It is incredibly difficult to describe the scope of the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show and the experience of being here. The size of the show grounds requires a comfy gold cart, a motor scooter, or very comfortable shoes. From one end to the other, there are horses - beautiful, talented, athletic Arabian horses - everywhere! For those of us who LOVE Arabian horses - this is heaven! It is so much fun to watch the horses and handlers compete, but I think it's almost as much fun to watch them in the warm up rings working and training, all the farm teams working together; trainers, clients, grooms, support buddies... I honestly cannot think of a more enjoyable way to spend the day than with family, friends and Arabian horses!
Sunday is traditionally a big day for spectators and attendance seemed very good. The seats were full, the walkways were crowded, and the vendor retail areas were packed. It was apparent that many families took the opportunity to come visit the show over the weekend and their interest in the Arabian horse was high. Numerous people stopped me to ask questions about the classes and the horses, such as during the Pleasure Driving class, "Who are the people in the white coats? Are they Veterinarians?" I never tire of these questions, because each one is an opportunity to share something about the Arabian horse. Earlier in the show, Vice President of the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona, Janice McCrea-Wight had invited local television stations to come out and tape some of the event for their viewers. It seems that her efforts were very successful in creating public awareness because many of the people I spoke to commented that it was their first time to visit the show. It's a wonderful chance to introduce new people to the Arabian horse.
Another question I was asked is, "Are all of these horses Arabians?" The people were amazed and impressed by the versatility of our horses when I showed them a program with the list of all the classes. I pointed out there truly is something for every person of every age. When I think of the versatility of the Arabian horse, I also think of the breeders who are known for producing high quality, athletic, trainable horses, as well as the trainers whose skills span a variety of disciplines. Among the most notable farms to breed and own such high quality horses is Rohara Arabians, owned by Roxann and Karl Hart. This year, Rohara Arabian won the Arabian Horse Times Readers Choice Award for Breeder of the Year. It was the second time they won this award. In addition, they have been named APHA Breeder of the Year and also USEF Breeder of the Year for all breeds. This certainly indicates the quality of their breeding program. Another winner from Rohara was Everlastin Love, owned by Phillip and Brooksley Sheehe. This fabulous horse was nominated and won the award for Half-Arabian Hunter Horse of the Year. Other nomination for Team Rohara included John Rannenberg for Most Versatile Trainer of the Year, Joe Alberti for Halter Handler of the Year, and Marikate Mathews for Adult Amateur of the Year. Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners! Watch for Team Rohara! We'll see you at the show!!!