ALL NATIONS CUP CHAMPIONSHIPS NEWS - Thursday, September 24, 2015

ALL NATIONS CUP CHAMPIONSHIPS NEWS - Thursday, September 24, 2015

by Beth Ellen Hunziker

The Daily News Sponsor for today is Schoukens Training Center, owned by Glenn Schoukens and Tom and Cathy Schoukens, Maldegem, Belgium. For the past few weeks, STC has been a beehive of activity as the team made ready for the All Nations Cup show. It is a huge undertaking to prepare more than 25 horses for the trip to Aachen, where the crème de la crème of the Arabian horse breed will be presented. The STC team was working from early morning to late at night, making sure that their clients’ horses are in top form and ready to really sparkle in the Aachen show ring.

The horses presented by Schoukens Training Center at the All Nation Cup this year, represent breeders and owners from Europe, the Middle East and as far away as the United States. Among their world-class show string are previous winners and champions from the biggest competitions in the world.

The All Nations Cup is considered by many to be the premier Arabian horse show in the world, and winning a title of Gold, Silver or Bronze Champion is a prestigious honor that few will ever achieve. However, a quick look at past results from the Nations Cup show that the horses presented by Schoukens Training Center are no strangers to the winners’ spotlight. And, with all the exceptional horses in their 2015 Aachen show string, it is very likely, STC and their clients will be among the winners again.

According to Glenn Schoukens, the Nations Cup is one of the favorite shows for owners, exhibitors and trainers. “ People like to see their horses shown here in Aachen. There are more horses at this show than perhaps any other in Europe and so the competition is strong and the level of quality is quite high. The show is held at a very nice equestrian center; the atmosphere is fun and it’s exciting to show here. There will be some new and I think interesting things going on at the show this year, like the Vote and Win Online Jackpot, the brand new Gelding Classes and the European Futurity. For sure, it will be a great show. We wish the best of luck to all of our clients and their horses.”

What do you do when the best Arabian horse show in the world is over? Come to the Schoukens Training Center Open House and see more beautiful and special Arabian horses. Tom and Cathy Schoukens send this invitation, “Everyone is welcome at the party and presentation on Monday, September 28th at 4:00 pm. No rsvp is needed – just come and join us for a nice time and to see very special horses, including some very exciting new additions to our farm. Hopefully, we will have some winners from Aachen, and we will also show past and future champions as well. We hope to see you there!”

You are invited Schoukens Training Center's website at

There are many special aspects of international travel. Visiting other countries, seeing their land, their cities and their people is an eye-opening experience. Tasting their foods, listening to music, looking at their art and their media is inspiring. To me, Europeans – both women and men – have such a fantastic sense of style. I notice this most prominently in their fashion and in their design esthetics. It is noticeable in everything from décor to advertising design, which is everywhere. I love how they use old, rustic, or historic elements and combine them with new, fresh, modern elements to create something totally unique, elegant, beautiful and compelling.

This same thought struck me this morning when I saw horses being led here and there at the Aachen show grounds. Some had just arrived and as they were unloaded from the travel vans, you could see the unbelievable quality – even though they were completely cloaked in blankets and hoods – you could see their huge eyes, bright and inquisitive, their ears were pricked and alert, their tails were thrown over their backs with excitement and their steps were so light, they barely touched the earth. Seeing all this gave me such a thrill – I just know I am going to see some of the most gorgeous Arabian horses on earth at this show and I cannot wait for it all to begin tomorrow with the German National Championships.

I love the style of horses I am seeing here. We used to call it “European style,” but really, this is more of an “International style.” It seems to me that breeders have taken the best of the classical Arabian horse features; extreme faces, small, beautiful ears; large, dark eyes; flamboyant tails and amazing carriage, and combined these with elements we now think of as more contemporary, such as longer, finer, more vertical necks and big, bold trots. These horses seem to have it all. When I use the term “International,” rather than “European,” it’s because many of these horses are the result of bloodlines that have travelled from Europe to America to South America to the Middle East and back to Europe. In fact, some of the horses showing here in Aachen have more stamps on their passports than I could ever dream of.

Although the All Nations Cup is a top international show, and winning a Gold, Silver or Bronze Champion title is a tremendous honor, my hope is that we can see beyond the trophies, ribbons and roses and keep our focus on the reason we are all here together – the horses. They bring us together because we all share such a deep and profound love for them. It is impossible to correctly explain or describe this emotion to some one who does not  share it with us. That is the power of their hold on our hearts – that is their magic – that is why we are all here in Aachen – let’s enjoy it!

If you are not able to be in Aachen for the All Nations Cup, you can still be a part of the magic. Watch the live feed on iEquine beginning on Friday. Visit