U.S. Nationals by ANNE STRATTON
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The good thing about the U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Horse Show
is that it lasts only nine days, because that’s about all an aspiring titlist can stand. Tulsa Expo Square offers all kinds of conveniences, and this year plenty of people
commented on how efficiently (most of ) the show ran and how the schedule seemed to work—but it’s still a pressure cooker of an experience for trainers and
clients. Not to mention for horse lovers dashing from arena to arena, trying to
catch it all. But ah, those nine days. If you’re into main ring showing, this is where you see the best the breed has to offer in this country and from several others.
There were, literally, thousands of stories at this year’s Nationals. Any narrative barely scratches the surface of this annual extravaganza, so what you will
read here is a micro-view of the horses and people, the careful breeding and
finely-tuned training, the great performances, the heritage, and ultimately, the camaraderie of the Arabian horse community.
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tarting with the basic facts, the U.S. Nationals, October 17-25, 2014, saw a rise in the number of horses participating this year, said Bill Hughes, Chairman of the National Show Committee. In 2013, the total was approximately 1,750 horses; in 2014 1,795 were on the grounds, close to the maximum of what the facility can handle for this show. That was not all when it came to attendance. “I saw a lot of local people there,” Hughes said. “That was really encouraging. It was like they finally realized we were there and came to support the show. There was a special excitement this year.”
Most traditional disciplines were well-represented and exciting; just about everyone, when asked, commented on the general excellence of horses at the show, and there were stories of incredible performances from all the centerpiece divisions. Even so, thinking long term, the most significant story of the show may have been the extra attention paid to Trail, not normally the front-and-center activity of the show ring. This year the Trail division, which has been growing, was moved to the Pavilion in the days preceding halter competition, and English Trail was added to the routinely western tests. It was, AHA officials admitted, a gamble, but one that paid off.
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The trick, Bill Hughes said, is that Trail is audience-friendly because it is easily understood. “People really get into it when they’re watching it,” he reported. “We see a lot of spectators hooting and hollering, and we need that. There are no politics to it because you’re scoring each obstacle; you either do it or you don’t, and you can look at the scorecard later and see what points you got for each one.” Its benefit to the breed goes beyond recruiting spectators, he pointed out. At this point in its development, because of its more relaxed physical requirements, retired horses from other disciplines can find new careers in Trail, which expands the market for horses and can attract new fans. The addition of English classes, which typically are shown in hunt attire, further diversifies the attraction. “That’s a very growing area. You don’t just change saddles to do that; you have to adjust the course for a different stride, because an English horse trots. It doesn’t jog. Those are horses that would have gone into Sport Horse that can now come here and do this. We see amateurs particularly enjoying it.” The only difficulties this year appeared to be conflicts in terms of practice time in the Pavilion for the halter trainers, as trail courses were left up and start times were unclear, but management promised to rectify the situation in 2015. The action at Tulsa was almost nonstop in three arenas, and by the end of the show, the refrain “wrote their names in the history books” was a reality for veteran performers and firsttime national champions alike.
What They Said About
The 2014 U.S. Nationals “They improved the ambience of the Ford Truck Arena. That arena does not have great ambience, but they gave it a big-time horse show feeling. I noticed that as soon as I walked in and a lot of other people did too. Glen True [barn manager and Vice Chair of the U.S. National Show Commission] and his crew had a lot to do with it and are to be commended.” —Jim Lowe, Lowe Show Horse Centre “At the U.S. Nationals 2014, I saw the best horse flesh that our breed has ever seen. As a breed, our trainers have mastered their craft in every division and our breeders have done the same. I salute and encourage our breeders to continue their well thought-out breeding programs (job well done). The level of competition and the quality of our horses was unbelievable!” —Jason Krohn, Oak Haven Arabians “For the most part, although the cards could be all over the place, when you looked at who won each class, you could see it. It may not have been your very favorite in the top three, but I think that whatever ‘oh my’ thought you might have had was more from how the horses had been scored than in the horses chosen.” —Wendy Potts, Freewill Farm “I’ve been doing this a long time, and the electricity I saw in the ring on Friday and Saturday night was amazing—it was so positive.” —Stan Morey, AHA Judges and Stewards Commissioner “I thought the quality was fantastic. As a country, I think we’re breeding wonderful, beautiful, talented, and usable horses. And the AHDF fundraiser was incredible—it showed that there are people out there willing to support and get behind important programs.” —John Rannenberg, Rohara
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The Highlights Of Halter A
gain and again, you heard the observation that the quality was very high at U.S. Nationals in 2014. That may always be the official line, but this year everyone was saying it. “One person made the comment that the scoring was a little high,” said Jack Thomas, one of the five-person halter panel of judges. “I thought, ‘But this is the national championship! The scores should be high!’Overall, the quality was really good and the horses were presented very well. The babies were especially good—their Arabian type was so strong.” By the time they got to the championships, he added, the judges were particularly pleased. “You could go in about any direction you wanted and you were okay because the quality was so good with those individuals.” No one stallion’s bloodlines dominated the halter division this year, but one training operation did: Midwest, of Rogers, Minn., copped so many top titles that a recording might have been useful in announcing championships. Asked what he thought of this year’s show, trainer David Boggs responded, “That it’s time to go to Disney World! We are so grateful, we’re pinching ourselves!”
David Boggs and Janey Morse with U.S. National Champion Senior Mare Wieza Mocy.
In the purebred championships alone, Boggs accounted for five wins and one reserve in the Fillies and Mares division, including both the junior and senior championships (with Wieza Mocy, Donna Molta Bella SRA, BH Beijings Velvet, and reserve titlist Leen Al Shaqab), and three national championships and two reserves in Colts and Stallions (Baahir El Marwan, E.S. Harir and reserve Sultan ORA). And then there was Midwest’s long list of top tens. “I credit my owners and my staff (Alcides Rodrigues, Dagmar Gorgiano, Rinaldo Longuini and Nate White),” Boggs said. “I got the honor of leading the horses in.
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“Wieza Mocy is once in a lifetime,” he continued, citing the U.S. National Champion Mare, who is on lease from the state studs of Poland to Oak Ridge Arabians’ Janey Morse. “She’s been on a whirlwind and she’s one of the greatest, if not the greatest, mare I’ve ever handled in my life.” Before coming to Tulsa, the 4-year-old Wieza Mocy had been
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named 2011 Polish National Champion Junior Filly, 2012 World Gold Champion Junior Filly at the Salon du Cheval, and this year, ABHA World Cup Supreme Champion Senior Mare and Arabian Breeder Finals Champion Mare. “She’s so sweet,” Boggs noted of his star. “My son Jake, who’s only 8, is in love with her. He’s serious as a heartbeat when he told Janey that he’s selected her as his youth entry at Scottsdale—and Janey said okay, so don’t be surprised.” Boggs was equally proud of Baahir El Marwan, who earlier this year had been named Scottsdale Supreme Champion Halter Horse and unanimous Grand Champion Senior Stallion. “He owned the ring and he went for it,” the trainer said. “You never want to count your chickens before they hatch, but when the judges handed in their cards, I just couldn’t imagine how he wouldn’t win because he was perfect.” Baahir El Marwan is owned by Bassam Al Saqran, of Dubai, who also owns U.S. National Champion 3-YearOld Filly and Filly 3 & Under (for the second consecutive year) Donna Molta Bella SRA, and E.S. Harir, U.S. National Champion 3-Year-Old Colt and Reserve Champion Colt 3 & Under. The accomplished Midwest show string was not the whole story, however. Other faces made their presence known as well. In the Yearling Colt Championship, Conquest BR, showing with Greg Gallún, checked out with a record high score at the U.S. Nationals (398.5). And Arabian Soul Partners Ltd. confirmed the potential they have for the future in the Arabian horse breed. The group fielded both the U.S. National Champion Yearling Filly, Pitonisa AS, and Soul Of Marwan AS, the U.S. National Champion Colt 3 & Under, who also was reserve in his yearling championship. Pitonisa AS, meanwhile, nailed the U.S. National Reserve Championship in Fillies 3 & Under. Sandro Pinha manages and shows the pair. Arabian Soul Partners, Pinha said, came to Arabians International nearly four years ago with the goal of developing a world-recognized breeding program. “I believe we are on the right track,” he said. “You might not have noticed, but they also bred Soul Of Marwan AS.
Arabian Yearling Colt Champion Conquest BR, shown by Greg Gallún, with a record high score at the U.S. Nationals (398.5).
“From day one, it has always been about breeding good horses—the right kind of horses. Rodrigo and Alfredo love to ride; they are endurance riders (that’s how they got involved with Arabian horses). They made it clear: they want to buy horses that are sound in mind and body, and breed premium quality Arabians. We have been fortunate that since the beginning, they have walked away from every Scottsdale with a yearling champion and they have already won at Las Vegas. Now, they are ready to compete overseas. They have only started. We are beyond excited about the future.” Already, Rodrigo and Alfredo and their wives are a hit in halter circles for their enthusiasm and enjoyment of competition. When Soul of Marwan AS won his 3 & Under title, Rodrigo showed off the excitement that every owner feels—to the delight of the crowd, he bolted into the ring and leapt into Sandro Pinha’s arms. There were also the moments that touched the heart. “One was especially moving, as we found out later,” Jack Thomas recalled. “That was when Maureen Horton’s colt [Soltire TO] won his class [Futurity Colts]. As judges, we didn’t know it was her horse, but then afterwards, we realized who it was, and that she had bred that colt with her husband Ed, who passed away last year. It was so touching; the horse was beautiful.” “My memory of the 2014 Nationals will be a great win,” Maureen Horton reflected. “But it was bittersweet, because Volume 45, No. 7 | 135
for the first time since our first U.S. Nationals in 1978, my sweet Ed was not with me to share it.” And finally, there was the scoring snafu. Ask anyone in the halter division what could be improved for next year, and that issue was hands-down the one mentioned. On Wednesday and Thursday morning, the scoring devices the judges were using in place of the traditional paper and pen failed. It was not user error on the part of the judges; they were familiar with how the equipment worked and there had been tests and run-throughs, all of which had been successful. But two classes into the morning session, there was trouble. Unfortunately, the backup paper score cards were not on hand. Judges and Stewards Commissioner Stan Morey was, and still is, frustrated. “We had been getting scores in fast and flashing them up,” he said, “and then all of the sudden, [the system] started going down. And it went from bad to worse. We got scores that weren’t correct, and we basically
David Boggs with Arabian Junior Filly Champion Donna Molta Bella SRA.
lost scores on some horses and couldn’t get them back. The paper scoring sheets were numbered and ready to go, but not where they should have been. That was a failure on our part, because we were assured that the [devices] would work—and they had worked. “Once we started going to paper, there were no more problems,” he continued, although he agreed that the time it took for that to happen was lengthy. Also, the problem was what to do about the lost or incorrect scores. “We didn’t know anything else to do but re-score the horses. That was the fair thing.” The trouble was, the young horses affected, having already competed once, were left standing for a long interval before they competed again, and many handlers questioned how well they showed the second time around. “I would say it publicly and have before, that wasn’t AHA’s best day,” Morey concluded. “It was a mistake. Changes have been addressed. This will be fixed.” Sandro Pinha with Arabian Junior Colt Champion Soul Of Marwan AS. 136 | A R A BI A N HOR SE T I MES
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U.S. National Champions
Arabian Stallion 4 & Over Champion BAAHIR EL MARWAN (Marwan Al Shaqab x HB Bessolea), shown by David Boggs for owner Bassam Al Saqran.
