By Simone Leo
Photos by Erwin Escher
Article courtesy of Tutto Arabi
The much-awaited event was held from February 10th to 12th in the wonderful setting of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian & Racing Club, usual location for this ECAHO "B" show. This year, it was made even more interesting, if that is at all possible, by the rich prizes awarded to the top five horses in each category, the Gold, Silver and Bronze medal of the final championship, in addition to some special prizes that we will see later on. The rich prizes and the innovative idea of giving a prize with the same economic value to the top five competitors should incentivize European breeders to take part in this show, which, it is worth remembering, is open to everyone. 100,000 dirhams correspond to 28,000 US dollars (or 21,000 euro), so that would cover all the expenses, especially if we managed to put together a team of horses from Europe so as to reduce costs. There is no doubt that the Abu Dhabi experience and landscape would pay back European breeders of all their efforts, but it is a known fact that in a period of crisis it is hard to consider burdening oneself with additional costs. However, an injection of optimism would be a good antidote to the gloom. After this brief consideration, let us go back to the competition, promoted by the Prime Minister H.H. Sh. Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This show was "rich" from every point of view, starting from the large number of high quality horses entered, the beauty of the facility hosting this lovely two-day event, the generous prize money and, last but not least, the excellent job done by the organizers. The organizing committee was comprised of the Show Director, Mr. Essam Abdulla, Mr. Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Mr. Mohammed Ahmed Al Harbi, Show Coordinator, the undefatigable Christiane Chazel, Technical Director, and Mrs. Dominik Briot, assistant to Mrs. Chazel, and Mr. Essam Al Homsi, Installtion Engineer. The good number of spectators, the presence of breeders from Europe and even Australia gave the finishing touches to a really well-organized and time-managed show.
As many as seven judges were called to manage a competition that appeared compelling just by reading the program. The many prestigious names in the ring made us predict a fierce competition for the top places, and that is exactly what happened. The change introduced last year of removing the highest and the lowest scores continued to be effective this year and appreciated by breeders. Horses that receive unanimous scores are very often the winners, as what matters is the average, and if a judge does not specifically like one horse or the horse does not match the set parameters, essentially the horse that is liked by the majority of judges wins.
Therefore, it is only fair to praise the judges who carried out their task impeccably. They were, in order, Dr. Francesco Santoro (IT), Dr. Marek Trela (PL), Mrs. Ann Nordenn (Sv), Dr. Doug Dahmen (USA), Mr. Richard Philstrom (FR), Mr. Marc Veray (FR) and Mrs. Marianne Tengstedt from Denmark. The work done by the disciplinary commission was outstanding. Its members were Dr. Abdel Ali Amira, Dr. Mohammed Al Otaify, Dr. Kais Ben Hadi Ouelhazi, Dr. Mohammed Mabrouk Hammad and Dr. Omer Raza Gill. Impeccable in his role and ability to make handlers adhere to the two minutes allocated through a high-precision chronometer was the Ring Master appointed for this occasion, Dr. Attilio Ponzio (IT). He timed the competition correctly despite the large number of participants in almost every category. Congratulations also for the music to Mr. Hassan Valsan, who worked also in Menton and Paris.
As we have just said, the categories were really "crowded", apart from being beautiful from a technical point of view, so that most of them had to be split up into two sections. You can find the results of the preliminary categories on the website of the Emirates Arabian Society, www.eahs.org, featuring also the scores given by the various judges. Only the top two winners of each categories were able to compete in the final championship and vie for the three coveted medals. The Final Championship experienced moments of strong emotions, given the quality of the horses that came this far.
The Silver Medal for Fillies went to the wonderful *Marhnika (Marhaabah x Ladi Veronica) owned by the Ajman Stud of HRH Prince Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi (UAE) and presented by Frank Sponle. The Silver Medal went to a very typey filly, which had obtained an excellent score in her category, *Shamah Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab x SWF Desert Rose) well presented by Giacomo Capacci and owned by the Qatar Foundation. Bronze Medal for *Jumilla (Thee Apprentice x Artemis) owned by the Dubai Arabians Horse Stud (UAE) and presented by Paolo Capecci.
*Eagleridge Passionata (Sanadik El Shaklan x River Oak Dimity), after winning silver last year, obtained the Gold Medal in the category of Mares. The multiaward-winning mare is owned by the Ajman Stud of HRH Prince Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, and was presented by Frank Sponle. The Silver Medal went to *Kahielat Khalid (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Deserree) owned by Sh. Khalid bin Sultan bin Mohammed Alqassemi. *Aja Angelica (Wh Justice x FS Anastasia), well presented by Franck Spönle received the Bronze Medal. Sincere congratulations to the Ajman Stud for this double victory, winning Gold and Bronze with two wonderful mares.
With regards to Colts, the Gold Medal was awarded to *AJ Bintan (Wh Justice x RGA Kouress), another horse again owned by the Ajman Stud of HRH Prince Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi (UAE) and well presented by Franck Spönle. Silver Medal for *Kanz Al Bidayer (Ajman Moniscione x DL Marielle) presented by Scott Allmann and owned by Sh. Mohammed Saoud Sultan Saqar Al Qassimi, owner of the Albidayer Stud. This confirmed the high quality achieved colt, which had already won the Ajman show this year. The Bronze went to *Ibn Jameelat Al Khalediah (Moutaz Al Biwaibiya x Jameela Al Khalediah) owned by the Al Khalediah Stables of HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (KSA). He was presented by Philippe Hosay.
The stallion winning the Gold Medal had already achieved the Triple Crown Colts in 2005. We are talking of course about *Ma Shadow El Sher (El Sher Mann x Calyenna El Jamaal), wonderfully presented by Paolo Capecci and owned by the Dubai Arabian Horse Stud (UAE). Silver Medal for *Eden C (Enzo x Silken Sable) owned by the Athba Stud of HRH Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Ahmed Al Saud (KSA), the multi-decorated horse presented last year by Glenn Shoukens. The Bronze Medal Stallions went to *Escape Ibn Navarrone-D (AS Sinan Pasha x Navarrone P) presented by Frank Spönle and owned by the Ajman Stud of HRH Prince Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi (UAE).
As it often happens, the show included also special prizes.
The "President Cup" was won by the lovely *Ibn Batra (Belbowrie Obsidian x Al Patra) owned by Sh. Mohammed bin Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassemi (UAE). The "Best UAE Citizen" Trophy was awarded to *AJ Darajj (A.S. Natsir-Apal x Bint Deladiva), bred by the Ajman Stud and owned by Mr. Ahmed Hamad Musabeh Khalfan Almusafri (UAE).
The "The Best Breeder/Owner" Trophy went to the Ajman Stud with *Aj Dinar (Wh Justice x Deska HJE). The "Emirates Arabian Horse Society Awards" was given to the Al Aali Stud from Bahrain.
Our best congratulations to the organizers, and the rendezvous is for next year.