2016 Arabian Breeders World Cup: Las Vegas!
2016 Arabian World Breeders Cup
By Lisa Abraham
The Arabian Breeders World Cup (ABWC), which took place from April 14th-17th, celebrated its tenth Anniversary as one of the world’s most important Arabian horse shows. Once again our global community gathered in Las Vegas, at the South Point Hotel & Casino, to enjoy both each other and top level halter competition. Muntaha Kahook, of NK Arabians (Jordon) shared, “My husband Nofal and I attended the ABWC for the first time this year—and it was truly an amazing experience. The warm and elegant atmosphere reflected an inviting, family affair. The show was well organized; the activities were continuous; the horses were of high quality; and, in attendance, were true horse lovers. But most of all it was spending time with friends and making new ones that made the show memorable and unique. My compliments to the organizers and everyone involved--we wish you another ten years of continued success.”
Phyllis LaMalfa: I can’t believe it’s already been 10 years. Through my work at this show, I have met some amazing people and have seen some the world’s most beautiful halter horses compete against one another. Plus, we have a great team, consisting of individuals who are experts in their fields. All of our responsibilities are clearly defined and we have high expectation both of ourselves and each other.
I think the key to our success is that we are not afraid of change. Every one of us has gone to shows our whole lives and have seen how they can become stale and boring. So we work hard to keep the show fun and exciting. During the show, we meet every morning to discuss the day. If something isn’t working, we make an instant change. We also closely review the show as a whole to see how it can be improved for the next year. Finally, it has been important to us to keep the show start and end times “user-friendly”…this is Vegas after all and nobody wants to start at 8:00 am!
~Phyllis LaMalfa is the Executive Director of the ABWC
In Vegas, the shopping experience is a special one—for several reasons, most especially the vendors themselves. Not only does the ABWC attract some of our community’s most prestigious artists and vendors, but it also provides ample time and a comfortable space for shopping. Items that could be perused included: fine art such as original paintings and sculptures; all types of tack & items for pets; clothing & jewelry; and gifts of various options. Kelly Charpentier, who managed the commercial exhibitors, shared, “We had a great group of exhibitors this year with some of the best quality and variety ever. From unique gifts to exquisite art, there was something for everyone."
It is also special that there were several vendors who have been loyal to the show for all ten years and have formed a tight knit group who were participative in show promotion. The group of vendors who have attended all ten years included: J Anne Butler, Judith Wagner, Windborne Video Productions, Latino Folk Art, T & T Enterprise and Zia Graphics.
J Anne Butler: The ABWC is a show like no other and certainly one of the very best in the world. In this decade we have experienced continued improvement, innovation and an insistence on quality through all aspects of the show. Kelly does an amazing job managing our various needs. As bronzes never get lighter, Kelly is always well equipped to help with loading, unloading and setting up. She has also facilitated a true camaraderie among the vendors. Through Kelly’s leadership, newcomers and the old guard work together so that everyone can experience a successful show. Additionally, over the years, we have also become friends with many of the South Point staff as the hotel service is both exceptional and friendly. My husband Ray and I feel that the ABWC has rightly earned its honored place amongst the great Arabian horse shows. The visionaries who took their inspirational thoughts and made them reality over the last ten years deserve our heartfelt thanks. We look forward to another amazing decade!
~J Anne Butler, of J Anne Butler Figurative Bronze Sculptures and Paintings (USA), and her husband Ray live in Cave Creek, Arizona where Anne works full time as an artist. Her work is valued all over the world by prestigious collectors and she is respected for her tremendous talent.
Kim Nordquist: We exhibited our bronze sculptures at the inaugural ABWC and have attended all but two of the shows since then. One thing that has really improved is the location of the commercial exhibits. We are now closer to the show arena, which is a definite plus so that we are able to visit with our clients while watching the show. One of the highlights about exhibiting in Vegas is the enthusiasm, both of the show committee and of those attending. From a business perspective, this is an excellent venue for personal relations as many of our long term, international clients choose this show because of the quality of the horses, the high level of judging and the excitement of Las Vegas. We greatly appreciate the support of the Arabian Horse Breeders Alliance and all their efforts to ensure this show is one of the classiest shows in the Arabian business!
