—The Pageantry Of Paris by JEFF WALLACE
Could there be a more wonderful setting for this legendary annual event called the Salon du Cheval than Paris? For decades, to win the gold at the Salon du Cheval earns that horse the undisputed right to claim itself as World Champion, and across the board, Arabian enthusiasts from around the globe seem to agree. And the traditions surrounding the annual event, having adapted to the new venue the last few years—at a location just outside of the heart of Paris—were beyond fantastic. With amazing sight lines from every seat, the setting was intimate enough to get close looks at each entry without leaving your spot. The arena was decorated with a simple elegance, that of a runway from a famed fashion show during Paris Fashion Week, with Haute-blooded Arabians parading one by one. Photographers swarmed in and around arenas and work areas, evoking a paparazzi feel in an ‘everything Arabian’ sort of way. The extremely high quality of the entries as a whole was staggering. Every entry was beautifully conditioned, turned out, and presented regardless of owner, trainer, or country they represented—they were simply ready to take on the equine catwalk of Paris.
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The atmosphere of camaraderie that embraced the entrants and audience in Paris was unlike anywhere else in the world. It was as if everyone was somehow on the same team, rooting each other on while still doing their best for themselves. In Paris, breeders came together as comrades and supporters with a like-mindedness anchored in their mutual appreciation and love for the Arabian horse. The elegance of the show ring was reflected in the well-appointed seating areas, and the attentive, anticipatory crowd. Spectators had traveled from all over the world to witness the crowning of a new roster of champions. The show committee was determined to make everyone feel welcome and appreciated, and they succeeded in reaching that goal. The Arabian horse community is extremely diverse and our industry is flourishing because of it. Steadfastly we have embraced a globalized concept of our industry; working across national boundaries for the benefit of the breed has created a tapestry of breeders and owners around the world. As the ups and downs of reality pulse through our various economies, our diversity protects us because we always have strong markets within our total network. The willingness and ability of owners and breeders to invest in valuable, yet costly bloodstock, has given us one of the most pre-potent and genetically strong populations of Arabians the breed has ever seen. Distinguished judges for this year’s show were: Dr. Gianmarco Aragno, Italy; Mrs. Sylvie Eberhardt, Germany; Dr. Nasr Marei, Egypt; M. Ann Norden, Sweden; M. Joseph Polo, USA; M. Vico Rocco, Brazil; Mrs. Marianne Tengstedt, Denmark; and M. Marc Veray, France. The Senior Stallion class was so deep in splendid breeding stallions, it was nearly impossible to rank them. The World Gold Champion Senior Stallion was, Kahil Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab x OFW Mishaahl). Seemingly more beautiful with every passing year, Kahil Al Shaqab again captivated the crowd with his elegance and classic Arabian type. Not only was Kahil Al Shaqab honored with his Gold Championship, his daughter, Pustynia Kahila, owned and bred by Michalów Stud in Poland, won a World Gold Championship of her own in the Yearling Filly class. He has produced national and international champions who often top the roster no matter where in the world they show up.
World Gold Champion Senior Stallion Kahil Al Shaqab presented by Giacomo Capacci for owner Al Shaqab Stud.
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Excalibur EA and FA El Rasheem.
It is gratifying to see a sire still capable of bringing home the top prize even after years of breeding service. Giacomo Capacci handled Kahil Al Shaqab perfectly for owner/ breeders Al Shaqab Stud – Member Qatar Foundation, their second World Championship together. The eyes have it, where World Gold Champion Senior Mare Najdah Al Zobair (Marwan Al Shaqab x JFN Bint Ludhan) is concerned. A beautiful blending of Marwan, *Padron and Ali Jamaal, it is the influence of another ancestor, Gamaar, that gives Najdah Al Zobair her spectacular set of eyes. Gamaar was well known as having the most beautiful eyes in the breed, and he has been extremely consistent in passing that trait on. Tom Schoukens handled the mare for owner/breeder Al Zobair Stud. Najdah Al Zobair is a past World Champion as a young filly. While under the care of Michael Byatt in America, she was named Grand Champion Mare in Scottsdale and World Cup Supreme Gold Champion Mare in Las Vegas. She is the epitome of femininity. Nevertheless, the scoring was very close in the Senior Mare class, with the top two mares tied at the end of voting. The win goes to the mare that scored higher in her individual class, therefore, Najdah. In addition to her show ring honors, she has already produced a top winning bay daughter sired by Eden C. Najdah Al Zobair is a treasure at a very young age, a true gem of the breed. Tom Schoukens was also the winning handler with World Gold Champion Junior Stallion Excalibur EA (Shanghai EA x Essence of Marwan), owned by Las Rosas Arabians.
