Surprises in Aachen...
XXVIIth All Nations Cup and 2009 German National Show
The first title show of the season - All Nations Cup is called one of the two most difficult Arabian events in Europe and one of the most prestigious and full of traditions in the world next to World Championships, US Nationals and Scottsdale Show. Due to the idea of its author - Annette Hedley it was the event opened for all the WAHO recognized countries and promoting the team competitions between the breeders. The first edition of the show was held in 1980 and won by the team of Great Britain that, after 27 years is still a leader in the ranking of All Nations Cup - since 1992 called "The Lady Harmsworth Blunt Memorial Trophy" presented annually to the country owing the best placed horses. In 2001 another prize was introduced - "The Major T.W.I. Hedley Memorial Trophy" called Breeders Cup to honor the countries of the origin of the best placed competitors. Thanks to the cup ranking All Nations Cup has the unique atmosphere - is probably the only show in the world where the single breeders from one country are truly keeping fingers crossed for the others - being the members of the same team competing for Nations and Breeders Cup points together. Since 1993 the usual place of the show is beautiful old town of Aachen and the venue is the last weekend of September - opening the autumn time.
This year edition of the event was unique and full of emotions. The big number of 155 participants were entered (almost all competed) and the best proof of exceptionally high quality was the number of high total scores - these above 90 points often were not enough to enter the class' top five. The full line of maximum "twenty" points was shown many times - in case of Senior Silver Champion Mare - Emandoria, Gold Champion Mare - SA Misha Apal, Gold Senior Champion Stallion - Al Lahab, Silver Champion Male - Eden C and Emmona from Michalow Stud, the spectacular class winner awarded with the highest total score in the history the show - 95,30 with incredible number of 11 "twenties"!
The event clearly showed the three big dominants on the breeding scene nowadays: Marwan Al Shaqab, Gazal Al Shaqab and WH Justice. The first one is a sire of four 2009 entitled champions in young categories: Silver Champion Filly - Khansa Al Shaqab, winner of the very first class of the show, who with the high score of 92.30 has beaten Al Maraam bred filly from Poland - Parmana. The Bronze Champion Filly - chosen from the second placed horses in their class was Najdah Al Zobair representing United Arab Emirates with seven highest marks on the score tables that was placed in her class of two years old fillies (B) after beautiful, one of the very best Ajman Moniscione sired fillies - Baila de Djoon OS from Albidayer Stud, UAE. The only non-Marwan sired filly in the group of junior mare champions was the Gold Medal winner - FM Gloriaa, the daughter of another sire of champions of 2009 All Nations Cup - WH Justice. Unbeaten in the class of two years old fillies (A) Gloriaa was scored 92,6 with seven twenties beating entitled Sarah Al Mohamadia scored 92,20 the Kingdom Saudi Arabia representative again sired by Marwan Al Shaqab who was also successful as a sire in the junior male championships - with strongly promoted stable mate of Sarah Al Mohamadia - Abha Qatar, the Gold Medal Winner bred by Marietta Salas currently owned in Saudi Arabia. The Bronze Medal place of this category was also completed by the son of Marwan - yearling Kahil Al Shaqab representative of the owner of his sire - Al Shaqab Stud from Qatar. The only non-Marwan sired champion in colts group was their paternal close relative, the new star on European showground this year - Stival by Gazal Al Shaqab who started his show career winning the hearts of spectators in the US and now - in Europe with the amazing swan neck as his "brand mark". The winner of the class with 14 entries - Stival was highly scored however only 0,1 points loss had the second placed in this group - Michalow Stud bred and owned Kabsztad - sired by Polish bred Poganin (by Laheeb) and out of the famous and expensive Monogramm daughter - Kwestura. Kabsztad being on lease to Athba Stud in Saudi Arabia took the second place and didn't impress the judges in the championships much enough to get the title this time.
The dam of Kabsztad was competing the day after in the class of 11 years and older mares class that was probably the most incredible one from all the categories. Not only the highest marks of the show were presented - with eleven twenties and highest total of the history of the event for Monogramm daughter Emmona, the former Junior World Champion from Michalow Stud but also the big money appeared on the ring while all the nine mares entered for the first walk... Amongst of the competitors 5 were bred in Michalow State Stud of Poland, two of them still Polish owned and three sold - Kwestura (for 1 125 000 Eur to Ajman Stud), Fallada (for 465 000 Eur to Paul Gheysens) and Elandra (to Halsdon Arabians, unofficially told as 1 million Euro price range). The entry and presentation of each of these mares were cheered with ovations. But what was the surprise of some fans when it finally appeared that both championship qualifying top two places were grabbed by the mares still owned by Poland! It was quite sure that Emmona with her 95,3 would stay unbeaten until the end of this class while quite surprising was the second place of 15 years old Georgia (94,4 pts) who didn't leave a space for Kwestura (94,3 pts) for the second position! The decorated top five of the class was completed by Fallada (93,7 pts) and Elandra (93,4 pts). Some people commented that even if the Poles sell some of the most expensive horses worth big money for their beauty they still kept the best in their barns... Anyway it was exceptional to see all the top five placed mares bred in one stud and all Monogramm sired... But this was not the end of big surprises of the day...