~Judy and Kim Nordquist are internationally acclaimed artists of bronze sculptures. Their breathtaking bronzes enrich municipal, private, corporate and fine art collections around the world.
The ABWC is the product of the Arabian Horse Breeders Alliance (AHBA). According to the AHBA website, this is a group of people whose mission is “…to unite breeders in an effort to enhance their experience with Arabian horses; to encourage Arabian horse ownership among others; and to generate positive growth and appreciation of the Arabian breed through education, judicious competition, selective promotion and publicity. Furthermore, the AHBA seeks to become a worldwide community of breeders united in their dedication to the Arabian breed as well as thoughtful guardianship of these unique horses for generations to come.”
One of the special qualities of the ABWC show is the effort taken to recognize individuals, both people and horses, for their relevant accomplishments and/or contributions. These award ceremonies are always personalized with well-planned dramatic elements and “Vegas” flair, guaranteeing unforgettable moments--not only for the recipients, but also for those in attendance. In certain instances, the emotion is further escalated as recipients don’t always know they are going to be recognized, thereby intensifying these priceless moments in time. The awards and their recipients are determined by the AHBA, whose Board Members include (all from USA, unless listed otherwise): Scott Bailey, Robert Boggs, James Constanti, Kimberly M. Jarvis, Lawrence Jerome, Murray Popplewell, Robert North, James Swaenpoel (Belgium), and Chairman Jeff Sloan.
Ambassadors Award: Debbie Fuentes
The Ambassadors Award is not one that is given every year, which enhances its prestige and significance. Those who are honored with this award are considered to have made notable contributions to both the Arabian breed and/or its community. Previous recipients include: Patrick Swayze (USA), Izabella Zawadzka (Poland), Judy Sirbasku (USA) and Sheila Varian (USA). For those of us who were lucky to be present, both Izabella Zawadzka and Sheila Varian were recognized for their enormous contributions, very soon before passing away. Izabella was recognized in 2014, then passed away in 2015; while Sheila Varian was recognized in 2015, then passed away on March 16, 2016, just a month previous to the show.
The 2016 recipient of the Ambassadors Award was a woman who is deeply cherished by our community, Debbie Fuentes. Debbie, who the Registrar of the Arabian Horse Association, is not only respected internationally for her work in her official capacity, but is also dearly appreciated for her photography capturing community members at events and shows. These images have become important and reliable elements in post-show promotion and are of tremendous value to both show committees and attendees. Debbie was presented the award by AHBA Board Member, Larry Jerome. Larry shared warm feelings about Debbie, mixed in with touching humor. The highlight of Larry’s presentation was when he put his microphone aside, stepped in front of Debbie and honored her by taking her picture—as she has honored so many of us in the Arabian community by taking thousands of photos and sharing freely.
Cynthia Richardson: Debbie's only job since college has been working in Arabian horse registrations. She is a wonderful example of someone dedicated to their job and therefore has worked her way to the top as Registrar. When you combine that dedication, intelligence and a winning smile it is no wonder that she has been honored with the Ambassador Award! Debbie is recognized around the world as standing for the Arabian Horse. I am proud to call her friend!
~Cynthia Richardson is the President of the Arabian Horse Association
Lifetime Achievement Award: Robert and Dixie North
Previous receipts to the AHBA Lifetime Achievement Award include: Wayne Newton (USA); Judith Forbis (USA); Dr. Hans Nagel (Germany); Bazy Tankersley (USA); Polish State Studs: Bialka, Janów Podlaski and Michałów ; Dr. Aloysio Andrade de Faria (Brazil); Dr. Nasr Marei & Albadeia Stud (Egypt); and Howie Kale Jr. & Kale Family Arabians (USA).
Robert and Dixie North, of North Arabians (USA), are two of the most beloved individuals in the business of Arabian horses. As breeders and competitors, they are admired and respected; as friends, they are loved. Being present to witness them being recognized with the AHBA Lifetime Achievement Award was an experience charged with emotion--I doubt there was a dry eye in the arena. They were awarded a specially made sculpture created by their very close friend, Carol Fensholt Nierenberg.
