2009 Israeli National Championship Show
By Arlene Magid
Photo credit Menashe Cohen, Moshe Sandbank Photos.
The 2009 Israeli National Championship Show was held on October 16 and 17 at Kibbutz Yifat in the Jezreel Valley. Judges were Mr Koenraad Detailleur of Belgium, Mr Marek Trela (of Poland's Janow Podlawski Stud) and Mr Pierluigi Rota of Italy. The Israeli National Show is conducted under ECAHO rules and uses the European point system. This year's edition also had its first international steward, who kept exhibitors right by issuing numerous yellow warnings (which were publically announced) for a variety of rule violations that included hoof painting, face makeup, face shaving and ginger usage. The judges were considered to be tough to please, with spectators and exhibitors alike commenting that "they are not giving anything away". Few horses scored perfect 20s on any of the traits being marked (type, head and neck, body and topline, legs and movement), and there were no horses who scored a 20 for legs. The highest scoring horse of the show achieved 91.6 points, in contrast for example with the Nations Cup show held in Germany in September, where a number of horses in the top ranks of their classes achieved 90 points or more, with the high scoring horse of the show getting 95.30 points.
This year's show was the 29th such competition and was the largest Arabian show ever held in Israel, with over 180 entries (50 more than in 2008, making it larger than the Nations Cup competition in Europe held the previous month. Many breeders in Israel focus on Egyptian lines (of the 16 champions and reserves, 11 were straight Egyptian and 4 were Egyptian related), but there are also excellent Spanish Arabians (a straight Spanish mare was the Senior Mare Bronze Champion), straight Crabbet horses, and mixed bloodline imports from the USA and elsewhere to be seen at the show featuring sires including Out of Cyte, QR Marc, Jaayd, British National Champion Ruger AMW, and MH Weston, an Americanbred *Muscat son out of a Khemosabi daughter who is one of the most respected broodmare sires in Israel-the Reserve National Champion Mare was out of a MH Weston daughter and the Reserve National Champion Filly and Weanling Colt were out of his granddaughters.
Israel's Egyptian horses are world class and have proven themselves in show rings wherever Arabians are shown. World Champion Stallion *Al Lahab GASB and World Champion Mare Loubna were both bred at Israel's largest stud, Ariela Arabians, who also owned and bred the magnificent *Laheeb IASB, named Reserve Champion Stallion at the 2006 American Egyptian Event to his son *Al Lahab GASB and a multiple national winner in Europe and Israel. He was the first straight Egyptian stallion to stand at stud at a Polish State Stud and he has sired National Champions in Poland, Sweden, Brazil and Namibia. At this year's Israeli Nationals he was presented with the WAHO trophy, an exclusive award given annually to horses with special life achievements nominated by their respective countries, and sired the Reserve National Champion Mare, the National Bronze Junior Champion Colt, and Bronze Junior Champion Filly, who was also the high-scoring horse of the show. Ariela Arabians had a three year lease of World Champion Stallion Imperial Imdal, sire of *Laheeb IASB and Loubna and grandsire of *Al Lahab GASB, and bred many of his greatest offspring from their mares. The influence of Imperial Imdal was omnipresent in this year's show champions, with 10 of the 16 tracing to him and several having double lines to him.
The show offers a weanling championship for both colts and fillies judged by the comparative method (ie no points are assigned as per the ECAHO point system). This year's Champion Weanling Colt, the Egyptian related Prince Sinan, was sired by 2008 Israeli Reserve National Champion Stallion Nader El Jamal (Ansata Sinan x Savannah CC by Thee Desperado, another of Ariela Arabians successful leased stallions. Nader El Jamal sired more champions at this year's competition than any other horse, including the Champion Weanling Filly, the Silver Reserve National Champion Filly, and the Reserve Champion Weanling Colt, the straight Egyptian Abyad AA (x Al Amal AA, by Halim Shah I out of The Vision HG), bred and owned by Ariela. Abyad AA was just sold to Ferdinand Huemer of Austria.
The Champion Weanling Filly was Lutfina AA by Nader Al Jamal out of Latifah AA, a former Israeli National Champion Mare and multi-champion in Europe, sired by *Al Maraam (by Imperial Imdal) out of Imperial Kalatifa, and thus a 50% sister to *Laheeb IASB and a 3/4 sister to World Champion Mare Loubna. *Al Maraam has stood at stud in Poland and is currently on lease in the USA and will stand in Egypt in 2010/11. She was a stunning example of Arabian type. Reserve to her was Salsabil Al Jamal (Al Manar x K.Z. Jalisa), an Egyptian related filly who was double Imperial Imdal. She was bred and owned by Faysal Shawalki.
