veranda in back. Waiters circulated the room with hors devours and the bars were all hosted and stocked with top shelf liqueur. The band was very good and there was even a chocolate desert fountain on the veranda along with a desert buffet after dinner. That was a great kick-off to the rest of the weekend. As a good friend of mine who attended the show last year said "on a scale of 1 to 10 the party is a 20" and I'd have to whole heartedly agree.
Friday morning the classes started at ten, with two age groups for yearling fillies, two for two year old fillies and one class for three year old fillies before the break. In the older yearling filly class, it was won by EVG Tessara, bred and owned by Harold and Liz Green. She was sired by Enzo and out of Star of Quintessa, who was out of the extraordinary Barbay daughter, FR Quintessa. FR Quintessa had mutliple nationals wins in both the US and Canada in English Pleasure (both open and AOTR) as well as numerious wins in Pleasure driving. And that's where she inherited her great action from, which was deservedly rewarded on her score card. EVG Tessara was tall, elegant, with a lovely well set on neck, smooth body and a very pretty face. She was the class winner hands down. Reserve in the class was the equally lovely, but of a completely different type, Bint Bessolea (*Marwan Al Shaqab x HB Bessolea by *Besson Carol). Bint Bessolea was very smooth and compact in the body, with decent legs and a striking neck and head. She showed as well as EVG Tessara, but they were completely different types of fillies. Both exceptional in their own right.
The younger yearling filly class didn't have the depth in the class as the older fillies did, but was still a very nice class. The winner was Conga O (Mazkarade x Chilli Pepper V by *Jullyen El Jamaal), a smooth bodied filly with a very extreme "Ali Jamaal" face and neck on her. Second in the class was Famess Lady, a pretty bay filly who was scored well in the body, feet and legs and movement areas. A filly I really wanted to see in this class was the *Pianissima filly by Ames Charisma, to see how her mother was going to produce. The filly, Nismat AL Bidyaer, was pretty but appeared to be very young and immature looking to me. She scored 529.5 and didn't make the top five. The champion and reserve fillies in this class scored 546 and 542.5 respectively.
The older two year old filly class was next in and the winner with a score of 554 was the apptly *Gazal Al Shaqab daughter, Wc Gorgeous Gazal. She was out of Lady Bey Khelishah by Bey Shah. A very elegant, smooth filly she stood head and shoulders above all the others in the class, with the next high scoring filly coming in at 543. This reserve spot went to Angelina Jullye, by Psytation EA and out of Jullye Jones JCA, who was sired by *Jullyen El Jamaal out of a Desperado V daughter. Angelina Jullye reminded me very much of her Jullyen/Desperado breeding on her dams side and should mature into a very nice mare.
The younger two year old filly section was won by RD Mirella (Baywatch V x Alanna by Versace) with a score of 543.5. She was a very smooth bodied filly who showed a lot of her Versace breeding in the head with very pretty large eyes. Reserve to her with a score of 538 was another *Gazal Al Shaqab daughter named Im Dazzling, who was out of a Psymadre daughter that went back to the stunning old *Bask daughter, Dark Eyes on the mare line. My personal thoughts on this are, one can never have too man great old *Bask daughters in a pedigree and this filly was very representative of her breeding. Nice neck, pretty face with large eyes and very smooth in the body.
