Action in the Emirates...Ready, Set, Go!
Action in the Emirates...
Ready, Set, Go!
By Lisa Abraham
The entire Arabian horse community is watching the United Arab Emirates--and with good reason. In the last several years, breeders from this country have helped shape both the present and future with champions who are dominating both the international show circuit and breeding barns on all continents that value the Arabian horse. It is also true that many of our most prestigious organizing committees are recognizing the UAE influence with special awards. Most recently, at the 2022 Mediterranean & Arab Countries Arabian Horse Championship, which took place on June 25-26 in Menton, France, of the twelve Champions, four were bred in the UAE, while a total of ten UAE-bred horses competed in the finals. At the same show, the Dubai Stud was recognized with the Special Awards for “Best Breeders of the Show” and “Best Breeder/Owner”; D Seraj, who was bred and is owned by Dubai Stud was recognized with the Special Award for “Best Sire of the Show”; D Beisan, who was bred by the Dubai Stud and is owned by Al Shaqab Stud (QAT), was recognized with the Special Award for “Best in Show Female”; and JS Troy who was bred and is owned by Al Jawaher Arabian Horse Stud (UAE) was awarded the Trophy “Espoir” Male. At Menton’s 2021 edition, breeders from the UAE were recognized with a total of eight Special Awards.
The Arabian Horse World Championship, which takes place annually in Paris, is the pinnacle competition of the year. As the final leg of the European Triple Crown, a title from Paris can be priceless recognition. Of the six 2021 World Gold Champions, four were bred in the UAE; of the eighteen medal winners, eight were bred in the UAE and of the fifty-four horses competing in the Championships, nineteen were bred in the UAE. As for the World Championship Special Awards, the Dubai Stud was recognized with “Best Breeder”, “Best Breeder/Owner” and “Farm of the Year”. E.S. Harir, who was bred by Sheikh Abdulla bin Majid AlQassemi (UAE) and is owned by Al Wajba Stud (QAT) was recognized with the Best Type Male Trophy and award for the Highest Score in the Championship; AJ Kayya who was bred by Ajman Stud earned the “Coup de Cour” Trophy; while Ladi Veronika, owned by Dubai Stud, earned the Best Dam in the World Championship and FA El Rasheem, also owned by the Dubai Stud, earned Best Sire.
To those of us who participate in the high-end lifestyle driven by our passion for the Arabian horse, these statistics are not surprising. Rather they are the latest achievements in a long list that began many years ago. At this point, the accomplishments of the UAE breeders are indisputable. But the UAE horizon is continuing to thrive in another direction as well—at home. As shows around the world are getting canceled and suffering from low participation, the various organizations in the Emirates have innovated the right combination of elements to attract owners and breeders to exhibit their horses for the world to evaluate. In fact, it is not uncommon for a show to have over 400 horses competing—THIS IS SUCCESS. Furthermore, as I have now worked for a couple of the organizing teams in the Emirates, I can attest to the high level of professionalism with which their shows are managed. In any endeavor, the keys to success can lie amongst the details. The UAE show organizers are quite cognizant of this as even the smallest of issues are carefully considered.
Regarding my experience with the Emirates Arabian Horse Society (EAHS), I would like to share another favorable observation pertaining to their overall management of information and media. From well before the start of each event, detailed and timely information and/or content is sent out on a consistent basis to all relevant individuals. For those of us who are members of the media, this content is meant for either scheduling purposes or to promote through our own extensive markets, which are absolutely expected to produce results. However, as our markets overlap, they trust us with our own individuality to enhance the UAE profile. The flow of relevant information continued throughout the show and was finalized with the various statistics regarding the participants and prize money. Based on the huge number of people who consider the UAE shows to be important enough to attend in person—maintaining this continuous flow of information was not a small task.
