VOLUME 46, NO. 12 $22.50
F E A T U R I N G
Moaiz Al Baydaa
Beloved One NA+ x Magnums Angel JD+ 2016 Filly
Ever Ever AfterAfter NA xNA Margarita PSY, PSY, by Padrons Psyche / Bey/ Shah x Margarita by Padrons Psyche Bey Shah 20152015 U.S.National Reserve Champion Junior Stallion U.S.National Reserve Champion Junior Stallion 20152015 Canadian National & Region 12 Unanimous Champion 2-Year-Old Colt Colt Canadian National & Region 12 Unanimous Champion 2-Year-Old Standing at Argent FarmsFarms • Andrew Sellman 715.425.9001 Standing at Argent • Andrew Sellman 715.425.9001
Beloved One NA+ x Rohara MarcAlyssa 2016 Filly
Patricia M. Dempsey | Lakes And Live Oaks | 12961 NE 72nd Boulevard| Lady Lake, FL 32162| Phone: 352.430.3456
W W W. B E L O V E D S F A R M . C O M
barn 715.425.9001 â€˘ mobile 715.760.2466 www.ArgentFarms.com
RD Dynamo x HED Caramba
STONEGATE ARABIANS, LLC.
Jay Krusenstjerna & Barb Sink-Krusenstjerna Waukee, IA â€˘ 515.371.7407
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Issue 5 • Volume 46, No. 12
Cover Story: Moaiz Al Baydaa by Jeff Wallace
Presenting The Personalities: Chris Culbreth by Catherine Cole Ferandelli
Women Around The World: Jessica Bein
Leaders Of The Times: Amaar Al Nasser by Jeff Wallace
English Cover Story: VJ Royal Heir by Anne Stratton
Today’s English Horse
The English Evolution—Crucial Strides Needed To Ensure Its Future by Mary Trowbridge
Meet The Faces Of AHA: Debbie Fuentes
A Touch Of Style: Ashley Lauren Toye
A Tribute To Sheila Varian by Mary Kirkman
The Art Of Hunter & Show Hack
Hunt Seat Equitation—There Is Only One Way To Ride A Horse … The Correct Way by Ashley Lauren Toye
What You Need To Know About Breeding Horses Today—Part II, Embryo Transfer by Dr. Mario Zerlotti
Beginnings: The Arabian Horse Role In Riding School Programs, Part III by Catherine Cole Ferandell i
VOLUME 46, NO. 12 $22.50
Comments From The Publisher
Faces & Places
25 Things …
Calendar Of Events
Index Of Advertisers
F E A T U R I N G
Moaiz Al Baydaa
On The Cover:
Moaiz Al Baydaa
(Ezz Ezzain x Magda Sakr), owned by Albaydaa Stud.
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(DA Valentino x Queen Adiamonds)
Nominated Sire: AHA Breeders Sweepstakes Minnesota Medallion Stallion Owned by: Les and Diane Van Dyke Chandler, MN Standing at Shada, Inc.
Please contact Shada for special breeding incentives on Victorious LD and select mares in foal.
Elk River, MN 763-441-5849 email@example.com www.ShadaInc.com Ar abian Horse Times | 5 | Volume 46, No. 12
Comments From The Publisher Publisher Lara Ames Managing Editor Charlene Deyle Advertising Account Executive Tony Bergren Multimedia Director and Photojournalist Riyan Rivero Creative Director Jeff Wallace Contributing Writer Anne Stratton Production Manager Jody Thompson Senior Designer Marketing Director Wayne Anderson Art Director IT Support Specialist Tony Ferguson Print & Web Design Leah Matzke Melissa Pasicznyk Leah Kurth Sales Assistant Rachel Ginter AHT Abroad Representative Mieke Opsteyn Accounts Receivable Deb Trebesch
© Copyright AHT, Inc. dba Arabian Horse Times. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Articles or opinions published by the AHT, Inc. dba Arabian Horse Times are not necessarily the expressed views of the AHT, Inc. dba Arabian Horse Times. AHT, Inc. dba Arabian Horse Times is not responsible for the accuracy of advertising content or manipulation of images that are provided by the advertiser. ARABIAN HORSE TIMES (ISSN 0279-8125) Volume 46, No. 12, May 2016, is published monthly by AHT, Inc. dba Arabian Horse Times, 20276 Delaware Avenue, Jordan, Minnesota 55352. Periodical postage paid at Jordan, Minnesota 55352 and at additional entry offices. Single copies in U.S. and Canada $22.50. Subscription in U.S. $80 per year, $140 two years, $200 three years. Canada $130 one year, $250 two years, $340 three years, U.S. funds. Foreign Subscriptions: $190 one year, $320 two years, $380 three years, payable in advance, U.S. funds. Sorry, no refunds on subscription orders. For subscription and change of address, please send old address as printed on last label. Please allow four to six weeks for your first subscription to be shipped. Occasionally ARABIAN HORSE TIMES makes its mailing list available to other organizations. If you prefer not to receive these mailings, please write to ARABIAN HORSE TIMES, Editorial Offices, 20276 Delaware Avenue, Jordan, MN 55352. The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographic materials. Printed in U.S.A. • POSTMASTER: Please send returns to Arabian Horse Times, 20276 Delaware Avenue, Jordan, MN 55352; and address changes to Arabian Horse Times, P.O. Box 15816, North Hollywood, CA 91615-5816. For subscription information, call 1-855-240-4637 (in the U.S.A.) or 952-492-3213 (for outside of the U.S.A.) Arabian Horse Times • P.O. Box 15816, North Hollywood, CA 91615-5816 • Tel: 952-492-3213 • Fax: 952-492-3228 1-800-AHTIMES • www.ahtimes.com
What does “V” Mean To You? What does “V” mean to you? For most people in the Arabian horse industry, it means only one thing, and it’s not the magazine, the old television show, the abbreviation for versus or the Roman numeral five. “V” means Sheila Varian. It doesn’t matter whether you remember back to before the V became so associated with Varian-bred horses. (For those new to the Arabian breed, it was in the late 1970s that it showed up in DataSource for the first time as part of a Varian-bred’s name; it was well into the 1980s before it appeared with regularity, and more recent still that it has been used on almost every foal.) Now, of course, it is a sought-after recognition that owners prize because it signifies a horse’s origin in one of the most celebrated breeding programs on earth. The V serves as more than a badge of honor. Few breeders have exerted as much influence in the modern Arabian breed as Sheila Varian has—and still will, as plans call for her program to go on into the future. Mares, stallions and geldings from her Arroyo Grande ranch have populated barns and breeding programs all over the world; it has been estimated that her horses are in 70 to 80 percent of the bloodlines in use today. Probably this is because Sheila bred a “complete” horse: an Arabian who was beautiful, athletic, and had a temperament that enabled it to interact well with humans and train willingly. I should clarify that when I say “athletic,” I don’t mean that they did just one thing well. I mean her bloodlines have been successful in disciplines across the equine industry, and as trail mounts and family pets. You can’t ask for more. Over the years, Sheila herself became, legitimately, an icon. She not only did amazing things, she sought to teach the rest of us to do them as well. She taught by example, as well as by speaking and writing; her knowledge was precious and she knew it. She was not shy about sharing it, and yet, she never lost her humility when in the presence of horses. The Varian Arabians program has stood the test of time. It is so right that it has—and also right that we will have access to it in years to come.
Lara Ames Lara Ames Publisher
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A-JERICHO (A Jakarta x Destiny VF)
U N I T E D S TAT E S N AT I O N A L R E S E R V E C H A M P I O N AHBA W O R L D C U P S I LV E R S U P R E M E C H A M P I O N S C O T T S D A L E S I G N AT U R E S TA L L I O N C H A M P I O N NOMINATED AHA BREEDERS SWEEPSTAKES SILVER SIRE BREEDERS, AHBA WORLD CUP SCOTTSDALE SIGNATURE STALLION SCID, CA, LFS CLEAR
A Jericho and t he Abel family s a l u t e t h e i r L a s Ve g a s Wo r l d C u p C h a m p i o n s !
(A Jericho x Lady Aria ORA)
AHBA World Cup ATH Gold Champion Legacy Yearling Filly
(TF Psymreekhe x Jakartas Jewel)
AHBA World Cup ATH Gold Champion Futurity Yearling Filly
(A Jericho x Lady Jeanette)
O FFER ING E XC IT ING B R E E DING I NC E NT IV E S T O A JE R IC HO
AHBA World Cup ATH Top Five Futurity Yearling Filly
Contact David Boggs or Nate White firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Owned by THE ABEL FAMILY Lacombe, Alberta, Canada
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Photography by: LysaRoman Design by: mickĂŠandoliver
Unanimous Gold Champion in Las Vegas and the High Score of the Show for the fifth time in five shows. Thank you to Glenn Schoukens and the Aljassimya Farm Team. by QR Marc ex Ekliptika by Ekstern owned and bred by Michalow State Stud, Poland leased by Aljassimya Farm contact: www.aljassimyafarm.com | firstname.lastname@example.org Ar abian Horse Times | 10 | Volume 46, No. 12
Design by: mickĂŠandoliver Photography by: April Visel
We are celebrating Bronze Champion Filly in Las Vegas on her debut with Glenn Schoukens. She is one of our 2016 home bred Champions. by Monther Al Nasser ex RA Marwans Elygance by Marwan Al Shaqab contact: www.aljassimyafarm.com | email@example.com Ar abian Horse Times | 11 | Volume 46, No. 12
In Print • Online • In Touch
AROUND THE GLOBE YOUR EQUINE MARKETING SOURCE FOR OVER 40 YEARS!
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Cutting edge design, award winning quality and coverage from across the globe.
www.ahtabroad.com www.arabianhorseglobal.com Ar abian Horse Times | 13 | Volume 46, No. 12
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FACES & PLACES Show t i me Tr a i n i n g C enter a nd Blue Moon A r a bi a n s ... held an Open House in Newnan, Georgia on Saturday, April 2nd, featuring Arabians, Half-Arabians and Saddlebreds of the past, present and future.
Photos by Ashley Gallun for The National Horseman Arabian.
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PRESENTING THE PERSONALITIES
A Chronicle Of A Lifetime Allegiance To The Arabian Horse
by CATHERINE COLE FERANDELLI
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Celebrating over forty years of embracing the Arabian horse, top trainer, judge and committee chair Chris Culbreth, firmly states, “From the early days at Joe Benes’ place near my childhood home in Upland, Calif., to today at our beautiful facility in Scottsdale, my goals have remained the same: Do what you know how to do the best.” Chris’ lifetime commitment to Arabian horses started young. “I always loved horses—young, old, tall, short, flea-bitten grey to jet black. All of my childhood photos show me accompanied by an animal—usually a horse. Back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Southern California was this mecca of orange groves, and (for me) there were plenty of nearby opportunities to be around horses.” Chris continues, “I grew up just under the San Gabriel Mountains in the town of Upland, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. In those years, youngsters roamed and played in their neighborhood on their own—in my case that was visiting the horses at nearby Joe Benes’ stable.” Benes, an Army infantry soldier stationed during WWII at Cal-Poly Pomona temporary Army Re-mount mustered out, remained in the area and started a big public riding stable. “Mr. Benes had around a hundred horses at his place,” Chris remembers. “He offered boarding, training and trail rides for all levels of interested riders. While my father (who was a horse lover) bought our first backyard horse ‘Charlie’ when I was quite young, I was driven to seek equine knowledge and work to further my passion. Mr. Benes’ stable was the perfect place to learn. He loved Arabian horses and was a big promoter of the breed.” For over ten years, Chris worked tirelessly at the Benes Stable between schoolwork and other activities. Chris smiles, “I was a real multi-tasker at Benes Stable, guiding trail rides, cleaning stalls, grooming horses, essentially being around as much as possible and taking on any work available. I felt these tasks were the stepping stones to further opportunities with horses. These formative years confirmed my goal to get up every day and work to be the best equine caretaker I could possibly be.” While at Mr. Benes’ stable, Chris acquired his first Arabian horse, actually a Half-Arabian, named Khalifah Amir. Showing all over Southern California, Chris and his first Arabian went on to compete at the national level, prospering and winning. Having traveled the journey and now reaping the prizes, Chris was ready to step into his career as a professional Arabian horse trainer. “Early on I was fortunate to be around countless key folks in the world of Arabian horses. Going from Mr. Benes
stable, I started my first professional job at Will Mar Arabians, owned by Bill and Mary Ann Hughes—bedrock Arabian breeders. Our neighbors in Chino Hills included the McCoys, Norm Dunn, and Jim Kline. The Kellogg Arabian Horse Center at Cal-Poly was practically up the street.” Chris attended Mt. San Antonio (Mt. SAC) Community College and Cal-Poly Pomona during this time, obtaining academic training in horse management and operation. “This is when I started my ‘brain trust’ of mentors,” Chris recalls. “This ‘brain trust’ process continues to this day with a multiple cast: Ray LaCroix, Bob Hart, Jr. and Chris Bickford to name a few. To this day, Bill Hughes remains the Chairman of the Trust!”