The fillies of 2005 was the last class in the arena on Friday morning and the best was really saved for last. There were twenty fillies that showed and TEN of the fillies received scores of over 540. This class was probably deeper in quality then many of the US and Canadian Nationals Futurity classes of the past few years and really was a high point of the show. The winner with a phenominal score of 565 (the highest female score fo the show) was Kharrea Pga (*Khadraj NA x Gai Portia by Gai Monarch), another filly that went right back in her mare line to another great old *Bask daughter, Fielana++. I can't say enough nice things about this filly. She was smooth, elegant, great legs, good shoulder and neck with an exquisite face that just got prettier the more I looked at her. She was also beautifully presented by Andy Sellman and I heard she sold during the show for 7 figures. Reserve in this class with a score of 554 was the grey classic beauty *HP Martina (ST Synbad out of Hafati Bel Charm). Bred in Brazil, Martina is of all "American" breeding with multiple crosses to *Bask, a double dose of old Amurath breeding and her mare line goes back to a great old Iowa show mare I remember from growing up there, Bru Bet Gina. *HP Martina was a very substantial, full bodied filly with a great shoulder and a very short face, huge eyes with a lot of width between them and great ears. The remainder of the top five in this class all deserve mention. They are are: TRJ Copper Monet (Odyssey SC x Tscopperclassique) with a score of 550, Shanelle El Jullyen (*Jullyen El Jamaal x Gai Sharise) with a score of 548 and Ocenia O (*Pershan EL Jaal x Om El Jimala) with a score of 545.5
Friday afternoon started off with the four and five year old mare class. Seven mares showed and the winner of this class would go on to be the Supreme Show Champion Mare. JJ Polaca (Magnum Psyche x Sol Magic) won the class with a score of 549. Bred by Mayed SA and exported to Saudi Arabia last year, she is undoubtedly one of the five best Magnum Psyche daughters in the world. Solid body, short back, great legs, with a well laid back shoulder and a superb head it was no surprise to the crowd that she received the highest score in the class. It is interesting that JJ Polaca comes from the same mare line that produced *Gazal Al Shaqab. *Gazal's grand-mother, *Edjora++, is a full sister to Exessa the great grand-mother of Polaca. Reserve in the class with a score of 542.5 was the tall, great moving mare CR La Naturel (CR Kiyev x HK Naturette) owned by Karho. This mare is line-bred *Muscat, as she is sired by a *Muscat son out of a *Muscat grand-daughter. She also traces five generations in her mare line to the Kale foundation mare Wahida (Ferseyn x Tahir by Antez), an aristocrat producer of several champions. Third in the class was the lovely full sister to Odyssey SC, Heart N Soul (Versace x Latoura Echo) with a score of 539. Fourth was JA Psilk N Lace (Padrons Psyche x Silver Lacee) with a score of 533.5 and completing the top five was MA Sonata (Psytanium x JJ Ali Baska) with a score of 527.5
Next in was the six to eight year old mare class with 12 entries in it, many of them already with national and international titles. The winner was the lovely imported *Dumka (Laheeb x Dabrowa by Probat) who was from Laheeb's first crop of foals at Michalow and imported by Manny Viera. *Dumka is a big, great bodied powerful grey mare with an excellent neck and head, really showing the Laheeb influence. Her score was 551. Reserve to her was the nationally decorated Amelia B (Magnum Psyche x Nyara JC by Eternity) with a score of 544. Amelia B was a big bodied mare as well with the trademark elegant Magnum Psyche head and neck. Third in the class was Jamaica Julleyn PGA (*Jullyen El Jamaal x Makena PGA) with a score of 541, fourth went to the lovely chestnut Versace daughter Miss Amerika (x Maiden Amerika) with a score of 535. Fifth went to another Magnum Psyche daughter, Ladie Magnum (x Psyches Psecret by Padrons Psyche) with a score of 534.
The nine to eleven year old mare class was in next and it's already been talked about quite a bit. However, I can go on for a few more lines about the winner and the most talked about horse at the show, *Simeon Sehavi (Asfour x Simeon Sheba). If I had to pick one mare that personified Arabian type and charisma, it would be Sehavi. And I wasn't alone since the rest of the crowd literally roared every time she entered the ring. Sehavi was fairly heavily in foal, probably not in as good of condition as some of the other mares yet she exuded a type and personality of what an Arabian mare should be and that many times we have sorely lost in the past couple of decades. As others have stated already, Sehavi had the size and structure of her famous grandmother, 27 Ibn Galal-5, but with the exotic face and animation of her sire, Asfour (Malik x Hanan) scoring 563.5 in the class. She does have a very nice full brother here in the states, *Simeon Sachi, who is a grey version of her and probably one of the best kept secrets in SE breeding here in the US.