Arabian Colt 3 & Under Champion SOUL OF MARWAN AS (Marwan Al Shaqab x RD Challs Angel), shown by Sandro Pinha for owner Arabian Soul Partners Ltd.
Arabian Stallion 8 & Over Champion SKORONEEK IA (Ecaho x BA Famous Lace), shown by Anthony Steiner for owners Eric and Michelle Loftis.
Arabian Stallion 6-7 Champion BAAHIR EL MARWAN (Marwan Al Shaqab x HB Bessolea), shown by David Boggs for owner Bassam Al Saqran.
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Arabian Stallion 4-5 Champion POLIDORO FC (DA Valentino x Abha Palma), shown by Michael Byatt for owners Stuart and Sue Larsen.
Arabian 3-Year-Old Colt Champion E.S. HARIR (AJ Dinar x TF Magnums Magic), shown by David Boggs for owner Bassam Al Saqran.
Arabian 2-Year-Old Colt Champion CADANCE PA (Cavalli x Donatella), shown by Sandro Pinha for owner Pegasus Arabians.
Arabian Yearling Colt Champion CONQUEST BR (Versace x Lee Anna Psy), shown by Greg GallÃºn for owner Conquest BR Partners LLC.
Arabian Futurity Colt Champion SOLTIRE TO (DA Valentino x Sol Natique), shown by Keith Krichke for owner Thirteen Oaks Arabians.
Arabian Stallion AAOTH Champion RD DYNAMO (Bey Ambition x TF Falconsimprint), shown by owner Laura Koch.
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Arabian Mare 4 & Over Champion WIEZA MOCY (QR Marc x Wieza Marzen), shown by David Boggs for owner Michalów State Stud.
Arabian Filly 3 & Under Champion DONNA MOLTA BELLA SRA (DA Valentino x RD Fabreanna), shown by David Boggs for owner Bassam Al Saqran.
Arabian Mare 8 & Over Champion MYSTIC ROSE BHF (Padrons Psyche x NV Ali Bey), shown by Keith Krichke for owner Jessie Szymanski.
Arabian Mare 6-7 Champion GHAZALA EL JAMAAL (Marwan Al Shaqab x Foxbriar Parysel), shown by Greg Gallún for owner Paul Anthony Clark.
Arabian Mare 4-5 Champion WIEZA MOCY (QR Marc x Wieza Marzen), shown by David Boggs for owner Michalów State Stud.
Arabian 3-Year-Old Filly Champion VALENTINO’S ANGEL MI (DA Valentino x Always An Angel), shown by Andrew Sellman for owner HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Fahad Al Saud. Volume 45, No. 7 | 139
Arabian 2-Year-Old Filly Champion DONNA MOLTA BELLA SRA (DA Valentino x RD Fabreanna), shown by David Boggs for owner Bassam Al Saqran.
Arabian Yearling Filly Champion PITONISA AS (Ever After NA x Psyches Amber Dream), shown by Sandro Pinha for owner Arabian Soul Partners Ltd.
Arabian Futurity Filly Champion BH BEIJINGS VELVET (Beijing BHF x BH Versaces Velvet), shown by David Boggs for owners Judith Burton and Robert Burton IV.
Arabian Mare AAOTH Champion KHARISMA M (DA Valentino x Kharmel BR), shown by owner Anthony Marino Jr.
“My best memory of Nationals was winning on SA Gisele. She was raised at our home in Rancho Santa Fe until she went into training at Kiesners’ as a 3-year-old. This was my first year showing ‘our baby’ and she has been undefeated all year long in the junior (with Joel) and amateur division. When her name was called out for national champion, I was flooded with emotion, and just such a proud ‘mom’!” —Lori Lawrence, Starline Arabians “My best memory was seeing Conquest BR be U.S. National Champion Yearling Colt. Why? Because he recorded the highest score ever in the U.S. National Championships.” —Neil Braverman, Conquest BR Partners LLC.
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Arabian Gelding 4 & Over Champion BLACK OPZZ (Aria Impresario x Miss Enzo JB), shown by Jeff Schall for owner Shuster Arabians LLC.
Arabian Gelding 3 & Under Champion VINCENT PCF (PCF Vision x Que Psarah), shown by Andrew Sellman for owner Culbreth Equine Training & Management LLC.
Arabian Gelding 8 & Over Champion DC BENEDICT (Besson Carol x Jusst One Look), shown by Andrew Sellman for owner Rica Mendel.
Arabian Gelding 6-7 Champion PSUPERSTITION (Psyncopation x RAS Mirrada), shown by Andrew Sellman for owners Leslie and Michael Kvistad.
Arabian Gelding 4-5 Champion BLACK OPZZ (Aria Impresario x Miss Enzo JB), shown by Jeff Schall for owner Shuster Arabians LLC.
Arabian 3-Year-Old Gelding Champion VINCENT PCF (PCF Vision x Que Psarah), shown by Andrew Sellman for owner Culbreth Equine Training & Management LLC.
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“My best memory will be my colt Soltire TO, coming into the ring with Keith Krichke with such a big trot and showing himself so beautifully. And then winning the title of 2014 U.S. National Champion Futurity Colt. This grey colt struck me as very special from the day he was born. His dam, Sol Natique, is a great mare. She has produced many champions, but the most notable is Vitorio TO, owned by Janey Morse, a full brother to Soltire TO. I feel confident that this is just the beginning of a memorable and exciting journey with my ‘Solo’.” —Maureen Horton, Thirteen Oaks Arabians “My best memory was watching LLC Fasario on live feed during the supreme championship. He looked amazing to me! The most positive thing was that my very special horse was National Reserve Champion in a show that is very dear to me.” —Luciana Fasano, Fazenda Floresta
Arabian 2-Year-Old Gelding Champion VALLDEZ (Valerio x AW Fortune Ngold), shown by Jeff Schall for owners Steve and Darla Miles.
Arabian Yearling Gelding Champion TRULI A PRINCE (Trussardi x Bella Satinata), shown by Jeff Schall for owner Dean Meier.
Arabian Futurity Gelding Champion RD TEXCELLO BEY (Bey Ambition x Enchanteress), shown by Claudinei Machado for owners Murray and Shirley Popplewell.
Arabian Gelding AAOTH Champion DIGNITY ER (Denali BHF x VH Starlight), shown by Sarah Medina for owner Sharon Day.
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Survivor And Show Ring Star The Arabian horse community has come to know and love a small bay park horse through a series of brilliant performances at U.S. Nationals year after year. His presence, strength, and cadence are unmatched, and yet, his backstory could have very easily led him to another place. From the beginning, owner Cathy Vecsey knew that she had an interesting horse on her hands. Born to a difficult mare who wasn’t sure she wanted him, he got a swift kick to the head soon after birth. Beyond this rocky birth, “Shrimp” was also a survivor of the Cedar Ridge barn fire. This horrific event left him traumatized, even today. Cathy shares that the 16-year-old gelding can still have full-blown panic attacks in his stall if there are any unusual or loud noises like weed whackers, lawn mowers, UPS trucks, or the like. Because of this, Cathy enjoys providing him with a very well ordered life to keep him as happy and calm as possible. “I ride from March through Nationals and during that time, he works 5 days a week and is always the first horse of the day. He then gets turned outside until lunchtime.” Cathy adds, “He gets his show shoes put on 1-2 weeks before a show and then he has to stay in, which is a little tough for him, but he adjusts. He is smart enough to know what is coming once he starts wearing the full bridle.” At this point, Nationals is nearing. In the past few years, this event has held much promise for the park horse. However, Vicki Humphrey remembers a more questionable time in his career. “He was rough, wild and overly ambitious and we were less than successful the first few classes. He was like sitting on a keg of dynamite that went off several times each direction. When that ambition, drive, and talent got channeled in the right direction, however, he became an unparalleled ride.” After winning his first national championship in 2008, Shrimp continued his winning ways through and up to, this 2014 U.S. Nationals, when he was Open and Amateur National Champion for the 9th and 10th time. He has 11 national championship titles to his name, making him the most winning
park horse in the breed. With five total for Cathy and six for Vicki, they joke that it has become a bit of a running competition for the pair. Beyond this playful tally, Cathy and husband Russ harbor a great deal of respect for Vicki Humphrey. “Everyone knows how Russ and I feel about Vicki. She has been the person in my life from whom I try to model my own skills as a rider and behavior as a competitor. She has such a gift for understanding the mind of a horse.” Cathy continues, “She has been so supportive of our decision to keep Shrimp at home. For this horse, it just works.” This accomplished park horse sports a victorious past, a blissful present, and a future with boundless opportunity. Cathy offers, “I was just told recently that, ‘you have had enough fun and now it is my turn,’ from Russ, so I am hoping he will finally take the opportunity to show Mandalay next year. I, of course, will be a basket-case hyperventilating on the rail, but nothing would be better than seeing Russ show the horse that he bred, loved, and supported for so many years.”
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The Pleasure Of English four-time unanimous U.S. National Champion in English. Afires Heir, who is 12, welcomed his first foal crop in 2006, and from just 304 registered foals, he came in at No. 5 on the Purebred Performance Sires lists, both in points and number of winners. As Afire Bey V will be turning 30 next year, is Afires Heir, whose oldest foals have appeared at four U.S. National shows, becoming another crown prince? As Joel Kiesner, Heir’s trainer and manager, observed dryly, “He was aptly named.” The evidence is strong. Only two horses—Afire Bey V and Afires Heir—have sired the 3-Year-Old, Junior and open U.S. National Champion in English Pleasure, and only one has done it in the same year: Afires Heir. Over the past years, Afires Heir also has set the bar high by twice siring the winner of the AEPA $100,000 Saddle Seat Futurity. And there is the added interest that at the 2014 U.S. Nationals, his foals racked up nearly two dozen top tens, three-quarters of them in English. VJ Royal Heir, Arabian English Pleasure Champion, one of a trifecta of champions for his sire Afires Heir.
