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Al Khalediah - Arabian Horse Festival

The second "Al Khalediah Arabian Horse Festival" was held at the amazing center owned by His Royal Highness Prince Khaled Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, between January 25th and 30th. Prince Khaled's stud farm is one of the best equipped in the whole of the Gulf area. Stretching over more than 400 hectares, the center has an fully equipped internal equine hospital in which the experienced and well trained staff has obtained a considerable number of clinical successes, ranging from reproduction to embryo management methods. This state-of-the-art hospital with highly specialized staff is available also to breeders.  Prince Khaled's boundless passion for the Arabian horse, which has "infected" the entire Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, made it possible for an international event to be held for the second time in Riyadh. Prince Khaled's objective is to promote the Arabian horse with more and more energy, and turn this into one of the most popular appointments in the whole of the show season.

The organizing committee was comprised of:

HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud,

President of the event;

Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Saud

Prince Nawaf bin Faisal bin Fahd Al Saud

Eng. Abdullah bin Fahd bin Sweilem

Gen. Ayed Al-Jeaid

Eng. Sami Al-Nohait

Mr. Mutlaq bin Mushrif

The growth achieved over just twelve months deserves all our praise. The show managed to capture the attention of all the experts, who flocked here to see a well-managed show with a remarkable presence of spectators.

As many as 19 countries took part with 450 horses entered in the Festival events. There was a high number of guests from all over the world, gathered here thanks to the generosity of Prince Khaled who spared no expenses in making this event unforgettable, unique and very successful. The response from breeders was excellent, including many women, who had to make some minor adjustments but most of them welcomed the invitation and discovered that Saudi Arabia is a truly charming country that is definitely worth discovering.

Shuttle buses were available to guests for the transfers. During these journeys they were able to admire some unique landscapes and the desert in all its beauty, with lights that, depending on the time of the day and unlike any other place in the world, constantly changed colors and created an enchanted atmosphere. A warm sun and excellent daytime and evening temperatures accompanied the entire show.

Conformation shows have really captured everyone, so much so that the number of shows has significantly increased over the last two years, from two to four each year. Praise goes to the organization, led by the event manager Melanie Mannix and supported by a perfect team, which included the well known Mr. Abdul Moniem Ahmed, always present and indefatigable, and Mr Hakim Subhan, who assisted many of us prior to, and during, the event. The Saudi TV made a live broadcast of the show, which was mesmerizing right until the Final Championship. This year the show could also be seen live via the Web and Journalists could take advantage of a fully equipped modern media center.

For the spectators sitting on the VIP tables, the catering was excellent and impeccable. Worth mentioning is the participation of the public and the owners throughout the entire show, which made the atmosphere truly unique. From the royal gallery and the guest stands, the view was really befitting.  Prince Khaled spared no expenses to make this event unforgettable, in which the star and the final winner was the Arabian horse. Original and moving shows took the breath away to the guests on the stands and on the VIP section. The scenery for the band was one of a kind. Every time a champion was named, the band highlighted the victory with the national anthem of the horse's country.

The competition

There were six judges for this event: Mr. Scott Benjamin (Canada), Mrs. Deirdre Hyde (UAE), Mrs. Joanna Lowe (UK), Mr. Richard Philstrom (F), Mr. Marek Trela (PL) and Mrs. Maria Ferraroni (IT).

The disciplinary committee comprised of Dr. Gisela Berger, Mrs. Barbara Pfistner, Dr. Abdel Wahab ben Ali Amira, Dr. Glen R. Manalpid, Dr. Pannerselvan Malarvannan and Mr. Mohamed Yahya Al Ali and did an excellent job.

The role of ring master was given to the entertaining Mr. Philip Jenkins; the Arab speaker was Mr. Mohammed Dosery and the English speaker Mr. Guy de Fontaines.

The category of yearling fillies was divided into section A and B, given the high number of participants. The first section was won by the Ajman Stud (UAE) with *Noor Bint Eternity (Eternity Ibn Navarrone-D x M Randy), which beat by 0.25 points the runner-up *Layan Al Mohamadia (Marwan Al Shaqab x Alija Cherie) owned by Al Mohamadia Stud (KSA). Further down, in third place, *Reema Al Mohamadia (Marwan Al Shaqab x Abha Nubia) owned by Al Mohamadia Stud (KSA).

The second section was won thanks to a high score by *Nooran Al Khalidiah (Padrons Image x Robin K) bred and owned by HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (KSA), a very successful crossbreed that fully confirms the breeding qualities of Padrons Image and also the qualities as mare of the World Champion Robin K. Second by just 0.25 points was *Zainah Al Thalitha (Korenec x Al Jazi) bred and owned by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz & Sons (KSA). *Satwat Al Khalediah (F Shaamal x Psyches Kyss) bred and owned by HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (KSA) was third.