Carol Fensholt Nierenberg: How fortunate can an artist be, to be privileged to create the “Lifetime Achievement Award” trophy for two people who so richly deserve it--who mean so much to the Arabian community worldwide, and to us? And how serendipitous the circumstances that led to this project?
For family reasons, my husband Stu Nierenberg, and I moved in 2003 to Scottsdale from the East Coast. When circumstances changed, we considered moving back East, where we still have many friends. But we loved the weather and the beauty of the desert, so we decided that if we could find a way to make new friends, we would stay. We loved Arabians, and knew that Scottsdale was a fountainhead of sorts for the Arabian horse. So in 2009, my husband and I attended the Arabhorse Farm Tour, orchestrated by Scott Bailey and David Cains, thinking, well, maybe we would purchase a show horse, and halter horse people could become our community.
The next thing we knew, we had purchased *Llamore di Style JM from Robert and Dixie North. *Llamore was a Scottsdale Grand Champion Mare and Canadian National Champion Mare. To this day, people remember and admire her beauty and accomplishments. For two newbies, what beginner’s luck! But the real jackpot was not just a spectacular horse, but Robert and Dixie's friendship. They didn't just sell us a horse and walk away--they took us under their wing and invited us to their table, at shows and in their home. It was also Robert and Dixie who introduced us to the ABWC, where we were swept away by the beauty, excitement, class, glamour and sheer fun of this spectacular show.
In January of this year, I received a phone call from Scott Bailey. First, he let me in on the secret that Robert and Dixie were to be honored at the ABWC, and then he asked, “Would you like to sculpt a trophy to represent the award?” I felt deeply honored—but also terrified…could I create something that was good enough…?
Immediately, I began roughing out three alternative concepts. It was the third gesture I attempted that felt most right: a rearing Arabian, spirited and elegant, reaching as high as a horse can reach, the pinnacle of the success that this particular Award represents. I worked on the model for over a month: pushing and pulling the clay; performing periodic surgery on its supporting armature; tearing the model apart and putting it back together; working and reworking the form; and shaping and reshaping the surface. I worked for days that stretched into weeks--including all two weeks of the Scottsdale show, right up to and even beyond my deadline to deliver it to the art foundry for casting.
When the trophy was finished and the moment of award presentation finally came, appropriately on Championship day, it was just as I dreamed. First the AHBA Board gathered in center ring as the fabulous Video by Riyan on North Arabians began to play. Although Robert and Dixie watched politely, they quickly seemed to grow puzzled--and then stunned. They were caught completely off guard, were TOTALLY surprised--not to mention overwhelmed and speechless!
The Board members celebrated by affectionately grouping around them. Dixie cried; I cried; they laughed; we laughed; and everyone kissed, hugged and shook hands. For a few special, star-spangled moments, the whole show came to a halt as we all paused to celebrate these two remarkable people who have given so incalculably much to us all--more than anyone could possibly imagine.
At that moment, it felt like a happy ending--but there was more…Once back at the table, Robert, who is never one to effuse, looked at the trophy, and then looked at me. He said, “It's beautiful.” He then reached out to move it around on its turntable base as he scrutinized it. Then, after what seemed like an interminable moment, he added, “I'd like to breed one like it--a white one, just like this.” Coming from Robert, this is about the highest compliment I have ever received on a sculpture and one more gift beyond measure from a North!
~After years of successful careers in Manhattan, Carol Fensholt Nierenberg and her husband, Stu Nierenberg, moved their primary residence to Carefree, Arizona. Through a series of events, they have found themselves a place in the Arabian horse community, with Robert and Dixie as both friends and mentors. Carol is now a full time artist, known worldwide for her exquisite sculptures.
Distinguished Service Award: Scott Bailey
Scott Bailey was given this Award to recognize his hard work, commitment and dedication to the ABWC. Scott’s involvement and loyalty to this show is deep. He is an AHBA Founding Member; he is on the Board of Directors; with David Cains, he is Show Sponsor; and as part of the Show Committee he is responsible for Sponsorships and VIP Coordination.
