The 2010 Arabian Breeders World Cup
- Establishing a New Standard for Excellence
by Beth Ellen Hunziker
"Excellence can be obtained if you:
...dream more than others think is practical;
...care more than others think is wise;
...expect more than others think is possible."
The Arabian Breeders World Cup has earned the status as "The Premier Arabian Horse Show" in the United States. It all began as a collective dream of American breeders to have an exciting event that truly celebrates the Arabian horse. The competition element was to focus on the breeding qualities of the horse with particular emphasis on classic Arabian type and the characteristics that are unique to the breed. Leaders within the Arabian horse community came together because they care so deeply for their horses and the future of our industry. Of course there were some people who said that an event of that stature and style just wasn't possible - not here, not now. But there were enough people who did believe in the possibility and who were willing to invest their time and talent. They created not just another Arabian horse show, but an event of unprecedented excitement and established a new standard of excellence for the Arabian horse community here in the United States and around the world.
The debut of the Arabian Breeders World Cup in 2007 created a lot of controversy. Some breeders were extremely excited and supportive while others were critical and took a wait and see attitude. According to those who participated, the show was a resounding success. Still the organization found some areas they thought could be improved. The 2008 World Cup was a big surprise - how could a show that was so well organized get any better? Some how it was accomplished - much to the delight of all who attended. The 2009 World Cup welcomed more international guests and their horses than ever before and the show organizers redesigned the arena and presentation area to a new level of chic and created even more drama and excitement. This year, at the 2010 World Cup, there were subtle and dramatic changes that made this the absolute best Arabian Breeders World Cup ever.
The World Cup began on Wednesday, April 14th, by giving back to the city of Las Vegas and some of its most important citizens - children. Mr. Steve Schorr, the Director of Cox Communication and a sponsor of the special event welcomed over 300 fifth graders from local public schools. The students were treated to an amazing presentation of horses and were given a "swag bag" full of fun Arabian horse items including a copy of the book, The Black Stallion, by Walter Farley. This book is perhaps one of the most beloved children's books ever written and is responsible for many people's early love of the Arabian horse. Tim Farley, the author's son, was on hand to autograph the books, which were donated by the Black Stallion Literacy Program, a foundation dedicated to encouraging children to read. Who knows, perhaps the next great breeder of Arabian horses will come from that group of children.
One of the most critical aspects of every Arabian horse show is the judging panel. All the lights, glitter and glamour are lovely, but when everything is said and done, the judges and their expertise, knowledge, and integrity are what determine the success of the event. The 2010 judging panel was once again an international mix with six individuals from five continents. North American judges were Debby Cain and Corky Sutton, the South American judge was Murilo Kammer from Brazil, the judge from Africa was Marie Lousie Van Wyk of South Africa, the Australian judge was Peter Pond and the European judge was Marianne Tenstedt of Denmark. These judges are to be acknowledged for their high level of professionalism, respectful decorum and commitment to uphold the integrity of the show. They did an outstanding job and we are all very appreciative of their efforts.
Thursday, April 15th, began the first day of competition with a full schedule of Amateur To Handle classes as well as open classes for junior and senior geldings. There was a tremendous sense of excitement as the very first horse entered the ring. These classes require that amateurs present the horses, but make no mistake, although many of these people are the owners and/or breeders of the horses, the majority are very accomplished and experienced horsemen and women. Perhaps the greatest distinction in these classes is the respect and love these handlers show for their horses. You can see the great pride and joy they have in presenting their own horses.
Friday, April 16, began with four outstanding groups of yearling fillies. It was thrilling to see this new generation of beautiful, typey young horses. The yearling filly classes were followed by three Junior Mares classes, which included two classes for Two-Year-Olds and one class for Three-Year-Olds. The quality of these fillies was exceptional - truly world-class. The next class provided an exciting change of pace when the AHBA Futurity Yearling Colts were presented. The class was small, but included very nice colts - it will be interesting to watch them as they mature into the stallions of the future.
The afternoon classes continued with Senior Breeding Mares of 2006 and 2005, which were followed by Senior Breeding Mares 6-8, Senior Breeding Mares 9 Years and Over, and Broodmares of Any Age. The judges came back from the classes overwhelmed with the beauty and quality of the mares they had just seen. It was above and beyond anything they had prepared for and they unanimously agreed that any breeder would be lucky to own just one of these mares.
