Arab Horse Couture - February 2017

Page 1






Owner, Founder & Publisher ARAB HORSE COUTURE MAGAZINE




Photography & Design


Business Manager/Advertising

BRITA BROOKES Layout & Design

CONTRIBUTORS: Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show - USA; Jean Paul Guerlain - PARIS, FRANCE; Hares Fayad, MD, Al Badia Magazine - DUBAI, UAE; Julie I. Fershtman - USA; Anette Varjonen - FINLAND; Judith Wich-Wenning - GERMANY; HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein - JORDAN; Carmel Rowley - AUSTRALIA; Eva Reiffler & Charlotte Perry - FRANCE; Reem Acra - USA; Nancy Dye - USA; Jennifer Mallot Kotylo - USA ADVERTISING; E-NEWSLETTERS; MARKETING; PROMOTION; PRESS RELEASES: + 248.866.8756 EDITORIAL INQUIRIES: + 248.866.8756 SUBSCRIPTION HOTLINE: + 248.866.8756 WWW.ARABHORSECOUTURE.COM Arab Horse Couture Magazine custom logo design by: Marian Duncan; ©2017 ARAB HORSE COUTURE MAGAZINE - AHCM LJB Publicaions LLC - All Rights Reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, scanned or electronic process without prior written permission from the Publisher.

For Editorials & Advertisment: M +971 55 3025550, +971 50 6534050, February 2017 . AHCM4 - ARABHORSECOUTURE.COM P.O.Box: 50324, United Arab Emirates, Dubai, T +971 4 4572348, F +971 4572126


In This Issue






Greetings from Scottsdale


THE RIDDEN ARABIAN HORSE Written by Jean Paul Guerlain

28 ARTIST FEATURE The Artwork of Ali Almimar Written by Judith Wich-Wenning



Written by Eva Reiffler & Charlotte Perry



Legal Written by Julie I. Fershtman





February 2017



From Anette Varjonen




ON THE COVER: HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein of Jordan

WILD PONY SYNDROME Written by Nancy Dye


72 76

POLO IN THE MIDDLE EAST From Al Badia Magazine FITNESS IN THE SADDLE Written by Jennifer Malott Kotylo






Welcome February 2017 AHCM Dear Friends & Readers of Arab Horse Couture Magazine, As we move through the New Year, we

As Publisher of the magazine, I would

are reminded of the prestigious 2017

like to express my sincere gratitude to all

Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. Arab

of the contributors that make the 2017

Horse Couture Magazine is pleased to

February issue interesting, informative,

announce distribution of print copies

and beautiful. I am constantly reminded of

of the February issue at the show!

the amazing talent of so many individuals

Distribution of each issue in digital

in the equestrian world.

format will continue to the 7,000 global subscribers as well.

has never wavered in the many years as

The launch of the brand new exclusive

a breeder of these magnificent animals.

website for Arab Horse Couture Magazine

Arab Horse Couture Magazine is an outlet

now features several categories where

to share positive editorial content to all

articles will be displayed in addition to all

subscribers and Arabian horse enthusiasts.

advertising and subscription information.

The magazine welcomes your comments,

A new feature on the Arab Horse Couture

questions or suggestions. Please forward

website is the Arabian Stud Farm Feature.


In this location, the magazine will display a feature article and images of an exclusive Arabian Stud Farm each month, in the US and globally. An e-newsletter will be provided to promote each featured stud farm as well. Please contact the magazine for further details.

Artwork by Marian Duncan; All Rights Reserved ARAB HORSE COUTURE MAGAZINE - AHCM

My personal passion for the Arabian horse

Enjoy the 2017 February issue! Sincerely, Laura J. Brodzik Owner, Founder & Publisher Arab Horse Couture Magazine - AHCM LJB Publications LLC Established 2008











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Riding In The Classical Way On Your Beautiful Arabian Horse Written by Jean Paul Guerlain In the past, in addition to his role as master perfumer for the House of Guerlain, Jean Paul Guerlain also accumulated World Championships in Dressage and Carriage Driving. Guerlain is a French perfume house, amongst the oldest in the world. The House of Guerlain was founded in 1828, when Pierre-Francois Pascal Guerlain opened his perfume store in Paris. Jean Paul Guerlain is fourth generation Geurlain and the last family master perfumer. Jean Paul continues to travel the globe to develop new fragrances.

“Is Your Horse Listening To You While Riding?”


ne of my horses makes it perfectly clear to me that he is listening by the position of his ears, by the softness of his breath, by the attitude of his expression, and the effort he puts into the things I ask of him. However, there are some days when he comes out a little fresh or perhaps a little cheeky and you know immediately that this is a day that he will do everything he can to pretend he cannot hear you. He will avoid the leg and prick his ears off to the side of the arena and sometimes even give me a little squeal of boisterous play. On these days I have to be always one step ahead because if I cannot retain his concentration and let him take advantage of that for even a second, then the pricked ears and squeal become an impromptu capriole or reining spin. My trainer used to tell me that my horse had selective hearing, as he could always hear when dinner was being served. On these selective hearing days, it’s up to the rider to take charge immediately but without generating more tension. Some riders would pull the horse’s head in deep or to one side and use strong leg aids, or speedy fast mini circles to put the horse into submission. 16


Maybe a very strong rider less technically adept would have some success in getting the horse under control, but a smart horse would soon learn to turn their selective hearing into deafness and become numb or dangerous in the process. My trainer says instead to find a way to keep the horse always thinking so there is no time for him to let his boisterous side take charge. So if I feel that my horse is in an “I might not listen to you mood “, I very quickly start doing things to keep his mind on me. If you are a good rider, technically, you may not even see these things from the ground but you are working silently and subtly to let the horse know that you are there and you are in charge. At the walk, flex a little to the left, then a little to the right--gently to each side then ask a little left leg to see if he moves off and then a little right leg to check he is moving away from both sides. Then the minute he points even a tip of the ear off to one side, ask him to move away from the leg or bend a little to the right or begin transitions in and out of trot. Do not get stuck on one thing and think oh great this is good. Do one thing and then think now I should remind him again that I’m here and

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in charge. Sometimes this is all impossible because my horse is having a selective hearing and chaotic stallion day and he wants to have a spin out of control party with me as his guest. In this case, I either have to ride him forward to let off steam or I must close myself around him like a bird protecting its eggs. I make myself heavy, reassure him that I am there and I am stable and I am not going to his party. In either case, a rider needs to adopt this scenario with conviction, because if I choose to push my stallion forward and then hesitate, he knows and then I am for sure at his party. If I choose to make myself a ball of reassuring stability, I must not lose my balance or release my core or lose the contact for even a second because then the ball becomes a flat tire and again it is party time. On other horses, they may never actually throw a party but are more the “always trying not to listen� types, sometimes even sticking their head up in the air neighing out drifting off into outer space when you are trying to do a circle, etc. With these horses it is sometimes better not to

try to do too much and just concentrate on a single thing. A horse that is a bit chaotic mentally needs a rider that sticks to a certain pattern and this is where precision can become your greatest tool. If you choose to ride a circle, make it perfect forward and even if you lose attention, focus on your own line and on keeping yourself as direct and as delicate as possible in your aids. I find that if you focus on precision and repetition, these horses will gradually find calm from your technical direction and begin to trust in you to lead them and open their ears up to what you have to say. If your horse has neither of these traits, then a patient caring rider will understand that a horse is a living animal and not a mechanical device. Like us, a horse has its own personality and curiosity about the world around him. On the other hand, if your horse always listens to you and has perfect hearing, well then you are lucky. Also, reminding you all of the big responsibility you have in your life of owning an Arabian horse. Be sensitive, loving, humble, understanding, patient and show empathy and humility. February 2017 . AHCM - ARABHORSECOUTURE.COM