If there has been one consistent story in the English Pleasure division over the past 15 years, it has been the dominance of Afire Bey V as a sire. In the 1970s and ’80s, that distinction belonged to *Bask: if you checked out the top ten horses in a national English class, you were likely to find that five or more of them were by *Bask. Then came Huckleberry Bey and then Afire Bey V, who through 2013 had owned the No. 1 spot on Arabian Horse Times’ U.S. Nationals Leading Sires List for 16 consecutive years in performance. For many of those years, he also topped the list when halter and performance statistics were combined. Now, his sons are emerging as leading sires. Over the past few years, the most familiar has been Strawberry Banks’ Baske Afire, who has been prolific in Arabians and particularly Half-Arabians. This year, he was No. 1 Sire for Halter and Performance, Purebred and Half-Arabian, in both points and number of winners. The 15-year-old stallion has sired 949 foals to date, the first ones appearing in 2002, and this year he surpassed his sire on several of the lists. Baske Afire is not the only candidate to be “the next Afire Bey V,” however; in 2014, another name appeared often in the higher echelons of the division—Afires Heir, himself a
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“So, he’s a saddle seat sire,” said Kiesner, of Kiesner Training in Louisville, Tenn., and added that typically, when breeding for English specialists, country English pleasure horses arrive in greater number, with the naturals for English pleasure more rare. “With Afires Heir, it is mostly English horses.” Kiesner was in the saddle for many of the top titles won by Afires Heir sons and daughters. With Kelli Aguirre’s VJ Royal Heir, last year’s junior champion, he won the U.S. National Championship; with Karlton Jackson’s Heirs Noble Love, who in previous years was the champion in the English Pleasure Futurity and the AEPA Futurity, he claimed the 2014 title in English Pleasure Junior; and with Candace Avery’s Saxton DGL, he won the English Pleasure Futurity. “This has been a dream come true for us,” said Bill Reilich, who with his wife, Shirley, owns Afires Heir. “To experience his show career and now to see his foals in the ring winning national championships, it’s just incredible.” The couple has been in Arabians for about 35 years, starting in western pleasure and moving into English pleasure around the mid-1990s. A decade ago, they asked Kiesner to find “something special” for them. It took about a year, Reilich recalled, but it was worth the wait when Afires Heir came into his own. “Now, we’re just thrilled for all the people who bred to him and have these wonderful horses. We’re everybody’s cheering section.”
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The AEPA Futurities
Building For The Future Entering its third year at U.S. Nationals, AEPA’s Arabian Horse Times $100,000 Arabian Saddle Seat Futurity and Halcon $50,000 Half-Arabian Saddle Seat Futurity are now familiar fixtures on the schedule. More importantly, their innovative format (individual pattern work is included for each horse) is now well-known to everyone. The big news for 2014 was the addition of Freedman’s, the Toronto-based harness maker and saddlery, as a corporate sponsor. And Freedman’s has come out of the gate as more than just another name on a roster of supporters.
the winner gets $30,000, the reserve $15,000, and the third place horse $10,000. When even the 10th place horse gets $5,000, you are going to attract the best horses in the country. That’s why we want to bring back the sense that a top ten is a tremendous, fantastic accomplishment. Acknowledging that publicly is our way of doing that.”
“The Freedman saddle is now the official saddle of the AEPA,” AEPA President Peter Conway noted, “and there are additional prizes awarded. They want to emphasize what a huge accomplishment it is to go top ten in the $100,000 futurity. So, they made a beautiful special vest, with the AEPA and the Freedman’s logos on it, that will be given to every rider who makes the top ten in the purebred futurity. Then, as we are waiting for the results to be announced, we will do a random drawing from everyone in the top ten, and the lucky winner will get a brand new, commemorative Freedman’s saddle. Going forward, that also will bear the logo of the AEPA and Freedman’s, and it will be presented while we’re waiting for the cards.” This year, the winner of the saddle was Jessica Clinton.
The Halcon $50,000 Half-Arabian Futurity, which belonged to DaVinci Reflection WA, also was successful, Conway added, but has not grown as fast as the purebred edition. “We’re getting more non-Arabian stallions joining our program,” he said, “so hopefully that will have the impact we want it to have, which is that people will breed more for it and we can see more participation down the road.
“The best 4-year-old English horses in the country are in that futurity,” Conway said. “It is the cream of the cream because there is $100,000 being awarded and
AEPA Arabian Horse Times $100,000 Arabian Saddle Seat Futurity Champion NOBLE FFYRE (IXL Noble Express x Foxy Afire), ridden by Joel Kiesner for owner Maroon Fire Arabians, Inc.
This year, the winner of the $100,000 Futurity was Noble Ffyre, a son of IXL Noble Express, with Joel Kiesner up.
“I think as breeders—and I breed both Arabians and Half-Arabians—the most joy comes from being able to breed a great Arabian horse, because that is what breeds on,” he continued. “That is a multi-generational thing. I love the Half-Arabian, but it is an endproduct. If you breed a great Arabian horse, that horse can influence what happens for generations, so I think breeders are a little more focused on the purebred than the Half-Arabian.”
AEPA Halcon Furniture $50,000 Half-Arabian Saddle Seat Futurity Champion DAVINCI REFLECTION WA (SF Aftershoc x The Davinci Code), ridden by James Stachowski for owner Whispers Acres, Inc.
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Ironically, when the Reilichs, who at one time bred Egyptian Arabians, purchased Afires Heir, they had sold their broodmare band. Even now, they own no broodmares and are not listed as breeders on any Afires Heir offspring. Beyond owning their stallion, Shirley’s amateur career in country English pleasure has been their focus (she won her first U.S. National top ten this year). That, however, will be changing soon; recently, they purchased the embryo of a mare in foal to Afires Heir. “That makes us half-abreeder,” Reilich joked. “We did it just for fun, because we like the bloodlines. “It’s all about Afires Heir,” he added, serious again. “It’s about the horse, not us.” Tim Shea, who trained and showed Afire Bey V and managed the stallion’s breeding career, has considered the big picture for the Arabian breed. He and his wife, Marty, retained five breedings to Afires Heir after his sale, and along with Afire Bey V’s owners, David and Gail Liniger, use the stallion frequently in their breeding program. “It seems like, looking back, that the Bay-Abi sire-line has been the strongest sire-line in the Arabian business,” Shea reflected, “from Bay-Abi, through BayEl-Bey, Huckleberry Bey, and Afire Bey V. Now, it looks like Afires Heir may be the one.” He smiled. “Of course, I’m prejudiced.” And with Baske Afire already having a huge influence, Tim says the bloodlines future is secure.
a fistful of national champions. Among other awards, in country English pleasure alone, they won the championships in open, junior horse and the futurity, and in pleasure driving, nailed both the open and amateur tricolors, among a selection of other titles. Another story of the Half-Arabian English Pleasure division was that one operation targeted not only this year’s championship, but the future as well. Jim Stachowski, of Stachowski Farms in Mantua, Ohio, rode both the U.S. National Champion English Pleasure horse, Nutcracker Sweet PF, and the winner of AEPA’s Halcon $50,000 Saddle Seat Futurity, DaVinci Reflection WA. Stachowski and his wife, Shawn, have been integrally involved with both horses. Shawn advised on breeding both horses; she suggested the Saddlebred stallion Undulata’s Nutcracker to sire 6D Ranch’s Nutcracker Sweet PF, and when Whisper Acres’ Tod Wawzysko wanted to breed a horse, she recommended purchasing an embryo from the Saddlebred mare The DaVinci Code and crossing it with SF Aftershoc. “Nutcracker Sweet is just a consistently great English pleasure horse,” Jim Stachowski said. “She always gives it her all, and she’s a nice horse to be around.” In addition
Shea didn’t discount the continuing influence of *Bask. “*Bask’s strength came mostly through his daughters and the daughters of his sons. The *Bask influence is heavy; almost all of the top performance horses have multiple crosses to *Bask—but it seems to me that the Bay-Abi sire-line is the strongest. What has worked was the *Bask on that line.” Afire Bey V, the son of a *Bask daughter, illustrates his point, as do both Afires Heir and Baske Afire, who are out of *Bask granddaughters (Brassmis, by Brass, and Mac Baske, by Baskevich). And Baske Afire? The HalfArabian English show ring especially reflected his influence; his offspring accounted for 154 | A R A BI A N HOR SE T I MES
H/A Country Pleasure Champion, Sugar Mountain, just one of Leading Sire Baske Afire’s champion winning get at this year’s nationals in Arabian and Half-Arabian Country Pleasure, Show Hack, Halter, Driving and English Pleasure.
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How Do We Make A
Good Show Better? No matter how well (or how poorly) a show has gone, there is always room for constructive criticism, so Arabian Horse Times asked an array of exhibitors, owners, breeders and trainers for their thoughts. Here is a distillation of what we heard. “I would like to suggest to the Show Committee that I would like to see us come together and have the classes in the same arena, and sprinkle halter classes among the performance classes,” said Thirteen Oaks’ Maureen Horton, who has bred Arabian horses for more than 30 years. “Thirteen Oaks Arabians has bred winners in halter, country English, English, hunter, western pleasure and pleasure driving. All the exhibitors in the performance classes depend on our good judgment and skill as breeders to breed/produce a beautiful Arabian horse who is functional and can compete in another discipline other than halter. I am totally opposed to the segregation of the halter and performance.” “I thought the group of judges in the English division did a decent job this year,” Jim Lowe, of Lowe Show Horse Centre, prefaced his suggestions. “But I think for next year, the judges should reacquaint themselves with the specs for country English and enforce them, because this year there were several instances where horses were moving excessively. They were fabulous horses—but they were excessive for country, and it was noticed by most of us watching and a lot of trainers at the show. If you’re going to have a country division and an English division, then they need to be different, and if a horse is in the wrong class, the three in the middle need to tie it down. Otherwise, you need to just make it a second English class.” “I know there was an accident at Youth Nationals last year, but I feel strongly that at least one assistant, whether it be a trainer or groom and immediate family, be allowed in for the win photos at all National events,” said Cathy Vincent, of Adandy Farm. “This is an exciting occasion and needs to be celebrated.” “The only thing I think could be improved is the footing in the warm up areas,” said Starline Arabians’ Lori Lawrence. “All the English trainers use the show ring on breaks, or the area right outside of it, as the footing in the giant ‘sand boxes’ is less-than-ideal for these high trotting horses. I would love to help find a
way to achieve having the same footing in the warm up areas as the show arena.” Josh Quintus didn’t discount the value of constructive criticism, but his first concern was appreciation for those who put in the time and effort to make the U.S. Nationals happen. “Most of the people that complain [about a show] have never sat on a committee,” he said. It’s not like the people who work on this show are paid a zillion dollars to do it. They put hours of work into it.” “It would really help our show if we could somehow get back to having two rings for the main ring performance classes,” said Marjie Becker. “We’re all crowded, trying to get our horses schooled in one ring. It’s so crowded during the day that it is hard to get anything done, which leaves you with having to school in the middle of the night.” “In the junior horse classes, particularly English, those numbers were down,” observed Katie Harvey. “Maturity classes, though, were up—like, in the purebred Country Maturity Amateur, there were 50 (I think it was the largest class of he show). But in the Half-Arabian English Pleasure Junior Horse, there were eight. That was the class that last year had Jim Stachowski, Joel Kiesner and John Golladay in a ride-off, and it was crazy. I think there are several things going on. For one, our breedings are down. I also think that with the prize money there is in the Maturity classes—it’s an amateur-driven industry now—some of the horses are showing amateur. And you have the AEPA class with its money too, so if you have a 4-year-old, it’s not going to be in the junior class anymore; it’s going to be in the AEPA class. None of that is bad, but I think we need to think about it.”