As time is quickly marching its way through August, we are now looking forward to the upcoming Emirate season of shows and events. On July 19, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the EAHS, approved the Arabian Horse Series of Championships for the Emirates 2022-23 season. The schedule is as follows:
1-2: Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition
3-5: UAE National Arabian Horse Championship
6-9: EAHS National Arabian Horse Championship (Private Studs)
14: Sharjah Arabian Horse Auction
15-16: Sharjah International Arabian Horse Festival (Straight Egyptians)
4-6: Sharjah Arabian Horse Festival (UAE Bred)
13: Ajman Arabian Horse Auction
2-4: The 4th Sharjah Kalba Arabian Horse Festival
16-18: Fujairah Arabian Horse Championship
6-8: Ajman Arabian Horse Championship
18-22: Al Dhafrah Arabian Horse Championship (Private Studs)
16-19: Abu Dhabi International Arabian Horse Championship
23-26: Alshiraa’a International Arabian Horse Championship
3-5: The 24th Sharjah International Arabian Horse Festival
7-8: Arab Breeders Championship
9-12: Emirates Arabian Horse Breeders Championship (Private Studs)
17-19: Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship
The 2022 Arab Breeders Championship
In any endeavor, the past holds the greatest indication of the future. The 2021-22 season ended with the first edition of the Arab Breeders Championship took place in Abu Dhabi from March 29th through the 30th and was organized by the Emirates Arabian Horse Society (EAHS). In total, 107 horses competed for an overall prizegiving of 960,000 AED (261.359 USD/257.315 EUROS). Although the size of the show was considerably smaller than the previous Emirate competitions, its role was significant. Not only did it finalize three important events which occurred consecutively: the Emirates Arabian Horse Breeders Championship followed by the 2022 European Conference of Arab Horse Organizations (ECAHO) Annual General Meeting (AGM), both also organized by EAHS; it concluded the entire Emirate season of Arabian horse Championships, which began in October. In addition to the competition, the show was used to celebrate the success of the entire season and to recognize those individuals who participated. It was a grand event that was also attended by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
I would like to end this coverage with another important observation. Throughout the season, one of the things I have been most impressed with was the high level of support given to EAHS shows and events. Both Jaroslav Lacina (CZE), President of ECAHO, and Peter Pond (AUS), President of the World Arabian Horse Organization (WAHO), were not just in attendance and accessible at several of the shows, but also played an active role in celebrating the winners. Before and after the AGM, ECAHO Executive Committee Members and country delegates also attended the shows with their full support. It’s obvious that the world values the contributions of the UAE to the present and future of the Arabian horse—and everyone wants to be a part of it.
Reflections from the 2021-22 Emirate Season
I like to compliment the Emirate Society for their show season. I have been going there for many years and have seen the development and had the pleasure to judge many of the shows, some even two or three times. Through these experiences, I have also been able to observe the progress of their breeding programs. In my opinion, the UAE is one of the leading countries with outstanding progeny. I consider it a great pleasure and an honor to have been included as an official in the Emirates shows.
Marianne Tengstedt ~ Judge
The hard-working team from Emirates Arabian Horse Society must be congratulated for the smooth running of another hectic show season which closed with its Breeders Championships; two very important shows. The first for Private Studs and the second for an open competition. I consider these amongst the most important events of the season as not only are they the breeder’s shop window but also, they provide the opportunity for people to see how different farms are developing and to compare various local breeding decisions. It was my pleasure to be a last-minute stand-in judge for the second event where we had some lovely classes to evaluate and to see the high standard now being reached by the breeders of UAE. Congratulations to all.
Deirdre Hyde ~ Judge
From the first contact I had with Mr. Alharbi and the Emirates Arabian Horse Society, I could tell that the planning and structure of the shows were incredibly well-thought-out. They are an experienced team who encourages new ideas and engages younger team members at all levels of the organization. What struck me most was the genuine desire to ensure the best circumstances for all participants. This would include ongoing discussions over the placement of items in the arena such as the large viewing screen, as well as how to best ensure comfort for the horses and visibility for the audience. One example would be in December of 2021, at the Fujairah Arabian Horse Championship, there was a problem with the ground which made it challenging for the horses and handlers. The organizing committee took immediate action and brought the condition of the ground to an exemplary condition--overnight. I feel that the two shows that I have attended kept the highest standards and were organized in an efficient and professional manner. Above this was wonderful and most open-hearted people with whom I have met and worked side by side. It was a pleasure to be part of this season and I would like to extend my appreciation to the Emirates team of organizers for their excellent work.
Lizette Svensson ~ Ringmaster
In early February of this year, I had the great honor to be invited to judge the Abu Dhabi International Arabian Horse Championship, and it was a fantastic time. The show was organized perfectly by the dynamic team of the Emirates Arabian Horse Society, who, by now are quite experienced.
It’s always emotional to assess the high quality and beauty of Arabian horses in the UAE. Not only were the contenders of high quality but also, the facility was breathtakingly beautiful. In center ring was a superb reproduction of Qasr Al Hosn, the oldest building in Abu Dhabi and an important historical landmark.