Photography by Anette Varjonen |


If you fall off a horse, you get back up. I am not a quitter. Olivia Wilde

Photography by Anette Varjonen |


Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people. W. C. Fields

Photography by Anette Varjonen |


No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. Winston Churchill

Arab Horse Couture

© 2015 Ali Almimar 28





aLi almimar Ali Almimar is one of the most important Arabian horse artists of our time. His works of art are easily recognizable: energetic pencil strokes, apt reproduction of his subject and striking colors are the main characteristics of his paintings. Written by Judith Wich-Wenning


hen I think of Ali Almimar, I vividly remember a scene at an Arabian horse show some years ago. I was sitting with Sheikh Saoud Al-Thani from Qatar and Ali Almimar when Ali took a pencil and a piece of paper and started to draw some beautiful Arabian mares. I was hooked; it was fascinating to see how easily he created a small, enchanting piece of art in a few moments. Finally, he gifted his work to Sheikh Saoud. Ali Alimar’s talent impressed me. But how did his career as an artist begin? Ali Almimar was born in Bagdad, Iraq in 1965. He graduated at the Institute of Fine Arts, Bagdad in 1985 and at the Bagdad College of Fine Arts in 1991. The real start for Ali Almimar as an artist took place at the Youth Festival in 1985 where he received the Fa’ik Hassan’s Gold Medal for Painting. His teacher was the Iraqi February 2017 . AHCM - ARABHORSECOUTURE.COM


© 2015 Ali Almimar

Fa’ik Hassan (1914 – 1992). Fa’ik Hassan was one of the founders of modern art in Iraq. In 1939 he established the Institute of Fine Arts in Bagdad. Today Christies, Bonham’s and other renowned auction houses and art dealers offer his paintings. Fa’ik Hassen had supervised Ali Almimar and discovered Ali’s great talent. A close relationship between the two developed. One of Fa’ik Hassan’s most favorite subjects were Arabian horses. So this time was also the beginning of Ali Amimar’s deep love for Arabian horses. He started to immortalize them in his works and steadily turned into one of the most significant Arabian horse artists. Already in 1985, Ali Amimar had his first solo exhibition in Bagdad. Numerous were to follow, as for example solo exhibitions at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha, at the Sharjah Art Museum, 30


the international Biennale in Sharjah, the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi, at the Gallery de Biblion in Toulouse, France and many more. Especially noteworthy are also Ali’s exhibitions at important Arabian horse shows. His work is regularly displayed at the International Festival of the Arabian Horse in Qatar, The Egyptian Event in Kentucky, USA, many European shows, etc. Furthermore, Ali was the first artist who started to paint live during an Arabian horse show. Simultaneously to the beginning of the event, he starts his work and finishes just before the end of the show. He then often donates his newly completed painting for charity auctions taking place at the closing of the Arabian horse event.

© 2015 Ali Almimar

In the year 2000, Ali Almimar had received a very special commission from the Dubai International Airport. He was asked to execute a huge piece of art for buzzing Terminal 1. The dimensions for this were remarkable: Ali’s masterwork spans now over 28 x 5 meters! Ali Almimar first painted in oil on canvas measuring 1 x 5,20 meters. He created a beautiful desert scenery with impressive Arabian horses. Then this work was transmitted on its final scale. As the foundation excerpts from volcanic stone were used, which had to be polished carefully. In the meantime, this magnificent tableau is one of the trademarks of Dubai International Airport, greeting innumerable travelers from all over the world. Today we can find Ali’s artwork in innumerable private collections. His

clients come from Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, U.K., USA, Germany, etc. “I most often paint in oil,” Ali explains. “But sometimes I use acrylic, because this technique gives me more freedom.” The painting of a “Nazar”, a blue bead believed to protect against the evil eye, can be found on many of Ali’s works, close to his signature. With its turquoise color and the golden framing it has become something like a trademark for the famous artist. Only few people know that Ali is also an excellent photographer. At many shows you will find him strolling around with his camera, always on the hunt for new models for his next paintings. Very typey Arabian horses in lively, impressive sceneries, often with a romantic touch, characterize Ali Almimar’s works. Ali knows how to capture the most beautiful February 2017 . AHCM - ARABHORSECOUTURE.COM


© 2015 Ali Almimar



© 2015 Ali Almimar

© 2015 Ali

Arabian horses of our time, as shown by his paintings of Ansata Halim Shah, Ansata Hejazi, Al Adeed Al Shaqab and many others. Furthermore, Ali Almimar’s portraits of Arabian rulers or personalities from the world of Arabian horses are well executed to the point. Asked about his most favorite Arabian horse, Ali ponders: “There are a lot of horses I loved and that have affected my work. But the horse closest to my heart is certainly Al Adeed Al Shaqab. For me he is the perfect horse for painting.” After living in Sharjah for many years, Ali Almimar has moved to Canada in the end of 2010. The Arabian horse determines his life. Ali is deeply fascinated by these unique creatures. “In addition to their beauty, I appreciate most the lofty and noble expression of the Arabian horse”, Ali remarks. “I see the world through the love of Arabian horses. Art is the most precious gift God gave to my life.”

i Almimar

© 2015 Ali Almimar

Photo: Artist Ali Almimar ABOUT THE WRITER: Straight Egyptian Arabian Owner and Breeder, Judith Wich-Wenning, is a freelance photographer and journalist and works for numerous Arabian horse magazines around the world. Moreover, she is the author of the highly acclaimed book “Jewels of the Desert - The Magic of Egyptian Arabians,” published by Orienta Publications.

For inquiries regarding the Arabian horse in art please contact: Judith Wich-Wenning, Germany, Tel.: +49 1707721739 Email: © 2015 Ali Almimar



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Right of First Refusal Clauses:

Are They Worth the Paper They’re Written On? Written by Julie I. Fershtman, Attorney at Law



Equine-related contracts sometimes include a “right of first refusal” clause that restricts how a horse can be re-sold. Through these clauses, a horse buyer agrees to give the seller an opportunity to buy back the horse later under certain specified conditions.

Right of first refusal clauses sometimes generate disputes in the horse industry. This can happen when horse buyers file away their contracts and, years later, forget the promises they made. Sometimes, these clauses are so unclear or unenforceable as written that the parties don’t understand their rights and obligations.

For example, these clauses sometimes provide that if the buyer (after becoming the horse owner) later receives a legitimate offer to buy the horse and is inclined to sell, the former owner must first receive the opportunity to match that purchase offer and pay within a certain time frame.

