2011 US Nationals News & Reviews, Friday
Welcome to the News & Reviews of Thursday, October 27th from the US National Arabian Horse Championships! It was a bit of a cold, wet, windy day here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but less then perfect weather rarely, if ever, stops a horse show. It may sound trite, but it is true - it takes a lot more to dampen the spirits of these top competitors! Although the sky was dark and grey, there were many bright moments throughout the day.
In the Pavilion's halter arena on Thursday morning, we all enjoyed several classes of aged stallions. Many of these were horses we have seen before in the prenationals promotional newsletters we receive. But nothing compares to seeing them in the flesh - living, breathing, standing before you with their eyes flashing, manes and tails flying as they trot into the ring. The highest score of the show came in the class for Stallions 8 years and Older, which was 381, a record score awarded to the tall, masculine, and majestic LD Pistal.
However, moments later, in the class for Yearling Fillies, this score was crushed by the tiny hooves of the exquisitely beautiful, delicate, and refined RH Triana (ROL Intencyty x Sylviah WLF by ATA Bey Star), bred by Robin Kragul of Robin Hood Farm and shown by Rodolfo Guzzo for the filly's new owner, Dick Freeland of Freeland Farm. This angel in black, featured on the cover of today's News & Reviews, is the talk of the halter show and was awarded an unheard of score of 383. Is she perfect? Of course not - no horse is - however, she may be the closest thing to perfection that many will ever lay eyes on.
Meanwhile in the performance arenas, the schedule was packed with fantastic classes of every discipline from driving, western, hunter, and English pleasure. There were still a few cuts or semi-finals, but it's getting down to the wire and most of the classes were finals with Top Tens, Reserves and Championships being awarded. It's tough to watch these dedicated and totally committed competitors give their all in presenting their horses, and then not be called back for an award. That is when true horsemanship and sportsmanship is seen. Especially when one of those people who did not get even a top ten goes racing back into the ring to join in the victory photo and to congratulate a friend who just won the roses!
The smiles and tears of joy from the competitors, their families, friends, and support team pretty much say it all. We are so lucky just to be here - doing what we love and hanging out with some of our favorite people, and of course our gorgeous and talented Arabian horses! It doesn't get much better than this.
As I was looking through the images from the show today, there was one photo that touched me very much. It is very simple, yet one of the strongest visual statements I have ever seen. It shows two pairs of feminine hands; one older, one younger; and together, they are holding the reins of a powerful driving horse. It symbolized so much to me, but the strongest thought is that at some point in time, the older generation must hand over the reins of our industry to a new and younger generation of horsemen and women. It is wonderful to see so many talented, skilled, and dedicated young people ready to take up those reins. It is up to all of us to make sure that those reins belong to a beautiful Arabian horse!
Look for this special image among today's gallery from Mike Ferrara, the official photographer of the US Nationals and remember to check back everyday for a glimpse of what's going on around the show - inside and outside the arena - because there is definitely a lot more going on for you to enjoy!
Our sponsor for Friday, October 28th is Guzzo Rivero Worldwide