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During his ten years with Bill and Mary Ann, Chris furthered his equine talents, training purebred and Half-Arabians in all the disciplines. Chris recollects, “In those years, a great Arabian horse was a horse that could do it all, happily and willingly. While today our horses are far more specialized, this was a special time for a young trainer such as myself. Being in such close proximity to all these Arabian horse ‘greats’ was the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Furthering his involvement with the breed, Chris studied judging, receiving his first licensing card in 1985. He states, “Bill and Mary Ann Hughes walked the walk and talked the talk when it came to their influence, involvement and passion for the Arabian horse community. This passion made me even more emphatic about not just getting up every day and training horses. Though training alone is certainly more than a full-time business, I’ve always felt
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I could serve our industry in multiple ways.” Elaborating further, Chris shares, “Training horses and clients is a huge slice of that pie, but judging and engaging in policy through committee involvement were slices I felt impassioned about, too. I sought to be in the thick of the Arabian horse industry in all aspects, to learn from others and make a difference as best I could. This intertwined with my goals set early on. I continue to be involved as such to this day, and will remain so as long as I possibly can.” Blessed with seemingly limitless energy, this is likely to be for a very long time! Chris and Will Mar Arabians were a formidable team for ten years, competing at all levels of the Arabian show circuit and an influential force within nearly all aspects of the Arabian horse industry. Around 1988, Chris was presented with a monumental career changing proposal, to start his own Arabian horse training operation. “Richard and Shirley Freek approached me with a lifetime opportunity,” Chris remembers. “They wanted to build an Arabian training and breeding operation and sought to involve me in its development literally from the ground up. What an opportunity for a young, aspiring horse trainer! Our location choices were Santa Ynez and Temecula. Ultimately, Temecula was the best choice for us, with Richard and Shirley purchasing a five acre parcel in the wine country area, naming it Magic Meadows.” As for setting up the barns, arenas and general design, Chris recalls, “During my schooling at Mt. SAC, one of my projects was to build a horse operation prototype. Well, I used a great deal of that prototype to build Magic Meadows. In fact, this very same design was used in 2011 to build our North Scottsdale training barn where Culbreth Equine is housed today.” The Freeks and Chris proved to be a winning force in the Arabian show circuit with multiple national titles and breeding successes. During this time, Chris realized another love, meeting and marrying his wife Michele. “Naturally we met through Arabian horses” laughs Chris. “Michele was a friend of one of my clients at the time, working for an engineering firm.” Herself, a Southern California native, Michele was an equal match for Chris, blessed with boundless energy and passion for Arabian horses. Chris smiles, “We quickly became involved. I helped her with her Khemosabi gelding, getting to know one another. We immediately realized we shared the same values, values that were interwoven in our passion for Arabian horses.” Married for well over twenty years, Chris and Michele personify partnering at its best. The young couple had another opportunity in the late 90s by moving on to the new Arabian horse operation owned by the inimitable Tom Redmond. “Wolf Springs Ranches brought us to Colorado and Scottsdale, involving us with a unique entrepreneurial personality,” Chris shares. Continuing his commitment to hard work, Chris trained show horses for
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Wolf Springs and developed multiple top amateur competitors, again winning countless top titles at the highest levels. One of Chris’ proudest training experiences was with a very young Anna Redmond and her first riding lessons. Chris chuckles, “Tom and Anna’s mother, Carmen, had just married. While Carmen spoke English, young Anna did not. Carmen would act as interpreter by taking my verbal instruction and converting it into Mandarin for Anna. Our communication tactic proved to work as Anna went on to compete and win in her Walk/Trot 10 & Under classes. Of course, Anna being the smart young lady she is, quickly learned English. Her love for Arabian horses and amazing talent as an amateur competitor continue to flourish and grow.” By 2007 Chris and Michele were drawn to another step in their journey, that of building their very own training operation. “To be a success in any business, one must think for the long term,” Chris maintains. “Part of that plan necessitates a doable retirement strategy. Michele and I feel owning the Culbreth Equine facility is a key tactic in this plan, both for the short and the long term.” Chris adds, “Our operation was thought out with care, comfort for the horses, and efficiency. We built
our barn and training program infrastructure first, paying as we went. Long term debt would be an unwanted anchor for us. Yes, the home will come in time. We know exactly where it will be placed and built on our property. We love this location for its desert beauty; we can trail ride from our ranch right onto McDowell Sonoran Preserve, literally thousands of acres of trails and endless desert terrain. Culbreth Equine in North Scottsdale is the crowning glory of the Culbreth ambitions and goals. A model of beauty and efficiency, the barn works from the center outward, with high ceilings, easy access, cool in the summer and snug in the winter. Pasture turn outs greet clients and guests. The arena has easy access to the barn as do the other storage, hay barns and mare motels. Chris and Michele were patient while looking for that ‘perfect plot of land’ on which to build their dream ranch. “We knew we wanted to be in North Scottsdale on a flat parcel,” Chris says. “Less dirt to move about and easier to get around.” Culbreth Equine has hosted several of the popular Scottsdale New Year’s Barn Tours, an open house event where one can meet and mingle with fellow Arabian horse lovers while watching splendid show horses go through their paces.
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Culbreth Equine continues its culture of being a friendly beacon of equine success and hospitality. Chris maintains, “Culbreth Equine is our life. Our clients are our life’s blood. Ours is more than just a business. We have clients at all levels of experience. Some have won multiple national titles, others have just entered the world of owning and loving Arabian horses. The mix makes for a warm and wonderful extended family, all of whom support one another and cheer themselves on.” Retired emergency doctor, Shawn DeLater, had never owned Arabian horses, and started with Culbreth Equine just over a year ago. Shawn remembers, “I went to Culbreth Equine to look at a sale horse and decided to take a lesson. I didn’t know a thing about how Arabian horse training barns should be run, but instinctively knew this was a special place. The attention to horse care and client communication were clearly and finely tuned skills. Chris and Michele welcomed me to their family and literally changed my life.” Today
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Shawn has two purebreds with Culbreth Equine, both purebred hunters, and she has qualified for Region 7 competition. Shawn’s enthusiasm for her new passion is infectious. “I came in blind and was treated so well by Chris, Michele and their Associate Trainer, Jessica Schaeffler. While I am learning and loving the show competition, the journey and interaction with my horses is just as important to me, maybe even more so. Chris and Michele frequently watch me taking my horses for a walk just to be close to them. It’s clear they appreciate seeing us enjoy the entire experience of loving our horses.” From the early days at Joe Benes’ Stable to today, Chris Culbreth’s goals have remained in place. “Get up and go to work every day,” Chris affirms. “Be present when opportunity knocks. Set goals, write them down and stay the course. Plan for the short term and have those plans fit with the long term. Give your best care possible to horses, staff, clientele and equipment, and give back whenever you can. Live these values by example, and follow these values by “doing what you know how to do the best.” n Culbreth Equine LLC 14530 East Wildcat Drive • Scottsdale, Arizona 85262 (480) 225-9453 • (480) 231-5832 Website: culbrethequine.com • Email: CCulbreth@aol.com
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Chris Culbreth “My goals have remained the same: Do what you know how to do the best.”
“On the topic of owning the breeding stallion Shameless++, Chris said to me, ‘Lisa, find people like you who love and adore their horses to breed their mares to Sshameless++, and you will do a great thing for the Arabian horse.’ Chris believed in all we could be and was our partner and our family member, helping us to create the most treasured, the most Sshameless++, and the most incredible memories of a lifetime.” —LISA SHOVER, SCOTTSDALE, AZ “Chris, I don’t think you’ll ever know how great of an impact you had on my life, and I feel so grateful for the time that we were able to spend together. Because of you, I fell in love with western pleasure, showing, and most importantly, Arabians and horses in general. To me, you’ll always be one of the best trainers and horsemen. You absolutely deserve all your success.” —ANNA REDMOND, MINNESOTA “Chris is an outstanding trainer and teacher because he’s a dedicated and enthusiastic life-long learner. Chris challenges his clients to gain through self-discovery, and provides each individual an opportunity to excel. Jessica and Chris offer complementary teaching and training styles; while both challenge their clients, each offers a unique approach. Michele, Chris, and Jessica make Culbreth Equine a professional and approachable experience for any client.” —SCOTT, BRANDY & MOLLY THIGPEN, SCOTTSDALE, AZ “I have enjoyed the experience of having my first western horse trained and shown by Chris. Not only was I very pleased with the training and showing of Morning After AF, but the enjoyment of sharing the relationship of life with two unbelievably kind and loving people was the trophy. Be it an owner, or someone looking for help with a horse, you will learn from the professional way they live and treat their clients. You will receive the attention of people who will make your life better, in addition to training and loving your animal.” —BILL SHELTON, SUFFOLK, VA “My husband, Tim, and I, have had multiple horses with Culbreth Equine since 2007, when Chris and Michele started their own training operation. Among others, our gelding HMR Must Be Aflame+/ has won many championships in country English, western and hunter pleasure, as Chris has allowed him to find his own talents. We trust Chris, Michele and Jessica, to take great care of our horses and provide solid training to equines and humans alike, though we know the human training is the most challenging of all!” —TIM & CASEY BOLINGER, GREER, AZ “To Chris Culbreth … RESPECT. If you know Chris, one thing stands out: he cares deeply about the Arabian horse and our Arabian horse community. He sacrifices his time and his own business to serve, rather than just being in it for what he can get out of it. He serves as a judge, as Regional President and on committees when he’d rather be riding and showing. Chris and Michele are a great team and darn nice people. As an amateur for whom Arabians are a luxury and not a hobby, I have found a home with them where I receive the same time and attention as the big money clients.” —LORI SHEEN, PHOENIX, AZ “Three years ago, we chose Chris as the trainer for our daughter Alex (now 14), after having done our research. We had heard about his expertise in training riders and horses, and had observed their consistent success at various shows. We had also heard that he was a ‘true professional.’ What we didn’t realize at the time was that this true professional had both an exceptional work ethic and the ability to genuinely care about his riders (even a young adult). Chris looks for new opportunities and ways to help the girls succeed. He asks a
lot and expects hard work from them; no challenge is too great for him to take on. He wants them to feel that they have given their best effort; he models this behavior each day in the ring. The girls have coined the phrase ‘Chris-isms,’ which are expressions that he uses to communicate training concepts. He is smart, funny, witty and caring; and as a result, his riders trust him. We travel from California to train with the Culbreth team, who help to make our time at the ranch so rewarding. Our experience has been an investment in quality, a privilege, and well worth the effort.” —SUSAN FILLICHIO DAVISSON, RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA
“We appreciate all that you do to keep our horses ready for the highest level of competition. You have always helped us make the right decisions, and have helped guide us through the obstacles of showing in the Arabian horse circuit. We are proud to be affiliated with your TEAM.” —JASON, KAREN, MADISON & ETHAN GALES, EL PASO, TX “I would like to thank the Culbreth team for the last 5 years. You have taught my daughter many life lessons and how to become such a beautiful rider. She has learned how to work hard for her successes and learn from her mistakes. The extra bonus of being at such an amazing barn are all the wonderful friendships. Thank you, Chris, Michele & Jessica.” —STEPHANIE ST. JEAN, CAVE CREEK, AZ “We could not be more pleased with the patience Chris has displayed in teaching our 3 year old stallion, Sir Pogrom, to make the transition from being an excellent halter horse to one who will compete in western pleasure. Chris and Michele are wonderful people who are universally held in high regard.” —CORDY & GAIL OVERGAARD, SCOTTSDALE, AZ “I’ve been a client of Culbreth Equine for nine years, and in that time, Chris took a young horse and completely inexperienced rider, and made us competitive at a regional and Scottsdale level. Their support when I lost my lovely girl was very comforting, and their encouragement while learning a new horse has been so appreciated.” —LYNDA DUBBS, SCOTTSDALE, AZ “The time I spend at Culbreth Equine is the best! Chris, Michele and Jessica are always helpful and supportive. The clientele are wonderful and who I consider to be friends, enjoying time spent at the barn, shows or just when we have the chance to get together. This great group of people are a reflection of the great environment created by Chris and Michele. I am so happy to be a part of this special group!” —SALLY NELSON, SCOTTSDALE, AZ “Chris was, is, and always will be more than just my trainer. He is a role model who pushed me to be the very best I could be, taught me life lessons, and helped me succeed more than I can explain. From three consecutive Scottsdale Equitation championships, to continuous support even while I am away at college, Culbreth Equine has made not only an impact on my life, but who I am as a person. No matter where life takes me, I know I can always return and call the barn home.” —GABRIELLE M. GREENBERG, COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY “Culbreth Equine is a fun and challenging experience. They came highly recommended to me. The staff is knowledgeable and dedicated to the Arabian horse. Chris, Michele, Jessica and the entire staff, work with many junior and amateur riders. The professional, ethical and athletic horsemanship is demonstrated at every interaction. Chris in an International Judge and past Region 7 Director. He is current on the rules, regulations and trends of the
