Written by Arlene Magid
The Arabian community has lost one of its most stalwart and successful small breeders. Priscilla Richardson-Normington began showing Arabians in 1974, nearly 40 years ago, and began breeding them in 1978. According to the official record, Priscilla bred just 85 Arabians, but the horses carrying the Challendon Arabians "C A" prefix have become sought after for their beauty and athleticism as well as their soundness.
Priscilla did all her own training at home and only sent horses out to trainers to campaign at Scottsdale or the national shows. Priscilla did not breed paper to paper, she bred horse to horse, and tried to select each mating as a complimentary combination of two individuals. Priscilla's first love was halter, but by breeding halter horses with correct conformation she produced superb performance horses as well. She was not a fad breeder-she trusted her own eye and was one of the first breeders to use the Spanish/Polish cross with success, and later Spanish with Bey Shah lines.
One of her best producing mares was Citation of Merit, a Bey Shah granddaughter whose pedigree was heavily CMK bred. She produced 6 champions, 4 of them National winners including 14 time National winner C A Hermano and 39 time National winner C A Ultimo, 20 of whose titles are national championships or reserves. Priscilla's crowning achievement as a breeder was C A Hermoso, a 3/4 Spanish multi-Top Ten Stallion and multi-national champion in western pleasure, who embodied the ideal all around show horse for his many fans. One of Priscilla's proudest moments was taking Hermoso to the Scottsdale show in 1991 in a two horse trailer and winning the first amateur to show stallion championship with him. At nearly every national show each year a horse descended from the Challendon program wins a title. Two of his get bred by Challendon won top ten awards in hunt pleasure at the 2011 Youth Nationals, a fitting tribute to their breeder.
Priscilla passed away surrounded by her daughter from Florida, her son from Sacramento and her beloved husband, Bill Normington, who she met on a blind date on a New Years Eve many years ago and married on March 3, 2010. As Bill said, "we should have gotten married 25 years before we did, but we were too busy horsing around."