Phyllis LaMalfa: Scott’s contribution to the ABWC is huge. Among his many responsibilities, it is Scott who spends all year working on the arena. So all of the amazing design changes from year to year, come from him. He is dedicated to keeping the show looking fresh and is always searching for new innovations. There have been many times, when at the last minute, he has jumped on plane headed for South Point to ensure everything was just as we wanted it. The South Point management has told us that no other event held there compares to the prestige of our show--we can thank Scott Bailey for that!
Kimberly Jarvis: Scott and I have been friends for 15 years and I cannot imagine my life without him. Not only do we understand each other and appreciate the same good humor, but also, I have great security knowing he would be there for me if I needed him--day or night. There are not many people one can say this about, but I’m sure his other friends feel the same way.
As we have many things in common, Scott has been a great travel companion for me. For example, we are both early risers and enjoy a good breakfast buffet—especially prosciutto and melon. Together we have attended numerous European shows; traveled to countries such as the UAE, Egypt and Morocco; and have visited many farms. Scott is an experienced traveler and has always been very accommodating. He has a skill for locating special boutique hotels and “off the beaten track” restaurants, as well as making sure we are set with our technical devices. Plus, it’s helpful that Scott seems to have friends everywhere.
I feel one of Scott’s major contributions to the ABWC is as a problem solver—a skill that has proven its value over and over again. The show arena, which is always at the top of his list, is another area where he shines. Scott’s arena designs are always theatrical, but sacrifice nothing. He ensures that exhibitors are treated fairly; the environment is safe for the horses; and the sponsors get appropriate exposure. Accomplishing all this is an art--and Scott is the artist extraordinaire!
~Kimberly M. Jarvis owns C. Jarvis Insurance Agency Inc (USA)
Handlers Award: Ted Carson
2016 marks the second year in a row that Ted Carson has been recognized with the Handlers Award. Aside from the fact that Ted is a genuinely nice person, he is also one of the top handlers in the world. Ted is strong in is his athletic agility and ability to run, which allows him great latitude in showcasing movement. But he is equally talented in his ability to show conformation, while maintaining a comfortable, willing horse.
Jennifer Dhombre: I met Ted when Wortex Kalliste was competing at the 2015 All Nations Cup Futurities. He won his class and was the only male to reach the top five in a competitive Championship (at the ANC Futurities, the fillies and colts compete against one another). At this competition, it was fortuitous that Ted was one of the judges as I was looking for someone to show and promote Wortex in the US. I knew Ted had been successful with Excalibur EA, Wortex’s ¾ brother--and that was important to me. So after the show we spoke and began our collaboration. I appreciated that Ted seemed to love Wortex and was excited about his quality.
This year’s Scottsdale Show was my first experience with Ted—and I was very impressed. In both Europe and the Middle East I am well established. My stallion, BS Specific, is a European Champion; Mirwanah Kalliste, Wortex’s dam whom I also bred, was a French National Champion and Class Winner in Aachen; and Wortex himself was a European Breeder’s Cup Gold Champion, Gold Champion in Deauville and, as a yearling, received the highest class score of all the colts competing in the European Championship.
But in the US, I was unknown. In Scottsdale, I found that when I approached people to attend our presentations of Wortex, people were uninterested. But when they realized Ted was presenting him, I got a completely different response. They would say, “Ok, this is Ted’s horse—I will be there!” It was incredible for me to see how much respect and appreciation Ted has earned. I will never forget that.
As a trainer and handler, what I appreciate about Ted is the respect he has for each horse. He never goes too fast, but takes it step-by-step. From the moment we met, Ted gave me the feeling that he really loves and considers each horse—to me, these are his most important qualities. Also, he is an honest person, very professional and has an exceptional work ethic—he has it all! Kalliste Arabians thanks Ted and his team for earning Wortex the Junior Stallion Silver Champion title and making Vegas a show we will never forget!
~Jennifer Dhombre owns Kalliste Arabians (France) and has been a breeder for 12 years. This was her first year to attend the ABWC.
The classes are judged by a group of five with a mix of both American and International judges. The intention is to have a single standard against which to judge rather than having a solely regional perspective. The AHBA website elaborates, “To create a more unified standard; to achieve transparency in judging by showing all scores following the judging of each horse; and to engage the crowd more since they can score along with the judges and better understand what it is that makes for a winner.”