Arabian horse industry. Michele is a fun and vital part of the team. She is always supportive, positive and does almost everyone’s hair for the show ring. Jessica is the young, vibrant associate trainer. She is not only talented in training many of the horses, but makes the challenges of lessons fun and unintimidating. I find this a unique and winning combination of skills. I enjoy riding with Culbreth Equine. Chris, Michele and Jessica are professional, ethical and care about the horses and riders. They strive for optimal outcomes and achievements. They educate and coach the youth and amateurs riders in good horsemanship. The support and sportsmanship from all the riders is refreshing and fun. I am grateful to have this experience.” —KIMBERLY HOWARD, SCOTTSDALE, AZ “Byron and I started our journey with Team Culbreth almost four years ago with a mare and her foal. Being a novice rider, Chris and Jessica have worked with me building my skills and confidence in multiples disciplines. I enjoy that they challenge me as if I was a youth and yet respect me as an adult. The spirit of the barn is simple—NO DRAMA—have fun, learn more, work together and respect. There is a true team spirit at the barn during special events like the farm tours or at the shows. We are a part of the Culbreth family, and we are proud to have four, soon to be five, horses with Chris and Michele. Whether a first timer, novice, advanced, or fully accomplished rider, anyone can benefit from what the Culbreth’s have to offer. Thank you, Michele, Chris and Jess, you have made me the rider I am, and know I have so much more to learn.” —BYRON & DEBI DONICS, RED LODGE, MT “Chris Culbreth has trained me since my 13 and under days. As I am competing in my second to last year as a youth, I am still learning things every time I train with him. Not only has he made me and my horse champions, but he has crafted an inseparable team. Chris pushes me to become a better rider than I was yesterday all the time, and I believe that is what makes a great trainer.” —KELSEY FAITH MCMAHAN, PRESCOTT, AZ
“Chris Culbreth and Jessica Schaeffler have changed my daughter from a backyard rider, to an educated, nationally competitive rider and a Scottsdale Champion. They are the kind of trainers that will make you work and make you believe in yourself. Their knowledge of showing and riding is, unbridled.” —MAIRI & BELLA HEATH, CLARKDALE, AZ We have known Chris and Michele Culbreth for over 15 years. We not only consider them to be our trainers, but more importantly, they are our friends. Professionalism, dedication to detail, and a good old-fashioned work ethic are the best characteristics to use when describing the staff at Culbreth Equine. Chris has personally encouraged me to “think outside the box” as I strive to be a better rider. Chris’ work ethic is second to none. If something isn’t working, he isn’t afraid to try another method until both he and the rider are satisfied with the results. I am grateful for what I have accomplished with my horses with the help of Chris’ guidance. Michele is the glue of the operation. Everyone that comes into contact with her knows that she is kindhearted, willing to lend an ear when a client has a question, and she does some of the best “show hair” in the industry! Culbreth Equine’s associate trainer, Jessica Schaeffler, is another important factor of why they have such a well-run operation. Her patience, understanding, and hard work are invaluable. She is extremely talented and a great hand under saddle. The best advice I have learned from Chris, “Quality of movement, collection, and selfcarry all come from having inertia.” We look forward to many more years of continued success with Chris, Michele, Jessica, and the staff at Culbreth Equine!” —RICH & ANN WHITLEY, RAMONA, CA
Chris & Michele Culbreth | Jessica Schaeffler | 480.231.5832 | CCulbreth@aol.com | 14530 E. Wildcat Dr. | Scottsdale, AZ 85262
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The SANTA YNEZ VALLEY ARABIAN HORSE ASSOCIATION
THE THE ARABIAN ARABIAN
All Amateur Show
THE ARABIAN FOAL FESTIVAL August 27 – 28, 2016 ~ 10:00 am
Montanaro Farm ~ 2531 Grand Avenue ~ Los Olivos, CA 93441
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About The Arabian Foal Festival The Arabian Foal Festival is a grassroots effort whose goal is to showcase the incredible Arabians that are bred in Santa Ynez Valley and beyond to established breeders and newcomers alike, in an atmosphere that is fun, inviting and with an opportunity to learn. Have you been to a horse show and wondered what made the judge select the winner? Our judges speak directly to the audience and point out the particular positive traits of the horses that win 1st and 2nd place of both their Classes and Championships. The focus is on education for breeders and the general public alike, along with a whole lot of fun. Hence the Saturday Night BBQ Party following classes which has been packed full of people every year – it feels like a horse show of days gone by. ”When the idea of The Arabian Foal Festival was put forth I was hooked! We have some of the best Arabian horses in the world all within our valley and statewide. Some really fun and innovative ideas are in place that should make our show appealing while offering a wholesome and low stress environment for all participants. The entire board and show staff are committed to a great weekend to celebrate the Valley of the Arabian Horse”. Greg Gallun, The Arabian Foal Festival Board Member The show is meant to be a first or second time outing that is a low stress experience for young horses or inexperienced older horses that will be handled by amateurs. The show features halter classes that are divided by age as well as the amateur’s level of experience. So it’s a back to basics show where the distance you travel is limited, the number of classes is limited, and there is time to enjoy your evening and spend time with your horse family friends! The Arabian Foal Festival will also be featuring an In-Hand Trail class for Yearlings and Two-Year-Olds where the focus is demonstrating basic skills the horse will be required to use throughout its lifetime. To learn more about the classes offered visit : www.syvaha.com
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“I don’t know what could be more fun and exciting than watching all these beautiful Arabian weanlings and yearlings come trotting into an outdoor arena, where the vista includes vineyards, wineries and the Los Padres Mountains. It just doesn’t get any better than that for a fun and entertaining weekend. We hope you will come join us.” Henry Metz, Arabian Horse Breeder & The Arabian Foal Festival Board Member
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Who Can Compete at The Show? While The Arabian Foal Festival has always been an All Amateur Show, we are now leveling the playing field even more. Classes are offered for Novice and Amateur handlers only. Part of the definition for Amateur handlers states that they may work in the horse industry. However, they may not receive remuneration for showing horses. Part of the definition for Novice handlers states that they are Amateurs who have not won in halter or performance, and they have not been Regional, Scottsdale, World Cup, U.S. Nationals First Place, Reserve or Champion winners. Also, horses shown by Novice handlers may not be trained at a professional show barn or training center. A new competition at the show will be the Breeders Challenge Class. For the Breeders Challenge, participating California breeders donated a service to an approved stallion. The program is limited to 12 breeders. Then the participating breeders each took a turn and randomly drew the name of one of the approved stallions for their service. The next year, breeders used that stallionâ€™s service on one of their mares. The following year, the resulting foals were born. We are excited to welcome the first foals of the Breeders Challenge program when they compete at the 2016 Arabian Foal Festival! We also added a Surprise Class - open exclusively to any senior female Arabian horse that has not been shown before. There will be a $2000 check waiting for the winner. We encourage small breeders to come forward and compete with their senior mare. We canâ€™t wait to see these Classes! We believe the unique format of The Arabian Foal Festival supports the goals of the Santa Ynez Valley Arabian Horse Association to foster ownership and promote owner participation so that they are able to fully experience the wonderful relationship possible with our Arabian horses and with members of our community. To learn about the AFF Points of Difference visit : www.syvaha.com
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“I was curious. How can you make a show just for foals and yearlings fun? I found out that you can make it even more fun than some ‘big’ shows. I am amazed with the concept, its execution, with the horses and the entire atmosphere at this show. I called it ‘a boutique show’ because this is exactly what the word ‘boutique’ means: small, quality and fun. It created a sense of fair competition and it was pure fun for everyone. I think many areas in the U.S. could duplicate this concept. It brings people together and this is what shows should be all about.” George Zbyszewski., AFF Judge
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The AFF Sponsorship Opportunities The Arabian Foal Festival is made possible through the generous support of members of our community. We encourage everyone to consider sponsoring a Class or Championship of this important event.
PLATINUM SPONSORSHIP: $10,000
- Inside Back Cover of Program or Inside Front Cover of Program - Two Page Ad in the Program - must be supplied with camera ready artwork - Banner in the Show Arena - Listed as Platinum Championship Division Sponsor in Program - Logo on Promotional Materials, Show Program, Website and Facebook - Twelve Tickets to Saturday Night Dinner
GOLD SPONSORSHIPS - $5,000
- Sponsor Championship Class - Gold, Silver, Bronze - Two Page Ad in the Program - must be supplied with camera ready artwork - Banner in the Show Arena - Listed as Gold Championship Division Sponsor in Program - Logo on Promotional Materials, Show Program, Website and Facebook - Six Tickets to Saturday Night Dinner
SILVER SPONSORSHIPS - $2,500
- Class Sponsors - Full Page Ad in the Program - must be supplied with camera ready artwork - Banner at the Horse Show - Listed as Silver Championship Division Sponsor in Program - Three Tickets to Saturday Night Dinner
BRONZE SPONSORSHIPS - $1,500
- Class Sponsor - Full Page Ad in the Program - must be supplied with camera ready artwork - Banner at the Horse Show - Listed as Bronze Class Sponsor in the Program - Two Tickets to Saturday Night Dinner For Sponsorship Opportunities & Benefits visit : www.syvaha.com
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More AFF Sponsorship Opportunities The Arabian Foal Festival is made possible through the generous support of members of our community. We encourage everyone to consider sponsoring a Class or Championship of this important event.
BEST SMALL BREEDER AWARD SPONSOR: - Full Page Ad in the Program - must be supplied with camera ready artwork - Public announcements - Included in advertising promotions - Digital banner on website - Invitation to Dinner
BEST LARGE BREEDER AWARD SPONSOR: - Full Page Ad in the Program - must be supplied with camera ready artwork - Public announcements - Included in advertising promotions - Digital banner on website - Invitation to Dinner
BEST SIRE OF SHOW AWARD SPONSOR: - Full Page Ad in the Program - must be supplied with camera ready artwork - Public announcements - Included in advertising promotions - Digital banner on website - Invitation to Dinner
BEST HANDLER AWARD SPONSOR: - Full Page Ad in the Program - must be supplied with camera ready artwork - Public announcements - Included in advertising promotions - Digital banner on website - Invitation to Dinner For Sponsorship Opportunities & Benefits visit : www.syvaha.com
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The Santa Ynez Gelding Futurity When promoting the Arabian breed, we don’t always give geldings enough credit. Many people who now have fully fledged breeding programs or careers in the breed, started with that one gelding - a “best friend” - who introduced them to the joys of owning an Arabian horse. While all breeders produce geldings, there is not always a simple way to introduce these “Ambassadors” to the next generation of Arabian horse owners. In pursuit of this goal, Sheikh Jassim Bin Khalifa Al Thani of Aljassimya Farm, and his manager, Bart Van Buggenhout, mapped out the concept of the Santa Ynez Gelding Futurity. This program offers California breeders the opportunity to nominate yearling geldings, bred and born in the state of California, for the Santa Ynez Gelding Futurity Auction. This is an online auction available on the Santa Ynez Valley Arabian Horse Association website. For those geldings eligible and accepted into the sale, the breeder pays a fee, which goes directly into the Futurity prize pot. Breeders may nominate multiple geldings to the auction with a fee for each horse. The nomination fees are added to the money raised from the actual sale of the geldings. The combined funds make this a lucrative program to promote the sale and ownership of purebred Arabian geldings - some of the best horses in the world! Our hope is that the Santa Ynez Gelding Futurity program will become the finest of its kind in the U.S., providing multiple payoffs. An additional benefit and a very important goal of the program is providing peace of mind to breeders, knowing that their gelded horses will have dignified and useful lives. Through this program, breeders are able to develop a more trusting clientele who can buy a vetted horse from an honest program. An additional benefit provides breeders the possibility to defray their initial upkeep cost. In short, we are encouraging breeders and the middle class riding and fun-loving family owner back into the business. To learn more about the Gelding Futurity visit : www.syvaha.com
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The 2016 Arabian Foal Festival JUDGES: Mrs. Marianne Tengstedt, Denmark - ECAHO A-List Judge since 2000 - Breeder of Arabian horses since 1980 - Chairman of the DSAH and show organizer Mr. Isaac Taylor, USA - AHA licensed Large “R” judge - Breeder of Arabian horses - Serves on the AHA Registrations Commission - Director of Region 7 & Member of Board of Directors Performance Judge: To be announced
AWARDS: Each year special awards and annual plaques are created by the inter internationally acclaimed Arabian horse artist and sculptor, Karen Kasper. The beautiful large trophies are perpetual pieces and are used each year. The plaques given to the Class winners, which feature Karen’s cherished designs, are theirs to keep. Original works by Karen Kasper are sought after by private collectors around the world and are included in the private collections of several royal stables in Morocco, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, as well as collections in the United States.