EAHS is well known for the fantastic hospitality they provide—and for the International show, they did not challenge this reputation. They took tremendous care of the officials and guests and made our stay pleasant and comfortable.
I would also like to add that this exceptional event wouldn’t have been perfect without the media coverage of the so-gifted photographer Lisa Abraham, who really succeeded to capture the very best moments of the competition, the precious loveliness of each emotional minute, and, the last but not least, the true soul of the event!
Bérengère Fayt ~ Judge
This past season I have been invited three times by the new EAHS team, an amazing group of young, innovative, and genuinely nice individuals. I am pleased that they trust in my capabilities as a judge and was honored to officiate their shows. I would also like to thank Ms. Hamda Alkhajeh, a lovely and modest person, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Overall, the EAHS treated me like a family member, and I am grateful for their confidence. Congratulations to Mr. Mohamed Al Harbi, as well as the entire EAHS team, for the excellent job they are doing within the UAE and outside of the country as well.
Mohammed Oussidhoum ~ Judge
I would like to thank the organizers of the UAE shows for choosing me to judge three of their shows for the 2021-22 season. I am also grateful for the hospitality they provided to the judges and the high level of organization. Although the quality of the horses was very high, judging is not easy, and people can get emotional. But I would like to mention how kind the people attending the shows were to us. Finally, congratulations to Mr. Mohamed Al Harbi and his team for their successes and the best of luck for their future.
Mohamed Badrawy ~ Judge
I was honored to adjudicate two of the UAE Arabian horse shows for the 2021-22 season. The organization and attention to detail were beyond impressive. Furthermore, the awards and prize money for breeders and owners were like nowhere else—while the passion for the Arabian horses is evident in the huge number of exhibitors. The officials and guests are well cared for, and the catered food is appreciated and always excellent. I would particularly like to mention Hamda Alkhajeh, the EAHS Events Administrator whose organizational skills are impressive. It was both an honor and a pleasure to be involved with these shows and I hope to return.
Janice McCrea Wight ~ Judge
The Emirates Arabian Horse Society under the guidance and leadership of Mr. Mohammed Al Harbi concluded another successful show season with the Arab Breeders Championship, which took place in the beautifully decorated indoor arena of the Bouthieb stables in Abu Dhabi. I have judged here on multiple occasions and can share that every show is organized by the highest standard. The great hospitality, the attention to detail, and the wonderful quality of horses exhibited transform every show in the UAE into a very special event, and it has been my pleasure to attend these shows as a judge. I would like to congratulate Mr. Al Harbi and the entire team of the Emirates Arabian Horse Society for a great show season 2021/2022 and I wish them all the best for the upcoming season.
Jonas Salzmann ~ Judge
During the last Emirate show season, I had the honor to officiate the 2021 UAE National Arabian Horse Championship and the 2022 Arab Breeders Championship. The organizing team was very professionally managed under the wise leadership of Mr. Mohamed Al Harbi, the General Director of the Emirates Arabian Horse Society. From the day I received the invitations until the end of the shows I, as well as all other show officials, were very well accommodated. Regarding all travel details such as specific arrangements, visa procedures, COVID protocols, airport pick up and drop off, and hotel bookings, every little detail was excellently prepared, communicated, and managed by Mr. Al Harbi’s team. During the shows, one could also feel the great spirit and harmonious collaboration between the team members. Everyone worked hard, with great enthusiasm, politeness, and always with gentle smiles and an eagerness to please.
The quality of the horses at these two shows was on an overall high level with some outstanding stars in the Championships. Furthermore, I very much enjoyed the professional running of the activities in the arena-and everyone did a great job in their respective roles. The arena, which is mainly used for the shows in Abu Dhabi, is superb—it’s huge with everything indoors and under one roof. The horses competing have more than enough space to show off and excel as they are being presented. I was most impressed that nearly all attention was focused on the purebred Arabian horse and its well-being and not the glitter and glamour and winning.
One can only congratulate Mr. Al Harbi and his team for a successful show season and thank His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of the Board of the EAHS for his strong support.
Klaus Beste ~ Judge
For EAHS 2022-23 Calendar of Events and Terms of Conditions:
For Arabian Essence TV show coverage and results of the Arab Breeders Championship:
Follow the Emirates Arabian Horse Society on Instagram:
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.