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Depending on the contract’s language and applicable state law, if the former owner who holds a right of first refusal is denied his or her contractual right to repurchase a horse and learns that a sale is in progress, that party – before the sale – could potentially bring a lawsuit seeking an injunction to stop the sale so that a court can enforce the right of first refusal clause. These types of lawsuits also ask the court to order specific performance to allow the former owner to buy back the horse as the contract terms permit.

If the right of first refusal was part of a verbal equine sale agreement, with nothing in writing, chances are good that the claimed “right” will not be enforceable based on the state’s statute of frauds.

If the horse has already been sold, in violation of a right of first refusal, the would-be buyer’s lawsuit might potentially seek monetary damages.

Proving what those damages are can be especially complex, however, raising numerous questions such as: Did the former owner (who was denied a re-purchase right) lose profits? Are the claimed lost profits too speculative and therefore not recoverable by law? Did (or could) the would-be buyer take reasonable efforts to mitigate his or her claimed losses? When you include “right of first refusal” clauses in your equine sale contracts, draft the language with great care and consider seeking legal counsel to help in the process. Equine sellers who rely on these clauses might want to remind the buyers about them as time goes on, before the buyer places the horse on the market; this may also help the buyer notify others that all sales will be subject to a right of first refusal.

CONCLUSION Disputes involving rights of first refusal can be complicated, especially when the parties draft unclear clauses or fail to honor them. When drafting these clauses and when evaluating your rights under them, consider seeking timely advice of knowledgeable counsel. This article does not constitute legal advice. When questions arise based on specific situations, direct them to a knowledgeable insurance agent or attorney. About the Author: Julie Fershtman, a lawyer for 30 years, is one of the nation’s most experienced Equine Law practitioners and handles legal matters involving all equine breeds and disciplines. She is a Shareholder with Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC, based in Michigan, and has handled equine cases nationwide. One of very few lawyers in the country to be named a Fellow of the American College of Equine Attorneys, she is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America. Her speaking engagements on Equine Law span 29 states. For more information, visit

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Photo: HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein with the Arabian Horses of the Royal Jordanian Stables

HRH Princess

alia al hussein Spreading the Seeds of Compassion Written by Carmel Rowley

Life is full of vivid recollections; many from generations of compassionate people who make a conscious decision to be caretakers of the earth. These caretakers throw out seeds that flourish and become bountiful, their goals converging into a pounding desire to leave the earth in better shape for following generations.


ut today in the golden blaze of craving for treasure, the interaction and love between humans and creatures lessens as desire hides behind profound fear. Our task must be about offering love to all creatures, all of nature in its perfect beauty and to cast out that fear. The message can then become clear: creation is truly an indivisible whole; what touches one part of it touches all. Having to make life choices tests every one of us. Do we always remember to take into consideration who, what and where will be affected by what we choose? As a true ambassador for animal welfare, education and possessing a deep compassion to treat humans, animals and the prized purebred Arabian horse with empathy and understanding, HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein makes life-changing choices every day. Princess Alia believes that a strong voice for change and action is desperately needed. This steadfast belief for change urged her to found the Princess Alia Foundation (PAF) a registered non-profit, non-governmental organization, under the Ministry of Social Development in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Its aim is: to promote compassion and respect for all creation, using a holistic approach while bringing all stakeholders together to work as a united front. The Tree of Life is the Princess Alia Foundation (PAF) logo. Now a beloved, spiritual symbol, the meaning of the Tree of Life is ancestry,



lessons of the spirit, life, history, lineage, and hope for the future. It crosses all cultures with the symbolism of the sprouting seed, growing into a trunk and branching off, sending out smaller branches and little twigs, seeking the truth of life. As with the tree itself, the concerns of Princess Alia began to spread as wide and prolific as the canopy of the tree itself. For troubled and autistic children the Growing Together program (Equine Therapy) at PAF was initiated in 2010.

Princess Alia elaborates: “Showing remarkable results the Growing Together programme is based upon the basic principles of the Horse Boy Method and draws upon the inherent resources of rescued and rehabilitated Arabian horses. Growing Together provides young people on the autistic spectrum with an opportunity to interact with other living creatures in a natural environment and to explore their own connection with the earth around them in a holistic way.

Growing Together has since expanded to assist over 1,200 people with various emotional and physical difficulties. It is provided totally free of charge to all (regardless of their financial situation) and has shown amazing results in emotional, physical and behavioural improvements. Many non-verbal children begin to speak within a very short time of attending, and a large percentage of children with autism progress into mainstream school after being on the programme.�

“Creation is truly

an indivisible whole; what touches one part of it touches all.”

Shamekh Al Shaqab

(Ansata Sinan | Malaka by Ansata Halim Shah) 1996 Grey Straight Egyptian Stallion owned by the Royal Stables Senior Male Champion & Grand Champion 2005 Middle East Championships—held on the grounds of the Royal Jordanian Stables

The goal of the foundation is to help wherever and whenever there is a need and to work where possible with other parties whose field of operation and expertise can complement as well as complete all the foundations efforts.

Princess Alia explains further: “The original plan was to focus on slaughter house reform, but at the first meeting with the relevant ministries, we were asked to address the issues of stray/feral dogs, and the abysmal zoos sprouting up. We were of course happy to agree although it was not our field of expertise but we have wonderful contacts worldwide who all help from the heart and are generous with practical advice as well as their own time and contacts. Our work with the zoos has been an uphill struggle and sadly is still unsatisfactory in terms of results, but we have set up two centres to provide solutions to assist the authorities with the rehabilitation and where possible, the release into the wild of confiscated wildlife, whether from zoos, private collectors or smuggling. New Hope is the rehabilitation centre and Al Ma’wa is a large sanctuary for nature and wildlife in the beautiful region north of Jerash where we rehome the large predators, big cats, bears and other species for which we cannot find homes in sanctuaries abroad. This project is a joint venture with our wonderful partners Four Paws International who also support New Hope and who provided wonderful homes in their own sanctuaries for some of our first guests, including lions,



African hyenas, a tiger, a Serval cat and a Syrian brown bear. Al Ma’wa is also a way of protecting the forest in which it is situated as it was being decimated illegally for firewood. Of course we had to provide solutions for the local community’s problems and so in addition to training and employing its members, we have been fortunate enough to be able to support local projects by providing jobs for many members of the local community as well as revolving funds for renewable energy for homes, wells, and other positive steps. The project works on water harvesting, and aims to provide education and awareness about environmental issues as well as training for wildlife vets. It is a new field of expertise for the region with eco lodges to encourage local and international tourism.” One of Princess Alia’s Foundation initiatives is education. Scholarships are offered for young people at university level and there is an ongoing need to equip local schools with solar energy and split units to improve the learning environment. This enables senior students to fulfill necessary curricular use of computers. Other initiatives include working with the youth on programmes aimed at empowering them with a focus on confidence building. It is clear the foundation is extremely proud of all these young people’s achievements. If you can imagine how their attitudes shift from negativity and skepticism, to dynamic involvement and positive activity. But to the observers, the inspiration comes from witnessing these young people helping and raising positivity in others.