CELEBRATION BARBEQUE DINNER: You won’t want to miss this special event that will feature a special memorial to our dear friend and Arabian horse legend, Sheila Varian. Be sure to join us on Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m. for refreshments, dinner and a whole lot of fun! R.S.V.P.. requested. To learn more about The Arabian Foal Festival visit : www.syvaha.com
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Arabian Foal Festival Offered Classes Show schedule is subject to change, an additional day may be added at a later date. We encourage you to check the website for updates to the schedule. Yearling Filly - Novice Handler Yearling Filly - Amateur Handler Two Year Old Filly - Novice Handler Two Year Old Filly - Amateur Handler Three Year Old Filly - Novice Handler Three Year Old Filly - Amateur Handler Yearling Colt - Novice Handler Yearling Colt - Amateur Handler Two Year Old Colt/Gelding - Novice Handler Two Year Old Colt/Gelding - Amateur Handler Three Year Old Colt/Gelding - Novice Handler Three Year Old Colt/Gelding - Amateur Handler Filly Junior Championship - 1, 2 & 3 Year Olds - Novice Handler Filly Junior Championship - 1, 2 & 3 Year Olds - Amateur Handler Colt/Gelding Junior Championship - 1, 2 & 3 Year Olds - Novice Handler Colt/Gelding Junior Championship - 1, 2 & 3 Year Olds - Amateur Handler 2015 Santa Ynez Futurity Halter Championship - Prize Money Class Surprise the Judge: Four & Over Never Been Shown, $2,000 Prize Money! Party - Breeders Challenge & Honoring Arabian Breed Legend - Sheila Varian Trail In Hand Championship - Yearling, Two & Three Year Olds - Novice Handler Trail In Hand Championship - Yearling, Two & Three Year Olds - Amateur Handler Ridden Walk/Trot Trail Class for Novice & Amateur Riders with Horses Three Years & Older 2013 Santa Ynez Futurity Gelding - Ridden Walk/Trot Trail Championship - Money Class 2014 Santa Ynez Futurity Gelding - In Hand Trail Championship - Money Class 2016 - Filly Foal/Weanling Halter Class (Novice & Amateur) 2016 - Colt Foal/Weanling Halter Class (Novice & Amateur) Produce of Dam - Minimum 2 Entries - Foal/Weanling, Two or Three Year Olds - can be ET Foal Get of Sire - Minimum 2 Entries - Foal/Weanling, Two or Three Year Olds - can be ET Foal 2016 - Filly Foal/Weanling Foal Championship - Foal/Weanling 2016 - Colt Foal/Weanling Foal Championship - Foal/Weanling 2016 Breeders Challenge Foal Championship - Foal/Weanling * Presentation - Best Small Breeder, Best Large Breeder, Best Sire of Show, Best Handler
For updates & news about The Arabian Foal Festival visit : www.syvaha.com
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WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD
WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD
Jessica Bein BEIN PERFOR M ANCE HORSES SCOT TSDA LE , A Z , USA
Can you explain how your association with the Arabian horse came about? My mom was a trainer when I was a kid and her business was predominantly Arabians, with a few Quarter Horses. I was a relentless barn rat; I fell in love with every horse.
than seeing a kid click with a horse. That never leaves them. Kids today lack basic communication skills that previous generations were forced to learn, but that’s impossible to do with a horse. You get out what you put in.
You’ve shown horses as a youth and now make your living operating a horse farm. How did you come to this decision and when did you know this is what you wanted to do? My mom told me not to be a trainer, so naturally I had to do it! In all reality, I took a senior economics class in college my freshman year because it fit my schedule. I did the math on how much I was spending on my education, and how much I would make when I graduated. I couldn’t afford a law degree and an entry level teaching position didn’t pay enough. I figured out how many horses I had to keep in training to make the same amount of money, got married and moved to Scottsdale to train horses. I was brilliant when I was 19!
Is there one horse that stands out in your mind that made you fall in love with Arabians and why? When I was a kid, I rode a gelding named Shraynattall+//, owned by Dori Clemence, who was a client of my mom’s at the time. He was the first super cool show horse I got to show and the first horse I ever saw receive his legion of honor. I still remember what they said during his awards ceremony, “Like a fine wine, he just gets better with time.” He was a quintessential purebred Arabian gelding: sweet, loving, precious personality and took care of me! There was no walk trot at Arabian shows then, so I did lead line, then learned to lope. I remember the bucket I won like it was yesterday!
Youth is a very large part of your business; can you share why you feel the youth are so important and what you enjoy most about working with them? We are about 50% adult and 50% youth riders as far as our amateur program goes, which is a huge improvement from a few years ago when we were 75% adults. Youth is absolutely imperative to the future of our industry. We have to bring people in and youth riders potentially have the greatest long term trajectory. We have to be able to pass down what this generation has gained or it’s really all for nothing. On a personal level, I like working with kids because most come in as a blank slate and I love to share my passion. Yes, I love winning prizes, but nothing is more gratifying
What is your most gratifying moment in the Arabian horse industry? The most exciting moment of my life was unaccountably winning the open in Freedom Hall, on the green shavings. However, the most gratifying moment in the Arabian horse industry is undoubtedly having my name announced as APAHA Horsewoman of the Year! Being nominated was a honor, and being recognized by my peers to receive the award still seems like a dream! Truly a memorable moment for me! Since you grew up in a horse loving family, what does it mean to have your daughter be a part of this love for the Arabian horse? Before McKenna was born, people would say, “What are you going to do
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if she doesn’t like horses?” And I would always reply, “I’ll love whatever she loves.” Watching her love horses is an unbelievable blessing. I will never forget the first day I saw her grab a horse’s nose and kiss it, because my heart melted. Sharing a passion gives us a common ground, but it is also fulfilling. On top of that, she’s a great worker! She makes going to work fun and shows easier. Seriously, I love horse shows, but going to a show with that kid amplifies any feeling I had before! You always make mention that your husband is very instrumental in your success; can you explain what makes your partnership so special? David is an integral part of the success of Bein Performance
doing what he does. What makes us unique is that we really do like each other! We usually have our meals together, we see each other throughout the day, and we both genuinely want to see the other be successful and happy. You give back by volunteering a lot of your time to the Arabian horse community; what organizations are special to you? I’ll always be partial to grassroots programs, however, I have a heart for the Horsemen’s Distress Fund. I love the people involved with the program. The truth is, horse people are usually passion motivated people, not financially motivated people. We put everything into “our passion” and
JESSICA BEIN Horses, because he does everything. He sets up at shows, hauls horses, builds random things, and fixes footing, in addition to running his own business! If that isn’t enough, he is an elder at our church and is involved in several ministries. We parent 50/50 and he doesn’t miss a beat! He is incredibly humble, and takes credit for nothing. I nearly feel guilty anytime I receive an award, because he deserves the recognition—I couldn’t do what I do without him
frequently are ill prepared for tragedy. Every story hits home. You see your friends struggle and you realize that it could be you, or your loved one. Seeing an industry come together to meet the needs of another person is awe-inspiring. It a privilege to participate in any level. When you are not in the barn or on a horse, what do you enjoy doing? I love to eat! I mean cook! I love to
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WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD
cook every meal … grill, bake, and I even prep meals for while we are on the road. I plan road trips around where I want to eat, down to what time we leave in the morning! What is the perfect Sunday for you? Sleep in, go to church, go to lunch with friends, nap on the couch watching TV (which is likely a video of a previous go or a cooking show)—we aren’t very exciting people. What is something our readers would be surprised to know about you? I have chickens and David has tortoises. One of the tortoises is a 65 lb. Sulcata. We literally sit and watch them for extended amounts of time like they’re going to do something exciting! Where do you see yourself in the Arabian horse industry 20 years from now? I don’t ever plan to “retire,” but I would certainly like to only ride what I want to ride. I unquestionably want to focus on judging, and hope to work more closely in AHA. ■
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Leaders Of The Times: Amaar Al Nasser
by Jeff Wallace
This bay beauty, foaled in 2014, simply wowed the judging panel in Doha, Qatar last year, to become the 2015 Qatar International Gold Champion Yearling Colt with Glenn Schoukens at the lead. Later in the year, Amaar also brought home the honor of Gold Champion Yearling Colt in Chantilly, France. With a finely chiseled and delicate head, a beautifully arched neck, coupled with unique and charismatic movement, it is no wonder that everyone has high hopes for the future belonging to Amaar Al Nasser. His pedigree presents perfectly, a modern and international roster of champions. Born inside Al Nasser Stud, owned by Sheikh Nawaf Bin
Nasr Al Thani of Qatar, and wisely managed by Hendrik Mens alongside head trainer Marlene Nygreen Larsen, one would assume that Amaar Al Nasser is from one of the spectacular Egyptian dam lines this farm isÂ famous forâ€”this would be an accurate assumption as the mare lines of Al Nasser are known the world over for their stunning type and brilliant overall quality. Amaar Al Nasser represents the modern influence of stallions used on the established mares of the stud. Additional to the Egyptian bloodstock at the farm, there is also a fine collection of mixed blood Arabians of which the farm is now equally known. Amaar shows the depth of the dam lines and their abilities to go in many different directions when it comes to choosing a mate. This
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AMAAR AL NASSER
(EKS Alihandro x Remal Al Nasser) This page, Above:
RIHAB AL NASSER
(Marwan Al Shaqab x Remal Al Nasser) Right: REMAL AL NASSER (Ashhal Al Rayyan x Aliah Al Nasser)
year for instance, Eden C and Hariry Al Shaqab have covered Al Nasser mares, while last year Al Adeed Al Shaqab, RFI Farid and Fadi Al Shaqab were chosen, producing several outstanding 2016 foals—foals with quite a bright future. Amaar’s sire, Eks Alihandro, is quickly earning high merits in the breeding shed on top of his sterling accolades in the most important of European show arenas. In 2012 he was All Nations Cup Junior Champion and had an amazing success the next year: Junior Male Gold Champion in Dubai, Menton, the All Nations Cup, and lastly, the World Championships in Paris—all wins garnered unanimously. Bred by Elkasun Arabians in South Africa, Eks Alihandro is the progenitor of the world’s strongest sire line, that of Gazal Al Shaqab through his son Marwan Al Shaqab, sire of Alihandro. The maternal side of Amaar’s pedigree is the perfect complement to Eks Alihandro. The charming flea-bitten grey Remal Al Nasser shows a forceful Egyptian influence in the breeding behind Amaar. Ashhal Al Rayyan (Safir x Ansata Majesta) as her direct sire, created his own pristine legacy, not only in Egyptian breeding and not even only in Qatar, but worldwide. Through Safir, Salaa El Dine and Ansata Halim Shah have added another branch of the Nazeer sire line with a line to Ansata Majesta (Ansata Halim Shah x Ansata Malika, by Jamil) who traces to the illustrious Moheba of German straight Egyptian fame.
Likewise, Remal Al Nasser’s dam, the interesting powerhouse producer Aliah Al Nasser, is a rare bay daughter of Imperial Mahzeer (Imperial Madheen x Maar Bilahh, by El Halimaar), a stallion very influential as a foundation sire for Al Nasser Stud years ago. Her Tersk-bred female line to Taktika, while also carrying the blood of Russian greats *Menes and *Muscat, as well as a perfect dose of Ali Jamaal, has made her a perfect outcross for several different stallions, and her small, yet important family put Al Nasser on the global map. All the famous names in a pedigree don’t make a strong dam line, but the mares inside this family have beyond proven themselves. Aliah Al Nasser also delivered to our breed the Unanimous Egyptian Event Champion Senior Stallion Monther Al Nasser, who is now a very integeral part of the Aljassimya breeding program in California. And Amaar Al Nasser isn’t the only remarkable offspring of Remal Al Nasser, as her two wonderful daughters by Marwan Al Shaqab, Rihab and Masrata Al Nasser, are also set to make their marks in the books of Al Nasser. While this handsome bay colt catches the eyes of the spectators and judges, just remember that behind him are some of the world’s finest sires and dams carefully crafted, generation after generation, inside the Al Nasser Stud in Qatar. n
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L A N O I EG
P U D N U RO
GET TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE! Support and Celebrate your Region with upcoming Show Coverage and in your Regional Directory. AHT ... proud producer of Regions 7, 9, 10 & 13 Directories.