The last class of the afternoon was the yearling futurity colt class, ATH, which had eight entries after scratches. The winner with a score of 544.5 was the Justify son, Alibi FF (x Tuscany Bey) handled by Austin Boggs for Freeland Farms. He was a elegant younger version of his sire, Justify, and left the class with a check for $12,835 as the winner. Reserve went to D Caprio MA (*Magnum Chall HVP x Diva Girl) with a score of 536.5. D Caprio resembled his mother and grand father, Versace, in his coloring and his look. He also took home $7,125. The remainder of the top five colts each took home checks of $2,850 each and were: Shakespeare LRA (Milano LRA x Extra Schstra LRA) with a score of 535.5, EVG Georgio (*Pershan El Jamaal x Gwenllian E) with a score of 535 and IA Dante (*Bremervale Enforcer x IA Ana Vida) with a score of 533.5 . As you can see from the scores of the last four colts, there was only a 3 point spread between them and they were all of extremely nice quality.
Saturday morning began with the older half of the yearling colt class with ten colts showing. First place went to the exotic grey Brazilian import, *Shannan El Madan (Shael Dream Desert x Perla K), handled by David Boggs and receiving a score of 556.5. This colt reminded me very much of the best Ansata Halim Shah horses in type and body, but in a taller, stretchier version. His sire if 3/4 Egyptian and 1/4 Russian, which Perla K is by an Ali Jamaal son and out of a Bey Shah daughter. I believe Shannan El Madan had already sold to the Middle East before his class. Reserve went to the Enzo son Navarre RTA (x S Justabella), a striking chestnut look-alike to his sire with a score of 548. Third and fourth place went to two of the colts that showed in the futurity the day before, Justis FF with a score of 541 and Shakespeare LRA with a score of 535.5. Fifth place went to MCF Decorado (MC Psylect x Shais Bay Angel) with a score of 535, bred and owned by Suzanne McEuen of the US.
The younger yearling colt class was next with 15 colts showing for the top five spots. First place was undoubtedly one of the best *Gazal Al Shaqab colts in the world, NW Siensei ( out of the lovely NW SIena Psyche), bred and owned by Ruth and Michael Doe of California with a score of 559. A tall, elegant and very well put together colt, Siensei took the best of both of his illustrious parents with the substance and beautiful type of his national winning mother combined with the long elegant neck of *Gazal. I can't imagine we wont be seeing a lot of this amazing colt in the future in the show ring. Second place went to the exotic chestnut JJ Bellagio (Magnum Psyche x Joyeuse NY), bred by Mayed Sa and owned by Chris Barter. With a total score of 557.5, Bellagio scored 2 20's for type and three 20's for head and neck, the highest scores in that category for any young colt in the show. He probably looks more like his sire, Magnum Psyche at that age then any yearling Magnum son I've seen. Third place went to another high scoring colt, Faraa Al Shaqab (*Marwan Al Shaqab x GW Notorius Star) a full brother to the national winning filly Star of Marwan with a score of 556. Fourth place went to a Legacy of Fame look-alike son Guilana (x SC Psavannah) with a score of 547.5. The fifth place spot went to GM Justin, by the Magnum son WH Justice and out of Lady Komtessa, with a score of 532.5
Continuing on with the older two year old colt class. There were nine colts that showed, four of them by *Gazal Al Shaqab. Champion went to the *Marwan son OFW Mariachi, an excellent son of his sire out of one of the strongest mare lines in the breed. His dam, OFW Balarina, is sired by RSD Dark Victory out of the gorgeous old line-bred *Bask daughter, Balaquina, who I had the pleasure of seeing at Harold and Dolly Orr's several years ago. Balaquina is by *Bask out of a *Gwalior daughter out of Basquina++, who was by *Bask out of the early Scottsdale Champion Mare and Lasma broodmare extraordinare, Habina. Basquina++ was a nationals winning halter and English mare that Mike Nichols bought at an early Lasma sale and that died unfortunately shortly afterwards. OFW Mariachi looks and has the pedigree to be one of the best breeding sons of *Mawan here in the US. He scored 543.5. Reserve went to the *Gazal son JRA Azul (x Airiya by Aikon, a full sister to Aicyng) with a score of 536. Azul has an extensive show career already, with an AO halter championship at Scottsdale, as well as a top ten open and regional win. The remainder of the top five were: HF Stravinski (Amir Jamaal x Lady Menes) with a score of 534, Adamo (JJ Senor Magnum x TF Psynergy) with a score of 533.5 and Mancini Bey SMF (Brandon Bey JCA x Marrissah) with a score of 332.5. With only a 1.5 point spread in the last three colts it was a very tight class.