The second category, that of two-year-old fillies, was also divided into sections. Winner of the section A was *Yamamat Al Khalidiah (Padrons Image x Febyolla) bred and owned by the Al Khalediah Stables (KSA). The second and third place went to the Dubai Arabian Horse Stud (UAE). This was a bittersweet victory because the filly in third place is none other than the bronze medal at the Paris World Championship. In second place was *Jumilla (Thee Apprentile x Artemis) while the third place went, as mentioned, to *FT Shaella (Shael Dream Desert x Soul Pretty).

Section B was won by *Najdah Al Zobair (Marwan Al Shaqab x JFN Bint Ludhan) bred and owned by Sh. Abdulla bin Mohammed Ali Al Thani (UAE). *Halah Al Khalediah (Marwan Al Shaqab x Psyx Summerain H) owned by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz & Sons (KSA) was second. The third place went to *Wind Kamelia (WH Justice x Wind Ferrianah) owned by the Al Shaqab (QAT).

Winner among three year old fillies was *Badewieh AA (Leheeb x Bahiha) owned by the Ajman Stud (UAE), followed by *Aseefat Al Khalidiah (Aja Sangali x Psyches Myst) of the Al Khalediah Stables (KSA), second, and *Ballerina BVA (Ames Charisma x LC Pirouette) of the Al Mohamadiah Stud (KSA), third.

In the category of yearling colts, the winner was *Bander (Psytadel x Horiah), bred and owned by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz & Sons (KSA). The second place went to *AJ Portofino (Vervaldee x Magic Jamilla) owned by the Ajman Stud (UAE) whereas *Sultan Al Sadis (Psytadel x Galina) bred and owned by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz & Sons (KSA) finished in third place.

Section A of the category reserved to two-year-old colts was won by *Maharaja HDM (Marajj x Miss Yahsminah Elamal) owned by Mr. and Mrs. McGlinn (Australia), followed by *OFW Magic Wan (Marwan Al Shaqab x Magna Prelude) owned by the Al Shaqab (QAT), second, and *Jareer Al Khalidiah (Padrons Image x Barah Al Khalidiah) owned by the Al Khalediah Stables (KSA), third.

Winner of section B with an excellent margin was *RFI Farid (RFI Maktub x RFI Fayara El Shiraz). He is becoming more and more beautiful and after the wonderful show in Menton and the victory of the Italian Reserve Champion title, he is the pride of Italy and was so once again this time. He obtained a place in the finals but then, as we will see, he lost due to a tie but with a lower score in type. He was well presented by Luca Oberti and is owned by Aretusa Arabians of Mr. Giuseppe Palumbo (IT). The second place went to *Nayef Al Shaqab (Ashhal Al Rayyan x Naima Al Shaqab) owned by Mr. Mohammed Abdul Rahman Al Yousef (KSA). Third place for *Numas Al Thani (Sabea Al Sahraa x Shamilah Anapurna) bred and owned by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz & Sons (KSA).

In the category of three-year-old colts, the winner was *Kabsztad (Poganin x Kwestura) owned by the Athba Stud (KSA), second was *Ataa Al Khalidiah (Aja Sangali x Mashael Al Khamisa) bred and owned by the Al Khalediah Stables (KSA), whereas *Orion OS (Omel Bahreyn x Vetla) bred and owned by Mrs. Jane Fraser Brown (UK) was third.

The compelling category of mares aged 4 to 6 was won by *Bess-Fa'Izah (WH Justice x Sharon-El Kendal) owned by the Ajman Stud (UAE). The second place went to *Bint Al Shamal (Koronec x Thee Cover Girl), bred and owned by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz & Sons (KSA), whereas *FS Cayenne (A.S. Natsir Apal x FS Cleopatra) owned by the Ajman Stud (UAE) was third.

In the category of mares aged 7 to 9, the winner was *Kharelle (Dakar El Jamaal x Khemoselle) owned by HRH Prince Fahad bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (KSA). The second place was assigned to *Mmecca (Al Baraki x Imperial Maysana) owned by Sh. Abdulla bin Mohammed Ali Al Thani (UAE) whereas *Loredana K (Borsalino K x Bryelle NA) of the Al Khalediah Stables (KSA) finished in third place.

The winning horse in the category of mares aged 10 and more was *Eagleridge Passionata (Sanadik El Shaklan x River Oak Dimity) owned by the Ajman Stud (UAE). The second place went to *Martinique (Ansata Sinan x Marratxi) owned by the Dubai Arabian Horse Stud (UAE). *MA Bint Azadik (Om El Azadik x Om El Sabiya Estopa) owned by the Athba Stud (KSA) was third.