Contact: Tony Bergren • 231-286-6085 • Tonyb@ahtimes.com Lara Ames * 612-210-1592 • Lara@ahtimes.com Riyan Rivero • 480-650-0731 • Riyan@ahtimes.com 1.800.248.4637 or 952.492.3213 • www.ahtimes.com
Ar abian Horse Times | 60 | Volume 46, No. 12
Owned by Southern Oaks Farm | Kelli Aguirre, Jupiter, FL | www.VJRoyalHeir.com | Breeders Sweepstakes Nominated Sire | Region 12 Spotlight Sire | AEPA Enrolled Sire Standing at Kiesner Training, Louisville, TN | www.KiesnerTraining.com | Barn: 865-984-5245 | Joel’s Cell: 865-556-0413 | Ashton’s Cell: 865-556-0412
photos: osteen, schatzberg, vesty
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Creating his own dynasty!
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Ar abian Horse Times | 2 | English
From start to Finish! TRAINING
VICKI HUMPHREY TRAINING CENTER Vicki Humphrey |
Jessica Clinton DeSoto |
Canton, Georgia |
Gabe DeSoto |
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the driving force behind
Irwin Schimmel has been breeding Arabians for over 40 years, and has consistently been recognized as one of the top breeders of National winning Arabians and Half-Arabians. Each year he is proud to offer talented young prospects for sale, and watches with pride as they go on to win National awards.
Spring brings another exciting year to Prestige Farms ... with foals arriving, we are excited to see what the future stars of Prestige will be.
2016 foals sired by the best! Filly Colt Filly Filly Filly Filly Colt Filly
Sire Baske Afire Baskghazi HA Toskcan Sun HA Toskcan Sun MHR Nobility Nutcrackers Nirvana Nutcrackers Nirvana Nutcrackers Nirvana SF Aftershoc SF Aftershoc
SOLD BEFORE FOALING Sire Colt Nutcrackers Nirvana Filly Nutcrackers Nirvana Colt CSP Grand Cayman
Dam JR Patrice (Apollopalooza x JR Penelope) MD Bellamesa (MHR Nobility x MC Bellasera) JR Primadona (AA Apollo Bey x JR Primrose) HV Tesstoify (Matoi x HV Tess) JSN Cosmopolitan (El Ghazi x Angel Afire) Miz Show Biz (Baske Afire x MZ Kitty) Miz Katarina Bask PF (Baske Afire x MZ Kitty) Red Hott Mama (Mamage x Ames déjà vu) Eternity PF (MHR Nobility x Harghazi Fire CMF) Noble Vision PF (MHR Noblility x Neveah W)
Dam Lady Mac Baske (Afire Bey V x Mac Baske) BB Ahmaree (Baske Afire x Mayan Baska) Heat Wave PF (SF Specs Shocwave x Afires Quintina)
Contact Irwin today about young prospects and bred mares available.
Visit us on Facebook. Check out the new videos of our sale horses.
Irwin Schimmel • 360-256-9432 • Cell: 503-367-4997 P.O. Box 814, Hillsboro, Oregon 97123
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HA Toskcan Sun
A thrill like NO other!
ENGLISH Offering exciting English horses ready for open and amateur competiton. ADANDY FARM CATHY VINCENT ~ 302.349.5116 | Alayna Mala ~ 413.552.7716 GREENWOOD, DELAWARE | ADANDYFARM@AOL.COM | WWW.ADANDYFARM.COM
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License To Thrill PF
Scarlet O Butler
RGT Breathin Afire
at Adandy Standing top English producing stallions Gitar MF Citationn
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CP Manifesto (H Mobility H x Afire Charmm) 2016 Scottsdale Champion Country English Pleasure Jr. Horse Ridden by Sharon Blendinger for Kirby Arabians
H Magic Mobility H (H Mobility H x Ellusion of Magic) 2015 Spotlight Futurity Champion & Region 12 Reserve Champion Ridden by Peri Wilson for Dina & Michael Good (ferrara photo)
Hennessey Arabian Horse Partners LLC • Waterford, MI • 352.857.3384 • www.HennesseyArabians.com Multi-Program Nominated Sire • Standing at Trowbridge’s Ltd • 860-354-8926 • www.Trowbridgesltd.com
Breeding for Excellence O v e r
Y e a r s
Visit us to find your next champion! Ar abian Horse Times | 10 | English
E n g l i s h
P r o s p e c t s
Afires Heir x Toi Jabaska . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/23/2016 Afires Heir x Ames Patina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/24/2016 SF Aftershoc x Isabella Divinci . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/26/2016 Afires Heir x Aria Endless Summer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/18/2016 Nutcracker’s Nirvana x Use Your Illusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/26/2016 Nutcracker’s Nirvana x Ames Mirage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/08/2016 A Noble Cause x Takaraa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/24/2016 Vitorio TO x Exotic Angel AB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/09/2016 VJ Royal Heir x Shady Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/13/2016 Nobellistic CRF x Julietta Ames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/20/2016 Afires Heir x Captivating Style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5/08/2016 Afires Heir x Auroras Annie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5/24/2016
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Filly Colt Colt Filly Colt Filly Colt Filly Filly Colt
Weiza Bella . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ames Illusion . . . . . . . . . . . Suzanne Ames . . . . . . . . . . Ames Divine . . . . . . . . . . . Tory Burch CRF . . . . . . . . . Nirvana Angel CRF . . . . . . Rachael Ames . . . . . . . . . . Mighty Thor CRF . . . . . . . . Ghaza Heir CRF . . . . . . . . . Noble Emotions CRF . . . . . Shady Magna CRF . . . . . . . Hes In Style CRF . . . . . . . . Party Nut CRF . . . . . . . . . . .
Pogrom x Wieza Mocy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/15/2015 A Noble Cause x Ames Mirage . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/28/2015 Baahir El Marwan x Exotic Angel AB . . . . . . . . 2/27/2015 ROL Divine Style x Julietta Ames . . . . . . . . . . . 3/13/2015 SHF Encore x Glamorize . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/27/2015 Nutcracker’s Nirvana x Colette Ames . . . . . . . . 5/13/2015 SHF Encore x HA Sahara Afire . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6/15/2015 SHF Encore x Julietta Ames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/10/2015 Afires Heir x MA Ghaza Trot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5/13/2015 A Noble Cause x Madame Ghazi . . . . . . . . . . . 5/14/2015 VCP Magna Fire x Shady Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/09/2015 ROL Divine Style x Gunning For Roses KCF . . . 4/19/2015 Undulata’s Nutcracker x Marion Ames . . . . . . . 5/07/2015
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Filly Filly Filly Filly Filly Filly Filly Colt Colt Colt Gelding Gelding Gelding
Shes Magical CRF . . . . . . . Angelina Ames . . . . . . . . . Bold N Sassy CRF . . . . . . . Joyful Encore CRF . . . . . . . Bellazi CRF . . . . . . . . . . . . . Supreme Glamor CRF . . . . Hail Mary CRF . . . . . . . . . . Alpha Memories CRF . . . . Fire It Up CRF . . . . . . . . . . . Ultimate Fire CRF . . . . . . . . Sir Mystical CRF . . . . . . . . Cause Afire CRF . . . . . . . . . Cause A Discovery CRF . . . Noble Symbol CRF . . . . . . The Machine CRF . . . . . . .
Sir Marwan CRF x Exotic Angel AB . . . . . . . . . 3/04/2014 Afires Heir x Aria Endless Summer . . . . . . . . . 4/01/2014 A Noble Cause x Stella . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5/03/2014 SHF Encore x Colette Ames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5/30/2014 A Noble Cause x VDF Bella Ghazi . . . . . . . . . . . 5/31/2014 Noble Supreme CRF x Glamorize . . . . . . . . . . . 6/10/2014 Magnum Psyche x Marion Ames . . . . . . . . . . . 6/12/2014 Afires Heir x Alpha Phi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6/22/2014 Baske Afire x On Tulsa Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/17/2014 Afire Bey V x Ames Patina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5/10/2014 Sir Marwan CRF x Toi Jabaska . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/01/2014 A Noble Cause x HA Sahara Fire . . . . . . . . . . . 5/29/2014 A Noble Cause x Madame Ghazi . . . . . . . . . . . 6/09/2014 Noble Supreme CRF x Colette Ames . . . . . . . . 6/14/2014 A Noble Cause x Lady Machine . . . . . . . . . . . . 6/20/2014
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Filly Filly Filly Filly Filly Filly Filly Filly Colt Colt Gelding Gelding Gelding Gelding Gelding
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Stallion Stallion Mare Mare Mare Mare Mare Mare Mare Mare Gelding Gelding Gelding Gelding Gelding Gelding Gelding
Noblistic CRF . . . . . . . . . . . Ames Imperator . . . . . . . . . Jordan Lady CRF . . . . . . . . Hannah Ames . . . . . . . . . . Ames Gypsy Moon . . . . . . Encores Touch CRF . . . . . . Ames Nutorious . . . . . . . . . Encores Love CRF . . . . . . . Anna Ames . . . . . . . . . . . . Sandra Ames . . . . . . . . . . . Noble Lad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sure Fire CRF . . . . . . . . . . . Im McDreamy . . . . . . . . . . MN Classic CRF . . . . . . . . . Encores Mark . . . . . . . . . . . His OwnMan CRF . . . . . . . Center Stage CRF . . . . . . .
A Noble Cause x Toi Jabaska . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/29/2013 Afires Heir x Aria Endless Summer . . . . . . . . . 4/09/2013 Noble Supreme CRF x Royal Starina . . . . . . . . 3/10/2013 Brass x Afire Inmy Eyes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/16/2013 Bey Ambition x Ames Mirage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/25/2013 SHF Encore x Colette Ames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/18/2013 Undulata’s Nutcracker x Toi Jabaska . . . . . . . . 5/20/2013 SHF Encore x Julietta Ames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5/29/2013 A Noble Cause x G Kallora . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6/17/2013 JA Urbino x Miss Mishah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6/30/2013 Noble Supreme CRF x HV Trinidoll . . . . . . . . . . 2/06/2013 Noble Supreme CRF x Stella . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/25/2013 Matoi x Shady Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/11/2013 Audacious PS x Corssica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3/15/2013 SHF Encore x My Proud Mary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5/04/2013 Baske Afire x Gunning For Roses KCF . . . . . . . 5/09/2013 SHF Encore x Stella . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/09/2013
The Ames Family | 20335 Sawmill Road | Post Office Box 8 | Jordan, MN 55352 | Tel: 952-492-6590 | www .Cedar-Ridge .com Mike Brennan, Breeding Manager | 612-202-6985 Ar abian Horse Times | 11 | English
SYNONYMOUS ENGLISH ... CONWAY ... THEISEN
Expertly bred ...
Nite Trane CA (Coltrane SS x Nite Heiress)
The Conway Team has made a major commitment to building a breeding and training program that will enhance the English Performance division. With the arrival of our 2016 foals, we are excited to show you the results. We invite your inquiries on sales and breedings.
Conway Arabians 18080 Cty 2 • Chatfield, MN 55923 • 507-867-2981 • 507-202-4440 • 507-867-0060 barn • firstname.lastname@example.org Trainers: Tom Theisen • 404-304-9955 • email@example.com and Jennifer Schmitt
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Noble Rendezvous (IXL Noble Express x Renee Afire)
Will be competing in the 2016 AEPA $100,000 Arabian Saddle Seat Futurity.