The younger two year old colts had ten entries with the championship going to the elegant Bey Ambition (Regal Actor JP x Bey Shah's Lady) with a score of 549. Bred by Lucy Whittier (and sold to Canada before the Junior Championship), Bey Ambition had one of the best necks and shoulders of the colts with great movement. Reserve went to De Beers (*Marwan Al Shaqab x Karalisa) with a score of 544. This colt is probably Karalisa's best effort in the breeding shed and a top notch colt. The remainder of the top five were: Alihandro IA (Enzo x Arabella) with a score of 535, Jiuliusz De Wiec (by the *Monogramm son, Debowiex out of a full blood sister to *Jullyen El Jamaal) with a score of 534.5 and Excyte LD (First Cyte and TF Queen of Hearts) with a score of 530.5 Even though he wasn't in the top five, I'd like to mention Ibn Al Adeed (*Al Adeed Al Shaqab x NF Bint Sajha), the first straight Egyptian son of world champion *Al Adeed here in the US and a colt to look for in the future.
Next was the 3 year old colt class, with 15 colts showing in the class. Champion went to Ever After NA (*Sir Fames HBV x *Entaicying NA by Aicyng), bred and owned by Bob and Dixie North with a score of 544. A nice blending of *Sir Fames and Aicying, this colt was very mature and showed extremely well in the class. Reserve went to Hukam Maj, a look-alike *Marwan son out of Dinamaj, a daughter of British Supreme Champion *Rushan. Hukam Maj was one of the best *Marwan sons at the show and placed 2nd to Ever After by 1/2 a point with a score of 543.5. The remainder of the top five were Staarwan (*Marwan Al Shaqab x C starlite Bey by RayDor Echo) with 541, Scapa (*Mishaal x Erie Anna) with 540.5 and Sher Khan AC (MCA Magnum Gold x SD Mimosa Bey) with 534. The much talked about Eden C (Enzo x Silken Sable) was noticably absent from the class and I really would have liked to have seen him show, unfortunately he was under the weather and not able to be presented.
The four and five year old stallion class had 8 entries to show with the winner being Art Dekko TT (Audacious PS x HC Amareea by Echo Magnifficoo) with a score of 541. Art Dekko was an elgant dark bay colt who greatly resembled his grandsire, Fame VF, to me. Reserve was JP Obsession (Versace x Overlooks Jewel by Alada Baskin I) with a score of 538.5 and my personal favorite in the class. Not as extreme in the face as some of the other colts, Obsession had a great shoulder/neck and body on him and represents several generations of Barbara Wilsons Overlook breeding program in his mare line. The rest of the top five were: MA Tytanium (Psytanium x JJ Ali Baska) with 537, Milano LRA (*Parys El Jamaal x TF Klassica) with 535 and Mosaic BFA (ML Mostly Padron x La Femmefatale DF) with a score of 535.
The six to eight year old stallion class was next with five entries and produced the supreme champion stallion of the show. First place went to the exquisite Arbiteur (Regal Actor JP x Genevieve C), bred and owned by Lucy Whittier with a score of 547.5 in the class. Remember the score on this stallion, because this was the one over-turn in the stallion championship class. Arbiteur was the complete package as far as a show horse goes, stunning head, great shoulder and neck, smooth body and very nice action. He's truly a horse that I'm sure we'll be seeing more of at nationals and I hope he stays in the US, he could be well utilized here. Reserve went to Brandon Bey JCA, a high quality bay Versace son out of Hushahby Bey by Bey Shah with a score of 542. The remainder of the top five were: Viva Versace (Versace x Seraph Alexandria) with a score of 531, RA Psyche Patriot (Padrons Psyche x RA Lalani) with a score of 529.5 and MS Firedevil (Padrons Psyche x Aerial Fire Echo ) owned by ABH member Billie Glosser with a score of 526.5.