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Dr. Ghanem and Danielle Mertens with her daughter.
Donna Molta Bella SRA with owner Mr. Bassam of Al Saqran Stud.
Excalibur EA is a beautiful example of traditional Arabian type, with an abundance of elegance, animation and charisma thrown in. He has every element that one would expect in an exemplary Arabian horse: the beautiful head and neck, extreme tail carriage, boundless movement … all set off by his brilliant, gleaming coat. Excalibur EA is carefully managed by a superior team whose very focused approach resulted in an amazing year for this horse, culminating with winning the Triple Crown in Junior Stallions. This exciting young stallion will be delighting Arabian enthusiasts for years to come, in both the arena and the breeding shed alike. If any horse could claim to have been “the talk of the show” this year, it was Donna Molta Bella SRA (DA Valentino x RD Fabreanna), the 2014 World Gold Champion Junior Mare. Donna Molta Bella SRA came to be, due to the rather whimsical situation of a future embryo being offered at a charity auction benefitting St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital. The good karma created through that act of kindness is paying off in spades. The winning bidder that day, great breeder/owners Dan and Maureen Grossman, were able to choose any stallion they desired to father the expected foal. The Grossman’s chose to use their very own stallion, DA Valentino, a most fortuitous selection. Donna Molta Bella SRA is one of the finest offspring DA Valentino has ever produced and is now the prized possession of Al Saqran Stud. Her undefeated record as a yearling and two-year-old speaks for itself. Donna Molta Bella was shown to perfection by David Boggs in a rare win by an American handler in
Anette Mattsson, David Boggs and Claudia Darius.
Paris. Fans were reminded of one of her previous wins, when she took Las Vegas by storm while being named the Gold Supreme Junior Champion Filly there in April this year. No matter what continent she is standing on, Donna Molta Bella SRA is leaving her mark—a mark like no other. World Gold Champion Yearling Colt Ghazwan Aljassimya (Marwan Al Shaqab x Athina El Jamaal), bred and owned by Aljassimya Farm showed the prefect combination of two Nazeer sire line branches, those of his sire Marwan Al Shaqab and that of his dam’s sire line through the legendary Ansata Halim Shah. This colt truly represents the term complete via having it all. His future will lend itself to an extraordinary experience. Ghazwan is a perfect example of a breeding program hard at work layering robust stock artfully to combine the qualities the world has to offer. It is interesting to note that the winner of the World Gold Champion Yearling Filly class, Pustynia Kahila (Kahil Al Shaqab x Pustynna Malwa), is owned by the Polish State Studs. Specifically, Pustynia Kahila is bred, owned, and presented by Stadnina Koni Michalów, one of three State Stud farms run by the Polish government. Polish handler Mariusz Liskiewicz allowed the filly to strut her stuff and showcase herself to her many attributes perfectly, resulting in the gold win. Other than the Polish contingent, all of the top awards went to the Middle East. That outcome is testament to the success that has been achieved when significant knowledge, desire, and resources can be devoted to reaching a goal. With homebred horses now being shown in the global spotlight, farms such as Al Zobair, Athbah, Al Sayed, Aljassimya, Ajman Stud, Al Shaqab – Member Qatar Foundation and Al Nasser, to name just a few, have shown that they not only know how to make astute acquisitions of show and breeding stock, they also know how to breed outstanding Arabian horses who dominate the winner’s circle in nearly every arena in Europe.
Silver Champion Senior Stallion title. He is an incredibly adaptable horse, able to connect with different handlers in different countries, winning championships all over the world. Eden C has earned many of his titles with the talented Greg Gallún of Santa Ynez, Calif. In Paris, he was shown by Glenn Schoukens for Al Sayed Stud. World Silver Champion Senior Mare Badawieh AA (Laheeb x Bahiha) is one of the most lauded straight Egyptian mares ever born. She has won countless honors for H.H. Sheikh Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi and his Ajman Stud. This tall, elegant mare is appreciated by people in countries all over the world, for her exquisite type and quality, which she comes by naturally through her dam line to Ansata Nile Mist and her sire, Laheeb. Laheeb has been a true Ambassador for the breed, having traveled the world as an example of perfect Arabian type which his daughter has taken to an even higher level. The stunning Badawieh AA is the greatest example of a legend born and then a legend made, as her support team through the years of Sh. Ammar, along with Frank and Elisa, have sealed the deal regarding her perfect presentation, time and again. The image of every young horse lover’s dream, FA El Rasheem (FA El Shawan x Virtuosa MLR) won the World Silver Champion Junior Stallion for Dubai Arabian
Eden C (Enzo x Silken Sable) wowed the crowd, dancing on his hind legs in a perfect imitation of *Padron, who appears prominently on both sides of his stellar pedigree. He also wowed the judges, earning the World Right: Princess Laetitia d’Arenberg and Excalibur EA.