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M att Siemon
2015 Leading English Trainer
Our facility has been blessed with some of the best horses in the country, who are owned and ridden by some very special people. We feel honored to have been entrusted by you to work with you and your great horses. Our amateurs are special and you are what makes all the hard work worth it. From the experienced adults to the munchkins just beginning their careers ... you are the best. Thank you each and every one." â€”The Siemon Family
Siemon Stables, Inc. Chuck, Matthew and Luke Siemon 9311 Lower Valley Pike, New Carlisle, Ohio 45344 937-849-1487 â€˘ www.siemonstablesinc.com
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2015 Leading Half-Arabian English Performance Horse
and Bill Castro | Kettering, Ohio
2015 â€Ś Unanimous Buckeye Champion ATR Unanimous Canadian National Champion ATR Unanimous Canadian National Champion Open Unanimous U.S. National Champion Open U.S. National Reserve Champion ATR
Photo by Brianna Burnham
(VCP Magnifire x Gingerâ€™s Dance)
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2016 SCOTTSDALE UNANIMOUS CHAMPION ENGLISH PLEASURE
3x U.S. National Champion | Afires Heir x Noble Aphroditie | Proudly bred & owned by Karlton Jackson
Proudly owned by Candace Avery For breeding information, contact Kiesner’s Joel’s Cell: 865-556-0413 • Ashton’s Cell: 865-556-0412 Ar abian Horse Times | 18 | English
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4 TIME UNANIMOUS U.S. NATIONAL
Afire Bey V x Brassmis, by Brass • Proudly owned by Bill & Shirley Reilich • Standing at Kiesner Training • 865.984.5245 AEPA Enrolled Sire • Breeders Sweepstakes Nominated Sire • MN Medallion Stallion • SCID Clear • www.AfiresHeir.com
QH QH Serengeti 2011 Black Stallion Black Daniels X My Love Song by Allience+//
2015 US NATIONAL TOP TEN AEPA Arabian Horse Times $100,000 Arabian English Pleasure Futurity 2014 US NATIONAL TOP TEN Arabian English Pleasure Futurity Breeders Sweepstakes Nominated Sire SCID & CA Clear
Standing at Stachowski Farm 12561 State Route 44 Mantua, OH 44255 330-274-2494 Ar abian Horse Times | 21 | English
Owned & Bred by Quarry Hill Farm 345 Sharon Road Lakeville, CT 06039 860-435-2571
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ENGLISH COVER STORY
vj Royal Heir ENGLISH
by Anne Stratton
VJ Royal Heir. Son of Afires Heir. Grandson of Afire Bey V. “At this point, he’s almost an outcross,” jokes Joel Kiesner, who stands Kelli Aguirre’s VJ Royal Heir at stud. “You’re not breeding to Afire Bey V anymore, but this horse has the look of a direct son—or of Afires Heir—because of the neck and that certain swagger these bloodlines come with. It’s prepotent enough that those qualities are lingering on, but with all the other influences.” Kiesner trained Royal Heir through a show career that included two U.S. National Championships in English Pleasure (open and junior horse) and generated a lot of interest in his potential as a sire. This year the stallion offers his fourth foal crop, enough for observers to draw conclusions, but because his oldest are just now entering English training, only the beginning for seeing how they perform. In particular, Kiesner is seeing two dominant qualities: neck and trot. “He really stamps them; there is no question,” he says. “I’ve seen enough now [to know] that it’s very consistent that he’s adding neck to everything, and he’s passing on a lot of trot—the big kind of rolling trot he has. He has a lot of suspension himself, and it looks like the babies are going to have it too.” He cites three examples of what he means. Among the earliest to go public will be Aguirre’s Royal Heiress SOF (x BL Miss Chips, a daughter of U.S. and Canadian National Champion Rumina Afire), who now is aiming at this year’s English Pleasure Futurity. “She’s a beautiful, high class mare, and we think she’s pretty special,” Kiesner says. “She’s bay, with a beautiful star and big bright
eyes, and she’s always looking at you. When she takes off trotting, she’s built to do the job. She has tons of shape to her neck, and you’re never going to have to worry about getting her head up. You’re just going to tip her nose in, and it’s a very flexible neck. She has that same lofty, slow—almost like slow motion—way of going.” The second is the yearling Regal Heir PVS, bred by Michael Aponte III. Out of the MHR Nobility daughter Nobility Miss, he has a certain look, Kiesner says. “He has a crazy neck, a beautiful eye, really tight, shapely ears, and he has a great front end and great back end. His granddam is out of MG Baskhari, and those who have been around a long time will probably remember her.” And third is Aguirre’s 2015 colt out of A Love Supreme, a mare whose name has been up in lights lately as the dam of the AEPA’s 2015 Arabian Horse Times $100,000 Arabian Futurity winner. Kiesner smiles when he describes the youngster. “He’s a beautiful colt that knows he’s special and he’s just waiting to show the world,” he says. “Until that time comes, he’ll do it for one visitor to his pasture at a time if he must.” In fact, the colt’s quality is such that if all goes well, he may be Aguirre’s next stallion prospect. As for the future, Kelli Aguirre reports that as she speaks with the people who have supported VJ Royal Heir with mares, she finds the outlook promising. “It’s thrilling for me to see people so excited about their babies.” “When the Royal Heir foals start showing, they are not going to disappoint,” Joel Kiesner says. “They are going to leave a mark.” ■
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Todayâ€™s English Horse The bar for English horses in the Arabian and HalfArabian industry has always been set high. Over the years we have seen the division progress and grow into an exciting one to be part of. In an ever-changing world, the quality and specialization of todayâ€™s English horse is phenomenal, thanks to those whose talents and dedication are focused on ensuring their success and popularity. In the following special feature, AHT asked todayâ€™s talented individuals who are invested in the English horse, questions regarding current issues on the growth and development of this division, from quality, shoeing, and the impact of certain classes, to who could be and is a star. As the English horse continues to evolve, one thing remains constant: the love and passion for the English discipline continues to shine at its brightest. From individual winners, to trainers, owners and breeders, there is a constant need for more talent, and those leaders can be found here.
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Lara Ames Cedar Ridge Arabians, Jordan, MN
of my favorite moments in English and driving classes involve him. He is beautiful and does all with grace.
The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? I think we could attribute to both. We have bred amazing horses and the trainers are doing an excellent job in training them.
Candace Avery Kiesner Training, Louisville, TN
If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? For sure. There was some greats from the past: Orans Adagio, Countess Vanessa, MHR Nobility, FF Summerstorm. In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? I do not think there is much separation between the English and park divisions. We need to do a better job clarifying this as we did with the country. Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? Yes. Anytime people can win prize money, they are anxious to breed or buy. I think the next step would be breaking these divisions up at Nationals. It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country horse, can you explain why? That is hard to answer, but there may be more ways to show a Half-Arabian country horse. They are more marketable to the youth, as a lot of them show in the Saddle Seat Equitation division. What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? Adams Afire. To me he is just breathtaking, and some
The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? I was really impressed with the quality of English horses at the last U.S. Nationals. There are some really excellent English trainers who are setting the highest standards and producing performance horses that are exceeding expectations. I also believe the quality of the horses has generally improved. Breeders have really become more focused, pairing the right mares to the right stallions in order to maximize the qualities of each. There is a new generation of fantastic stallions today producing amazing performance horses. If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? I don’t think so. The paradigm for English horses has changed so much; today’s English horses are much bigger and able to achieve so much more motion. The horses of today can perform at a much higher level than ever before. In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? That’s a challenge because the expectations for a park horse are so high, that there are very few horses that can achieve them. Breeding for a park horse, and getting one, is so very rare! Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? Yes, I think it’s a terrific program and has helped immensely
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to throw the spotlight on the English horse. It definitely provided an incentive for me last year to have my trainer, Joel Kiesner, compete in the AEPA class on my stallion Saxton DGL. Winning a lot of money certainly helped! It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country horse, can you explain why? I can’t explain this. It is still a surprise to me! Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? I already have my dream horse, Saxton DGL, a purebred five year-old stallion. Joel Kiesner showed him in the Futurity in 2014 and won the class and then showed him again in the AEPA last year, and he went Reserve Champion. He has everything I ever wanted in an English horse: beauty, a great neck, motion, great hind end, intelligence, and manners! We just started to breed him this season, and I am excited to see his foals next year! What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? Afires Heir, all the way! Bill Castro Siemon Stables. New Carlisle, OH The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? I feel that it is both the quality and the training. I also think the level of amateurs ride equally to the pros. Many amateurs compete on open level horses! If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? Not equally, as I think the breeding of performance horses has improved.
In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? I feel that the broken level of placing horses in divisions that were not to AHA specs, rewarded entries not suited for that division. It is just a matter of time till the ripple effect gets the right entries in the park division. Speed should be penalized and cadence, balance, and impulsion should be sought. Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? Yes, but we also need to get people into our breed. These are all good steps and in the right direction. It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country horse, can you explain why? Having shown Saddlebreds and Arabians, I feel the Half-Arabian is still the best of two breeds! I love my Half-Arabian/ Half-Saddlebreds. Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? Afire Bey V and a Saddlebred. I am very partial to VCP Magnifire, VJ Royal Heir, and Vegaz. What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? Second Editions Debut, GTF Beetlejuice, and Adams Fire. Lori Conway Conway Arabians, Inc., Chatfield, MN The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? Definitely
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both. There is no doubt that the conformation characteristics have evolved to be more vertical in frame and motion on today’s Arabian and Half-Arabians. If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? It is NOT the shoeing rules that have created the English horse that we have today. With that being said, a few of the great horses from 25 years ago would still be winning regardless of what was on their feet, but the majority would not. The style and carriage has evolved since then. In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? I think it is time to remove the restrictions on “if you compete in the country division, you cannot go in the English division at the same show.” We don’t have restrictions in any other division, and if this was removed, I feel a shift will happen to improve the park and English divisions. People want to compete against horses. Nobody wants to go in a one horse class. Horses have the ability to change their frame and their motion depending on who is riding them, so why not let them compete in the different English divisions at a horse show? The Amateur and Youth English/Park divisions would surely benefit from this adjustment. As long as the judges adhere to the class specs for each division, I think it would be an interesting and positive evolution in the English division. This idea is from Rob Bick, and I think it is a good one.
Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? ABSOLUTELY! The market is stronger and breeding has increased. It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country horse, can you explain why? That is new news to me. Really? The only reason I figure anyone is ever saying such a thing is because of a size preference. The majority of people are bigger and probably feel more comfortable on a bigger horse. Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? Conway Arabians has certainly had good luck using Afire Bey V, IXL Noble Express, El Ghazi, MHR Nobility, Afires Heir, Baske Afire, Barbary, Hucklebey Berry, *Bask, and now hopefully, Coltrane! What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? My first pick would be Huckleberry Bey. I loved his personality and ease of moving. My second choice would be Afires Heir; he has the whole package and is doing a great job as a sire.
Hunters can change their frame and be a show hack horse or a western horse. Reining horses can change their frame and be a western pleasure horse or a hunter. Why can’t open country horses be English amateur or youth horses at the same show? ...Just a thought. :-)
John Golladay Golladay Training @ Cedar Ridge, Jordan, MN The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? I think that the bar for the English horse is in constant evolution. Breeders and trainers have dedicated themselves to that over the past 50 years. So, to say that the bar is getting raised, is more or less in comparison to the past. And many of those horses of the past were freaks of nature in their own right. I believe we have to attribute most of
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our change to the evolution of the sport, which would include every detail from shoeing, sports medicine and training, to specialized breeding.
What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? Hallelujah Bask.
If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? Today we have the flexibility (regarding shoeing rules) to help these horses as much as we can. Saying that, I think there were some great horses of the past that, it would not matter what was on their feet, they still would win today.
Vicki Humphrey Vicki Humphrey Training Center, Canton, GA
In my opinion, every horse is different and has a different flight pattern regarding his range of motion, so in all cases, we should shoe these horses to benefit that individual’s natural range of motion. Many of the great ones of the past could, and only wore plates. So yes, they probably would turn a couple heads today. In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? Compared to the recent past (last ten years or so), I actually think the park classes have been pretty full, and the quality has definitely risen in the past couple years. I know at every national show, Youth, Canada, and U.S., the purebred and Half-Arabian park numbers have been up. And have been exciting to watch! So, that seems like a good sign. Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? Absolutely. I don’t know where our industry would be without people and programs like this dedicated to making our sport and breed better. Crucial. Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? Bask x Heirs Noble Love.
The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? The bar is high. The training rises to the expectations of that bar. Although I think training techniques are always evolving and improving, and as trainers we have refined our skills, most of all, they are more specific. We ask for a more extreme carriage and more extreme eﬀort from our horses. We show them less often in order that they can perform at the level we expect. If our horses were tennis players or golfers who had to compete every weekend, we would train much more for endurance and conditioning and less for a brief high level of performance. Our trainers are highly talented as are our horses, but I think the raising of the bar is a result of the need to meet the expectations of owners in an extremely expensive and competitive sport. If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? We have focused our breeding for the last twenty years on producing horses specific to our disciplines. The breeding of English horses has focused a great deal on high necked profiles as well as motion. If horses such as FF Summerstorm, Featurette, and Nobility wore the pads and shoes we are allowed today, we could have a great comparison of our breeding programs then to now. We have higher necked horses now, but the great horses then, would be great now.