Photo: Hlayyil Ramadan (Kamar Al Zaman|Haboub)

Princess Alia says: “Our system is not based upon having a budget and deciding what to do next but rather it is in responding to needs as they arise. Impractical though it may seem and as bizarrely diverse as the programmes ARE, I do believe that attempting to do the right thing and to ACT where possible is what matters. I believe, thank God, funding and help appears when the intentions and the goals are genuinely good. We have been blessed with positive and enthusiastic support from around the globe and we are eternally grateful to everyone who has contributed. Our message is Compassion and Respect for All Creation as everything is linked and to harm or to discount the importance of any fragment is to damage every part of it eventually.�

Photo: HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein pictured with Hasanaat Al Haneefah



“The stables are based upon the horses which came from Arabia with my great grandfather King Abdullah...�

Photo: HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein with Radiyyah (Monarcos DD | Rahaf)

Princess Alia is leaving her own footprint for many to follow, but as any lover of Arabian horses would expect, by her very birthright she inherited an unfailing admiration, love and concern for the classic Arabian horse. The Royal Jordanian Stables were founded by the late King Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordon. A renowned horseman, his Majesty had the inherited knowledge and appreciation of the true Arabian horse of the desert. It is written that at his untimely death in 1951 he had a collection of such prepotent individuals they were able to consistently reproduce their classic qualities with each generation.

Princess Alia explains: “The stables are based upon the horses which came from Arabia with my great grandfather King Abdullah during the Arab Revolt. Added to that nucleus were horses from the horse breeding tribes of Jordan who appreciated King Abdullah’s knowledge and interest in this breed. Also added were two stallions bred in Spain and one bred in Egypt, the latter a half-brother of the famous Nazeer. These were gifts and the ones from Spain were reciprocal gifts for two mares which King Abdullah presented to Spain. At least one of whose bloodlines can still to be found in current Spanish Arabian breeding stock. By the early 1960s, horses were no longer a necessary part of daily life in the Middle East and sadly many were crossed indiscriminately with imported (non-Arabian) stock to increase size and speed as flat racing became the main focus of many horse breeders. My late father realized the danger to the horses of the stables and appointed a remarkable couple of friends, Santiago

and Ursula Lopez, to oversee the breeding and care of the stud. This became their life’s mission, preservation of the purebred horses of Jordan, and we owe them an enormous debt for their dedication. When WAHO was established, they were founding members and Jordan was the first Arab country after Egypt, which had a long history of recording their stock, to become a full member and to have its Stud Book recognised internationally.” Photo: HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein

The bloodlines of the Royal Jordanian Stables are a combination of English, Egyptian, Spanish and desert bred stock. It’s a joy to trace the contribution of the stallion Bahar, the refined Farha (Selma x Mashalla I) and the grey beauty Gazella. The head study of six month old Farida (Bahar x Farha) in the book Arabian Exodus is delightful. Princess Alia references the main strains at the Royal Jordanian Stables as the comparatively rare Um Argub, also Abeya Um Jeres, Hamadania Sameri, Kehila Ajuz, and Maneqia which trace back to King Abdullah’s stock. The highly valued strain of the Kehila Wadhna was introduced through imports. The horses are often shown at Arabian horse shows in Jordan and or globally often present a situation that many a horse person can relate to.



Princess Alia explains: “Our first show abroad was when we sent a mare, Sarra, to the UK for a couple of years. A mare of great beauty and strong personality, she was always well placed but never won due to her dislike of being shown in hand. To quote a mention of her that year, second in the intermediate mare class was the Royal Jordanian Stud’s Sarra who as usual refused to cooperate but has enough quality to stay at the top anyway. The difficulties and concern for the horses became the precursor to discussions about showing abroad, firstly due to the extensive travel and understandably the quarantine situation. Taking all these issues into account it was decided to focus on bringing all the regional horses and breeders together. And in 1987, the first international Middle Eastern Horse Get Together was held as a noncompetitive event titled The Arabian Horse At Home.”

Princess Alia shares her recollections: “Five countries sent horses from as far as Oman and Egypt and fifteen other countries sent delegates. All expressed great interest in the event. Thereafter we began a yearly Championship show and by 1993 we were holding two international shows, The Arabian Horse at Home and The Middle East Championships, which still runs and has evolved into an ECAHO Title Show, as well as our Nationals. These



days we participate less abroad but are proud of our Multi-Champion Hlayyil Ramadan who was among other foreign titles Tulip Cup, European Championships and eventually World Champion stallion. Several of his descendants also competed extremely successfully abroad. We have also participated in Endurance and the Asian Games. Some compete in Endurance abroad and our horses have also done well in flat racing and at a local young rider’s level in show jumping. We feel that a good Arabian horse should be able to perform. One stallion won his senior in hand class after a 1,500-meter flat race two days earlier and placed 14 out of about two hundred starters in a marathon the following week— truly a versatile Arabian horse. Also, the desire to assist other breeders parallels the Foundation’s words ‘wherever and whenever there is a need’ so we are very proud to cooperate with other breeders whether farms or just individuals. We loan stallions for breeding to horse breeders in other parts of the country and abroad when requested to generally improve their stock.” This attitude reflects Princess Alia’s concern to not only preserve the classic Arabian horse but also her desire to continue her family’s heritage.

Princess Alia wishes to add: “Regarding in hand showing abroad, it is the degree of stress and DISTRESS most show horse’s exhibit in the ring these days

Photo: Shaddad (Hlayyil Ramadan | Shaafiah)

“One seed of compassion can grow into a mighty Tree of Life carrying the knowledge that we are all related to the cosmos - to our human family - our animal family - our earth family and our beyond family.�

which prevents us from sending horses to compete abroad. We are extremely vigilant at our shows with strong, empowered DC’s and I must say that when handlers KNOW that rules will be strictly enforced they are perfectly able to show their horses in a normal manner. Sadly, so many have been clearly trained in a hard way and are wary and tense but at least they are not being terrorized in the ring by subtle gestures. They are not shaking, sweating and plunging around their handlers as I have seen in other shows abroad. Over the past few years it appears to have become worse and worse. Such a sight literally reduced a friend to tears two years ago in Paris. Our culture as Arabs and even more so as Muslims, totally forbids inhumane behaviour and disrespect towards our fellow beings, whether human, animal, or plant. This being the case, and these rules having been set very specifically and clearly at a time when humans were also facing hardships and struggling to survive, the argument that such things are less important today is rendered null and void.” Most have read Princess Alia’s speech, The Relationship Between Horses and Humans in Today’s World, from November 2011 at the WAHO Conference in Doha, Qatar. The sentiments reflect the person and although we are discussing the Royal Jordanian Stables we are also discussing Princess Alia’s passions and concerns.