The Junior Gold Champion Filly was Nashwah AA (Al Ayad x Insha Sha Latifa), whose now deceased sire was bred in Germany and leased by Ariela, and her dam is an Ariela import from Germany who was also named National Champion Mare this year. Nashwah AA was last year's Champion Weanling Filly and was even more beautiful this year-great things lie ahead for her! Reserve to her was Egyptian-related Donya (Nader Al Jamal x Israeli Reserve National Champion Filly Aroussa by *Al Maraam out of W. Warda by MH Weston). Donya had excellent balance, a pretty head, good legs and the best neck in her age class. She was bred by Yusuf Asali and is owned by Doran Balolo. Bronze Junior Champion Filly was the high scoring horse of the show, straight Egyptian Loubana (Laheeb x Bint Karima, a daughter of Israeli National Champion Stallion Mujalli). As often happens, the high scoring horse of the show is a class winner who may or may not be an overall champion (this also happened at the 2009 Nations Cup show with Emmona). Loubana was bred by Tahaa Hikmat and is owned by Tahaa Hikmat and Daud Rashad.
The Junior Gold Champion Colt, BVA Mouadaar, is straight Egyptian and undefeated in halter. He was bred and is owned by Yuval Keler and David Vaknin and is by the Ariela bred Al Bilal (*Al Maraam x Bahiha), the 2007 Israeli Egyptian Event Champion Stallion out of the 2006 Israeli Egyptian Event Reserve Champion Mare, Barakis Whisper, an American import. The Junior Silver Champion Colt is straight Egyptian and one of three imported horses to win championships at this year's show. Extremme RSA (True Colours x Bahiyaa) was bred by Michael and Leslie Nord of the USA and is owned by Yigal Tavori. His sire True Colours has just been sold to RB Arabians in Israel. Israeli Junior Bronze Champion Colt was the super typey and exotic Al Raheb AA (*Laheeb x The Vision HG), son of two Israeli National Champions and a full brother to World Champion *Al Lahab GASB. He was previously 2007 Reserve National Champion Colt and was bred by Ariela Arabians and is now owned by Al Fawaz Stud.
Israeli Gold National Champion Mare was the straight Egyptian German import Insha Sha Latifa, a daughter of Ansata Selman and Naffada (by Imperial Imdal) who was imported and is owned by Ariela. She was also the show's leading dam of winners as her daughters Nashwah AA and Nawal AA won their respective classes and Nashwah AA was named Gold Junior Champion Filly as well. Last year Insha Sha Latifa was Reserve National Champion Mare and her daughter Nashwah AA was Champion Filly Foal and Nawal AA was Reserve Junior Champion Filly. Israeli Silver National Champion Mare was AA Aseela (Laheeb x Asia by MH Weston), bred and owned by Avi Aharoni. Her type and presence made it hard to look at any other horse when she was in the ring. Israeli Bronze Champion Mare was the straight Spanish A. Barcelona (Israeli Reserve National Champion Stallion Milano x V.D. Daquebria), bred by by Achrack Arabians and owned by Amar Wail and Haled El Ali. She has a superb trot (she was awarded 19 points from each judge for her movement and a 20 for type) and is a maternal sister to 2007 Israeli Reserve National Champion Stallion A. Nadim.
Israeli Gold National Champion Stallion was *AA Al Bashyr (*Al Maraam x El Thay Beshira), bred by Avi Aharony and owned by Riki Zerinzki. *AA Al Bashyr recently returned to Israel after a two year lease to America where he sired some excellent offspring. He has won Most Classic Head at the Israeli Nationals several times and was named 2006 Israeli National Reserve Junior Champion Colt. He is a paternal grandson of Imperial Imdal and is from the same tail female line as The Minstril. He greatly resembles his paternal granddam The Vision HG in the body and his paternal grandsire Imperial Imdal in overall type. Israel Silver National Champion Stallion was the straight Egyptian American import Hals Moonshadow (Halameer x Brumarba Moonlady), a grandson of *Simeon Shai+. He was bred by Kenneth and Martha Counts of California and is owned by Ronen Braver (who just bought National Champion sire True Colours). Israeli Bronze National Champion Stallion is Buraq Al Nefous (K.Z. Rea x H Latiffa), bred by Basam Halabi and owned by Rashed El Mochrasyeb.
The extreme quality of the horses in Israel make it a must-visit for any Arabian horse lover, and I will be going back for next year's show!