Classes were scored on a scale of 10-20, which included half points. The following categories were considered: Type, Head, Neck & Shoulder, Body & Topline, Feet & Legs and Movement. In each category, the high and low scores were eliminated. In the case of a tie, the score for TYPE determined the winner. If the tie remained, the score for MOVEMENT determined. The Championships were scored comparatively. In the Championships, the class winners determined ties.
Dr. Nasr Marei: It is only natural that the show organizer evolve and improve. Mistakes can take place and we have to learn from them. In my opinion, this year's World Cup was the best so far. I had the privilege of judging the ABWC ten years ago. I also attended in 2013 when I was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. As compared to my previous experiences, I believe that this year's horses had the best qualities.
The organization as a whole was superior and without flaws. I enjoyed the hospitality and the way we were taken care of as judges. The whole atmosphere was vibrant, friendly and attendance was high. As judges, we were in harmony. As usual, the judges were selected from different backgrounds with variable tastes and preferences. Yet, I was told that there was not a single complaint filed with the organizers and actually exhibitors and horse owners were complimentary.
~Dr. Nasr Marei of Albadeia Stud (Egypt) was one of the six judges presiding over this competition. His experience as an ECAHO judge is over thirty years long and his breeding program, over 80.
After reviewing the show scores, I have made a couple of observations. First, there was a strong difference in scoring between the 2016 panel of judges and that of 2015. Both panels judged a very high quality group of competitors; both, as a group, scored harmoniously; and both receive positive feedback from the show. However, in 2016, 20’s were few and far between. Of all the medal champions, there were only sixteen 20’s awarded, compared to 115 awarded in 2015. This is by no means a reflection on quality, but rather an interesting example of how different panels of judges operate. In 2016, the Junior Mare Medal Champions were awarded the most with a total of nine, followed by the Senior Stallions with four. It was also noteworthy that on several occasions, the 2016 class scores did not reflect the Championship placements, which is a nice indicator that the judges ranked on specific performance.
The 2016 ABWC panel of International judges included: Cedes Bakker (NETHERLANDS), Jorge Guillermo Concaro (ARGENTINA), Van Jacobson (USA), Dr. Nasr Marei (EGYPT), Graham Smith (AUSTRALIA) and George Zbyszewski (USA).
At the ABWC, the yearling classes are always strong, as they showcase some of the highest quality youngsters in the world. They are also the largest classes with several cuts. This year, 33 yearling fillies competed, divided into four cuts; while, 20 yearling colts competed, divided into two cuts. Of the six yearling champions, I found it notable that, although all six had different sires, four were progeny of Marwan Al Shaqab sons and one was by a Gazal Al Shaqab son—illustrating the continued strength in those bloodlines. Finally, both of the 2016 ABWC Yearling Gold Champions were the 2016 Scottsdale Arabian Horse Junior Champions as well.
The Yearling Filly Gold Champion, Mystic Magnolia PF (Ever After NA X Mystic Rose BHF) was bred and is owned by Jessie Szymanski-Hoag (USA). Not only did Mystic Magnolia PF receive three 20’s for head, but also, her class score of 334.5 was the highest of all yearlings competing, and the second highest of all females. The Silver was earned by Geneva CS (SF Veraz X Gevalia CA), who was bred and is owned by Jeff or Sybil Collins & James or Sandra Smith (USA); while the Bronze went to RHR Adora B (OFW Magic Wan X Amora B), who was bred by and is owned by Running Horse Ranch LLC (USA).
For those of us who got to see Rajj Albidayer win in Scottsdale, being present to celebrate his unanimous ABWC Yearling Colt Gold Champion win was another special opportunity, as there is tremendous fanfare around this colt. His sire Marajj, who was bred by Joel Desmarteau of Markel Arabians (USA), has made an International mark for himself as both a show horse and a sire under the ownership of Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi and management of Dawn Martin, both of Albidayer Stud (UAE). Sheikh Mohammed, who was present in Scottsdale to see Rajj, purchased this impressive colt mid show. In Scottsdale he showed under the name of Rajj Z, and by Vegas his name was changed to Rajj Albidayer to reflect his new ownership. Rajj Albidayer (X Loredonna Z) was bred by Duke and Renae Mendel (USA).
