The famous and much-awaited event called The Arabian Breeders World Cup was held in Las Vegas (Nevada, USA) between April 16th and 19th.
The South Point Hotel & Casino served as a backdrop for the show. The location was perfect and tailored around the horse - the size of the place was incredible, and everything was organized down to the tiniest detail, so that horses could take center stage. Nothing was left to chance and the organizers really went the extra mile to make the show as pleasant as possible for the spectators. It is worth remembering that Las Vegas is an US show to be held using the European scoring system, not the traditional comparison one. Impressive in terms of figures and facilities, the structure contains a hotel with a casino and the 2,000-seater arena where equestrian shows are held. This year, the quality of horses grew at the same pace as the show; several international champions and as many as four World Champions paraded and enchanted all the spectators. The opportunity to see so many American champions compete with European and World champions once again highlighted the efforts made by the US breeders who, over the last few years have started breeding horses for the European and Arab market, in addition to the domestic one. The show was held over four days and could not be otherwise, considering that there were more than 250 entries overall, including geldings. To prove the popularity of this show, some of the most prestigious studs from the Arab countries took part this year, together with a remarkable presence of European breeders who decided to follow the event live. For those who could not be there, the organizers set up a live video streaming of the event via arabhorse.com. Compatibly with the time zones, during the event many people rang up to comment or to be part of the show even though they were not there, they wanted to know whether the impressions given live by some horses were the same as those perceived via video connection. In the end everyone was exhausted by the whirwind of emotions. As it is always the case, among the people attending - spectators or owners - there is always someone who celebrates an unexpected victory and someone who complains or gets angry for a missed victory which seemed already "in the bag" in the days prior to the event. The organizers, always open to change, made a further amendment to the European judging method. Instead of the usual five conformation criteria used in Europe and a score from 1 to 20, which were used also last year, it was decided that the head and neck score would be split, giving judges the opportunity to score separately head, neck and shoulder. Last year, this change had already been appreciated by several sector professionals who are convinced that it is impossible to give just one score to head and neck, considering that many horses have a head that is worth 20 and a neck worth 18 or vice versa. We would like to mention two moving moments that the organizers scheduled at the right time: the first one was the phone call with Patrick Swayze, the famous actor and notorious Arabian horse lover, to whom the Arabian Breeders Cup Alliance dedicated one of its trophies. Patrick told the enthusiastic spectators that also in his own view, the Arabian horse is the most intelligent among horses and mentioned his extraordinary rapport with his stallion Tamin. Patrick Swayze received the "Arabian Ambassador Award". Another special moment was the naming of Dr. Hans Nagel, current President of WAHO, as Ambassador of the Arabian Breeders Cup. Dr. Nagel won the "Lifetime Achievement Award", this was awarded to Don & Judy Forbis last years and Wayne Newton received this award the first year. Thanks to his breeding, he has undoubtedly left an indelible mark in the history of the Arabian horse. Worth reporting is also the elegant and refined gala dinner on Thursday night, It was held at one of the most popular nightclubs in all of Las Vegas, pure Nightclub at Cesars Palace. These occasions are nowadays rare among the top events, there should certainly be more.
The Las Vegas Show opened officially on Thursday April 16 in the afternoon, with the performance of the Geldings in hand of various ages.
The international jury consisted of Mr. Peter Gamlin (Wales), Mr. Terry Holmes (USA), Mr. Steve Liebang (USA), Dr. Mohammed Machmoud (Morocco), Mr. Jack Maritz (USA) and Mrs. Lenita Perroy (Brazil). The ringmasters Juan Stuckey and Mike Frame carried out their role with great skill and precision. The show was managed by Mr. Scott Bailey, Mr. Scott Benjamin, Ms. Kelly Charpentier, Mrs. Phylis LaMalfa and Ms. Taryl Pearson. After the preliminary categories, which were really hard fought given the high quality of the competing horses (see HYPERLINK "http://www.arabhorse.com" www.arabhorse.com for details), the much-awaited Final Championship was opened on Sunday afternoon.
The competition started with the parade of international flags, organized with great passion by Robert and Dixie North. Mr. and Mrs. North nominated many breeders, spectators and handlers as official flagbearers and they assigned everyone the flag of their own country. This was accompanied by a moving standing ovation.
The title of Champion Filly went to the beautiful *Layan Al Khalediah, former World Champion, which performed impeccably in her category and in the final championship. She was presented by Greg Gallun and is owned by the Al Khalediah Stables of His Royal Highness Prince Khaled Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (KSA). The reserve title went to another world champion, *Abha Palma, in a tie with the Layan in the category of three-year-old fillies but second in the championship due a lower score for type. The lovely Abha Palma bred by Marieta Salas and presented by Michael Byatt is owned by the Al Mohammadiah Stud of His Highness Prince Abdullah Bin Saud Abdullah Al Saud (KSA). Top five for *Valentyna F, *RD Challs Angel and *Mistic Fame NA. Then it was the turn of mares, all of them of the highest quality. The judges' preference went for the wonderful *Emandoria, another former World Champion. This mare, presented by Greg Gallun, was bred and is owned by Michalow Stud (PL). Reserve Champion mare was *Embra, bred by Michalow Stud and now owned by the Henesey Partneship. Top Five for *Psyx Aprilove H, *Donna Fantastykah RB and *Martina Van Ryad.
The cheering for the winning mares had not yet subsided as the colts were standing by in the pre-ring, ready to be admired.
The Champion among the applause was the bay *Stival, correct and with a very long neck, which was welcomed by loud cheering and applauding. Such a high quality colt was once again presented by Greg Gallun, who literally raided the prizes in this show. *Stival is owned by Jennifer and Michael Wilson (USA). The Reserve Title went to the beautiful, charismatic and correct *El Chall WR owned by Robert and Dixie North, a lovely black horse which won over many spectators, well presented by Rodolfo Guzzo. Top five for *EVG Gianni, *Lightning Strike V and *Troumbador PA.
The title of Champion Stallion was awarded to the excellent *ML Mostly Padron thanks to a breathtaking show, which thrilled the audience and obtained a standing ovation. The stallion is owned by the ML Mostly Padron Syndacate (USA) and was masterfully presented by Ted Carson. The title of Reserve Champion Stallion went to the multiwinner *Dakharo, presented by Greg Gallun and owned by the Al Khalediah Stables of His Royal Highness Prince Khaled Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (KSA). Top five for *EVG Gentry, *OM El Beshaan and *El Nabila B.
And that was the end of the Arabian Breeders World Cup in Las Vegas. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the organizers Scott Bailey, Bob Boggs, Jay Costanti, Robert Pommeroy, Richard Freeland, Hank Deshazer, Bob North, Jeff Sloan (Chairman) and Mrs. Carol Steppe for their hospitality and their excellent job done. A warm goodbye to next year, perhaps hoping to see many more European breeders, as it would be worth bringing together and comparing horses with such diverse and unique traits. Also, the organizers are working on quite a few changes and surprises, including the introduction of the gold, silver and bronze medal, an Olympic-style award system that is becoming more popular in Europe and in the Arab countries. Considering that in America they are also trying to breed for different markets, a trip to Las Vegas can give European breeders a chance to see their progress live and, why not, exchange ideas and breeding tips which are always useful. Finally, let us not forget that taking part in the Las Vegas show gives also an opportunity to visit this extraordinary city, which never really sleeps and is always ready to surprise you with attractions and entertainment that can satisfy even the most discerning people.