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to this year’s title, the mare won the AEPA futurity in 2012, was reserve in both the U.S. National English Pleasure Futurity and junior championship, and owns three Youth national championships. DaVinci Reflection WA particularly reflects the Stachowski heritage. Jim’s brother Peter trained the filly’s paternal grandsire to two U.S. National Reserve Championships in English Pleasure, and Jim scored an American Saddlebred World’s Reserve Grand Championship in Fine Harness with The DaVinci Code. Last year, DaVinci Reflection WA won the U.S. National Championship in the Half-Arabian English Pleasure Futurity. “It’s fun when you watch them grow up and then you go into the ring and they win,” Stachowski said. “It’s rewarding to see a horse go on that you had something to do with bringing into the world.”
10 Time U.S. Nationals
Championship Winner Mandalay Bay (Promotion x Mi Kaborina), a 16-year-old gelding bred and owned by Russ and Cathy Vecsey of Hawk Haven Farms, became a 10-time U.S. National Championship winner at this year’s Nationals in Open and Amateur Park Horse.
Champion Arabian Park Open with Vicki Humphrey.
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Champion Arabian Park AAOTR with Cathy Vecsey.
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U.S. National Champions
Arabian English Pleasure Champion VJ ROYAL HEIR (Afires Heir x MA Ghazta Trot), ridden by Joel Kiesner for owner Kelli Aguirre.
Arabian English Pleasure Junior Horse Champion HEIRS NOBLE LOVE (Afires Heir x Noble Aphroditie), ridden by Joel Kiesner for owner T. Karlton Jackson.
Arabian English Pleasure AAOTR 40 & Over Champion NOBLEMIS (IXL Noble Express x Brassmis), ridden by Lori Lawrence, owner of Starline Arabians LLC.
Arabian English Pleasure AAOTR 19-39 Champion CP SHENANIGAN (Anza Padron x CP Dance Card), ridden by Katherine Kirby for owner Kirby Arabians LLC. Volume 45, No. 7 | 157
Arabian English Pleasure AAOTR Maturity Champion PROSUASION (SF Specs Shocwave x MZ Kitty), ridden by Robin Porter, owner of Crescent Creek Farms LLC.
Arabian English Pleasure Futurity Champion SAXTON DGL (Afires Heir x Sweet Summer Fire), ridden by Joel Kiesner for owner Candace Avery.
Arabian Country English Pleasure Champion AFIREANDBRIMSTONE SCA (Afire Bey V x Flames Lullaby), ridden by John Ryan for owners Kenneth and Susan Knipe.
Arabian Country English Pleasure Junior Horse Champion SA GISELE (IXL Noble Express x Rumina Afire), ridden by Joel Kiesner for owner Starline Arabians LLC.
Arabian Country English Pleasure AAOTR 55 & Over Champion ROXBURY (Hucklebey Berry x Parting Glance), ridden by owner Elizabeth Hoffman.
Arabian Country English Pleasure AAOTR 36-54 Champion SA GISELE (IXL Noble Express x Rumina Afire), ridden by Lori Lawrence, owner of Starline Arabians LLC.
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Arabian Country English Pleasure AAOTR 19-39 Champion ROL LETS DANCE (Afire Bey V x Singularcylection), ridden by Katherine Kirby for owner Kirby Arabians LLC.
Arabian Country English Pleasure AAOTR Maturity Champion ROL LETS DANCE (Afire Bey V x Singularcylection), ridden by Katherine Kirby for owner Kirby Arabians LLC.
Arabian Country English Pleasure Futurity Champion TITLEIST BF (Nobilistic BF x PWA Tusea), ridden by Joel Gangi for owner Boisvert Farms LLC.
Arabian Country English Pleasure Select AATR Champion ROXBURY (Hucklebey Berry x Parting Glance), ridden by Nicole Cimino for owner Elizabeth Hoffman.
Arabian Park Horse Champion MANDALAY BAY (Promotion x Mi Kaborina), ridden by Vicki Humphrey for owner Hawk Haven Farms LLC.
Arabian Park Horse AAOTR Champion MANDALAY BAY (Promotion x Mi Kaborina), ridden by Cathy Vecsey, owner of Hawk Haven Farms LLC. Volume 45, No. 7 | 159
Arabian Pleasure Driving Champion EXXPECTATIONS (A Temptation x EA Candy Girl), driven by Brian Murch for owner Strawberry Banks Farm.
Arabian Pleasure Driving AAOTD Champion EXXPECTATIONS (A Temptation x EA Candy Girl), driven by Barbara Chur, owner of Strawberry Banks Farm.
Arabian Country Pleasure Driving Champion MBF BURNING SPRINGS (Baske Afire x Mahalin), driven by Timothy Phelan for owner Linda McArthur Conish.
Arabian Country Pleasure Driving AAOTD Champion MM SABE (Desperado V x Sabriina), driven by owner Morgan Kelly.
Arabian Ladies Side Saddle English Champion O H TOSKAFIRE (Afire Bey V x Tosk Bey), ridden by Shannon Beethe for owner River Run Farms LLC.
Arabian Ladies Side Saddle English AAOTR Champion MM SABE (Desperado V x Sabriina), ridden by owner Morgan Kelly.
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Arabian Ladies Side Saddle Western Champion KORNWALL (Monogramm x Kawalkada), ridden by Lisa Monaghan Powell for owners Susan Copeland and Joan Keeler.
Arabian Ladies Side Saddle Western AAOTR Champion KORNWALL (Monogramm x Kawalkada), ridden by co-owner Susan Copeland for coowner Joan Keeler.
Arabian Western Pleasure Champion ZEFYR (Sundance Kid V x Pattrice), ridden by Jody Strand for owner Laura Koch.
Arabian Western Pleasure Junior Horse Champion KM PALERMO (KM Bugatti x Palomara), ridden by JT Keller for owner Karen Caughell.
Arabian Western Pleasure AAOTR 55 & Over Champion KRISTIAN DIOR (Versace x Kristianna), ridden by Dennis Clark, owner of Dennis & Linda Clark Limited Family Partnership.
Arabian Western Pleasure AAOTR 36-54 Champion KORNWALL (Monogramm x Kawalkada), ridden by co-owner Susan Copeland for coowner Joan Keeler. Volume 45, No. 7 | 161
Arabian Western Pleasure AAOTR 19-39 Champion VALLEJO MOON BEAM (Rohara Moon Storm x Vallejo Buckle Up), ridden by owner Audrey Hart.
Arabian Western Pleasure AAOTR Maturity Champion OMNIA A (Sundance Kid V x Aliage SSA), ridden by owner Anne Whitaker.
Arabian Western Pleasure Futurity Champion RGT MOZART (Zimmeron PGN x Melody V), ridden by owner Rick Gault.
Arabian Western Pleasure Select AATR Champion WR SOULMAN (Khadraj NA x Psyches Envy), ridden by Michael Modrich for owner Kendyl Modrich.
Arabian Hunter Pleasure Champion LADYS DANCE (Sundance Kid V x SDA Lady Jabask), ridden by Marjie Becker, owner of Becker Stables, Inc.
Arabian Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse Champion IIB PRETTY WICKED (Audacious PS x Wicked Ways), ridden by Chad Judy for owner Katherine Gardner.
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Arabian Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 55 & Over Champion HEZAFIRE (Robby x Shimmering Flame), ridden by owner Joann Harlan.
Arabian Hunter Pleasure 36-54 AAOTR Champion AMNESTEY ( Justify x Amenety), ridden by co-owner Jill Nelson for co-owner Janene Boggs.
Arabian Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 19-39 Champion FIDENZIO (Enzo x WN Infinity), ridden by owner Jennifer Lavallee.
Arabian Hunter Pleasure AAOTR Maturity Champion ODYSSEH ALITA JA (Odyssey SC x Lolita Lane), ridden by co-owner Marni Britton for co-owner Marla Koob.
Arabian Hunter Pleasure Futurity Champion ARSACES (KM Bugatti x WR St Pauli Girl), ridden by Cheryl Fletcher for owner Kendall Carkhuff.
Arabian Hunter Pleasure Select AATR Champion BCR MIDNITECOWBOY (Sundance Kid V x Blush BCR), ridden by Tosha Cox for owners Sarah Moor and Peyton Randle. Volume 45, No. 7 | 163
Arabian English Show Hack Champion BRILLIANT LEE (Apollopalooza x Vivacious Leigh), ridden by Rebecca Phillips for owner Caitlin Stayduhar.
Arabian English Show Hack AAOTR Champion BRILLIANT LEE (Apollopalooza x Vivacious Leigh), ridden by owner Caitlin Stayduhar.
Arabian Mounted Native Costume Champion EA APOLLOMALU (Apollopalooza x EA Mybey Berry), ridden by Chad Judy for owner Empress Arabians.
Arabian Mounted Native Costume AAOTR Champion HL SANCTION (The Chief Justice x Overlook Seratifa), ridden by Cathy Vecsey, owner of Hawk Haven Farms LLC.
Arabian Reining Horse Champion IM THE REAL DEAL (MHR Muscateal x Kheyarraberribeyv), ridden by Crystal McNutt for owner Audrey Zinke.
Arabian Reining Junior Horse and Reining Horse Futurity 5 & Under Champion ALL MAXED OUT RA (HH Maxemus x Marliera), ridden by Crystal McNutt for owner Cotton McNutt.
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Arabian Reining Horse AAOTR and Reining Primetime Non-Pro AAOTR Champion MY MAJEC MOMENT (D A Napitov x Majestic Ancestry), ridden by Rod Powell for owner Silver Aspen Ranch.
Arabian Reining Intermediate Non-Pro AAOTR Champion HM PHANDANGO (Poirot x Ballet Girl), ridden by owner Mary Jo Henry.
Arabian Reining Limited Non-Pro AAOTR Champion AANTONINA SF (Aabsolut x EE Karmel), ridden by co-owner Cynthia Hildebrand for co-owner Tim Williams.
Arabian Reining Rookie Non-Pro AAOTR Champion TLA KINGS RANSOM (YA King x Khemos Chari Nite), ridden by owner Kellye Elwood.
Arabian Trail Horse Champion MAGNUMS SHOGUN (Magnum Psyche x Padrons Esperanza), ridden by Michael Damianos for owners Dawn and Shelbee Damianos.
Arabian Trail Junior Horse and Trail Horse Futurity Champion TRULY UNDENIABLE (Robby x CF Unforgetable), ridden by Jill Mitchell for owner Kirsten McKillop. Volume 45, No. 7 | 165
Arabian Trail Horse AAOTR Champion RVR AUTHENTIKHEMO (Khemosabi x Authenticgorgious), ridden by owner Margaret Lucas.
