A Special Vegas Moment
A Special Vegas Moment
Text and photos by Lisa Abraham
The Arabian horse world is dynamic. Change can occur at lightning speed with eruptions of trends—some of which will fade as quickly as they began, while others will influence generations. Many of these trends begin in the show ring, on the scorecards of our Judges. Because of this, every show is important and each provides memorable experiences. If we are really lucky, it is with our own horse in the ring. But at world class shows such as the Arabian Breeders World Cup (in Las Vegas) the opportunities for lasting memories are endless. As both horses and people travel from all over the world to participate, whether it be as a competitor and/or a spectator, once-in-a-lifetime encounters are frequent. At the ABWC, I have had many memorable experiences—far too many to mention. But there is one that will always be very close to my heart.
It was in 2011, on Friday, the second day of the show. I had been enjoying lunch with my travel companion, Jaleen Hacklander of Hadaya Arabians. We sat in a hall where lunch was served and while a seminar was taking place as we ate. At our table, sitting next to me was a very beautiful, mature woman from Idaho (USA). After several moments we all began an interesting dialogue about our programs and bloodlines. Lunch was nearly over when I realized that we had just shared a meal with Vona Huggins, the breeder of the El Sher-Mann daughter Vona Sher-Renea, dam of WH Justice…!
The Senior Breeding Mares Ages Six of & Older was the second class following our lunch break. When the beautiful WH Justice daughter Panarea By Palawan won, I looked back to see Vona sitting by herself, with tears streaming down her face. Later I asked Vona to share her emotional response. “Vona Sher-Renea was perfection as a filly. I could see her in her granddaughter, Panarea By Palawan…oh so beautiful…I could see through the tears of love and joy that Panarea By Palawan was the super star. After the classes at her stall, I was able to pet her—my, what a special, sweet Queen of Mares.” Vona continued, “It was a thrill to see Panarea By Palawan receive twenty-one 20’s in the scores before they took the top and low numbers away.”
However, Vona’s influence did not end with Panarea By Palawan, who went on to win the highest title as the 2011 Gold Champion Senior Mare. It extended to yet another ABWC Supreme Champion—Junior Mare, Alma Al Tiglio. Alma Al Tiglio was sired by the stallion who was all the rage in both Europe and the Middle East, Ajman Moniscione--also a son of WH Justice. “Ajman Moniscione is a near look-a-like to Renea, the dam of Vona Sher-Renea. Renea, was the same color--chestnut with the same markings and extreme type. She won several Gladys Brown Edwards trophies in ‘Most Classic’ classes—even winning over stallions,” shared Vona, who also once owned Renea.
As I cover many shows, I often keep count of stallions’ progeny competing. The number of WH Justice progeny and grand-progeny competing is always huge. To have had a hand in this kind of generational influence is an incredible accomplishment. Vona Huggins’ influence as a breeder has touched every major show ring in the world. The opportunity to share this emotional experience by her side as both Panarea By Palawan and Alma Al Tiglio became 2011 ABWC Gold Supreme Champions was a moment I will never forget.
At the 2015 Scottsdale Show, Beth Hunziker, who is also a Premier Contributor to Arabhorse.com, arranged an opportunity for a visit to Stonewall Farm, owned by David Cains and Scott Bailey. It was a lovely morning as a small group of us got to visit with some of the country’s most important horses, living a fairy tale life. Among the many notable horses at Stonewall Farm, is the 26 year old aristocrat, Vona Sher-Renea. This is her forever home. It is heartwarming to see how David caters to her every need and ensures that Vona Sher-Renea lives like a queen. Although Vona (Huggins) recently revealed, I’m quite sure to David’s surprise, “It is still my dream to enter Vona Sher-Renea in a free Liberty class—even at 26 years old, she could still win!”
Irina Stigler, the Russian Judge and breeder who was in Scottsdale to be awarded the 2014 Arabian Horse Times, “Favorite Judge of the Year,” also attended this visit. She shared, “It was an honor to visit Stonewall Farm and to spend time with Vona Sher-Renea. Not only have I judged her grand and great grand get all over the world, she is also dear to my own breeding program as her bloodline is an important addition.”
Though it spans nearly the entire globe, our Arabian horse community is tightly woven. Often our best memories evolve into stories that can begin at one show and then extend into another. Since the 2011 ABWC, Vona Huggins has become a good friend whom I cherish. As for the 2015 ABWC, I have no doubt it will unveil its own magic and thereby create its own treasure trove of ever lasting memories and never ending stories.
The Arabian Horse Breeders Alliance looks forward to warmly welcoming visitors from around the world to the Ninth Annual 2015 Arabian Breeders World Cup in Las Vegas. For information about how to become a sponsor of the event and other important details, please visit the website at www.arabianbreedersworldcup.com
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.