Princess Alia adds: “The preservation of our lines and their QUALITIES remains our main goal. We do not want to lose individual characteristics in the name of current fashion, and we do feel that our horses need to remain sound and with potential to lead athletic lives and not become just PRETTY. We also focus on their being respected and not abused. The current tense posture and stressed demeanour so prevalent at shows is damaging to their mental health and to the breed as a whole. As well as breeding, showing and endurance, our horses assist in the PAF Growing Together programme. The results speak for themselves! Horses are amazing creatures which seem to facilitate positive healing, God Bless them.” One seed of compassion can grow into a mighty Tree of Life carrying the knowledge that we are all related to the Cosmos - to our human family - our animal family - our earth family and our beyond family. The seeds hold the message of Creation with Compassion and Respect portraying the future Earth as a place where we would all love to live.

Read more about the Princess Alia Foundation:

Should you wish to become a supporter, please visit:

Al Ma’wa for Nature and Wildlife



Photo: HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein

Photo: Haleem (Kamar Al Zama | Hameeda)

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Equine Facilitated Human Development:

From the Conditioned Self Towards Congruency Written by visionpure® Eva Reifler & Charlotte Perry

In the last issue I had the opportunity to give you an overview of our work. This time I would like to share an experience of one of my clients with Shaman (A paint horse gelding, seven years old). Charlene (her name has been changed) sighs--she sits on the terrace and faces the golden horse, who’s trying to reach some blades of grass on the other side of the fence. It is a lovely morning and a soft breeze plays with Shaman’s mane, almost the same color as my client’s hair. 54


“I need to ask them to forgive me, before I can start your apprenticeship,” Charlene says. “I have done terrible things to them, brought them into difficult situations and I need to make my amends.” Now she is crying. I am intrigued–-what could Charlene possibly have done which was so terrible, and I empathize with her pain. I sigh, then Charlene sighs, then the horse looks at us briefly, sighs as well and promptly returns to his search for food. The flood of tears seems to lessen and Charlene continues: “I have to ask them to forgive me, because I was a warrior in my former life and it was painful for

ARAB HORSE COUTURE MAGAZINE | An International Publication

the horses.” She starts sobbing again, but Shaman stays unfazed by her story. I assume that we have not yet accessed the real problem and I am none the wiser. All of a sudden we talk about difficulties in her current life, how others are better off and that it is always nicer on the other side of the fence. I look at the horse, still trying to get some grass from under the fence— interesting, she seems to be getting closer to the actual issue. I suggest we get closer to Shaman and ask Charlene what her intention is for her interaction with the horse today, fully expecting her to say: “that he forgives me.” Instead she says: “I want him to move – I want to move him, but not necessarily physically.” Now I am confused since I was expecting her to say “that he forgives me” and I remind myself: once more this is a lesson in remaining humble, no personal agendas! “Ok, I suggest you let that intention sink into your body,” I say before I open the gate and let her in with the horse. I am very curious about how the process will unfold. Since it is the first session with Charlene, I explain to her how to maintain security boundaries. Shaman moves to the other side of the pen. He isn’t even looking up, and remains absolutely indifferent towards the woman entering the pen – so much for authenticity. Shaman’s indifference is an indication, that what Charlene shows on the outside is probably not congruent with what is going on inside her and I silently recall all the different topics we touched upon during the opening discussion. Former life, pardon, other side of the fence… I see Charlene trying, half-heartedly, to get the horse moving. All he does is face her and stare at her – stubbornly and charmingly dominant. “What is happening,” I ask after a couple of minutes. “I would like to move him, but I don’t dare – it is your horse and I don’t want to hurt him,” she replies. “If you’d like to lunge him, please be so kind and take the lunge whip to show him what you want: this will be more respectful than using your hands and

transferring all your energy and emotions directly onto his body. It is also much safer for you, since you can stay away from his butt,” I instruct her. Charlene takes the lunge whip and after some moments of negotiation, Shaman finally starts moving to his left. After half a circle he turns around, faces the other direction and remains put. Charlene tries to have him turn around again, weaving the whip in front of his head. My observation: They are engaged in a very nice dance…perhaps of dominance? It seems to be leading nowhere. “What is happening?” I ask. “I can’t manage to turn him around,” she says. “Why do you insist on him turning to his left hand when he is offering you the other hand? After all, you don’t know each other that well – why don’t you allow yourself to take the easy path?” “Oh my! … that’s old school,” she replies. (I assume she means: Old school is if I tell him to go left, he must go left). The instant Charlene stops insisting and gives in to accept comfort, Shaman starts to walk. I suppose we haven’t even started scratching the surface of what Charlene is really looking for. The opening discussion was really profound and I stay very attentive to the scene that is unfolding in front of my eyes. After half a circle, the energy changes again. Charlene is disconnected for a fraction of a second and Shaman takes advantage of this, quickly closing the space between them; he stops and faces her – Charlene is stuck again. “Where were you just then? Before he came in?” I want to know. Charlene looks at me, puzzled and stops. Shaman is still at her side. “I ask too much, I thought: this is asking too much,” she says. I do not understand, as she has barely asked him to move in a very slow walk for not even a half circle, so February 2017 . AHCM - ARABHORSECOUTURE.COM


ARAB HORSE COUTURE MAGAZINE | An International Publication

I delve further: “What is too much to ask for?” Finally tears well up: “What I really would like to...” Her words trail off and I encourage her to let the tears flow freely. She puts the lunge whip down. Shaman takes advantage of the situation again and returns to the grass blades. Charlene still seems to be showing a certain amount of resistance. “What is it that you need?” I ask her. “I would like him to initiate making amends, but I don’t know how,” Charlene states. “Ask him for help,” I suggest. “Help me,” she whispers. I don’t hear the rest, but I don’t need to - Charlene has finally taken off her mask. The horse turns towards her at the very instant in which her resistance falls away and her authentic needs are being expressed. She squats and Shaman gently puts his muzzle on her shoulder, they both remain in that position for what seems like an eternity– touched by grace that belongs to them. I am crying now too, deeply moved by the beauty of the moment.



One of the horses in the nearby paddock moves and Shaman lifts his head, only to put his muzzle back on Charlene’s forehead. So they remain in that position for another eternity. All of a sudden, Shaman lifts his head and Charlene says at the same time: “It’s over, I can’t explain it, but it’s over.” The horse returns to grazing and Charlene leaves the round-pen – deeply moved by this brief moment of healing with the horse. We did not speak much after the session, in order to allow the experience to set in fully. Charlene chose writing as means of integration. When we met the next time, some months later, the topic was not brought up again and we worked on a different challenge.

What Happened During this Session? During the opening and introduction, Charlene’s conditioned and conscious self brought up all sorts of stories. This is usually the case, because the mind no longer has access to the deeper motivations of our true self. This incongruence raises blood pressure and heart rate. The “intensity” of the physical reaction

ARAB HORSE COUTURE MAGAZINE | An International Publication depends on the discrepancy between the perception of the true and the conditioned self. The horse’s physical feedback to Charlene’s energy, similar to a lie detector, helps Charlene to navigate towards her true emotional needs. This is independent to whatever story the mind makes up. Once these true needs are acknowledged, Charlene inevitably becomes congruent and the authentic connection may happen. This is the state where emotional corrective experiences unfold and healing becomes possible. Whether our mind understands it or not, neuropathways are rewired and a seed is planted which entails inevitably into change.