The top 2 places in the category of stallions aged 4 to 6 went to two horses owned & bred by HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (KSA).  Aja Sangali, *Moutaz Al Biwaibiya (x Premirra) followed by *Ashhal Al Khalidiah (x Psyches Kyss) Third place for *FS Ronaldo (Kubinec x Halaliya) owned by Mrs. Julie Spinks, on lease with Mr and Mrs. Currey (UK).

Moving on to the stallions aged 7 to 9, the winner was *Major (El Allah Abu x Marischka) owned by the Major Partnership (De), followed by *Sabea Al Sahraa (Koronec x Nouf Al Thalitha), bred and owned by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz & Sons (KSA). Third, closing the category, was *Kenz Noor (Imperial Madori x Naksh El Koloob) owned by the Rabab Stud (KSA).

The last category, the one reserved to stallions aged 10 and more, saw the silver medal at the recent Paris World Championship win by a large margin, the wonderful *Imperial Baarez (PVA Kariim x BB Ora Kalilah) owned by the El Farida Stud of the Soliman Brothers (Egypt). The second place went to *Om El Extream (Sanadik El Shaklan x Om El Bint Shaina) owned by the Ajman Stud (UAE) whereas *Shafe Psuede (Padrons Psyche x Focus Shalia) of the Al Khalediah Stables (KSA) was third.

The four categories dedicated to desert bred horses were held before the Final Championship, accompanied by an ongoing catering service. The show certainly lived up to the expectations and was truly astounding. The scoring criteria adopted for the judging of these classes was the comparative method, instead of the points-based one. In the fillies category, the victory and the title of champion was awarded to Zahrat Al Khadeejah, bred and owned by the Atbha Stud. Reserve Champion was Bint Khuzamah bred and owned by the King Abdulaziz Arabian Horse Center. After the awarding of the prizes, it was the turn of the colts category, where the winner was Matlooq Al Yemeen, owned by Al Aziziyah Arabian Horse Stud, a very athletic and lovely colt. Jarman Dirab was named Reserve Champion Colt thanks to his great movement. He was bred and is owned by the King Abdulaziz Arabian Horse Center. Moving on to mares, Al Dirieyah Al Thaniya, bred and owned by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz & Sons, managed to succeed and beat in grand style the Reserve Champion Mare Ghala Dirab, bred and owned by King Abdulaziz Arabian Horse Center.   Among stallions, the champion was the typey Drea Al Thani, bred and owned by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz & Sons. Reserve Champion Stallion was Khaleel Dirab bred and owned by King Abdulaziz Arabian Horse Center, which swept up lots of prizes in these categories, together with the handler Luca Oberti.

The final championship of purebred Arabians, with its usual good deal of anticipation, certainly did not disappoint. The title of Champion Filly was awarded to the beautiful *Najdah Al Zobair (Marwan Al Shaqab x JFN Bint Ludhan) bred and owned by Sh. Abdulla bin Mohammed Ali Al Thani (UAE), well presented by Tom Schoukens. The Reserve Champion title went to another worthy filly, *Badewieh AA (Leheeb x Bahiha) owned by the Ajman Stud (UAE), well presented by Frank Sponle.

The Champion Colt title went to *Maharaja HDM (Marajj x Miss Yahsminah Elamal) owned by Mr. and Mrs. McGlinn (Australia), presented by Rinaldo Longhini. The Reserve Title was awarded to *Kabsztad (Poganin x Kwestura) owned by the Athba Stud (KSA), presented by Greg Gallun.

The beautiful *Bess-Fa'Izah (WH Justice x Sharon-El Kendal) owned by the Ajman Stud (UAE) and presented by Frank Sponle won the title of Champion Mare, while the Reserve title went to *Kharelle (Dakar El Jamaal x Khemoselle) owned by HRH Prince Fahad bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (KSA) and presented by Philippe Hosay.

Champion Stallion was the wonderful *Imperial Baarez (PVA Kariim x BB Ora Kalilah) owned by the El Farida Stud of the Soliman Brothers (Egypt), flawlessly presented by Paolo Capecci. *Om El Extreem (Sanadik El Shaklan x Om El Bint Shaina) owned by the Ajman Stud (UAE) and presented by Frank Sponle was named Reserve Champion Stallion. This Show very well organize promise more and more for 2009 edition. Don't miss next edition!

As we said before in the text the fourth, fifth and sixth days of the Festival were dedicated to the actual show, which usually keeps us awake at night. In addition to the usual conformation categories, four classes were reserved for desert breeds, those for the original Desert Bred horse of Saudi Arabia, where the qualities of this horse are given even more prominence. You can imagine the excitement felt by the European participants invited to be part of the show without having to incur in any expense and not having to worry about the horses invited to participate. The owners had the opportunity to win rich prizes which this year were truly remarkable: the prize for the various categories were wonderful and precious watches whereas Mercedes cars were up for grab in the final championship, for both champions and reserves, along with the Champion for the Desert Bred competition.  The 15 horses, coming from Europe and Australia, performed well and obtained, as we will see, important results.  Wide and wonderful was the grass ring set up for the show.