Arabian English Trail Horse Champion MAGNUMS SHOGUN (Magnum Psyche x Padrons Esperanza), ridden by Michael Damianos for owners Dawn and Shelbee Damianos.
Arabian English Trail AAOTR Champion AGRACIE GIRL V (Sundance Kid V x Amazing Grace V), ridden by Nan Walden, owner of Rancho Sonado LLC.
Arabian Reined Cow Horse Champion TR ZEE MEGAFIRE (Zee Mega Bucks x Afire Of Gold), ridden by Jamie Peters for owner Traci Moseley.
Arabian Reined Cow Horse ATR Champion SUENO ARGENTEO HA (Cimero x Tias Sorpresa), ridden by owner Mallory Linn.
Arabian Working Cow Horse Champion AMERIKAN EAGLE (R Classic Touch x State Of Liberty), ridden by Eddie Ralston for owners Gary and Nancy Howard.
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Arabian Working Cow Junior Horse and Working Cow Horse Futurity Champion RCR KHEMODOTTA (Khemonada x Tiffany GF), ridden by Eddie Ralston for owner Rose Busten.
Arabian Working Cow Horse AAOTR Champion VALLEJO CYLEBRITY (Rohara Moon Storm x Cytrina), ridden by Katharyn Hart, owner of Vallejo III Ranch LLC.
Arabian Cutting Champion KHEMANDERS BREEZEE (Khemander Kody x Zee Winstar), ridden by Tommy Wayne West for owner Michelle Chouteau.
Arabian Cutting Non-Pro Champion KHEMANDERS BREEZEE (Khemander Kody x Zee Winstar), ridden by owner Michelle Chouteau.
Arabian Cutting Novice Horse Champion VALLEJO CYLVER MOON (Rohara Moon Storm x Vallejo Buckle Up), ridden by John Garland for owner Deni Grissette.
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Western Pleasure—Yes! T
here were plenty of stories in the Western Pleasure division this year, but when it came to universal memories, it appears that the close of Saturday night’s open championship was the one that caught the crowd’s imagination. It was about more than just the competition. Western specialists Jody Strand, of Strand’s Arabians in Toddville, Iowa, and Josh Quintus, of Colonial Wood in Pilot Point, Texas, have been friends since they were 5, when Josh’s father bought horses from Jody’s dad. When they both took aim on the open western pleasure championship this year, they were riding remarkably similar horses. Strand was on Zefyr, last year’s titlist, while Quintus had Onyx A, the winner in 2011. Both are black stallions, both sons of Palmetto Arabians’ Sundance Kid V. When Zefyr came to Strand three years ago, he had a Scottsdale championship and a Youth national championship on his record, and with his new trainer, his career entered a new arc. In August 2013, he was named Canadian National Reserve Champion in Western Pleasure and, in October, nailed the U.S. National Championship unanimously.
Meanwhile, Onyx A had sparkled through U.S. National Championships in the Western Pleasure Futurity and the Maturity AAOTR, and logged a Canadian National Championship and U.S. Reserve in Western Pleasure Junior, before taking down the open title in 2011. The only time the two horses had met in the show ring was at Scottsdale in 2014; there, the 8-year-old Onyx A won the championship, while Zefyr, who is 12, finished third. Even the two stallions’ pedigrees are similar. To complement Sundance Kid V, Zefyr’s breeder, Jen Mar Arabians, selected Pattrice, a daughter of the Russian stallion *Pesniar and out of a *Bask daughter. Onyx A, bred by the Whitaker family (who still own him; Anne Whitaker competes on him in amateur), is the son of Aliage SSA—whose sire is El Chivas Regal, a son of the Russian stallion *Napitok. Aliage SSA offers two crosses to *Bask. The stage was set for a showdown in the western pleasure championship, where there were plenty of other horses ready and able to take on both Zefyr and Onyx A.
Western Pleasure Champion Zefyr with Jody Strand and Reserve Champion Onyx A with Josh Quintus, both by Sundance Kid V.
2014 U.S. Nationals
As Strand and Quintus tell it, they’re friends for life— except, they laugh, from when the in-gate opens through the time the judges’ cards are turned in. This night, the decision went to Zefyr (1-1-3 on the judges’ cards), with Onyx A reserve (1-2-2). By the time the results were read, Strand and Quintus were friends again, and back to their normal tricks. Waiting while the ribbons were handed out, Quintus suggested, “Want to do a flyby?” And Strand countered, “Together?” “Yeah.” Strand was … well, Strand. “Think you can keep up?” he deadpanned. To which Quintus shot back, “Are you kidding me?”
Paying It Forward
For The Breed
So, when Quintus took his reserve victory lap, he pulled up at the in-gate to wait for Zefyr, who was a vision as he seemed to float through his pass of the arena. And then, to the accompaniment of “God Bless the U.S.A.”—and a lot of applause—the two friends took off, their black stallions so perfectly in tune that in many photographs, they are nearly shadows of each other. The crowd came to its feet. “I’ve known Jody for 45 years,” Quintus said. “Being able to compete and keep that amount of friendship going is a blast.” “It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, if not the greatest,” said Strand afterward. It is clear that for Strand, the win is important because of Zefyr too. His genuine appreciation for the charismatic black stallion is born not only in the horse’s level of talent, but also his gentle, sweet disposition. “He’s one of a kind,” the horseman said. “I can literally open his door and let my kids go in and crawl all around on him. He’s an absolute puppy dog.” Trying to identify what won the class for him, Strand struggled with words like “beauty” and “athleticism.” “Zefyr’s black as a raven and he has quality, but I think what sets him apart is his quality of movement—you can’t ignore it and you can’t ask for anything more. His trademark is his gallop; he’s like an English horse when he starts galloping—his shoulder opens, he gallops with some knee, and he takes big strides and covers the ground. I was talking to my farrier the other day, and he asked me if I thought Zefyr was a great one. I said, ‘You don’t have that many great ones who cross your path in your career, and he is truly a great one.’ First and foremost, I just feel fortunate that I get to ride him.” He was quick to add that when he mentions Zefyr’s movement, he is not taking anything away from their competition. “I think this was one of the deepest years in western that has ever been, purebred and Half-Arabian both. We’re excited and honored that he was able to win again.”
It was a small vignette occurrence; most people wouldn’t even notice. But Jim Lowe did. Out in the ring, working ROL Cycret Service, he spotted two kids, one about 5 or 6 and the other 7 or 8, hanging over the rail. “You could tell they were eager to be at the horse show,” Lowe said. “I didn’t recognize them, so I figured they were just watching the show. As I walked by them, one reached out and touched my horse on the hip. I could hear him squealing, he was so excited. So I turned around and said, ‘You want to pet him?’” “Yes! Yes!” the child shrilled. Lowe brought ROL Cycret Service close to the wall, and the little boys petted the gelding’s face, his neck, his rump, wherever they could reach, firing off question after question: “What is his name? What does he do?” “They were all excited about touching that horse,” Lowe said. “I’ve got kids and I know how kids are about animals, so I thought, ‘I’m just going to sit here.’” The boys were with their grandmother, who asked when the next session of the show was. It was clear that the children wanted to watch, wanted to soak up the atmosphere of the horses. “They were totally into all the horses going by,” Lowe chuckled, “and when I stopped, they were totally into my horse.” So he and ROL Cycret Service stood, he talking kid talk with them and his horse posing for all the petting—on behalf of the Arabian horse breed, making friends for the future. Photographer Kari Hester happened to be nearby and caught the moment. Within days, its Facebook “shares” had skyrocketed. Volume 45, No. 7 | 217
night to do it. They varied the routine slightly by asking the horses first to walk forward five or six steps, and then back into line. “It shouldn’t have made any difference,” Sutton said, “but a lot of the horses were stepping on their tails or just weren’t backing.” The word got out and by the second cut, the stands were filling and people were cheering when their horses backed decently. There was a flurry of conversation around the show grounds and on social media about the procedure, but a few days later, when the judges asked the open Half-Arabian western finals to back, every one stepped out with ease.
AHDF Pro-Am Calcutta winners Audrey Hart, Possesion PGA and trainer Rob Bick.
Corky Sutton, who was on the panel of western pleasure judges with Deb Witty and Scott Brumfield, agreed on the issue of the division’s quality this year. “I believe that the Arabian western horses are probably the best of any breed,” she said, and repeated any breed. “I think their gaits are truer and they go in a straight line. It was our job there to pin horses that had a true walk, a true jog, a true lope, and were the best of our breed.” “One thing we got away from, which I’m really happy we did, is that the gallop, which normally separates the class, had kind of gotten to be a run,” Josh Quintus noted. “This year, everyone exhibited a great gallop, but no one just ran around the arena like a wild Indian. Even when they called for the gallop to a lope transition, I felt like the class as a whole went right back to the lope.”
In terms of pedigree, an array of stallions sired western pleasure winners. While there was no single dominant name, Sundance Kid V, by virtue of having four horses in the open championship’s top ten, including the national champion and reserve, attracted the most attention. Overall, the stallion sired 27 titlists in a variety of disciplines at the 2014 U.S. Nationals, including seven individuals who were champion or reserve. He finished second (by points) and third (by number of winners) on the Purebred Performance Sire list, was sixth by number of winners in Half-Arabians, and in the top ten for combined halter and performance in Half-Arabians. Overall, for both purebred and HalfArabians, he tied for second by number of winners. “He had a good show last year, but this year, he knocked it out of the park,” said owner Frank Chisholm. “We don’t have any 3-year-olds left at the farm, because people are coming in and trying to buy Sundance Kid V babies.”
“We were looking at the quality of their motion,” Sutton nodded. “If they happened to have a big rein drape, that was okay, as long as they weren’t behind vertical. And to a certain extent the horses I, and I think the team, pinned also had expression. They weren’t mechanical. It seemed like the three of us were all on the same page there.” Sutton was particularly complimentary of the purebred futurity entries. “They were wonderful,” she said. “There were horses that didn’t go top ten that could have in any other year. It wasn’t that we didn’t like the horses we didn’t pick; we just didn’t have enough room on our cards to pick as many as we wanted to.” Nothing is ever without event, however. In western pleasure at the 2014 U.S. Nationals, the issue turned out to be backing up. It began harmlessly; the judges had discussed asking the open horses to back, as they had the option to do, and chose the two open cuts on Monday 218 | A R A BI A N HOR SE T I MES
Omnia A, a champion and top ten western pleasure winner, by Sundance Kid V, with Anna Whitaker Keller, up.