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In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? A great park horse is the epitome of our English division. It is understandable that there are less of them. Now that we have made strong definitions between English and country, the true park horse with cadence and balance and frame should have a place in our class line up. Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? The classes are extremely popular and have showcased the English division well. It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country horse, can you explain why? I am not sure that is the case for the adult division, but in the youth division, equitation is a major interest and the Half-Arabian country horse can serve as an equitation mount as well. Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? An After Shoc son with eight crosses to Bask out of a Baske Afire daughter, out of a Barbary daughter, out of an Eter daughter. Joel Kiesner Kiesner Training. Louisville, TN The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? I would attribute it to Afires Heir and now his sons and daughters carrying the torch, as well as excellent training. I would also attribute it to a decline in people breeding who aren’t as serious about what it takes to breed a great horse. The people involved now are very serious and very thoughtful and know what it takes to make a great
horse. The overall quality has improved due to the breed programs we have today. Enough can’t be said about the trainers we have in our business and how thoughtful they are in what they do. We have some of the highest quality people in our breed training horses. If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? I feel that some of them could win today, though there was a different look then. Horses were smaller and didn’t bridle like they do today. When Bask came onto the scene, he really stood out because he looked different and then he produced horses that looked different, changing the standard. Combine the changes from Bask with what Sheila did, and the horses became overall more elegant with better necks and more motion. We have blended the good parts of what was then and weaned out what didn’t work. Also, trainers have learned from trainers past and grown from what they did and work through it. In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? I don’t feel that the park classes have been that bad. Since the park is the most extreme, it only makes sense that fewer people are in it. I think there will be more park horses in the future due to breeding, but it will never be as big as the country division due to the physical abilities of the horses. They are simply not the same. Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? Does the sun rise and set every day? Absolutely, yes, this has helped make the breed stronger and the market, as well. The more things we have like this, the stronger the breed would be. The format of the classes are slightly different which makes it incredibly exciting to watch and also to
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compete in. There is nothing like riding in these type of classes. They are popular, yes, because of money, but also because of fun it is to be a part of it. People love to watch these classes, and if we continue to grow these type of events, the breed and market will grow with it. People want excitement and the AEPA classes offer that. It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country horse, can you explain why? The difference in a purebred country horse vs. a Half-Arabian country horse would be that for one, a purebred is not as much fun to ride as a Half-Arabian. The Half-Arabians are more of the ideal saddle seat horse with long necks and easy to bridle. People spend more money on these type of horses because they are more fun to ride. A purebred can be hard to find with the neck, motion and overall look. However, don’t worry, because with the stallions out there today like Afires Heir and Royal Heir, these purebreds are being bred. Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? I have been fortunate enough to have ridden some of them and to have bred some of them as well. If I had to narrow it down, it would be Afire Bey V blood on top and Nobility / El Ghazi blood on the bottom. That’s where I see the greats coming from in the future. What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? That is an easy answer for me. Bask would be who I would pick. To have been a part of the life of a horse like that, would have been incredible. Might as well reach for the stars, right?
Tish Kondas Showtime Training Center, Newnan, GA The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? Both. If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? I wasn’t showing at the national level 25 years ago, but from what I have seen in pictures and learned from my mentors, I do believe the greats from back then would still be winners today. With that being said, people still need to be reminded that the shoeing rules changed for a lot of positive reasons. Length of foot, the use of pads, and weight makes for a crisper gait. It also keeps horses more comfortable, balanced, and organized. The rules need to stay this way. In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? I think the park division goes in waves. It takes the right horse with the right style and motion to be a great park horse. I think in recent years, more participation is starting to happen. A lot of great English horses are crossing over into park and doing it extremely well: PF Tonka Toi, Eves Fire, and Defying Gravity RGS, just to name a few. Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? The original idea behind the AEPA is good for breeding and sales. However, there are still a lot of details that need to be worked out before it gets the full support necessary to be great.
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Peter Stachowski for Quarry Hill
It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country horse, can you explain why? If the purebred country division isn’t as strong as the Half-Arabian division, I feel this is due in part to the loss of so many great Arabian stallions. It has been difficult to find out crosses to what we currently have.
Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? Somewhat.
Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? Arrowheads Unlike Any Other x Premaghaza. This is the perfect combination of Blue Norther on the Saddlebred side, and El Ghazi, Pro Fire, and Bask on the Arabian side.
What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? Hard to say, I like a lot of them!
What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? HBB, Bask, and Can Can Dancer. Renee Kramer Red Tail Arabians, Elk Mound, WI The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? I would say both. The quality is certainly a large factor. If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? Perhaps a few, but again, the horses have changed a lot. In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? Boy, I think if they got to try a park horse, many would convert. I think to many, it seems the park horses are hard to handle.
It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country horse, can you explain why? I wish I could.
Quarry Hill Farm Kevin Dwyer and Bill Bohl, trainers, Lakeville, CT The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? A combination of both. If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? We imagine they could.
In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? KD: Move some English horses into the park division. BB: In my opinion, you would have to revise the shoeing rules. Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? Not necessarily, but it is an exciting class to witness what a three year old can do and also with the money involved, it becomes more interesting.
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It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country horse, can you explain why? BB: I feel the judges need to regulate this a little more. Also, Half-Arabians are bigger and many people are looking for bigger horses. Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? KD: Undulata’s Nutcracker and Barberry Bey bloodlines. BB: Of course, our QH Serengeti (Black Daniels x My Love Song, by Allience+//) with a broodmare with some Comet blood in it. What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? KD: Countess Vanessa. BB: Afires Heir. Carmelle Rooker Rooker Training Stable, Inc.. Fenton, MI The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? I believe the English pleasure bar is being raised due to the specific breeding and English attributes being bred into our horses. The quality of the horses, and the natural talent they possess, definitely have an impact on the trainability of the individual horse. If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? The shoeing rules would have helped. Some of the great individuals could certainly still win today, but for the most part, I think the English horses have evolved; each generation being a little better than the one before. With the extreme necks
and gifted motion comes some weaknesses that will need to be monitored by knowledgeable breeders in the future to ensure our English horses continue on the path they are on. In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? Getting more competitors in the park division is going to require the trainers to show the great English horses in the park division. Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? Absolutely. It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country horse, can you explain why? I think it goes in cycles. I feel like comparing a Half-Arabian to a purebred of the same caliber will get you the same market (the purebred may bring a higher price). Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? For a purebred I love the Apollopalooza horses crossed on Afire Bey V bloodlines. For a Half-Arabian, I am a fan of a well-bred Saddlebred crossed on most all of the Arabian English sires. What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? There are so many great English horses that I wish I was associated with! LOL! Very recently, Heirs Noble Love. I guess I’m distantly associated through AA Apollo Bey.
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Marty and Tim Shea
Marty Shea Shea Stables, St. Clair, MI The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? I believe that everything is betting in the industry as a whole. The horses, the training—the best of every facet of our industry has grown. If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? If you go back 25 years for shoeing references, we would be in the year 1991; a couple years before that would be 87 or 88, and that’s when they first were able to put a pad with the shoeing. To answer the question though, I do feel that the horses then could compete today. At that time is when I was involved with Huckleberry Bey and he won with Gene Lacroix. I still feel that today he would be just as competitive. Yes, of course our horses have changed and grown, but with the proper training, I feel that they could still win among our horses today. In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? I don’t totally agree with that statement. I think there are a lot of horses that should be English that compete in the country and English horses that should be moved up to park. I feel for the park division, there needs to be more emphasis put on square motion and, that unfortunately, the park class has lost some prestige. It used to be a big deal to win the park class, but over the years it has become a smaller division to compete in. The English division has put too much emphasis on motion and not on overall form. There are country horses that I believe
are still too hot and too tense in the class that could easily be bumped up to English. If these issues were addressed, I feel that the divisions would even out more. If more horses moved up to park, then I feel that the division would gain its prestige back. Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? Yes, I do think it has made it stronger. The class is so exciting to watch and really amps up U.S. Nationals for that Saturday night. It is also a great opportunity for a young trainer to participate in and be a part of. To have a young horse win that class really brings a lot of publicity to the stallion that sired that winner. It brings a whole new reputation for that stallion and that breeding program as a whole. It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country horse, can you explain why? I don’t know that to be true. I see just as many purebreds being trained and bred which makes more purebreds available today. Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? For me, the ideal pedigree are the ones with multiple crosses back to Bask. What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? It would Comet. This horse sired a lot of great park horses that were imported in the late 60’s and early 70’s. His sons and daughters would go on to be national champion park horses. A horse today that has been very successful is Heirs Noble Love, and this mare has two crosses back to Comet.
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Chuck Siemon Siemon Stables, New Carlisle, OH The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? For sure it is a combination of both. We are breeding better individuals and the training and expertise is second to none. Our breed has some of the best trainers in the world. Maybe we are prejudiced, but we are proud of the quality of people in our industry. And a competitive group of men and women which makes it a lot of fun for us all. If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? Absolutely … some of the horses would compete on the same level as today’s horses. We were only allowed a 4 inch foot and a 12 oz. shoe with no pads. Today we would consider those plates. In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? I think our true park horses today are fantastic. I do not think we need to worry about filling the class; it will take care of itself. Every discipline today demands quality with talent. Park may not be for everyone, but to ride a “true” park horse is an unbelievable thrill. Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? Most definitely, the AEPA Futurity has helped our breeding. The prize money and the way the class is held has truly enhanced breeding to the nominated sires. It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country
horse, can you explain why? I disagree … we have just as big a market for the purebred country horse as the Half-Arabians. Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? By Afire Bey V and out of a Hucklebey Berry/Barbary bred mare. What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? There are so many ... countless through the years, but one that comes to mind is definitely, Orans Adagio. Peter Stachowski Stachowski Farm, Inc., Mantua, OH The bar for the English hone keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? Both. Within the past 30 years, we have seen a change to more sophisticated breeding. People now breed for a specific horse—English, western, halter. We should be getting better horses because people have been breeding specifically “for English performance” horses. In regard to the trainer, 1). It is easier to train a horse that is built (was bred for) the task he/she is asking to perform, and 2). With age comes experience, and we’re all very old. If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago~ do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? Yes. An exceptional horse that won in the past is no different than an exceptional horse that wins today. Having said that, the shoeing options we have today would have definitely benefited the horses of the past. These options provide for a more customized approach to each horse’s individual need. Lastly, the changes have helped the Half-Arabians. The additional toe length and shoe support are healthier for these large horses.
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In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? I think the winning English horses could be great park horses. In fact, I think they would elevate the quality of the park horse class. I would like to see some of the English horses go into the park class, and I think they could excel in that division. Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? Yes, it allows breeders and trainers to showcase their young talent in a specific class. It presents the talent to an interested audience and creates enthusiasm to breed English performance horses. It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country horse, can you explain why? I actually don’t agree. I have just as many Arabian country English pleasure horses as I do Half-Arabian country English pleasure horses. In fact, some people prefer the smaller purebred to the larger Half-Arabian.
English performance horses and training methods have been evolving over the years and will continue to do so. Sure, the horses are better overall, thanks to some very astute breeders. It’s far easier for the horses today, who are conformed for this particular division, to perform with ease. Each new generation of trainers brings their own strengths to the table, as well as tools we/they learned from their mentors. If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? I was fortunate to have been in the business 25 years ago and got to see many of the greats of that era. With a few exceptions, I don’t believe with current shoeing rules, that the majority would be winning today. As wonderful as they were, horses have improved and have become more specialized through the years; as it should be.
Tom Theisen Conway Arabians, Inc., Chatfield, MN
In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? This may or may not be a popular response, but what I remember most about the great park horses from the past, is that they had great suspension, that extra spring in their step, more air time, something we are often lacking today. I often hear people say that the English pleasure horses today are the park horses of the past. While that may be true in some cases, I think for the most part, they are in the correct division. One of the many reasons we chose Coltrane SS as our breeding stallion is that he possesses both the neck and poll so needed in the English division, and that strength and power in the backend that provides for suspension.
The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? Both for sure!
Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? No question about it, the AEPA classes have had a huge
Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? Crans Adagio x M Govenors Miss. What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? Ericca.
