Welcome to the News & Reviews of Friday, October 28th from the US National Arabian Horse Championships! Friday's schedule was all about championship finals; every class was awarding trophies, ribbons, and roses - lots of red roses!
The morning started off on a light schedule with no performance classes in the Ford Area. Instead, that space was used for the youth judging contest - an important event as those young people are the future of the breed and believe me, they take it very seriously. Halter classes were held in the Pavilion and it was standing room only when they brought in the yearling colts. Overall it was an exceptional group that showed a wonderful depth of quality and type. However there was one horse that truly stood out from the rest and eclipsed all others in the ring. It was the stunningly beautiful chestnut colt Barzan Al Shahania, presented by Greg Gallun. Even some of the owners of other colts in the class cheered for him and applauded their approval of Barzan. It is impossible to deny this colt's superior quality and style. Everything about this colt; his stature, movement, conformation, and that face - says this is an Arabian! From the first time many of us saw Barzan at Scottsdale, when he was shy and intimidated by the other horses in the ring, to The Breeders World Cup in Las Vegas, to Tulsa and the US National Championships, this colt has been placed first and made champion - and so it should be. I seriously doubt there is another colt in the world that could or should beat him - he is that good. Barzan's extreme quality and beauty earned him a record high score of 385, topping the points of the yearling filly and taking the crown as the highest scoring halter horse of the 2011 US Nationals.
In the afternoon, all the activities switched over to the Ford Arena including the Half-Arabian Gelding Halter Championships, which included some amazing horses. Both the open and amateur performance classes were equally exciting because I think the amateurs take their jobs just as seriously as the professionals and there are always big emotions with each ribbon that is awarded. Everyone has worked all year - even longer - to have the opportunity to compete and when it is all said and done - receiving a national championship is overwhelming. The professionals seem very pleased - but the amateurs are thrilled and it shows!
Friday evening classes began with the Arabian Junior Filly Championships. All of the fillies were very beautiful - but the National Champion Yearling Filly RH Triana, presented by Rodolfo Guzzo, was again the crowd's favorite, as well as the judges' favorite, and she was named the US National Junior Champion Filly - the first time that title has ever been awarded. The next class brought in a completely different sort of energy when the huge and powerful Half-Arabian English Pleasure horses trotted into the ring. Taking the class by storm was Bob Battaglia riding the talented, big grey Second Sight. It was an unbelievable performance - so powerful, yet so graceful - it was thrilling to watch! The class for the Arabian Senior Mares Championship brought feminine elegance back to the ring and what a gorgeous group of mares it was. The lovely white Panarea by Palawan, presented by Frank Spoenle, took the title of US National Champion Senior Mare - again the first time that title has ever been awarded. As the Champion Senior Mares exited the arena, the purebred park horses were in the warm up ring and were next into the spotlight. It was a very big class of really talented horses and riders, but Mandalay Bay, ridden by Vicki Humphrey, was unbeatable - again - and was named US National Champion Park Horse for the fourth consecutive time!
Enjoy this 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 Saturday, October 29th is Fazenda Floresta