Do you like our articles? We would love to hear from you! Please forward your comments, questions, encouragements, etc., to Eva at

ABOUT visionpure®: visionpure®, founded by Eva Reifler in 2008, is a pioneering center for horse assisted personal and professional development, only 45 minutes from Paris in France. visionpure® offers private sessions, group workshops, train-the-trainer programs and customized workshops for leadership and team building programs. At visionpure, we are dedicated to providing the highest level of safety, quality, respect and experience. We speak English, German and French fluently and work with horses and people throughout the world. Visionpure 20 rue des vieilles vignes F-95830, Frémécourt France +33 (0) 6 99 19 02 95 Facebook: le cheval, guerisseur de l’homme Twitter: @visionpure_95 February 2017 . AHCM - ARABHORSECOUTURE.COM


Arab Horse Couture



Reem Acra Reem Acra is a renowned international designer known for her breathtaking collections in Ready to Wear and Bridal. She combines tradition with a modern aesthetic and leads the way by continuously redefining the boundaries of fashion.





While a student at the American University of Beirut, Acra’s talent was first discovered by a fashion editor when attending a party. Captivated by the intricately embroidered silk organza gown that Acra was wearing, she was pleased to discover that Acra herself had designed it from her mother’s dining room tablecloth. The editor instantly offered to host a fashion show for the budding designer, which took place ten days later with resounding success. Following this encounter, Acra recognized her calling and went on to study at the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and its Paris counterpart École supérieure des arts et techniques de la mode (ESMOD). In 1997, a high-profile socialite wore Acra’s first bridal design to her wedding, sparking immediate interest in the designer. To keep up with demand, Acra launched her eponymous line, Reem Acra New York, the same year. After successfully establishing herself in the bridal market with her detailed and innovative couture designs, Acra expanded into Ready to Wear in 2001. Similar to its bridal counterpart, the collection features carefully crafted pieces with ornate beading, flawless embroidery and layered texture details. Celebrated for her ability to make a woman feel confident and sensual, royalty, heads of state, and celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Halle Berry and Selena Gomez have worn her captivating designs to VIP and red carpet events such as the Oscars, Grammys and Golden Globes. Reem Acra’s collections are carried by some of the world’s most exclusive retailers including: Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue in the United States, with an international presence in over two-dozen countries at luxury retail outlets around the world.





Some of her notable accolades include being named the 7th Most Powerful Arab Woman in the World by Forbes Magazine and being the recipient of the Building Bridges Award from the Bridges of Understanding Foundation, a non-profit organization which seeks to improve relations between the Middle East and the United States. Acra is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the Bridal Council of America, the International Advisory Council of the American University of Beirut, on the Honorary Board of the American Foundation for Saint George Hospital, a member of Fashion Group International and serves on the Board of the Dubai Design and Fashion Council. Recently, Acra appeared on the hit Middle Eastern reality TV show, Fashion Star, where she served as the lead judge and mentor to 12 aspiring up-and-coming designers.





Easily Distracted and Tough to Catch?

The The Wild Wild Pony ony

SSyndrome yndrome

Written by Nancy Dye Are you an easily distracted athlete or professional that suffers from running around all over the place? Do you find it difficult to schedule and discipline yourself? Do you find it tough to stay focused on a task for any length of time? Are you disorganized and always late? Do you feel like you are not performing at your absolute best? I coined the term “Wild Pony Syndrome� to describe a debilitating issue that some of my successful clients feel trapped in. Getting the edge on beating your competition and receiving the blue ribbon, instead of always coming in second or third (or not at all), is sometimes just about tweaking a few bad habits that you recognize are sabotaging your best performance in all areas of your life. So, what is Wild Pony Syndrome?


his is frequently a problem for high-energy people who are always on the move. Outgoing and adventurous, they usually have lots of friends or they enjoy adventures and meeting new people in “their herd.” Fun to be around, it’s hard to get them to sit down and focus for long periods of time and that’s AFTER they always arrive late. In fact, it is hard for them to focus on the task at hand, period. They are too easily distracted. The Wild Ponies complain about being ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and they hate being so disorganized. They would fix the organization issue, but they have difficulty disciplining themselves enough to stay focused on completing a boring project such as cleaning their house. Instead, they are “not very successfully” multi-tasking their way through a hectic, stressful, and borderline out-of-control life. What would happen if they were organized and focused every day and showed up relaxed and prepared for both their training and their competition? The real problem with Wild Pony Syndrome sufferers is that by the time they come to me for a lifestyle transformation, they have already defined themselves with these challenges deep down in their fundamental core. This has become their identity and their “story”; they keep building up the story; stacking issues on top of issues. For example, displaying varying degrees of being “a hoarder”, they have a hard time letting go of “stuff”. And by that I mean not only all the stored items in their home, garages, basements and attics (tack trunks, trucks and horse trailers), but also letting go of their past, their “issues,” and their identity. To add insult to injury, these ponies constantly beat themselves up with a whip, calling themselves bad names such as a “mess”. And as they continue to identify with the symptoms of Wild Ponies, they unconsciously act it out even more, because remember, we will always remain consistent with who we truly believe ourselves to be. Why is that? Because it is our core belief about ourselves and because, heck, at least we know how to be that person! At least we can do THAT perfectly! There IS comfort and certainty in that, right?



Eventually, the disorganized patterns have convinced everyone else that it’s “always something” with the Wild Pony; forgetting things, losing stuff (the other riding glove hiding somewhere), always late, not keeping their word with calls and appointments, etc. Friends and co-workers, after trying to help them get over this chronic disability, finally throw up their hands and end up actually making it worse by accepting their “quirkiness”, covering for them, or picking up the slack. This is called enabling and out of desperation for help in this area, Wild Ponies unconsciously surround themselves with people that will help them stay on track. They will fall in love with inappropriate spouses that may not be a perfect fit, because of this allconsuming need for help!

It has the subtle ripple effect of a giant Tsunami after the earthquake out at sea. It doesn’t just disturb everyone’s peace, focus, and rhythm – it completely destroys trust.

As the Wild Pony is enabled and freed up from the time needed and their responsibility to “get their act together”, they overcommit and run around from one thing to another even more; always terrified that they are about to drop one of the balls they are juggling. If these people are not working, they will have a hard time finding a job. If they are working, they will not perform at their best, and it’s a competitive world out there! The most “together” and professional person wins. (Your innate talent, charming personality, and sense of humor will only take you so far.) Yes, it’s true. People in your circle will eventually get exasperated. Not only is it stressful for the Wild Pony to think and behave like this, it is also disruptive for everyone around them. Not to mention disrespectful and rude. How many times can you break your

promises for calling, showing up or keeping your commitments? It has the subtle ripple effect of a giant Tsunami after the earthquake out at sea. It doesn’t just disturb everyone’s peace, focus, and rhythm – it completely destroys trust. What is the answer to this syndrome? Well, suggest to a Wild Pony that they may have to deploy some discipline and to schedule themselves and then just sit back and watch what happens! Talk about being spooked! “Oh no, you mean you’re going to rein me in?” They ask this question with a total panic in their voice; you can see it in their eyes. You can just feel them dying to gallop away! These are clients who do not want to stop “having fun”. They see being harnessed or “reined in” as a negative. They feel it as a fear of being locked up in a tiny prison cell. They even have trouble keeping to their commitment for coaching calls! You have to deploy a pack of hounds, track them down, and corral them back in; and all the while they are

bucking and rearing up … desperately trying to run away from you! In actuality, they are running away from themselves. (They are paying to play all these games, mind you!) But is being “reined in” really so bad? What happens when we harness all that energy with discipline and focus? While the Wild Pony perceives that as being trapped, bored and suffocated, the reality is actually something more positive and on a much higher level. Think about it. Does “reining it in” prevent them from moving or does it produce a more directed and purposeful action? Every athlete that harnesses their energy and focus creates a magnificent masterpiece that eventually, with enough practice, becomes a work of art … and possibly one with an Olympic gold medal around its neck.

