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WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS ‌

THE 2015 ARABIAN BREEDERS WORLD CUP by Jeff Wallace and Theresa Cardamone

Las Vegas, more than any other city, is the U.S. counterpart to the manmade metropolitan centers that have sprung up in the deserts of the Middle East. Lavish and luxurious, a place of hopes and dreams, a glittering oasis that promises good fortune to those who journey there, Las Vegas is the setting for the annual Arabian Breeders World Cup Horse Show (ABWC). Designed as an event that showcases successful breeding programs from around the world, a win in Las Vegas has become among the most coveted titles in the Arabian industry.

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Sponsors Murray and Shirley Popplewell with Ambassador Award winner Sheila Varian.

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he dynamic team who form the ABWC Show Committee has addressed every aspect of the event from both a spectator and an exhibitor perspective. Stepping into the cool venue from the glare of the outside world, visitors proceed down a welcoming aisle lined with sponsors’ banners. The mood is upbeat; from the neon lights, to the lively music piped throughout the hall. Vendor displays entice the crowd to shop for whatever they might want, in seeming competition with the one-armed bandits waiting in the casino next door. By the time they reach the elegant trappings of the arena and the individual farm displays, people are ready to enjoy the horses that have come to the competition.   By teaming up with the Board of Directors for the Arabian Horse Breeders Alliance (AHBA), the

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show committee has parlayed its tireless efforts to produce a world class event that, according to Public Relations/Media Coordinator Riyan Rivero, “celebrates the Arabian horse and the lifestyle that comes with it. Every detail is considered, every exhibitor heard, and every opportunity for improvement is implemented… A foundation for the ABWC has been built from its inception with local TV stations, newspapers, and radio personalities to inform and welcome the Las Vegas community. Local news shows provide coverage of the event in live broadcasts from the showground. This year, we took a horse to the set of Channel 13 KTNV Valley View Live Talk Show!” Through networking efforts like these, the show has become an event that is as eagerly awaited each year by the local population as it is by the Arabian world.


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If Las Vegas itself can be considered “over the top,” so too can the quality of horses that gathered for the 9th Annual Arabian Breeders World Cup this year. The deck was stacked with World Champions, U.S. and Canadian National Champions, Scottsdale Champions, and International Champions, all vying for a piece of the spotlight. The horses, breeders, owners, exhibitors, and spectators came from all over the world, as did the international panel of judges. Connie Cole-O’Brien and Richard Petty (USA), Emrys Jones (UK), Reinaldo Da Rocha Leao (Brazil), Colleen Rutherford (Australia), and Karl-Heinz Stöckle (Germany), contributed their opinions using the European style of scoring. The international f lavor of the show was highlighted during opening ceremonies, as each represented country’s f lag is paraded into the center of the arena to create a united line of horsemen that emphasizes the all-encompassing reach and harmony inspired by the Arabian horse around the world.

Handler of Excellence Award winner Ted Carson.

The incredible quality of the horses was showcased in class after class, culminating with the crowning of Sultan Al Zobara (Gazal Al Shaqab x Inra Al Shaqab) as the Gold Supreme Champion Stallion. Bred by Al Zobara Stud of Qatar, and owned by Al Saqran Stud of Kuwait, The Arabian Soul Partners and trainer Sandro Pinha.

Tony Bergren, Greg Knowles and David Boggs.

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Pegasus Arabians' Dean and Terri Wikel, 2015 Breeders Cup Award winners.

UAE, and the USA, Sultan Al Zobara was making his American debut in Las Vegas. Impeccably shown by David Boggs, this spectacular stallion epitomizes the characteristics of the contemporary Arabian. A combination of straight Egyptian breeding and the Polish influence of his grand dam Kajora who traces back to the desert through the taproot mare Gazella, Sultan Al Zobara is both the exquisite type and elegance of his Egyptian roots, and the substance, stretch and power of his Janów Podlaski heritage. In a reverse of that formula, the Gold Supreme Champion Mare boasts a primarily Polish pedigree with several crosses to *Bask, sprinkled with Crabbet and Egyptian breeding. RH Triana (ROL Intencyty x Sylviah WLF) won with a captivating performance that had the crowd fired up in appreciation. Also masterfully shown by David Boggs, RH Triana’s obsidian coat gleamed beneath the lights. Like a snake charmer coaxing a