The presence of breeders was truly remarkable during the days of the event, starting from the auction held on the first day during which many horses were sold and every record from 2008 was beaten. The  record was made by the wonderful Ansata Nile Pearl (Ansata Hejazi x Ansata White Nile) that was purchased for the equivalent of 1,215,565 dollars by Sh. Bagedo of the Al Khaled Farm.

Ansata Fantastiq (Ansata Sokar x G. Fantazia) was another mare that had bidders rushing for their cheque books.

This goes to show that the auction, created just last year, has already attracted the attention of several stables and sector experts. Further confirmation comes from the fact that well over half of the 67 horses auctioned there were sold at remarkable prices, evidence of their high quality.  Sire lines represented included such renowned stallions as Gazal Al Shaqab, Padrons Immage, F Shamaal, AJA Sangali, Dakharo, and El Mokari. The sun, the bidding and the scenery of the Al Khalediah Horse Festival made next year's event even more unmissable.

Monday afternoon was devoted to the compelling races, which was supported from owners from throughout the Kingdom. Gallop races in the desert are really thrilling and unique. The public, overexcited by the adrenaline-driven race, accompanied and cheered the performance of horses and jockeys. The Prince believes race performance testing is one of the most important modern methods of breed selection for Arabian horses, so naturally he is a great supporter of racing.

Seeing how eclectic Arabian horses are and how they manage to maintain their beauty throughout a gallop race is further proof that Arabian horses are by far the most eclectic breed among horses. The first section of the 1800 meter race was for imported horses aged 3 and above and the victory went to the lightweight Bint Abu Dabi, 54 Kg (El Manssour De Brou x Tanzina) owned by Salah Bin Ali Al Hamady, trained by Sultan AlHamady.

The second place went to Bariq Al Sayf, 56 kg (Arwak Daroco x Benita Tm) owned by Abdul Rahmnan bin Abdulla Al Damer. Congratulations to its owner and jockey Khaled Alrawasheed.

In third place Zain Al Maani, 56 kg (Darike x D Janizid) trained by Rashid AlMary, owned by Bander bin Hazam bin Shabeeb Al Hathlain. Congratulations to its owner and its jockey.

The second section of the 1800-meter race was reserved for locally bred horses aged 4 and above. The confident winner was Hammam Al Thalith, 56 kg (Kash de Nerak x Al Haydaryah) owned by Adel bin Yousef AlQusaibi and trained by M. AlGanem. The second place went to Al Batan, 56 Kg (Sinus x Sabha) owned by Tareq Abdulhady Al Qahtany trained by M. AlMasodi. Shadad AlThalith, 56 kg (Awaj x Frial Al Shaqab) owned by Abdullatif bin Mohamad Aldoghan, trained by K. AlJegiman was third.

The third section of the 1600 m race was reserved for locally bred three-year-old horses. The winner was Badieat Awam 54 Kg (Al Nasr x Raakesah) owned by Ahmad bin  Naser AlKhamees and trained by A. Alfarj. In second place was Noof, 54 Kg (Kash de Nerak x Ghalia) bred and owned by Abdul Rahman bin Ali Albrahem and trained by R. Albrahem. The third place went to Almazyoon, 56 Kg (Ghassan x Kerasene) owned by Saeed bin Abdulaziz AlGhumgham, trained by S. Alaid.

The last race was for Desert Bred (Saudi) horses aged 3 and above, dominated by Al Khalediah, which won all the three top places. The winner was Mansour El Biwaibiya, 58 Kg (Tiwaiq x Nashwa) owned by the Al Khalediah Stables, trained by Mutlaq bin Mushref and ridden by Sebestain Madrid. Second was Bint Obeyat Al Khalidiah, 56 Kg (Tiwaik x Ardah), trained by Mutlaq bin Mushref and ridden by Aidekson.

The third place went to Jalood Al Khalidiah, 58 Kg (Tiwaik x Al Azizya) and the trainer was once again Mutlaq bin Mushref  and ridden by W. Ramos.

Great success of Tiwaiq as sire of champions!

This year, for the first time, there was also an endurance race, a 120 km CEI *** recognized by FEI, organized so that this unique event could be even more complete. Endurance is attracting more and more attention in all the Arab countries. The Al Khalediah Show Festival could not be a better showcase for a sport that is set to grow exponentially over a short time, thanks to the efforts and commitment towards the world of the Arabian horse of Prince Khaled. The competition had some tense moments and many participants gave up during the well-organized race.

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