Saturday, April 17, was super-charged with energy and anticipation. The day started with three groups of yearling colts. It is not unusual for the yearling fillies to outshine the colts - but that was not the case at this show. The colts were so outstanding that they certainly matched the fillies in quality and type. The yearling colts were followed by two sections of Two-Year-Old Colts and one class of Three-Year-Old Colts. Some of the highest scores of the show were awarded in these classes, which speaks for the level of quality among these colts. Once again the focus of the show was completely turned around when the AHBA Futurity Yearling Fillies were brought into the ring. The class for Futurity Yearling Fillies was larger than the colts and the quality was amazing. Many of the fillies were shown by their breeders and owners, which achieved the goal of the show to be a breeders' event.
Next came the Senior Breeding Stallions of 2006, several horses in the class were winners in last year's US National Futurity Stallion Championships. The excitement of the afternoon continued to build with Senior Stallions of 2005. It was an opportunity to see some extremely handsome stallions that are on the cusp of becoming the sires of the future. The class of Senior Breeding Stallions 6-8, also included National Champions - it was very brave of them to come before yet another panel of judges to be evaluated. But the crowd and the judges were extremely appreciative of the chance to see these great stallions up close and personal. When the Senior Breeding Stallions 9 Years and Over, entered the ring, the crowd went wild! It was obvious that this was the class they had been waiting for and they were not disappointed. The class was very small - but the competition was huge. This class achieved the highest scores of the entire show. The class for Stallions of Any Age was very small, but the crowd showed their appreciation to those who presented their beautiful horses. The judges returned to the stand exhilarated from the opportunity to judge these exceptional stallions and commented on what an honor it was to be in their presence.
All too soon it was Sunday - the last day of the show - and the excitement was at a fever pitch as the Supreme Championships began. The first to be awarded were the Amateur to Handle classes - nerves were high among the owners, breeders and handlers. The Gold Champion Gelding, ATH, was For The Record KA, bred by Karija Arabians, Canada and owned and shown by Angela Larson, USA. The Silver Champion Gelding, ATH, was H Aiden H, bred and owned by Elite Arabian Horses Internationals, USA.
The World Cup Mare and Filly ATH Supreme Champions were: Gold Champion, So Adiva (QR Marc x Gabriele), bred and owned by Mark and Betty Jo Browning, USA; Silver Champion, Om El Excella (Al Lahab GASB x Omel Bint Shaina), bred and owned by Om El Arab International, USA; Bronze Champion, Shai Laurel (Simeon Shai x Avjem Primavera), bred by G.C. Alexander, USA, owned by B. Ann Wilder, USA.
The World Cup Stallion and Colt ATH Supreme Champions were: Gold Champion, Om El Al Azeem (Al Lahab GASB x Om El Beneera), bred and owned by Om El Arab International, USA; Silver Champion, TRJ Ethan (Eden C x TR Copperclassique), bred and owned by Ross Danielson, USA; Bronze Champion, Troubadour PA (Magnum Chall HVP x Psyches Secret), bred and owned by Pegasus Arabians, USA.
The World Cup Gelding Supreme Champions were: Gold Champion, For The Record KA, bred by Karija Arabians, Canada and owned by Angela Larson, USA; Silver Champion, RD Nevaska (Nevada TBA x RD Jada Bey), bred by Shirley and Murray Popplewell, Canada and owned by Barrie Padgham, Canada.
These Supreme Championships were followed by the extremely popular, and very lucrative, Cox Communications Arabian Freestyle Liberty Jackpot Championship. The music choices were very fun and energetic. It seems we never tire of seeing beautiful purebred Arabian horses free to be themselves, which is when they are the most breathtaking and powerful. The Champion was RSA Troublesome (Sirius Trouble x TF Psyches Angel by Padrons Psyche), bred by Penny and Howard Smeby and owned by
Jeana Karlovich. This big powerful bay stallion was exciting and impressive and he moved about the ring as though he owned it. Reserve Champion in the Liberty Championship was Masquerade PA (Armani FC x Cazsandra by Autumn Séance), bred by Wikel Arabians and owned by Pegasus Arabians. Although Masquerade is a US National Champion Western Pleasure Junior Horse, he epitomizes the versatility of the breed with his awesome athleticism - his next national championship title could very easily be in English pleasure!