When it came to the senior mare championships the first row of the class winners were attended by three former world champions, one of them - Emmona the highest scored of the show. Next to her stood another spectacular and greatly cheered Polish mare - Emandoria, the winner of the mares 4-6 years old (B) class scored 94,3, GM Marwan Al Shakira, another Marwan sired mare bred in the US and Swedish owned (scored 91,6) who won the 3 years old mares section in front of Polish bred Psytadel daughter Espinezja, further - CR Jasminah - grey daughter of WH Justice owned by Great Britain who won the class of 4-6 old mares (A) section in front of Marwan daughter Polish owned - Marjjana VA (both scored 92,00 but CR Jasminah 1 point more in type) and finally - SA Misha Apal, the veteran of the shows representing Belgian breeding and UAE ownership who won her class with 92,9. For all the spectators it was almost sure that the record scored Emmona is the candidate for the trophies that would be also completed with another former World Champion winners with Emandoria as the big favorite with her 94,3 points. While Polish breeders were impatiently waiting for their national anthem to be played for one of the 5 out of 9 mares entered to the senior mare championships - but the final decision of the judges was announced! The gold medal was given to SA Misha Apal in front of Emandoria as the Silver (another get of Gazal Al Shaqab title awarded) and CR Jasminah as Bronze (another success for WH Justice in the championships). The recordable scored mare didn't achieve even the bronze title. After these big emotions the two lines of candidates for Senior Male Champions appeared on the ring. The big favorite was for sure the winner of many international important awards so far including 2006 All Nations Cup and World Championships - Al Lahab that spectacularly won his class getting the full line of "twienties" for type and the total of 93,3. In the class of 7-10 years old stallions he has beaten his paternal half brother and the sire of Kabsztad - Poganin (by Laheeb) the representative of Poland scored 92,9. In the championships next to Al Lahab stood the winner of 4-6 years old stallions class - Eden C (by Enzo) the guest from US currently the stable mate of Kabsztad on lease to Athba Stud, KSA also awarded with full line of "twenties" for type and even higher total of 94,2. The third place in the first line of class winners was completed by Sanadik El Shaklan son - very successful on the show rings this year - Sandhiran owned by Aja Arabians UK scored also as high as 93,5. And again despite the total scores the game in the championships started again - the beauty and class of former World Champion Stallion Al Lahab was the most appreciated by the judges who awarded him with the Gold Medal in front of Silver Medalist - Eden C and the Bronze one - Sandhiran.
The unique for the Aachen event is the moving ceremony of All Nations Parade - the representatives of all the competitors coming into the ring with their national flags. This year we have seen 21 of them in the show ground. When the points gathered for the championships and places in the class were finally counted it was announced that both All Nations and Breeders Cups went to Belgium this year. Belgians took the memorial trophy for All Nations Cup from the Poles who were winning this award for the last three years in the row, this time placed as third after Great Britain on the second position. Until the championships Poland was a strong leader in the Breeders Cup as well with 23 Polish bred horses placed in classes top fives including 2 class winners but finally in the last moment the leadership went to Belgium in front of Poland and Qatar.
Traditionally the whole Aachen event was opened by German National Show organized by VZAP - the German Breeders Society that had its 60th anniversary this year and the presentation of German breeders' successes, broodmares of merit as well as some beautiful riding performances were presented to honor the jubilee. The winners of German Nationals once again appeared in the arena on Sunday afternoon to be presented to the public as well as the 2009 German WAHO Trophy winner - Santhos (Pierrot - Saika) bred by Eleonora Hussmann. Soon after the German National medalists also the winners of the Riding Competition of All Nations Cup with greatly ridden Pure breds, Shagyas halfbreds and angloarabs had their parade of champions with the prize giving ceremony to the winners: from Germany, Netherlands and Denmark.
During the All Nations Cup we always have the Futurity Europe and our best congratulation go to Italy that won with Isabeau Di Mar (Maraj x Pretoria) for the Futurity Female. The amazing filly is owned by Mr. Marco Franchini from Scuderia Le Groane.
2009 All Nations Cup that already belongs to the past, again proven to be one of the most important, most difficult and sometimes very surprising event of the year. And despite not every horse can win the gold medal both spectators as well as the competitors could have been satisfied with the absolute world top quality of the breed and they were again surrounded by the unique atmosphere of the team competition uniting all the Arabian breeders and fans from all over the world during the last weekend of September. The season of the title shows was just opened - another chance to meet and compete is coming soon!