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cobra to dance, Boggs encouraged the mare to strike her pose, her graceful neck stretching to impossible lengths. Bred by Robin Hood Farms, Inc. and owned by Triana Holding LLC, RH Triana has become the black swan that every breeder desires.   In addition to showcasing mature breeding stock, the World Cup offers attendees a glimpse into the future of the Arabian breed. Consistently, young horses whose pedigrees reflect a blending of the best blood from many international sources won the top honors. Among them, Titan AS (El Nabila B x Om El Beladeena) stood out as the Gold Supreme Champion Junior Stallion. Shown by Sandro Piñha for owners Arabian Soul Partners Ltd., Titan AS combines the best of Russian and Egyptian breeding with a tail female line to the great producer *Estopa. On the distaff side, Gold Supreme Champion Junior


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Gaurav Walia and his partner Soniya of Aldebaran Arabians.

Bob Boggs with Angie and Dayne Sellman.

l-r: Jack & Elizabeth Milam of Regency Cove, Lisa & Harry Markley and Marcy Meyers & Angela Olson.

Dan Grossman and Tony Bergren.

AHA Registrar Debbie Fuentes.

Bob Battagalia with Taylor Mason & Chris Barter of Gemini Acres Equine.

Casey Campbell of Wingate Training Center and clients.

Patricia Dempsey of Beloved Farms with friends Chandler Marks, Debbie Harden-Vigus, and Jerry Sparagowski.

Troy White.

Irina Stigler.

Jeff Wallace and Francesco Sponle.

Bob and Janene Boggs.

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Braden Davidson and Ally Nelson.

Psynergy Partners.

Mare, Elle Flamenca (Ajman Moniscione x Allamara MA) carries a dam line to Belbowrie Baskana (*Bask x *Anhar), the only *Bask daughter produced from a straight Egyptian mare; a formula that worked as well nearly forty years ago as it does today. Ted Carson showed Elle Flamenca for Jeff and Sybil Collins, which contributed to his overall selection as the Handler of Excellence at this year’s show. The Gold Supreme Champion Yearling Colt Magic Mystery Z (OFW Magic Wan x Marys Diva), was shown by Michael Byatt for owner Zerlotti Genetics, and the Gold Supreme Champion Yearling Filly Aria Athena (WH Justice x Jawharra), was shown by Greg Gallún for owner Athena Partners LLC.

Francesco's 1st birthday with his parents Elisa Grassi & Frank Sponle.

The World Cup also honors the high point breeder with a special award, the Breeders Cup, won this year by Dean Wikel of Pegasus Arabians. The show also developed the Ambassador Award to acknowledge someone for special achievements. Sponsored by RaeDawn Arabians, the honor went to a true icon of the Arabian breed, Sheila Varian. Sheila’s foresight and integrity have made her an invaluable contributor to our breed, and she was enthusiastically applauded as she stepped into the center ring to accept her award. The show was also the venue for remembrances, including a stirring tribute to the recently deceased U.S. National Champion Stallion Magnum Chall HVP (Magnum Psyche x Taamara HVP) given by Jeff Wallace to his humble and emotional owners, Lucky and Raegen Lurken, who purchased him as a yearling. Sandro Pinha, David Boggs and most importantly, Gil Valdez, have all three loved, shown and supported this fiery chestnut throughout his 14 years.    For once, what happened in Vegas doesn’t have to stay in Vegas. Rather, the success of the event should be broadcast loudly to the world at large. Show Manager Taryl O’Shea believes that,“the World Cup is a unique show that brings together the best horses from around the world in the electric atmosphere of Vegas. There is nothing like it.” On that, we can all agree. Once again, the Arabian Breeders World Cup drew the best in the business to Vegas, luck was a lady and everyone enjoyed the game. Until next year, viva Las Vegas! Continued on page 40 World Cup

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2015 World Cup Show