Following the Liberty Championship were the Yearling Filly Supreme Championships, the winners were: Gold Champion, RD Marciena (QR Marc x NW Siena Psyche), bred by Shirley and Murray Popplewell, Canada and owned by Luciano Curry, Brazil; Silver Champion, Kharalisa BPA (Khadraj NA x Rhapsody In Gold), bred by BP Arabians LLC, USA and owned by Timestone Arabians LLC, USA; Bronze Champion, Bettina MP (WH Justice x Om El Belinda Estopa), bred and owned by Jon and Mindy Peters, USA.
The Yearling Colt Supreme Champions were: Gold Champion, Cavalli (DA Valentino x Aspyn), bred by Robert and Sally Poling, USA and owned by Pegasus Arabians, USA;
Silver Champion, Faconnable (Marwan Al Shaqab x Francescaa), bred by Fran and Gene Haskins, USA and owned by Mystica Arabians, Australia; Bronze Champion, SW Abraxas (Ever After NA x Midnight Pashahn), bred and owned by Veronica and Greg Cowdrey, USA.
The World Cup Junior Mare Supreme Champions were: Gold Champion, Felicia RLC (Shael Dream Desert x Camelia K), bred by Rodrigo Lorenzide Castro, Brazil, and owned by Ajman Stud, UAE; Silver Champion, RD Challs Angel (Magnum Chall HVP x Bey Angel TGS), bred by Wind Dancer Farms, USA and owned by Pegasus Arabians, USA; Bronze Champion, Om El Excella (Al Lahab GASB x Omel Bint Shaina), bred and owned by Om El Arab International, USA.
The World Cup Junior Stallion Supreme Champions were: Gold Champion, El Chall WR (Magnum Chall HVP x Major Love Affair), bred by Donald Camacho, Jr, USA and owned by Robert and Dixie North Family Trust, USA; Silver Champion, OFW Magic Wan (Marwan Al Shaqab x Magna Prelude), bred and owned by Harold and Dolly Orr, USA; Bronze Champion, Troubadour PA (Magnum Chall HVP x Psyches Secret), bred and owned by Pegasus Arabians, USA.
The World Cup Senior Mare Supreme Champions were: Gold Champion, Eagleridge Passionata (Sanadik El Shaklan x River Oak Dimity), bred by Eagle Ridge Arabians, Australia and owned by Ajman Stud, UAE; Silver Champion, Negma Al Shaqab (Safir x Kajora), bred by Al Shaqab Stud, Qatar and owned by Al Shaqab Member Qatar Foundation, Qatar; Bronze Champion, Gloria Apal (Psytadel x SA Misha Apal), bred by James Swaenepoel, Belgium and owned by DST Arabians, USA.
The World Cup Senior Stallion Supreme Champions were: Gold Champion, Escape Ibn Navarrone (AS Sinans Pacha x Navarrone P), bred by Martine and Paul Despeghel-Van Hee, Belgium and owned by Ajman Stud, UAE; Silver Champion, Art Dekko TT (Audacious PS x HC Amareea), bred by Dale and Gloria Hotchkiss, USA and owned by Noel Bosse, USA; Bronze Champion, Ever After NA (Sir Fames HBV x Entaicying NA), bred by Robert and Dixie North, USA and owned by Robert and Dixie North Family Trust, USA.
Additional awards were given throughout the day including the Handler of Excellence Award, which the judges bestowed upon Ricardo Rivero of Equine Image Center, Scottsdale, AZ. The AHBA Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Bazy Tankersley who has been a deeply committed guardian of the breed for over 65 years. Bazy's daughter, Tiffany Tankersley traveled all the way from Tuscon, Arizona to attended the show and accept the award on behalf of her mother who will soon be celebrating her 89th birthday. One of the most emotional moments of the show came when Lisa Niemi accepted the AHBA Ambassador's Award, which was given to her and her husband, Patrick Swayze, last year. With Patrick's advanced illness, they were not able to attend that show. However, they did join the celebration via live feed video telephone conference. Patrick truly loved his Arabian horses and his beautiful wife Lisa remains a committed member of the Arabian horse community. The final award to be given was the 2010 Arabian Breeders Cup. This honor is awarded to the breeder who achieves the greatest success with horses shown at the event. Past winners include Om El Arab International, USA; Las Colinas Arabians, USA; and the Michalow Stud, Poland. This year the honor returned to Om El Arab International whose beautiful horses won numerous titles at the show.
As the show came to an end, people lingered as if they were reluctant to leave. Everything had come together so beautifully - the gala, the horses, the people, the venue...it was another huge success and it proves that when we dream bigger, care more deeply and expect more of our selves and others, we can achieve a level of excellence that we never thought possible. The 2010 Arabian Breeders World Cup has established a new level of excellence - but just wait - the 2011 World Cup will be even better!