The Yearling Colt Silver Champion was Hermes MA (Hariry Al Shaqab X Legacys Treasure), bred by Bell Family Trust (USA) and owned by Steve & Daria Miles (USA); while the Bronze was earned by Maximus SBA (EKS Alihandro X Ola La DDA), bred and owned by Stella Bella Arabians (USA). It is interesting to note that in their qualifying class, RD Capriotti (1st Top Ten) was the winner, followed by Maximus SBA in second and Hermes MA in third.
The Junior Mare Championship was one of the most competitive in the show. The Gold Champion was Mozn Albidayer (S.M.A. Magic One X Mattaharii), a 2014 mare who was bred by and is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi (UAE). Mozn Albidayer, who was the 2015 Yearling Filly Bronze Champion in both Aachen and Paris received straight 20’s for Head and a class score of 335, which made her the highest scoring female. As a side note, in Paris, in one of the most competitive shows of 2015, Mozn Albidayer was awarded an impressive three 20’s for type.
Pitonisa AS (Ever After NA X Psyches Amber Dream), who was the ABWC 2014 Yearling Filly Gold Champion and the 2015 Silver Champion Junior Mare, became the 2016 Silver Champion Junior Mare. Pitonisa AS, who is a 2013 mare who was bred by Lisa Markley or Leanne Reel (USA) and is owned by Arabian Soul Partners (USA), was chosen for Gold by Judge Concaro. The Bronze was earned by Maysah Aljassimya (Monther Al Nasser X RA Marwans Eleygance), a 2014 mare who was bred by and is owned by Aljassimya Farm (QAT). In their qualifying class, Maysah Aljassimya finished second behind Rasha Albidayer, whom Judges Bakker and Smith chose for Bronze.
After a very successful 2015, Falah Al Shaqab (Fadi Al Shaqab X Joseph Just Emotion), became the 2016 ABWC Junior Stallion Gold Champion. Falah Al Shaqab is a 2013 colt who was bred by and is owned by Al Shaqab Member Qatar Foundation (QAT). The Silver was earned by Wortex Kalliste (Shanghai EA X Mirwanah Kalliste), a 2014 colt who was bred by and is owned by S.A.R.L. Kalliste Arabians (FRA). With a class score of 333.5, Wortex Kalliste was awarded the highest score of the Junior Colts. Also, Judges Smith and Zbyszewski chose him for Gold.
The Bronze went to Vangelis MI (DA Valentino X Always An Angel), a 2013 colt who was bred by and is owned by Mulawa Arabian Stud PTY LTD (AU). For Vangelis MI, the Championship proved to be a far better experience than that of his qualifying class. In his class, he placed fifth and 4.5 points below winner, Falah Al Shaqab. Although four of the six judges agreed on who was to be the Gold Champion, there was greater division for Silver and Bronze. Jazzaa Aljassimya (1st Top Ten) and Sir Chamed FF ( 2nd Top Ten) were chosen for medals as well.
In the Senior Mare Championship, the Judges were relatively decided on the medal winners, but there was slightly more division as to placement. Ultimately it was Badiaa Al Shahania (Marwan Al Shaqab X Majalis), a 2011 mare who was bred by and is owned by Al Shahania Stud (QAT), who earned the Gold. The Silver was awarded to Honey’s Delight RB (JJ Senor Magnum X Honeymoon FHP), a 2008 mare who was bred by Adriana Espindola B De Moura and is owned by Masterpiece Arabian Partners LLC (USA); while the Bronze went to AJ Dinara (AJ Dinar X HS Dancing Queen), a 2010 mare who was bred by Ajman Stud and is owned by Bassam Al Saqran (KUW). As a side note, of the Senior Mare Champions, AJ Dinara was awarded the highest class score of 333. Also, both Honey’s Delight RB and AJ Dinara were chosen for Gold by one judge each. Outside of the three Champions, Tina El Madan (1st Top Ten) was the only other horse chosen for a medal: Judge Concaro choose her Silver; while Judge Bakker chose her for Bronze.