Family member congratulating Princess Laetitia d’Arenberg’s son on their win.
Princess Laetitia d’Arenberg (owner) and Albert Sorocco (breeder), of Excalibur EA.
David Boggs and Mr. Bassam of Al Saqran Stud.
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Horse Stud. With type that is second to none, this young stallion’s exquisite and expressive face is irresistible. FA El Rasheem is already the sire of several young foals that have sold for large sums due to their exceptional beauty. The blend of Marwan Al Shaqab and Versace that this pedigree represents has produced some very beautiful, typey individuals—Rasheem being the perfect example. Thought of by many as the favorite to win the class, D-Shahla (Marajj x FT Shaella) earned the notable title of World Silver Champion Junior Mare. She is a daughter of two World Champions, and honors them by being a nearperfect daughter to both. D-Shahla is owned by Dubai Arabian Stud and was shown by Paolo Capecci. World Silver Champion Yearling Colt Morion (Kahil Al Shaqab x Mesalina) is the most talked about yearling colt to ever come out of Poland, and that is really saying something. Bred and owned by Stadnina Koni Michalów, Morion is reminiscent of the best of the Mitra dam line that former Michalów Director Jaworowski so loved, coupled with the infusion of several crosses to Polish greats *Bask++ and Ellora. Mariusz Liskiewicz handled him
beautifully and this colt is beyond elegant and beautiful, his extreme refinement being complemented by a certain sophisticated, refined, powerful, and magical style. Morion is simply a colt that the entire world is pursuing. 2014 World Silver Champion Yearling Filly AJ Sawari (Marwan Al Shaqab x Siberia SA) is a perfect blend of her bloodlines as well, another example of the magic cross of the enormously successful sire, Marwan Al Shaqab, and Siberia SA, who has proven to be a consistent producer of nothing but extremely elegant offspring of the highest quality. AJ Sawari’s big sister, AJ Sawahi, has also enjoyed victory passes of her own in Paris, having been named World Gold Champion Yearling Filly in 2011 and World Gold Champion Junior Mare in 2012. This cross illustrates one of the qualities that make Marwan Al Shaqab such a dominant sire, with his ability to add his stamp to his offspring while letting the strengths of the dam shine through. With Brazilian roots several generations deep through her dam, AJ Sawari is modern Arabian breeding at its best. Frank Spöenle of Frank Spöenle Show Training presented her beautifully for proud owner/breeder Ajman Stud. World Bronze Champion Senior Stallion honors went to another glorious, young and promising stallion, Equator (QR Marc x Ekliptyka). Equator is hands down one of the best and most dramatically beautiful stallions bred by the Poles in recent years, and certainly one of their finest sons of QR Marc. Another product of the breeding program at Stadnina Koni Michalów and shown by Mariusz Liskiewicz, Equator is beautifully made, well balanced, and dynamic. He makes a splendid entry, seeming to bounce on air while showing off for the judges and the crowd—a crowd of admirers growing by the thousands every time presented. Equator will have an amazing future in this breed, without question. We will all thoroughly enjoy watching it continue to unfold. Afterall, like *Elkana, *Emandoria, Emigrantka and *El Dorada before him, Equator comes to the arena blessed already with being a member of Michalów’s famous and gorgeous E Line family stemming from the root mare Estokada by Amurath Sahib. Left: Altis (WH Justice x Albia), presented by Johanna Ullstrom for owners Turban Stud, Ismer Stud and H. Idress.
Ted Carson and Olivia Strauch. 56 | A R A BI A N HOR SE T I MES
Marek Trela and Broderick Levens.
Photographers Darryl Larson and Carmin Pinkstaff.
Kwestura (Monogramm x Kwesta), presented by Frank Spönle for owner Ajman Stud.