2010 ABWC Judges' Comments:
Judge, Debby Cain, USA: "I have judged numerous horse shows through the years, but this was the most impressive management team and efficiently organized show I have been privileged to be a part of. Everything ran seamlessly. The numerical system utilized to select the winners of the 2010 ABWC Show could easily be applied to evaluate all the elements of the show: Overall Show-20, Quality of Horses-20, Venue-19, Over all Impression-20, International Impact-20, Affect on Arabian Horse Market-20, Total score-119. Simply put, it was a fabulous event!"
Judge, Corky Sutton, USA: "In my 28 year career of judging Arabian horses I found the Arabian Breeders World Cup to be one of the most amazing shows I have ever attended. The horses were some of the most beautiful that I have ever had the opportunity to judge and the point system they created was fun to work with. The show was very well run. I think the organizers and their staff have made it an event that everyone will want to attend. The other judges were very interesting and professional - we all did our best to evaluate and score each horse fairly and accurately. This show really spotlights what is best in our purebred Arabian horses and our community!!
Judge, Marianne Tengstedt, Denmark: "Congratulations to the organizer of the 2010 Breeders World Cup Championship! It was a wonderful show and the organization was perfect. This was my first time to Las Vegas and I am sure I will be back. I really enjoyed everything, the hotel, showground, hostess, dinners, even going to a wedding, and last but not least I really enjoyed judging with my colleagues from all over the world and the quality of the horses was really excellent. For me, it was pleasing to see so many horses from every corner in the world competing in the same classes. Although I am not used to the amateur classes, I enjoyed them very much and I like the fact that it gives the exhibitors another chance with their horses.
Over all, there were a lot of breathtaking trophies, amazing ribbons, but I have some more titles to suggest - Best Breeder of the Continent!! This gives breeders from Europe, Australia, Middle East, South and North America an individual title. It would be a wonderful way to honor the breeders, who I think deserve all the support and credit we can give them - without all these grand people none of this would be possible.
In spite of a very busy volcano I had an amazing time and again I thank the organizers for inviting me to take part in this special show - Viva Las Vegas World Cup!!"
Judge, Murilo Kammer, Brazil: "I have attended each of the previous World Cup Championships, so when I was invited to judge the show, I was very honored. The Breeders World Cup and Aachen are my favorite shows. I like the way this show is run - it is very well organized. Also, I like the scoring system with the six categories to judge. In my opinion this is the best system; I think it is the most fair and I think it finds the best horses and rewards them in the most equitable way. I believe that when other shows that use the point system see the benefits of this system, it will be adopted.
It really was a treat for me - for all of us - to see horses from all over the world at Vegas. It was a very rare opportunity to see such a group of mares - it was truly an honor to be among them and to judge them. I do not want to diminish any of the other classes, but for me the mare class was outstanding. I will remember that moment for the rest of my life.
I also appreciate the attitude of the show organizers, they are always looking for ways to improve the show and each year they manage to accomplish this. The Vegas World Cup show is now the best show in the United States and one that every breeder should attend."
Judge, Marie-Louise Van Wyk, South Africa: "The Breeders' World Cup in Las Vegas was just absolutely amazing! It is by far the most exciting and glamorous show that I ever have had the opportunity to judge, and I have, over the years, judged and visited a few big ones around the globe! The organization was spot on and slick, and the scoring system was marvelous, although I must admit the high low system in each category was a first for me, but in the end the right horses stood at the top of the line regardless. The horses were stunningly beautiful and of world-class quality, and the handlers generally were very well behaved - I don't think they had much choice under the iron hand of the wonderful ring stewards.
Las Vegas is of course just the most fabulous venue for this prestigious event - where in the world can you walk out of your lovely hotel room, take an elevator down to the reception hall, and up an escalator up into the arena! The mind boggles!
A report on this show would not be complete without mentioning all the hard work that obviously has been put in by the show committee months ahead of time, and they deserve a huge THANK YOU for their tireless effort to make this one of the best, if not THE best, Arabian horse show in the world today! It indeed was an honour to have officiated at such an esteemed event and I wish the show and its organizers all the best for many future shows of such great stature."
For additional photos visit: http://www.arabhorse.com/photo-gallery/2010-arabian-breeders-world-cup