I’d like to share a little about one the Senior Mares competing in the Championships: American Fantasy. She was her class winner competing with the Senior Mare—Broodmares. This is always one of the most beautiful classes of the show. Although there are rarely more than just a few horses entered, each is always a pearl of elegance. Also, in many instances, most of these mares have spent a great deal of time living life peacefully at home as treasured broodmares, very far from stress of the competition ring. So it is quite touching as they are usually presented very gently and not forced to “perform.”
American Fantasy took my breath away from the moment she entered the ring. Her presence was both ethereal and reflective of horses that are not often seen in the modern ring, but whose beauty is timeless. She was born in 2001 and is the daughter of ZT Shakfantasy (El Shaklan) and Bey Embraceable (Bey Shah). Based on the scores, the judges were also quite taken by her as she was awarded three 20’s for Head and four 19.5’s for Type. In the Championship, she earned the 4th Top Ten placement, ahead of some very accomplished show mares.
Cory Saltau: I wish that I could take the credit for American Fantasy, but that honor goes completely to her breeder, my mother--Lorraine Saltau. “Amy” is the fourth generation of her breeding program and is pretty much the horse she thought of as ideal, even though she would argue that there was always something to improve. Envisioning the next generation was what made my mother a breeder. Although my mother was never able to attend the ABWC, she embraced the show and shared with me how much she would love to show there someday. Unfortunately, she passed away before that could happen. I suppose that was the main reason I brought Amy to Vegas.
I love the older Broodmares who have done their job so well. Theses mature mares should always be honored, respected and appreciated--even though their bellies may be a little sprung and their backs slightly soft from the treasures they’ve carried. I’d like to share a quote from the movie Calender Girls, “The last stage of the flower is the most glorious”–I feel this is so true. This was Amy’s first time in a show arena and, with the exception of spending a year at Sheila Varian’s, her only time off the ranch. The show was a great experience. As a breeder, it was priceless validation to have other respected breeders appreciate a mare like American Fantasy--that was the best reward.
Cory Saltau is an equine Veterinarian who practices in the San Francisco East Bay town of Pleasanton, California. He grew up in nearby Danville, where his parents raised and bred Arabians since 1964, under the name of Saltau KingsCrest Arabians. Cory’s breeding program, Blackhawk Valley (BVA), has produced such greats as Shahteyna; Scottsdale Jr.Champion Colt, Regal Bey; and 1992 US National Champion Mare, Bey Teyna.
The Senior Stallion class was one of the more exciting classes of the show as this year’s lineup consisted of star quality stallions—appropriate for a Vegas venue. The Unanimous Senior Stallion Gold Champion was one who has already captured the heart of the global Arabian community, Equator PASB (QR Marc X Ekliptyka). In his qualifying class, not only did Equator PASB earn the highest score of the show with 339.5, but he also earned the highest scores for Type, Body & Topline, Feet & Legs and Movement. Equator, a 2010 stallion who was bred by Michalow State Stud (POL) and is owned by Aljassimya Farm (QAT), is one of those horses who can fill an arena with powerful Arabian charisma. In November of 2015, when he was awarded Silver honors in Paris, he became the center of controversy. His strong, “larger than life” performance earned him crowd favor. When he was not chosen for Gold, some expressed great disappointment and even outrage. In my post show coverage, it was notable that several of the judges remarked on how they got chills seeing him in the ring.
The Senior Stallion Silver Champion, Marajj (Marwan Al Shaqab X RGA Kouress), was also chosen by unanimous decision. Marajj is firmly established as an internationally accomplished Champion and sire of Champions. Not only was Marajj the 2007 ABWC Reserve Champion Junior Stallion, but in that same year, he also became the Gold World Champion Junior Stallion, in Paris. In 2011, as a Senior Stallion, he became the Bronze World Champion. As a sire, his list of accomplished progeny is long. Most recently he is represented by Rajj Albidayer and 2015 World Champions: Salwa Al Zobair (X Esklawa) and D Shahla (X FT Shaella). As a 2004 stallion, Marajj was also the most senior of all Champions. The Bronze was earned by Ensync FMA (Eden C X Miss Fame MRM). As a 2012 stallion, Ensync FMA, who was bred by and is owned by John M & Cynthia Moore (USA), was the youngest of the senior champions. In 2012, he was also the ABWC Junior Stallion Gold Champion. However, the Bronze was not unanimous as both Kavalle MI (1st Top Ten) and Cadence PA (2nd Top Ten) were chosen as well.