The nine to eleven year old stallion class had four entries with the winner being Da Vinci FM (Versace x Full Moon Astar) with a score of 543. A tall, powerful stallion with a lovely face, Da Vinci is already a proven sire and show horse with a pedigree to back up his credentials. He traces twice in his female side to Amurath's legendary foundation mare, *Sanacht, who founded a dynasty of nationals winning show and breeding horses. Reserve went to Canadian National Champion stallion Star Ghazal (*Gazal Al Shaqab x C Starlite Bey by RayDor Echo), the first nationals winning off spring of *Gazal with a score of 538.5. Third place went to Pimlico RCA (Thee Desperado x Bint Bint Jamil) with a score of 533.5 and fourth to Psyches Legacy (Padrons Psyche x Kaiynda Special) with a score of 519.5.
The last stallion class was the 12 and over class with five vetran horses showing. The obvious class winner was the highly decorated *Dakar El Jamaal (Ali Jamaal x Sonoma Lady) shown by his long time handler Michael Byatt, to a score of 553.5. *Dakar has aged extremely well and looks just as beautiful now as he did when he was US Champion. Reserve went to Wayne Newton's new Polish Import, *Wadim PL (Grandorr x Warszula by *Probat) with a score of 540.5. *Wadim very much resembles the Grandorr/Naborr/Negatiw sire line and from a distance reminded me of the same style of horse as *Aramus, Mr. Newtons early National Champion Stallion. Third Place went to DS Major Afire (Afire Bey V x SS Magnolia) with a score of 535, fourth went to the *Monogramm son Empress, out of Empressa from the "E" mare line at Michalow with a score of 535 and fifth place went to Trademaark (Padrons Psyche a Hot Chocolate VF) with a score of 532.5.
The Championship Classes...........
The World Cup Junior Mare Championship had the only unanimous decision of the championship classes. Kharrea PGA (Khadraj NA x Gai Portia) was the winner on all six judges cards. I spoke about how nice she was earlier, and expertly handled by Andy Sellman, so there's no need to go into that here. I also heard she sold for 7 figures during the show out of the US. That's our loss, but I'm sure she has an international show career ahead of her. Reserve on five of the six judges cards was the yearling EVG Tessara (Enzo x Star of Quintessa), handled by Greg Gallun for Harold and Liz Green. Again, a stunning filly. Very stretchy, elegant and athletic and I'm sure we'll be seeing her at nationals this year. The remainder of the top five were HP Martina with David Boggs for Don and Janey Morse, Bint Bessolea with Michael Byatt for HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdul Azis of Saudi Arabia and Conga O for Kirk Bardole.
The Junior Championship for colts was next with the winner being NW Siensei, the great *Gazal Al Shaqab son out of multi-national champion NE Siena Psyche. He was handled by Greg Gallun for owners and breeders Mike and Ruth Doe of California. Reserve went to the winner of the older yearling colt class, Shannan El Madan (Shael Dream Desert x Perla K), handled by David Boggs. I know that Don and Janey Morse imported this colt from South America and he sold (possibly right before the show) out of the US, but I'm not sure to whom. Either way, he's still a great product of an Egyptian sire line on a 'show horse' bred mare. The remainder of the top five were Ever After NA for breeders and owners Bob and Dixie North, CJ Bellagio for owner Chris Barter (son of the great judge Dr. Robert Barter) and Bey Ambition for owner/breeder Lucy Whittier. Bey Ambition sold at the show to Canada.