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When The Community Came Together Wednesday Night’s AHDF Fundraiser
Over the past five years, the Arabian Horsemen’s Distress Fund has gradually increased its fundraising presence at U.S. Nationals, and in the process has brought the Arabian community closer together as people have united to support its mission. This year, on Wednesday night in the Ford Truck Arena, it did its best work yet with its Pro-Am Calcutta. The mid-week evening began with a cocktail party and presentation of 10 stallions, along with 15 horses available for purchase, as it had the year before. In 2014, however, it had a new twist. The Calcutta which followed had previously been for professionals; that changed when a group of AHDF supporters—Bob and Becky Nash, Josh and Jennifer Quintus, Gordon Potts, John Ryan and Katie Harvey—were brainstorming ways to raise money at last year’s AHA Convention. What if, someone said, they made the Calcutta a western pleasure Pro-Am, and had the amateurs switch trainers and horses? “Our goal was to get 10 teams,” said Becky Nash, who headed the effort, “and then we had 15 and we were worrying about having too many!” With a $250 entry fee, they topped out at 18 teams and moved the venue to the Ford Truck Arena. At every stage of the AHDF project, volunteers lined up to help, Nash said, among them Chelsea Knoop, Tina Chisholm, and Pepper Proffitt, who secured donations of such items as ribbons, garlands, coolers, and jackets for the teams which would be named top ten in the class. Others
Gordon Potts sharing the purpose of the Calcutta.
provided generous donations. To encourage people to bid for the Calcutta contestants, Marikate and Mark Matthews offered a week at their villa in Italy for the bidder whose team won the class. “People gave and gave,” Nash marveled. “Like, Bob and Dixie North donated the jackets we gave to the top ten— and they’re halter people! It wasn’t just a western event; it was an Arabian event. And it wasn’t just AHDF, it was everyone at Nationals, who just wanted to do something good for someone.”
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AHDF PRO-AM PARTICIPANTS Professional Rob Bick Cynthia Burkman Silvio Domingues LaRae Fletcher Powell Rick Gault Bob Hart Greg Harris Larry Hoffman Natalie Jones Troy Peterson Gordon Potts Zach Powell Jennifer Quintus Josh Quintus Joe Reser Jody Strand Randy Sullivan
Horse Possesion PGA Junie Moon HA SD Firey Rockster Vere Versace Koweta Phoenix Vallejo Moonbeam Capt Jack Sparrow PGA KJR Lexington MJ Kidd Zimmeron Tamar Evangelina Mosaic BFA Aviator A Diesel Smoke CBA Caliente Virtuoso Monticello V Tamar Diamond Destiny Milano LRA
Amateur (Before rematch) Nan Harley Katie Russell Megan Monette Gail Grubb Rebecca Fulkerson Audrey Hart Kayli Fortun Hannah Beall Samantha Hilliard Erin Farnsworth Jerry Newman Susan Copeland Rhonda White Robin Porter Leslie Sommer Joe Frizzell Rebecca Fleck
At the show, the promotion which had been building over the summer was stepped up. In addition to the routine announcements, Tamara Hanby of Tamar Arabians brought a miniature Palomino horse to play the role of ambassador. Each day, volunteers dressed “Buttermilk” up with kegs of beer and a tip jar, and strolled the grounds getting out the word. Bob Nash, who with Tamar friends and others accompanied Buttermilk, reported that they could have sold the pony 100 times—but there was no one at Expo Center who did not know of the upcoming AHDF Calcutta. On Wednesday night, after the cocktail party and presentation of stallions and sale horses, Mike Neal, announcer, and Greg Knowles, auctioneer, auctioned off the Calcutta teams. Everyone, including the AHDF volunteers, was stunned as the bids rose like rockets. And kept rising. “It was like everyone joined hands and made it phenomenal,” Becky Nash said. It wasn’t just the support for ADHF; this year, they had a special cause. In the months preceding the Nationals, popular young rider Alexa Nichols had been paralyzed in a car accident, so the crowd was especially motivated to help her. “We had heard that there was a computer she could use that had retina recognition, so she could type with her eyes,” Nash said. “But it was $3,800. We thought it would be great if we could make that much and maybe a little more for a few other things.” In the end, they raised $200,000...
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Then it was time for the Calcutta. The amateurs, re-matched with other trainers and horses, were given half an hour to prepare, and then the fun began. The judges were Bill Hughes, Mary Jane Brown and Johnny Ryan; Cynthia Richardson and Van Jacobson served as ring stewards; and Craig Christensen came out of retirement to announce the class. “That Calcutta was one of the most phenomenal groups of western horses and riders I’d ever seen,” Nash said. “I mean, Vallejo Moon Beam had just gone national champion!” The amateurs went first, and then when the class reversed, the trainers climbed aboard and the atmosphere ramped up even further. When the results were announced, Rob Bick and Audrey Hart, with Possesion PGA, were
the winners. Josh Quintus, Caliente Virtuoso and Erin Farnsworth were reserve. Bidder Susan Chance had purchased the winning combination, so she won the week in Italy. “She had bid on and won last year too,” Nash laughed. “She’s a good picker!” Nash reported that among the services AHDF was able to provide for Alexa Nichols was the purchase of a new, handicap accessible van. In addition to the Pro-Am Calcutta, AHDF also put on its fifth annual Wine Walk, sponsored by Markel, Inc. Nearly 30 barns joined in the event that took place in the Ford Dealers Barn on Friday afternoon after classes, and with its tasting and silent auction, the Walk raised an additional $26,000.
The Friday Evening
Nate Soderberg, Janice Morton and Jason William Tenjum.
Robin Porter and Becky Nash.
Brian Galbraith and Lester Martin.
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Having A Good Time At
Karen Homer Brown, Lisa Blackstone and Bill Hughes.
Jim Lowe and Shawn Getty Lowe.
Jeff Schall 222 | A R A BI A N HOR SE T I MES
Leah Beth Boyd Golladay with Andrew and Angie Sellmanâ€™s son Dayne.
Alexa Holloway and Rachel Ginter.
Paul Kostial and Becky Nash.
Jane Haven, Scott Trees and Bobbi Stuckenhoff.
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Marcy Myers, Jeff Wallace and Jenn Trickey.
Dave Waggoner, Kathie Hart and Glenn Petty.
Wayne Anderson with Susan Chance and her daughter.
Stan Morey, AHA Judges & Stewards Commissioner; Lora Holman, AHA Director of Human Resources; Pat Thompson, Judges & Stewards Administrative Assistant, and Susan Bavaria, MAH Editor.
Anthony, Denise and AJ Marino.
Tony Bergren and Melissa Pasicznyk. Volume 45, No. 7 | 223
Lara Ames with Maureen and Dan Grossman.
Murray Popplewell and AJ Marino.
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Wayne Anderson with Janey Morse.
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Walter Mishek, Neil Braverman and Andy Osmundson.
Bassam Al Saqran with Lara Ames.
Rodrigo, Alfredo of Arabian Souls Partners with Sandro and Gil.
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Check It Out—Hunter Pleasure won the U.S. National Championship in Hunter Pleasure on Ladys Dance’s dam, the GG Jabask daughter, SDA Lady Jabask. “That mare had four foals competing at Nationals this year,” she said. Sweet Thingg, a half-sister to Ladys Dance, was top ten in the Hunter Pleasure Futurity, while full-brother Cowboy Casanova was top ten in the Junior championship. “She has been such a great producer for us. And, of course, Sundance Kid V is one of the best sires for western and hunter horses now in our breeding.” In Half-Arabian Hunter competition, Wendy Potts was the name to watch. With WD Noble Ladd, she won the U.S. National Championship in Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure, and with SRC Alexander, whose sire is a Friesen, she won the junior championship.
Arabian Hunter Pleasure Champion Ladys Dance with Marjie Becker.
“I think there has been only one time that Noble Ladd hasn’t won at Nationals,” Potts observed of the 8-year-old gelding who is by IXL Noble Express and out of a HalfArabian Mare whose heritage includes both Afire Bey V and Saddlebred bloodlines. “This was his second time winning the open. He’s obviously a well liked horse, across the board. He’s beautiful for a Half-Arabian—more purebred looking—and he is a natural mover.”
In its relatively brief history, the Hunter Pleasure division has been a story of its own. Once it was where you found horses who couldn’t make it in other disciplines, notably English. Now, however, as breeders specifically target the discipline, it has developed its own look—and an everincreasing number of participants, which has made for sharp competition. This year’s national champion was the 7-year-old mare Ladys Dance, a daughter of Sundance Kid V, bred and owned by Becker Stables, of Grass Valley, Calif., and shown by Marjie Becker. In 2011, Ladys Dance was the Canadian National Champion Junior horse in the division, and this year she was named Canadian National Champion before coming to Tulsa. Remarkably, at the same time she was showing open last year, Ladys Dance was Canadian National Champion in Walk and Trot 10 & Under with Becker’s daughter. “I love that horse,” said Becker. “You can see what a great mind she has. To me, she’s a great hunter. She has effortless motion and has been incredibly easy to train.” Becker knows the mare, who was born and raised on their farm, well. In fact, she knows the family well. In 2003, she 250 | A R A BI A N HOR SE T I MES
H/A Hunter Pleasure Champion WD Noble Ladd with Wendy Potts.
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Reining—An Amazing Performance It was one-stop shopping when looking for the story in the Reining division. Crystal McNutt, of Crystal McNutt Performance Horses in Scottsdale, Ariz., had a show to remember: she won the U.S. National Championship in Reining (with Im The Real Deal); fielded the winner, reserve and two top tens in the Junior Championship (All Maxed Out RA, Vallejo Beautiful Moon, AM Magestic Dean and AM Star Of The Sea, respectively); went first, second and third in the Futurity championship, as well as nailed two top tens (All Maxed Out RA, Vallejo Beautiful Moon, LJ Silverado, AM Star Of The Sea and AM Magestic Dean); and in the U.S. National Championship in Half-Arabian Reining, not only won the class (with TR Texas T), but added a top ten ride as well (Gone N Dunit RA). “I knew that I had nice horses to take to the show,” she nodded when asked if she had expected to win that many titles, “and they are all consistent horses, but you never know. I was really happy with my horses and my amateurs; we had a pretty good show. I had one horse that I didn’t do well with in the futurities and I was a little disappointed with him, but that’s the first time in all the times I’ve shown him that he kind of let me down.” Even that horse cleaned up his act by his second competition and showed well, but by that time he had lost too many points to rescue his chances. The headliner of the group was Im The Real Deal, a 13-yearold stallion who won his first U.S. National Championship as a futurity horse in 2006. In the eight years since, he has recorded three more national championships and three reserves in reining, as well as a reserve title and a top ten in reined cow horse. A son of MHR Muscateal, he belongs to Audrey and David Zinke and has spent his entire career with McNutt. “I started him late, near the end of his 4-yearold year,” the trainer recalled. “He is one of the coolest horses to be around. He’s consistent, he’s talented, he’s awesome.” The U.S. National Champion in the Futurity and Junior ranks, All Maxed Out RA, is owned by McNutt’s sister, Cotton McNutt, with whom he went top ten in AAOTR. “By then, he’d had a few too many classes,” Crystal explained. “This year, he has been a show horse—he has shown and won a lot. It was fun for me to get to show him at Nationals because Andrea [Fappani] has had him at other futurities.” The best memory in that blizzard of ribbons? “I think going first and second in the purebred junior class and futurity,” she replied. “It was pretty cool [not just to win but also] to go reserve on Kathie Hart’s horse, Vallejo Beautiful Moon,
Crystal McNutt aboard Im The Real Deal, Champion Arabian Reining Horse.
that I have here. And winning the Half-Arabian championship was pretty special too. I’ve had TR Texas T for a while; her owners have taken her home now to ride her, so that was a pretty cool thing to do before they did.” TR Texas T, a 12-year-old black mare, also won the title in 2012. Overall, McNutt was positive about the U.S. Nationals this year, and for more reasons than just that she had a strong show. “The quality of horses was really good,” she said. “They tried to do a good job of keeping it running smoothly, the classes were a nice size, the people who ran the arena were great and the footing was good. They put Trail into the Pavilion, which was nice; we got to practice a little more in the arena. And the [reining] divisions for all the amateurs are really nice. That gives everybody a place to go and show and be successful while they’re learning—and it also gives us a place to market to. There was quite a bit of excitement, with people wanting to look at horses.”