Over the last several years, our community has embraced social media as a primary communication tool. Through medias such as Instagram and Facebook, not only are we able to market our programs, but just as importantly, we are also able to share our lives in ways that were previously not possible. Although personal visits are always special, social media gives us the ability to communicate details that are: week-to-week; day-to-day; and sometimes even meal-to-meal.
As many of us have become quite efficient in these medias, we have formed friendships and bonds through following the close details of each other’s lives. For example, it is not uncommon to follow pregnancy announcement posts, through births of foals and aging. However, as we can celebrate each other’s triumphs, our hearts have to be strong as we can suffer the heartbreaks as well.
David Cains and Scott Bailey (Stonewall Farm) are both heavily active in several social medias. As a community, we have watched them foal babies, attend parties, exercise and cultivate their garden. We have enjoyed their home, their horses, their dogs, their cars, their work, their friends and their travel. We have heard their opinions regarding the Arabian horse industry, politics, animal rights, global affairs and entertainment. Also, we have been the beneficiaries of their incredibly entertaining humor.
However, most recently, through social media, David and Scott have shared a part of their lives which has become the most endearing of all--David’s young nephew, Chase. In 2015, Chase came to live with David and Scott--and through our phones and computers we have had front row seats watching this family bond. David shared, “Having a baby in the house and around the farm has truly been a blessing and it's amazing how our lives have changed. Like Scott and myself, Chase is crazy for horses--he loves attending horse shows and spending time with our horse friends.”
It has been a special experience seeing Chase grow and enjoy all the perks of living on a beautiful Scottsdale farm with some very important Arabian horses—a dream for any child. The photos and stories of their mutual enjoyment of one another have been both heartwarming and inspiring as they have portrayed someone of a younger generation enjoying priceless opportunities. One of my favorite posts involving Chase was made by Scott who shared a video of himself doing squats. For added weight he held Chase by the ankles and upside down to illustrate one of the many advantages of having a small child in the house.
As I have traveled outside of the United States enjoying Arabian horse shows, one thing that standouts out for me, is the deeper inclusion of families, most particularly children. Previous to this show, I had attended the 2016 Qatar International shows. I was touched by all the children who were there not only in attendance, but also being included in the fun and even participating in some degrees.
Although 2016 marked the tenth anniversary of the ABWC, it was special for another reason: Chase was there. Children can bring innocence to a situation along with entirely different, entertaining perspectives. In my conversations with Chase, we didn’t talk conformation, business politics, scores or even what the judges were wearing, but rather his favorite colors in horses—with black being his preference. His attention span on the ring was not long, but he never wanted to leave, he just wanted to keep visiting people he knew. On Saturday, he carried around a plastic bag of horse treats. Believe me, this bag was well worn as it had spent just as much time being mangled as it did on the floor. But he wanted each person to see it, even hold it for a moment, as he would VERY SERIOUSLY inform, “You can’t have these, these are for my pony Dixie.” Of course several asked if they could have just one, to which he would STERNLY reply, “No, these are for Dixie.”
The tenth anniversary of the ABWC brought every important show element together: incredibly high quality competition; intelligent, thoughtful judging; Arabian stars; and a community who both enjoyed one another and celebrated each other’s accomplishments. It was a show that will be remembered for many years.
For information on the 2017 Arabian Breeders World Cup (ABWC) in Las Vegas and the Arabian Horse Breeders Alliance (AHBA):
For a FULL SIZE gallery of images:
Lisa Abraham is an International Journalist and Photographer from the United States. Although she does free-lance for various media, her primary dedication is to Arabhorse.com as a Premier Contributor and Representative. She is also a breeder of Straight Egyptian Arabians.