Discipline is freedom! Think about the Olympic gymnast. Think about the ballet dancer. And if you’re an equestrian? Think about the Dressage horse or performance show



horse. Energy focused and disciplined. If you perceive it in a different way, being “reined in” is actually just “collecting” the horse; bringing together the magic of the muscles, energy, and talent to produce absolute grace, beauty, and perfection. It is combining all of your “ingredients” and then planning and completing the goals for the direction in which you want the horse to move. Compare it to the process of baking a magnificent cake. What good are all the ingredients like the sugar, flour, salt, flavoring, butter etc. individually on their own; some stored in the cabinet, some on the spice rack, and some in the refrigerator? The ingredients are all over the place, right? But what is created when you combine them, set the oven at a specific temperature, and then remove the cake at the right time? The magnificent cake that you visualized and set a goal to create, right? But you have to change the phrase “reined in” in order to transform the meaning, and therefore, the feelings and emotions tied to that meaning. A dressage horse is just energy collected and focused; dancing in perfect timing with the music. Is there anything more beautiful? The jumper has a set course, the perfect place to turn in order to get over all those obstacles with just the right number and length of strides. All of this is perfectly planned and practiced. It doesn’t just happen on a whim. The Wild Pony seems free, powerful, and able to overcome obstacles, but just ask my clients suffering from that issue and they will tell you a painful story of being trapped spinning around in an unproductive state of self-hate and self-sabotage. Every obstacle, even small ones, seem like a huge wall to jump over and the entire course feels overwhelming; not to mention their forgetfulness or aversion to the boring task of practicing or “staying on course”. In addition, they hate the identity and image of a “mess up going nowhere” or “potential talent” that will never really make it to the top. Imagine an unbridled, Wild Pony trying to perform in the jumper ring or the Dressage competition. Not a pretty picture, right? But this is who my Wild Pony clients want to be. They are frequently perfectionists with high standards. This is the dream for their life. They have talent and



The Wild Pony seems free, powerful, and able to overcome obstacles, but just ask my clients suffering from that issue and they will tell you a painful story of being trapped spinning around in an unproductive state of self-hate and self-sabotage. skills and they KNOW they are better than their current performance in life. They are frustrated with not being able to be the best that they can be. Equestrians come to me to change their stories. They come to me to peel away the trappings of their ineffective, disempowering identities and the resulting patterns of thoughts and behaviors. They come to me to transform their lives and to feel proud about themselves. Why choose to be an unproductive Wild Pony when you can display the royalty, mastery, and the beautiful, elegant art form of a Dressage horse? Why not be the best that you can be and show off the dance and enjoy the ride around the course? Do you think running around without a goal or purpose … disheveled, spooked, directionless, and “wild and free” is fun? Wait until you feel the exhilaration of mastering your talents and orchestrating them to all work together; flying over the jumps in the Olympic Grand Prix like Nick Skelton or dancing to music in New York’s Central Park like Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro! Wait till you hear all that applause and feel the significance and empowerment of all your happiness and pride inside! And all you have to do is change your identity, shift your mindset, collect that energy, and learn the strategies for finding your leverage and staying focused. Caution: I may also insist that you start every day by getting up a little earlier and deleting all the foods (chemicals) that contribute to producing the Wild Pony Syndrome (such as cake)! Not that I’m trying to rein you in…but it works if you work it!

ABOUT THE WRITER: Nancy Dye is a breakthrough mindset coach and resilience trainer helping people to transform the quality of their lifestyles. Nancy was trained in strategic intervention with Robbins-Madanes Training (Tony Robbins and Cloe Madanes) and has over 30 years as a weight loss, peak performance, and sober coach. She specializes in working with equestrians for “jumping over� adversity, addictions, injuries, emotional strength and fitness, and transitioning through life stages. With a career in sales and marketing, and having been coached by the top sales trainers in the corporate world, as well as by some of the most elite equestrian trainers, Nancy redesigns the inside lives of executives, entrepreneurs, veterans, and athletes. Nancy is married to Jack Miles, a former Olympian gymnast who is inducted into four athletic Hall of Fames. For one-on-one breakthrough coaching or information on her emotional strength/peak performance clinics and workshops, Nancy can be reached at

Discipline is Freedom!



Habtoor Polo versus UAE Polo by Gonzalo Etcheverry

Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series Habtoor Polo remains unbeaten in the McLaren Cup Habtoor Polo and Desert Palm won their respective matches for the third day of action of the McLaren Cup held today at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort. Habtoor Polo remains unbeaten in the tournament after defeating UAE Polo by 9 goals to 7.5 while Desert Palm achieved their first victory in the McLaren Cup after defeating Wolves Polo by 13 goals to 6. Desert Palm and Wolves opened the third day of the tournament with a match that started even but showed, from the second chukker onwards, a great team performance by patron´s Tariq Albwardy team. A five goal gap in the second and fourth chukker gave them a wide margin to control the game and finally close it by 13 goals to 6.



Alejo Taranco (Desert Palm) was the top scorer of the match with 7 goals and Santiago Laborde (Desert Palm) the MVP. Match progression: Desert Palm: 3-2/ 7-3/ 8-5/ 11-6/ 13-6 In the second match of the day, Habtoor Polo defeated, after a great comeback in the fifth chukker, UAE Polo by 9 goals to 7.5. Both teams played a great match, with full speed action and good polo level. UAE Polo, with Guillermo Terrera and Pablo Terrera replacing injured Lucas Monteverde and Matías Benoit, had a very good first half. With Terrera and Hyde “on fire”, UAE took possession of the actions and the score. In the second half, with Alfredo Capella playing at a great level and scoring almost

Desert Palm Polo versus Wolves Polo by Gonzalo Etcheverry

every opportunity near the goalposts, Habtoor Polo closed the gap in the fourth chukker and completed the comeback in the last seven minutes for a great victory that keeps them unbeaten in the McLaren Cup. Capella was the top scorer of the match with 7 goals and Juan Zubiaurre (Habtoor Polo) the MVP. Match progression: Habtoor: 0-1.5/ 0-2.5/ 2-4.5/ 5-6.5/ 9-7.5 The McLaren Cup will continue at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort with the debut of Mahra Polo in the tournament playing against Bin Drai.