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U.S. National Champions
H/A English Pleasure Champion NUTCRACKER SWEET PF (Undulata’s Nutcracker x Ames Deja Vu), ridden by James Stachowski for owner 6D Ranch Ltd.
H/A English Pleasure Junior Horse Champion EUPHORIA LR (Majesteit x Pro-Bability), ridden by Dalton Budd for owner Megan Buckley.
H/A English Pleasure AAOTR 40 & Over Champion ERA MOONLITE SERENADE (Baske Afire x Undulata’s Lady Delight), ridden by James Diver for owners Norma and John Diver.
H/A English Pleasure AAOTR 19-39 Champion EMPERORS FIRE (Afire Bey V x Ritida), ridden by Nicole Lawrence for owner Starline Arabians LLC.
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H/A English Pleasure AAOTR Maturity Champion EMPERORS FIRE (Afire Bey V x Ritida), ridden by Nicole Lawrence for owner Starline Arabians LLC.
H/A English Pleasure Futurity Champion ALMOST LEGAL (Black Daniels x Captivating Style), ridden by James Stachowski for owners Jeri and Douglas Smith.
H/A Country English Pleasure Champion SUGAR MOUNTAIN (Baske Afire x Kelly Le Brock), ridden by Brandon Flood for owner Mayree Nolan.
H/A Country English Pleasure Junior Horse Champion A THOUSAND STARS (Baske Afire x Kalaramaâ€™s Celeste), ridden by James Stachowski for owner Kirby Arabians LLC.
H/A Country English Pleasure AAOTR 55 & Over Champion BL SMOOTH CRIMINAL (Sir William Robert x Rumina Afire), ridden by owner Gale Waldon.
H/A Country English Pleasure AAOTR 36-54 Champion TOI SUPREME CRF (Matoi x Alpha Phi), ridden by Lara Ames for owner Cedar Ridge Farm. Volume 45, No. 7 | 253
H/A Country English Pleasure AAOTR 19-35 Champion JAMES BROWN (Mamage x Watch My Success), ridden by owner Lindsay O’Reilly French.
H/A Country English Pleasure AAOTR Maturity Champion SAL MINEO BF (Mamage x Clover Hill’s Blazing Luck), ridden by Amanda Purdin Standish for owner Boisvert Farms LLC.
H/A Country English Pleasure Futurity Champion MISSKNOWITALL (Baske Afire x I’m Miss New York), ridden by Jessica Clinton for owner Vicki Humphrey.
H/A Country English Pleasure Select AATR Champion JSN MANHATTAN (Baske Afire x Drive Me Crazy), ridden by owner Jennifer Schwing.
H/A Park Horse Champion SA SOPHISTICATED LADY (AE Excel x Cathedral Bells), ridden by owner Jessica Medved.
H/A Park Horse AAOTR Champion SA SOPHISTICATED LADY (AE Excel x Cathedral Bells), ridden by owner Jessica Medved.
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H/A Pleasure Driving Champion JB CAT SCRATCH FEVER (Baske Afire x La Bella Mafia), driven by John Lambert for owners Christine, Mark and Alexandria Mitchell.
H/A Pleasure Driving AAOTD Champion BASKE IS A GENIUS (Baske Afire x Winning Asset), driven by owner Paul Heiman.
H/A Country Pleasure Driving Champion SF ULTIMATE ASSET (Afire Bey V x Mountainviews Highland Reviews), driven by Michael Miller for owner Springwater Farms Arabians LLC.
H/A Country Pleasure Driving AAOTD Champion DREAME MAKER (The Heat Ison x Movie Maker), driven by owner Mike Beethe.
H/A Ladies Side Saddle English Champion RH GLADIATOR (Mamage x Lakeview’s Savoir Faire), ridden by Kim Christy for owners Debra and Ken Smith.
H/A Ladies Side Saddle English AAOTR Champion SPRING BREAK LOA (Millennium LOA x Sultan’s Daybreak), ridden by owner Alisha Kinney. Volume 45, No. 7 | 255
H/A Ladies Side Saddle Western Champion CAPT JACK SPARROW PGA (Starof Fame V x Peppys Dainty Queen), ridden by Danielle Stock for owner Remington Monroe Equine LLC.
H/A Ladies Side Saddle Western AAOTR Champion DT GLORY BEA (WN Gloryofjoy x Hello Gorgeous), ridden by owner Sannene Garehime.
H/A Western Pleasure Champion JEEPERS KREEPERS ( Justify x She Be Afire), ridden by Stanley White III for owner Dennis & Linda Clark Limited Family Partnership.
H/A Western Pleasure Junior Horse Champion ZIPINUPASTORM (Rohara Moon Storm x Zippo Pine Bubble), ridden by Bob Hart Jr for owner Chris Schmidt.
H/A Western Pleasure AAOTR 55 & Over Champion THE BLACK PEARL G (Ima Fancy Scotch Bar x Fa-Stara), ridden by owner Peggy Splawn.
H/A Western Pleasure AAOTR 36-54 Champion CALIENTE VIRTUOSO (C A Hermoso x Crystal Blue Persuasion), ridden by owner Robin Porter.
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H/A Western Pleasure AAOTR 19-35 Champion RUMOR HAS IT BC (Santa Fe V x TR Moondrops), ridden by owner Ryan Dunn.
H/A Western Pleasure AAOTR Maturity Champion SHEZ BUCKIN FAMOUS M (Fames Mahogany x All Outta Bucks), ridden by owner Kendyl Modrich.
H/A Western Pleasure Futurity Champion DLC THEBUCKSTOPSHERE (Poco Van Star Two x DLC Perfect Ember), ridden by Stanley White III for owners Dennis and Linda Clark.
H/A Western Pleasure Select AATR Champion FLASH GORDEN (Unquestionablyhot x SDA Razzle Dazzle), ridden by Claudia Roberts for owner Patti Scheier.
H/A Hunter Pleasure Champion WD NOBLE LADD (IXL Noble Express x Gifted JG), ridden by Wendy Potts for owner Audrey Zinke.
H/A Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse Champion SRC ALEXANDER (Loki x Alexsandria), ridden by Wendy Potts for owner Mary Knebel. Volume 45, No. 7 | 257
H/A Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 55 & Over Champion VSH LOLLIPOP (Majesteit x DW Emirs Deelite), ridden by owner Sharon Fant-True.
H/A Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 36-54 Champion PSAX FIFTH AVENUE (Psax x Beautiful Legacy), ridden by co-owner Loren Hart for co-owner Gordon Walter.
H/A Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 19-35 Champion ROLLIN DOUBLES (Armani FC x Roligemma), ridden by Nicole Leverett for owner Laura Lynn Dickert.
H/A Hunter Pleasure AAOTR Maturity Champion MAYBELLINE CA (Noble Way x Abeline), ridden by owner Rachel Enns.
H/A Hunter Pleasure Futurity Champion PSAX FIFTH AVENUE (Psax x Beautiful Legacy), ridden by Tamera Burkman for owners Gordon Walter and Loren Hart.
H/A Hunter Pleasure Select AATR Champion HS HIGH CALIBER (High Sign x Shza Dancin Queen), ridden by Melanie Hughes-Weaver for owner High Star Farms LLC.
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H/A English Show Hack Champion SKYY KING (Baske Afire x PF Lady Cameo), ridden by Gary Dearth for owners Jody and Charlie Gates.
H/A English Show Hack AAOTR Champion JB SURFS UP (Baske Afire x Petite Sweet), ridden by owner Emily Maita.
H/A Mounted Native Costume Champion SECOND SIGHT (Afires Vision x Silver Fantasy PV), ridden by owner Elizabeth Ann Pizzonia.
H/A Mounted Native Costume AAOTR Champion SECOND SIGHT (Afires Vision x Silver Fantasy PV), ridden by owner Elizabeth Ann Pizzonia.
H/A Reining Horse Champion TR TEXAS T (Ima Dun Kid x Portena), ridden by Crystal McNutt for owner Dennis & Linda Clark Limited Family Partnership.
H/A Reining Junior Horse Champion PAF HITMAN (Like A Diamond x PAF Tohottohandle), ridden by Bobby Barko for owner Auriel Overall-Isaman. Volume 45, No. 7 | 259
H/A Reining Horse Futurity 5 & Under Champion WHATA DOC BAR TR (What It Takes x Smokums Miss Doc Bar), ridden by Colby Powell for owner Silver Aspen Ranch.
H/A Reining Horse AAOTR and Reining Primetime Non-Pro AAOTR Champion WHOA DAM IT (Okie Paul Quixote x GJ Lady Topaz), ridden by Rod Powell for owner Silver Aspen Ranch.
H/A Reining Intermediate Non-Pro AAOTR Champion HH IN LIVING COLOR (Tucknicolor x Khabreah), ridden by Megan Callan for owners James and Joanne Callan.
H/A Reining Limited Non-Pro AAOTR Champion TR HOLLYWOOD ROSE (Hollywood Dun It x Patchouly Rose), ridden by Cynthia Hildebrand for owner Tim Williams.
H/A Reining Rookie Non-Pro AAOTR Champion SMALL TOWN LEGEND (Custom Legend x WBA Lucinda), ridden by owner Julie May.
H/A Trail Horse Champion TR DESPRET FOR ACHIC (Desperado V x Oakachic), ridden by Michael Damianos for owner Tes Wolf.
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H/A Trail Horse Junior Horse Champion RCC FRIAR TUCK (Cashmere MA x Lil Red Riding Hood), ridden by Jeffrey Wilms for owner Robyn Meyer.
H/A Trail Horse Futurity Champion KMA ZIPPED BYAN ANGEL (Los Angeles x Zipped In Creme), ridden by Sterling Bradley for owner Karma Arabians.
H/A Trail Horse AAOTR Champion STARS AND STRIPES SF (Allionces Knight x Starry Spumoni), ridden by Nan Walden, owner of Rancho Sonado LLC.
H/A English Trail Horse Champion TR DESPRET FOR ACHIC (Desperado V x Oakachic), ridden by Michael Damianos for owner Tes Wolf.