The hotly contested Senior World Mare Championship showed next, with the winner being the very beautiful Magnum Psyche daughter, JJ Polaca. Handled by Greg Gallun, JJ Polaca was bred by Mayed SA and owned by Prince Khaled Bin Sultan Al Saud, Saudi Arabia. Reserve went to Simeon Sehavi (Asfour x Simeon Sheba), bred by Marion Richmond, owned by the Dubai Arabian Stud and shown by Paolo Capecci. JJ Polaca was first on two cards, Simeon Sehavi on 3 and *Dumka on one. *Dumka (third in points) was owned by Manny Viera, California, bred by Michalow Stud and handled by David Boggs. The fourth and fifth places went to Amelia B for Lazy B Arabians, USA and CR La Naturel owned by Karho in Scottsdale. This class marked the first 'point reversal' in the show, with JJ Polaca scoring 548.5, *Dumka scoring 551 and Simeon Sehavi scoring 563.5. However, I don't know that I would have judged the class much differently, other then using Sehavi first, Polaca second and *Dumka third. If I had the chance to take any of these three great mares home as my own for a brood-mare, I would have taken *Dumka. Only my opinion.
The Senior Stallion Championship saw a second point reversal in the show. Arbiteur (Regal Actor JP x Genevieve C) was first on 3 of the five judges cards, beautifully handled by Ricardo Rivero for owner and breeder Lucy Whittier of California. Reserve went to *Dakar El Jamaal (Ali Jamaal x Sonoma Lady) shown by his long time hanlder Michael Byatt for the Dakar Kartel of the USA. Arbiteur scored 547.5 in his class and *Dakar scored 553.5 in his class, however, the championships were subjective and Arbiteur was the clear winner. Just my opinion. *Dakar was first on one judges card, as was Di Vinci FM on one card. Di Vinci FM was owned by Jim and Sally Bedecker and shown to this top five by David Boggs. Completing the top five were Art Deko TT owned by Noel Bosse and Brandon Bey JCA, bred and owned by Jade Creek Arabians.
Don and Judi Forbes of Ansata Arabian Stud were recipients of the lifetime achievement award from last years winner, Wayne Newton. Don was unable to make it, but Judi was obviously touched by the Award and in her remarks spoke of the friendships she had made in the Arabian breed over the years and what an important part of her life they were. A video was shown of the Ansata horses, back from the original imports in 1958 featuring *Ansata Ibn Halima, *Ansata Bint Mabrouka, *Ansata Bint Zaafaran and *Ansata Bint Bukra. Also included were video footage of Ansata Ibn Sudan, the first straight Egyptian US National Champion Stallion, Ansata Halim Shah, Ansata Iemhotep and a showing of major straight Egyptian breeding horses that all contained Ansata breeding. It was a lovely presentation to a couple that have influenced Egyptian breeding on every continent in the world.
I vacillated about putting personal comments regarding the show, judging, horses, activities, etc., on here but decided to go ahead and make a few observations. Remember what they say about opinions when reading these, everyone has one and usually the other guys stinks........
The trip out to Wayne Newton's to see the horses and Casa De Shenandoah on Saturday night was memorable for many reasons. My companions for the trip were the long time breeder and international judge, Jim Panek and Egyptian breeder Dennis Fournier, so talking pedigrees of the horses we were looking at and comparing their strengths and weaknesses was a learning experience for me. The facility was abosolutely breathtaking and literally a paradise in the Las Vegas desert, complete with manicured lawns, peacocks, fountains and immaculate yet functional stables. High points of the evening to me were the older broodmares, particularly the *GG Samir daughters, many of them being out of daughters of *Aramus and *Naborr and tracing to Wayne's early Steen purchases in the mare line. He has used a variety of out-cross stallions over the years with Padron's Psyche and Blue Spruce Tanzeer being the clear winners, just my opinion again.
I had probably as good of view of the horses being judged in the arena as anyone did, courtesy (and a big thank-you) to the McGlinn family of Australia, Don and Janey Morse and Michelle Pfeifer and David Halsch for sharing their tables which were directly behind where the judges were, at eye level. And because of this I can say what a pleasure it was to see horses shown in a far more relaxed manner then at many other shows I've attended. Granted, there was still a small bit of shanking and every now and then some excessive "tail" on a horse, for the most part it was a real pleasure to see these horses presented. Call me old fashioned, but I also loved seeing the horses trot into the arena and make an entrance. It is a horse SHOW after all and I want to see how the horses move, which they did as nearly all of the handlers showed their animals off on a long lead allowing them to move out in a far more natural manner.