DUBAI POLO GOLD CUP SERIES The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series (Dubai Open), an 18 Goal Handicap competition, enters its eighth year under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. The tournament is now the highest handicap in the UAE. The Dubai Open has been split into two tournaments, starting with the McLaren Cup,

which runs from Saturday January 21st, 2017 to Friday February 3rd, 2017. The second tournament, the Julius Baer Gold Cup, commences on Friday, February 18th, 2017 to Friday March 10th, 2017. The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series is the fourth-largest tournament of its kind after Argentina, the US and the UK. First founded by Mohammed Al Habtoor in 2009, the tournament is the premier regional polo competition of the year, and attracts VIPs, society figures, and senior corporate executives from across the GCC. It has grown in tandem with the city of Dubai and since 2012, it is the only tournament in the UAE to be recognized and certified by the World Polo Tour (WPT). It is played under the banner of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), with the Gold Cup being played according to HPA rules and the provision of umpires is managed under strict international supervision by the HPA.



Mohammed Al Habtoor and Ali Al Merr by Gonzalo Etcheverry

Mohammed Al Habtoor, Founder of the tournament and patron of the Habtoor Polo team said:

“This year there are seven teams playing in the McLaren Cup and ten teams for the Julius Baer Gold Cup, further evidence that the tournaments continue to grow. The Dubai Open has helped put the UAE on the world polo circuit. Each year the competition gets better and better, and we attract some of the best polo players in the world.” The participating teams will host some of the top-ranking World Polo Tour players, including Pablo Mac Donough, the 10-goal superstar and three-time “Triple Crown Champion with La Dolfina” ; Nicolas Pieres, who was recently raised to 10 goals after his superb performance in the Argentine Open; Lucas Montverde (9-goal handicap); Alfredo Cappella Barabucci (9-goal handicap) Guillermo Terrera (8-goal handicap), and Ezquiel Martinez Ferrario (8-goal handicap) and many others, who have come directly from the Argentine Open.



The Dubai Polo Gold Cup will be held at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club, Dubai Land. Seven polo teams will be participating in the McLaren Cup 2017 18-goal handicap: Mahra Polo – Patron: Rashid Al Habtoor Bin Drai Polo Team – Patron: Saeed Bin Drai Habtoor Polo Team – Patron: Mohammed Al Habtoor UAE Polo Team – Patron: Her Highness Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Zedan Polo Team – Patron: Amr Zedan Habtoor Wolves Polo Team – Patron: Habtoor Al Habtoor Desert Palm Polo Team – Tariq Albwardy

Article & Images Contributed by: Al Badia Magazine Hares Fayad, MD
 T: +971 4 457 2348 F: +971 4 457 2126, M: +971 50 6534050, +971 553025550 JLT, Dubai, UAE

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F.I.T.S. -2 (Fitness In The Saddle)

Proper Pelvis Position By Jennifer Malott Kotylo

Pelvis’ first is my motto. If your pelvis isn’t in the correct position, riding is either going to be difficult, uncomfortable or almost impossible, especially if your chosen discipline requires you to keep your bottom in the saddle most of the time. In addition to being in the correct position, it also has to move correctly. Most of us have the mistaken idea that the pelvis is fairly static, but in reality it should be able to move in three dimensions. Any hiccup in the pelvis’ ability to move or maintain its correct position causes the majority of common riding problems: Are you crooked in the saddle? Does one stirrup always seem longer than the other? Can’t follow the canter in one direction? Have trouble picking up one canter lead? Does riding create soreness in the lower part of your back? Do you have trouble with lateral movements or flying changes in one direction but not the other? Does your head tilt off to one side? Is one shoulder higher than the other? More than likely your pelvis is out of whack. Your pelvis might appear to be one bone, but is actually three bones – the diamond shaped sacrum in the middle and two ear shaped bones - the iliac on either side. These three bones are connected by very tough cartilage that seemingly does not move. However, this cartilage allows the pelvis to flex ever so slightly in three dimensions. If it can’t flex properly, the body compensates by becoming crooked.

So before I start fixing someone’s head position, or uneven stirrup length, I take a look at what is going on with their pelvis. If a person has difficulty keeping the proper alignment from head to heel, sitting the trot or canter, or their hands are bouncing, I check to make sure that their pelvis is at the proper angle. In general, motion in a body occurs most efficiently when all of the joints are in a neutral position – basically when they are neither over flexed nor over extended. When your pelvis isn’t able to achieve neutral, relative to the correct position of the rest of your body, a rider will either assume a tucked or chair seat(bottom of

the pelvis is too far forward relative to the top – over flexed at the hip) or a fork or arched seat (where the bottom of the pelvis is too far back relative to the top – over flexed where the pelvis meets the spine). If your pelvis is in neutral or basically stacked vertically, then it has a chance to follow correctly. Yes, I know this sounds rather complicated, but truly it is where the rubber meets the road in riding correctly. Your legs and your torso can only operate properly if they are attached to a properly functioning pelvis. For your pelvis to function correctly, all of the muscles around it need to be balanced in terms of strength and flexibility. Your tummy must be as strong as your back and your hamstrings need to be as strong as your quads. The inside of your thighs need to be as flexible as the outside of your thighs and your right waist must be as long as your left.

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By balancing your pelvis, you will achieve better communication and harmony with your horse and hopefully save you from a sore lower back. Here are just a couple of super simple movement exercises to help you get started. 1.Knee sways: Lay on your back with your knees bent, legs together and feet flat on the floor. If your neck in straining, place a small pillow under your head. With no muscle, allow your legs to fall to one side (don’t force them to the ground, just let them go to where they go naturally.) Then gently bring them back up and let them fall to the other side. Continue “swaying” for a minute or two. 2.Hamstring stretches: Still on your back, keep one leg bent with your foot on the floor. Straighten the other one and lift it up towards the ceiling. Place your hands behind your thigh and place some gentle tension on it, pulling it towards your nose. Don’t over strain or pulse AND do not let your back arch. Just breath into the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Release and then repeat. Do the same with the other leg.

NEUTRAL PELVIS 3.Pelvic clock: Still on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, lift your tail bone off of the floor just until your lower back flattens. Bring your pelvis back into its starting position and then press your tail bone into the floor letting your lower back arch slightly. Continue to oscillate between these two positions for a minute or two. I want to hear from you! Your health and fitness is just as important as the health and fitness of your horse so email me with any questions or challenges you are facing! Jennifer developed a passion for body awareness and biomechanics while pursuing her lifelong quest of international level dressage riding. She is a certified Core Dynamics Pilates Instructor, certified Equilates teacher and certified Balimo practitioner. Jennifer is also the creator of the DVD program “Improve Your Riding Through Movement.” No matter what style of riding you are into – no matter what your experience level is and no matter what your age may be, these DVDs will help you create a body that is more flexible, safer in the saddle and one that can enjoy riding for years and years to come. Jennifer is also a national speaker on both health and wellness topics. To contact Jennifer, visit her website at: © Jennifer Malott Kotylo August 2016

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