H/A English Trail Horse AAOTR Champion IRISH BUG-ABOO (Flamenco Bey V x Irish Precious Rose), ridden by owner Tracy Dowson.
H/A Reined Cow Horse Champion HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTER (Hollywood Dun It x PGN Vanity), ridden by Crystal McNutt for owner Vallejo III Ranch LLC.
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H/A Reined Cow Horse ATR Champion SMART LITTLE ALEX (The Smart Smoke x HF Farena), ridden by Michelle Roberts for owner Carol Roberts.
H/A Working Cow Horse Champion COCO POLENE (Shahcolate Bey MA x Hema), ridden by Andy Camacho for owner Madelena Camacho-Larkin.
H/A Working Cow Junior Horse and Working Cow Horse Futurity Champion OASIS CYAIN HOLLYWOOD (Hollywood White x AM Sea Angel), ridden by Eddie Ralston for owner Deborah Crosby.
H/A Working Cow Horse AOTR Champion CC RIVAL (Mister Cayanne x AJ Dioressence), ridden by owner Michelle Roberts.
H/A Cutting Champion TIME TO SHINE ZA (There Comes A Time x Shahs Windsong), ridden by John Garland for owner Ranessa Crawford.
H/A Cutting Junior Horse Champion BUCKSHOT DUNIT AGAIN (HH Maxemus x Slip Sliding Away), ridden by Shellee Kotera for owners Steve and Linda Cohn.
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H/A Cutting Futurity Champion NEAT LITTLE ZEE (Neat Little Cat x Zees Hot Number), ridden by Tommy Wayne West for owners The Chouteau Family Ltd.
H/A Cutting Non Pro Champion TIME TO SHINE ZA (There Comes A Time x Shahs Windsong), ridden by owner Ranessa Crawford.
H/A Cutting Novice Horse Champion MY GOLDEN GAL (Faris Black Lites x Gals Elizabeth), ridden by Shellee Kotera for owner Nora Herman.
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U.S. National Champions
HA/AA Mare Saddle/Pleasure 4 & Over Overall Sweepstakes Champion WS CENTER STAGE (AA Apollo Bey x Stage Fright), shown by Kim Morgan for owners Herbert and Karen Meites.
HA/AA Mare Stock/Hunter 4 & Over Champion MM MAGNUM BUTTERFLY (Magnum Psyche x Flameworthy), shown by Andrew Sellman for owners Katie and Alexis Acevedo.
HA/AA Filly 3 & Under Champion BENI TG (DA Valentino x Rohara Mademoiselle), shown by Rinaldo Longuini for owners Todd and Glena Weegens.
HA/AA Mare Saddle/Pleasure 4 & Over Champion WS CENTER STAGE (AA Apollo Bey x Stage Fright), shown by Kim Morgan for owners Herbert and Karen Meites.
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HA/AA Mare Stock/Hunter 7 & Over Champion MM MAGNUM BUTTERFLY (Magnum Psyche x Flameworthy), shown by Andrew Sellman for owners Katie and Alexis Acevedo.
HA/AA Mare Stock/Hunter 4-5 Champion VJ LAST JULE (The Hurricane x Patent Pending), shown by Michael Wilson for owner Kelly Morean.
HA/AA 3-Year-Old Filly Champion I BELIEVE FF (DA Valentino x PF Just Peachy Keen), shown by Rodolfo Guzzo for owners J. Perry and Suzanne Perkins.
HA/AA 2-Year-Old Filly Champion ROHARA MAJIK FLAME (Majik Of Marwan x Flameworthy), shown by Joseph Alberti for owner Rohara Arabians LLC.
HA/AA Yearling Filly Champion GRAZIA TG (Vitorio TO x Rohara Mademoiselle), shown by Austin Boggs for owner Lori Watson.
HA/AA Futurity Filly Champion BENI TG (DA Valentino x Rohara Mademoiselle), shown by Alcides Rodrigues for owners Todd and Glena Weegens.
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HA/AA Mare Saddle/Pleasure AAOTH Champion LEGACY LUCYIN DISQUIS (Midnite Pleasure L x IGA La Dulcinea), shown by Kim Morgan for owner Cheryl McCally.
HA/AA Mare Stock/Hunter AAOTH Champion ZA MAGNUMOISELLE MTC (Magnum Psyche x Affluent Affair), shown by owner Megan Weiler.
HA/AA Gelding Saddle/Pleasure 4 & Over Overall Sweepstakes Champion MISTER BIGG STUFF (Baske Afire x Rhapsody), shown by Ted Carson for owner Richard Nash.
HA/AA Gelding Stock/Hunter 4 & Over Champion SHADDO MAGNIPHIED (Shaddofax x ZA Magnumoiselle MTC), shown by John Rannenberg for owner Amelia Hruban.
HA/AA Gelding 3 & Under Champion THE BIG BOPPER ORA (Vitorio TO x She Be Adiva KBS), shown by Dagmar Gordiano for owner Oak Ridge Arabians.
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HA/AA Gelding Saddle/Pleasure 4 & Over Champion VSH DOMINIC (Majesteit x O Katie), shown by Andrew Sellman for owner Texie Lowery.
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HA/AA Gelding Stock/Hunter 7 & Over Champion MAGHNUS Z (Magnum Chall HVP x The Sweet Rose), shown by Joseph Alberti for owners Maddy and Jay Winer.
HA/AA Gelding Stock/Hunter 4-5 Champion SHADDO MAGNIPHIED (Shaddofax x ZA Magnumoiselle MTC), shown by Joseph Alberti for owner Amelia Hruban.
HA/AA 3-Year-Old Gelding Champion THE GODFATHER ORA (Vitorio TO x SH Sebella), shown by Dagmar Gordiano for owners Richard and Justine Goodrow.
HA/AA 2-Year-Old Gelding Champion THE BIG BOPPER ORA (Vitorio TO x She Be Adiva KBS), shown by Dagmar Gordiano for owner Oak Ridge Arabians.
HA/AA Yearling Gelding/Colt Champion REMEMBER THE NYTE RMA (Vitorio TO x CF Mamies Night Out), shown by Alcides Rodrigues for owner Melissa Subjeck.
HA/AA Futurity Gelding Champion GILTY AS CHARGED ( Justify x DR Gilty Pleasures), shown by Troy White for owners Robert and Janene Boggs.
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HA/AA Gelding Saddle/Pleasure AAOTH Champion MISTER BIGG STUFF (Baske Afire x Rhapsody), shown by owner Richard Nash.
HA/AA Gelding Stock/Hunter AAOTH Champion MAGHNUS Z (Magnum Chall HVP x The Sweet Rose), shown by owner Maddy Winer.
Showmanship AATH Champion BSF STARBUCK (Were Dun x Escada MF), shown by owner Michelle Pease-Paulsen.
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Putting PuttingItItAll AllTogether Together This was the 48th U.S. National Championship Show, 56th if you count the early years as classes at Estes Park and other locations. Over the years, a lot has changed. The bloodlines have evolved (for better or worse; most people now say better). The number of classes and divisions has exploded (some people like the increased possibility for a title, others say it dilutes the meaning of the awards, and everyone observes that the show has become a marathon). The price of a top horse has skyrocketed, plummeted, stabilized and generally been a topic of conversation for more than 40 years. And most horsemen say that since the sunshine years of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, training procedures have improved dramatically. Through it all, the human element always has been an attraction. People who have remained dedicated to Arabians through its highs and lows have genuinely loved the breed. Pat Dempsey, of Beloveds Farm, in Lady Lake, Fla., is one. She has been a patron every year since 1978, departing for only a decade when she did not own Arabians. Over that time, she sponsored a variety of classes, working her way up to stallion halter. “I just always
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wanted to support the industry,” she explained. “How best than at the national level?” It is worth noting that despite the volume of people in Arabians, individuals are noted. Some become such a part of the scene that they create a void when they are not present. “There was only one thing missing at this Nationals, and that was Dr. John Sparks,” said Jim Lowe, citing the longtime Scottsdale veterinarian who died a few weeks before the show. “I don’t know how many he’d gone to in a row, but he wasn’t there this year, and he was missed.” And finally, there are the horses. At the show you could see the spirit of the breed nearly everywhere, but no place more clearly than in the amateur native costume championship on Thursday night, where one horse told a big story simply by cantering into the ring. His name is HL Sanction, and he is 25 years old. He has belonged to his owners, Russ and Cathy Vecsey, since he was 4. Examine HL Sanction’s pedigree and you see names up close that these days are generally classified as history.
2014 U.S. Nationals
magical Veterans of the Arabian breed in the 1980s will feel right at home: his sire was The Chief Justice, a well-known *Bask son who showed to national top tens in halter and English disciplines; his dam, Overlook Seratifa, was a daughter of *Serafix. He began showing a remarkable 21 years ago and earned his first national top tens, in both the U.S. and Canada, a year later. He won his first national championships—four of them, two in the U.S. and two in Canada—in 2008, at the age of 19, in native costume open and amateur. Since then, he has collected three reserves and another championship, and this year, still going strong, he carried Cathy Vecsey to yet another U.S. National Championship in Mounted Native Costume AAOTR. “I don’t think I ever have a bad day on him,” Cathy Vecsey reflected afterward. “I’m so appreciative of the fact that other people appreciate that he’s put his heart and soul into this for so long, because he has. This is just what this horse wants to do—I don’t have to encourage him. I’m letting him live life on his terms, so I’ll support him in it. I love my horse.” n
“My best memory of this year’s U.S. Nationals was seeing all of the spectators in the stands, smiling and screaming for the horses they enjoyed. This was the first time in years that I can truly say ‘The Arabian horse is back!’” —Cathy Vincent, Adandy Farm “The most memorable thing I can tell you was watching Josh and Jody making the [western pleasure open] victory pass together. They’re very close friends, and those horses are so close in the way they go; there wasn’t a dime between them. To watch the two of them take that second victory pass together was cool to see.” —Corky Sutton, U.S. Nationals judge “My best memory about the Nationals this year was the weather! It was warm, it felt good to walk out and not have to have a lot of jackets. And when the weather is nice, the show is nice and we enjoy ourselves more.” —Jim Stachowski, Stachowski Farms “My favorite memory? I think how well the Trail turned out in the Pavilion, because that was a gamble to see if the venue would work. And it raised the level of competition by octaves—it accelerated and was so beautiful there. That was pretty exciting!” —Bill Hughes, Chair of the U.S. National Show Commission “My favorite memory was winning the open hunter championship—but I have to say, I was pretty impressed the night they raised $200,000 for Alexa Nichols! That was pretty fun.” —Marjie Becker, Becker Stables
HL Sanction and Cathy Vecsey.
“The [AHDF] fundraiser for Alexa Nichols was pretty incredible. It made that show about more than winning. People took a step back and opened up their checkbooks, their horses, their time, and really came together. It was right in the middle of the show and it kind of put everyone on pause.” —Katie Harvey Volume 45, No. 7 | 277