Several honorable mentions come in the form of easy gold winners from many other settings and those are: World Bronze Champion Senior Mare Emira (Laheeb x Embra) from the program of Stadnina Koni Michalów, making her the second white swan sired by Laheeb at the very top in the senior mare division. World Bronze Champion Junior Stallion Kanz Al Nasser (WH Justice x Ftoon Al Shaqab) representing the stud farm of Al Nasser Stud. World Bronze Champion Junior Mare Esperanzza Al Ventur (FA El Shawan x Honey’s Delight RB) coming from the world-famous program of Athbah Stud, while representing two gorgeous U.S. National Champion parents. World Bronze Champion Yearling Colt D Mshary (QR Marc x FT Shaella) bred and owned by fabulous breeders, Dubai Arabian Horse Stud; a program that continues to turn out one gorgeous entry after another while developing in the eyes of the world as top breeders, not just owners—very impressive.
continues to make a staggeringly positive mark on the global Arabian horse. Victoria Al Shaqab is a stylish, typey and gracefully long-necked filly that will bring her breeders show ring honors for many years to come. Sporting events have iconic prizes, revered in and of themselves as beautiful works of art as well as symbols of a prestigious win. For example, the Woodlawn Vase is given each year to the winner of the Preakness Stakes, one of the legs of the American Thoroughbred Triple Crown, and is therefore a cherished piece of art. The towering, intricate, and exquisite vase is widely known as the most valuable trophy in sports. Part of the allure of the Salon du Cheval is the trappings that are offered to the various winners. For example, at no other show can the Gold Champions walk away with gold saddles donated by His Highness the King of Morocco. Each year, the gorgeous saddles are presented to the winners by the King’s stable manager Dr. Lahsen Fdail. The gifting of these rare and gorgeous saddles is an eagerly anticipated climax to the show year, and they have become symbolic to the winners circle during the Salon du Cheval. As this year’s participants packed up to head back to their respective homes, I am certain that some of them were doing so with the dream of a golden saddle as a goal for the future. Merci, Madame Chazel and team, for yet another year of spectacular pomp and circumstance only witnessed at this level during the annual Salon du Cheval! n
by Henrike Hoermann
World Bronze Champion Yearling Filly Victoria Al Shaqab (Farhoud Al Shaqab x Victoria II HPS) bred and owned by Al Shaqab - Member Qatar Foundation. Al Shaqab
Baahir El Marwan (Marwan Al Shaqab x HB Bessolea), presented by David Boggs for owner Al Saqran Stud.
Bart Van Buggenhout
Riyan Holte and George Zbyszewski.
Robin Hopkinson celebrating Ghazwan Al Jassimya’s taking of the title of Gold Champion Yearling Colt.
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World Gold Champion Senior Stallion KAHIL AL SHAQAB (Marwan Al Shaqab x OFW Mishaahl), presented by Giacomo Capacci for owner Al Shaqab Stud.
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World Silver Champion Senior Stallion EDEN C (Enzo x Silken Sable), presented by Glenn Schoukens for owner Al Sayed Stud.
World Bronze Champion Senior Stallion EQUATOR (QR Marc x Ekliptyka), presented by Mariusz Liskiewicz for owner Stadnina Koni Michal贸w.
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Above: World Silver Champion Junior Stallion FA EL RASHEEM (FA El Shawan x Virtuosa MLR), presented by Paolo Capecci for owner Dubai Arabian Stud. Left: World Gold Champion Junior Stallion EXCALIBUR EA (Shanghai EA x Essence of Marwan), presented by Tom Schoukens for owner Las Rosas Arabians.
World Gold Champion Yearling Colt GHAZWAN AL JASSIMYA (Marwan Al Shaqab x Athina El Jamaal), presented by Giacomo Capacci for owner Al Jassimya Farm.
World Silver Champion Yearling Colt MORION (Kahil Al Shaqab x Mesalina), presented by Mariusz Liskiewicz for owner Stadnina Koni Michal贸w.
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World Gold Champion Senior Mare NADJAH AL ZOBAIR (Marwan Al Shaqab x JFN Bint Ludhan), presented by Tom Schoukens for breeder and owner Al Zobair Stud.
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World Gold Champion Junior Mare DONNA MOLTA BELLA SRA (DA Valentino x RD Fabreanna), presented by David Boggs for owner Al Saqran Stud.
World Bronze Champion Junior Mare ESPERANZZA AL VENTUR (FA El Shawan x Honeyâ€™s Delight RB), presented by Glenn Schoukens for owner Athbah Stud. 62 | A R A BI A N HOR SE T I MES
World Silver Champion Junior Mare D-SHAHLA (Kahil Al Shaqab x Mesalina), presented by Paolo Capecci for owner Dubai Arabian Stud.
World Gold Champion Yearling Filly PUSTYNIA KAHILA (Kahil Al Shaqab x Pustyna Malwa), presented by Mariusz Liskiewicz for owner Stadnina Koni Michal贸w.
World Silver Champion Yearling Filly AJ SAWARI (Marwan Al Shaqab x Siberia SA), presented by Frank Sp枚nle for breeder and owner Ajman Stud.
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