The show offered me, as a breeder, the chance to see some of the top stallions from around the country in one setting. Even horses that would not normally show at nationals, which was of great benefit and very educational. Several of my favorites would be the ethereally beautiful Om El Shahmaan and his even more extreme son, Om El Beshaan, who was senior champion ATH stallion at the show and is owned by John and Mindy Peters. They were both a real credit to the multi-generational breeding program of Jay and Sigi Constanti. *Gazal Al Shaqab and *Marwan Al Shaqab both sire a very distinct look in their off-spring. After watching a few of the classes with several *Gazal and *Marwan get in them, I could see certain qualities that both sires passed on and on the right mares they work beautifully. While I'm no expert on straight Egyptian breeding programs, there were 3 SE colts that impressed me; Magiid EQ (*Shahir IASB x Miss Maggie Mae), Scapa (*Mishaal HP x Erie Anna) and Ibn Al Adeed (*Al Adeed Al Shaqab x NF Bint Sajha). Maybe not class winners now, they should have great futures as show horses and breeding stallions ahead of them.
From the two foals at the show, I'd also say that *Regal Actor JP is being under used. With the conformation, quality and movement I saw with Arbiteur and Bey Ambition I wouldn't think twice about breeding a good mare of Bey Shah breeding to him. Both of these young stallions really made me stand up and take notice. Another observation, which was founded on seeing many of these mares as youngsters, is that the older Magnum Psyche daughters get the better they are. They fill out in the body and mature into really lovely mares. I've never bred a mare to Magnum, just making an observation from having seen a number of the mares by him that showed when they were youngsters. And I would be glad to have taken any one of them home with me. I really saw the impact of the late, great Versace in many of the classes as well. Both with direct off-spring, such as Da Vinci FM and Heart N Soul (a full sister to Odyssey), in the Versace grand-get by his sons and out of his daughters. His untimely passing is a great loss to our breed.
If I were to change only one thing about the show, it would be the timing of the score cards for the horses. As the scores were being read for the prior horse, the next horse in the arena was already being judged and often times his owner/handler/name being announced. Making it difficult to watch the horse being stood up if one wanted to keep track of the scores in their program. I can't even offer a suggestion for changing this, as keeping a horse in the arena long enough for it to be viewed while it's scores were being read would take far too much time. So how the scoring was done, realistically, was probably the only possible way it just detracted from seeing all of the horses presented.
I didn't get a chance to attend the AHA Breeders Meeting on Saturday because there were the stallion classes. I did however get to visit for a while with Pat Hendershot, Denni Mack and Lolli Ames before it started and had a great time talking horses with them. My two cents, for what it's worth, regarding Arabian horse breeding here in the US would be about our shrinking genetic diversity in our pedigrees. The concern I have is about sire-lines and how few we have left. Imagine our show ring today if we removed Bay El Bey (via Bey Shah,Huckleberry Bey and Fame VF), Ruminaja Ali (via Ali Jamaal and *Gazal Al Shaqab and his son *Marwan) and *Padron (via Padron's Psyche, Magnum Psyche and a variety of their sons and grand-sons). Our breeding classes would stand virtually empty. Not that all of these sires aren't extraordinary individuals and breeding animals, they are. I just feel we are breeding ourselves into a corner and need to keep alive some of the older out-cross lines such as Galero, Skowronek, *Ansata Ibn Halima, Azraff, Ferzon and dare I say *Bask? It would have been unimaginable to think back in 1979 when *Bask died that someday his sire line would be diminished to the point of anyone worrying about it disappearing..........but, it isn't an unrealistic concern in our breed today.
As Sunday afternoon drew to a close, I looked back on the show and tallied my own scorecard for the show and my experiences at it. The facility was great, the judging was excellent, Las Vegas hospitality was all I had hoped it would be and the quality of both horses and friendships, old and new, were beyond compare. Kudos to everyone involved for making the aptly named Arabian Breeders World Cup one of the new "can't miss" horse shows for Arabian breeders and lovers from around the world.