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impact. We see it both in the purchasing end, as we have been acquiring great mares, and in sales, as demand for quality English prospects is up. It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country horse, can you explain why? We certainly have had no difficulties selling purebred country horses. I do know that the Half-Arabian country horses have become the “go to” horse for the equitation division, which is huge. We show in most divisions and, to be honest, we find that it is always easy to sell a horse that is great in any discipline. Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? My dream pedigree would include Afire Bey V, IXL Noble Express and El Ghazi. Those are the proven lines that we believe in and utilize in our breeding program. What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? That’s a tough one, there are so many! FF Summer Storm, Ice On Fire, Adams Fire and Gai Argosy are just a few that come to mind. Jacque Thompson Smoky Mountain Park Arabians, Lenoir City, TN The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? In the case of Smoky Mountain Park Arabians, the improving quality is due primarily to improved breeding as opposed to improved training methods. Of the top ten and national champion horses at U.S. in 2015 that were by Baskghazi and/or The Renaissance, three of four were ridden by three different trainers out of three training programs. That was our best showing to date and leaves
the common denominator for our wins being the SMP superstar breeding stallions. If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? That is an interesting question. I don’t think the new shoes would affect past horses’ ability to win, but the shorter necks compared to today’s longer necks probably would. In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? It would be nice if we would take a look back at the AHA rulebooks from past decades when the park horse class was far more distinctive and was popular with exhibitors. That would allow us to see what earlier generations were doing right in regard to park and English pleasure class descriptions. I recall in decades past that the rules were written with a great deal of difference between the two classes. Even today, trainers talk about a park trot that is distinguishable from the same in English pleasure. Should we choose to recognize the park trot, to define and condense it down to words in the rules, then the rules themselves would serve as a guide for trainers, buyers, breeders, judges, spectators and exhibitors. Define the gaits in the park horse section of the rules, and participation should improve. Also, returning to the roots of the original park horse could be useful in finding our way back to a purposeful, popular park class. Early on in my riding career, I was told the park horse was so named because it was originally developed to impress onlookers in the city parks, back when walking on foot and riding horses were common modes of transportation as well as a pastimes. I was told that a park horse’s collection, animation, height of all three gaits and relative slow speed were all
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designed to give the park’s patrons both a reason to look, as well as a really good look at what the rider hoped was the showiest horse on the bridle path. Eventually, park horses became show horses, and in my mind should retain the qualities that inspired people to fancy them in the first place. Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? This spring, The Renaissance foals from my oldest Baskghazi daughters are hitting the ground and are getting the best qualities that my gifted studs pass along, so to me, that is a dream pedigree. What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? By far, the horse I would pick would be Bask, due to his great influence on the English division. Mary Trowbridge Trowbridge’s Ltd.. Bridgewater, CT The bar for the English horse keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? In my opinion, this is the result of an increase in the knowledge of all involved, from judges to owners, riders, trainers, breeders, veterinarians, farriers and even spectators. We all know a great deal more about what a sound, comfortable horse looks like than ever before, and you seldom see one that doesn’t fulfill the specs of the class, regardless of the size of the show. This has had both positive and negative implications for the English division. On the very positive side, the horses that are competing are the soundest they have ever been in my entire career, and virtually every English horse you see in the show ring, even at Class A level shows, are good, sound representatives of the breed standard and performance specifications of each division. The negative
impact is that this has greatly affected the NUMBER of English horses exhibiting, and it has also impacted most people’s ability to maintain and develop an English horse on their own, without benefit of a full time manager/ trainer if they aren’t able to commit a very significant amount of time to this themselves. The understanding of what an English horse should look like has moved horses that don’t fit the criteria into other divisions, such as hunter or sport horse classes, leaving just a few good individuals to compete against each other in the myriad of classes that exist for English horses. If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago, do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? Yes, of course, they would have. Shoeing is a developmental tool for the equine athlete just like proper footwear is to a human athlete. Shoeing does not make an equine athlete gifted, any more than wearing Stilettos will turn me into a Rockette or ballet slippers into being able to sport a tutu and dance for dollars, regardless of how hard I work at it. Tools and training don’t create athletic ability, but they can keep the athlete sounder and give it more longevity and ease of ability in performing to its peak abilities In fact, if we had the knowledge thirty years ago that we have today, we would have many, many more exceptional athletes that would have survived and contributed. Memory is a fickle friend—we lost massive numbers of great athletes in the past to tendon and ligamentous injuries such as bowed tendons, terrible suspensory tears, and other career ending sports injuries that are being alleviated by more ability to deal with each horse’s specific issues today. In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? I don’t
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think I agree that as judges we’ve done that great a job differentiating between the two, and I believe that the entire community is responsible for that, right alongside of us as judges. The country pleasure division was instituted to support the horses that had English carriage, but not the extreme athletic ability and work ethic of an English or park horse, and for a little while that worked. However, it’s evolved into a division that requires as much forward impulsion as the higher motion English divisions, and as a community of trainers, exhibitors, spectators, and BUYERS of horses, we have looked for that and embraced it. While I think the country classes are lovely, they no longer support the English style horses that don’t have extremity of motion—those horses have moved to the hunter divisions. I don’t think there is enough differentiation in the performances of the two divisions; whether I am judging or simply walking up to the ring to see what’s in there, I need a schedule to tell me whether it’s a country or an English class, because all of the horses are being exhibited the same way from the park division to the country division. We have got to embrace as a community that we need to revisit the rules that differentiate these three divisions. Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? Certainly, the AEPA has added excitement through prize money and a good venue for 4 year old horses. I think it has accomplished the goal of giving breeders who love the discipline an incentive to breed horses for that marketplace, and it has heightened the awareness of English style breeding programs, all to the betterment for the English division. I do also think, however, that the emphasis the program made on defining a particular STYLE of English horse has impacted the English division, and therefore the breeding and selling market, by attempting to influence the style of the English type horse too much, and that has negatively impacted the lines that didn’t fit their standardized “picture” that accompanied the program when it first debuted. Prior to the birth of the program, we had different styles of English horses competing in our English classes that included many horses that, while they didn’t have extreme neck carriage, had other beneficial traits, such as extreme hock action and four cornered strength of motion, for instance. When the AEPA was born, the association made a big push to “define” the “perfect”
English style horse for the community, and I think they’ve been very successful at that. However, through that narrowed image, along with some other factors like transported semen, we have lost lines that don’t conform to the accepted silhouette of the neck and carriage and front end, but that brought great value to the breed through added hind leg strength and four cornered trot. It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country horse, can you explain why? Half Arabians, or designer horses, are a better bet and easier, overall, for amateurs to attain carriage and motion from. Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? A horse with strength in the bottom tail female line. *Eter was a sire who never was embraced that much, as he had a very straight neck, but his daughters and granddaughters produce strong horses with exceptional work ethics a couple generations out. And I’ll add to that, that those direct descendants were TOUGH suckers! But anything with Comet in the pedigree has always been my favorite. What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? Cease Fire, along with a lot of other great *Bask sons and daughters, was always a favorite, one of the quintessential English pleasure horses who I would have loved to have been a part of. He was a wonderful sire as well, and never got as much acclaim as he should have. The first great park horse I saw was Ambra, also, of course, by *Bask. I was about 14 years old and had never seen a *Bask horse before; I saw her at the New Hampshire All Arabian show when Amie Aquaviva showed her as a 3 year old, before she went to Lasma. She as wild there, but trotted with her front legs over the top of the rails even then, with a 4” toe, no pad and 12 ounces. I saw her later at my first Nationals in Louisville with Ray, and will never forget how it looked like her feet never touched the ground when she trotted, and when she broke, it was like she was taking flight— my favorite kind of ride, still to this day. Would have loved to ride her and learn from her—I still think about her every time I’m sitting in an airplane as it takes off. Cathy Vincent Adandy Farm, Greenwood, DE The bar for the English hone keeps getting raised. Would you attribute this to the quality of horses getting better, training, or a combination of both? The bar has been raised by miles in the English division! I contribute to breeders becoming more particular in their breeding programs. I have to give Sheila Varian a powerful
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amount of credit for creating such beautiful athletes; Tim and Marty Shea, along with the Linigers/Maroon Fire Arabians, for seeing the potential in Afire Bey V, and many others as English breeding horses; and the LaCroix family for their influence in breeding and training. We as trainers have been blessed with better stock to do the job. There is nothing in the world more exciting then standing out in center ring watching my friends and incredible horsemen and women compete for the title of national champion in the English division—it gives me chills! If the shoeing rules that apply today, would have existed 25 years ago~ do you think the horses that were winning back then could win today? Oh shoeing rules ... I believe that we are breeding and training better individuals for the job. I am not one to train nor show my horses in “big” packages. So with that said, I believe breeding has more to do with our talented horses then shoeing. In the last couple of years, the judges have done a great job making sure that country horses were country, and English horses were English. How do we get more competitors involved in the park division? The true park horse is a gifted individual with talent and high energy. I believe that some of the English horses in the show ring today need to move up to the park division. The EEC has done a wonderful job educating
the judges; maybe they need to spend a bit more time on the park division verses English. There is a distinct difference between the two. It would be thrilling to watch an arena full of fantastic park horses at the Nationals again! Do you think the AEPA Futurity classes have helped make the market stronger for selling and breeding? I am a believer in the AEPA! Glad to see the western folks creating a new futurity. I think they will find a large increase in sales and breeding as well. There is no doubt about the fact that the AEPA has raised the bar in many ways. It appears that a purebred Arabian country horse does not have as strong a market as a Half-Arabian country horse, can you explain why? I wasn’t aware of that. I sell more purebreds then Half-Arabian country horses. Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian saddle seat horse would be? My dream pedigree is purebred ... Afires Heir out of the National Champion Scarlet O Butler who is sired by Gitar MF—which has just been done and awaiting pregnancy results in two weeks! What horse not trained or bred by you do you wish you could have been associated with in the saddle seat division? Afires Heir. ■
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Overall Arabian & Half-Arabian Leading Horses by number of wins Owner 1. Defying Gravity RGS 4 championships Cheryl Doran 2. GSF Alejandro 3 championships, 1 reserve Bill Castro 3. Americanbeautie 2 championships, 1 reserve Shamrock Farms LLC 4. JSN Manhattan 1 championships, 2 reserves Jennifer and Emily Schwing 5. Admire The Fire 2 championships North By Northwest LLC Afires Sunset 2 championships Channing and Hollis Turner Brimstone B 2 championships Jennifer Schwing DA Heatstroke 2 championships Remington Monroe Equine LLC Eves Fire 2 championships Starline Arabians LLC Halsteads Watchme 2 championships Jenna TeKolste James Brown 2 championships Lindsay O’Reilly French KW Hero 2 championships Kingswood Farms Love Sick 2 championships Conway Arabians, Inc. Nutcracker Sweet PF 2 championships 6D Ranch Ltd. Toi Showgirl 2 championships Mackinley Wilson Arabian Leading Horses by number of wins
1. Defying Gravity RGS 2. Brimstone B DA Heatstroke KW Hero Love Sick 3. A Revelation BHA Goblet Of Fire CCF JA Mustafire Mandalay Bay Noble Reward Notorious Afire VA SA Gisele
4 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 1 championship, 1 reserve 1 championship, 1 reserve 1 championship, 1 reserve 1 championship, 1 reserve 1 championship, 1 reserve 1 championship, 1 reserve 1 championship, 1 reserve Half-Arabian Leading Horses by number of wins
1. 2. 3. 4. Includes U.S., Canadian and Youth National English Champion and Reserve wins. AEPA Saddle Seat Futurity, English Pleasure, Country English, and Park Horse classes. Open and amateur/junior classes only.
GSF Alejandro Americanbeautie JSN Manhattan Admire The Fire Afires Sunset Eves Fire Halsteads Watchme James Brown Nutcracker Sweet PF Toi Showgirl
3 championships, 1 reserve 2 championships, 1 reserve 1 championships, 2 reserves 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships
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Owner Cheryl Doran Jennifer Schwing Remington Monroe Equine LLC Kingswood Farms Conway Arabians, Inc. Mary Jo Meier Karen Kelder Art and Elizabeth Bartlett Hawk Haven Farms LLC Conway Arabians, Inc. Karen and Mikayla Michels Starline Arabians LLC
Owner Bill Castro Shamrock Farms LLC Jennifer and Emily Schwing North By Northwest LLC Channing and Hollis Turner Starline Arabians LLC Jenna TeKolste Lindsay O’Reilly French 6D Ranch Ltd. Mackinley Wilson
by number of winning get 1. Afire Bey V 2. Baske Afire 3. Afires Heir 4. VCP Magnifire 5. Matoi Vegaz
Overall Arabian Leading Sires by number of wins 37 1. Afire Bey V 26 2. Baske Afire 12 3. Afires Heir 9 4. Vegaz 8 5. IXL Noble Express 8 Matoi VCP Magnifire
Arabian Leading Sires by number of Arabian winning get by number of Arabian wins 1. Afire Bey V 12 1. Afire Bey V 2. Afires Heir 9 2. Afires Heir 3. Baske Afire 7 3. Baske Afire 4. Vegaz 6 4. IXL Noble Express 5. XL Noble Express 5 5. Vegaz by number of Half-Arabian winning get 1. Baske Afire 15 2. Afire Bey V 13 3. Matoi 4 4. Allience 2 Ariberry Bey V 2 Mamage 2 VCP Magnifire 2 Vegaz 2 Overall Leading Open Trainers by points (Top Ten included) 1. Matthew Siemon 93 2. James Stachowski 71 3. Jason Krohn 70 4. Jessica Clinton DeSoto 63 5. Joel Kiesner 59 6. Joel Gangi 58 7. Kevin Price 46 8. Jonathan Ramsay 43 9. Shawn Rooker 35 10. Gordon Potts 33
25 22 10 8 5 5 5
18 10 8 7 6
Afire Bey V
by number of Half-Arabian wins 1. Afire Bey V 19 2. Baske Afire 18 3. Matoi 6 4. VCP Magnifire 5 5. Mamage 4
Overall Leading Owners by number of horses 1 Starline Arabians LLC 2. Lindsay Oâ€™Reilly French Kirby Arabians LLC 3. Burrline LLC Conway Arabians, Inc. Crescent Creek Farms LLC Leslie Palmer Garvis Madge Hester Mark and Deborah Himmel Vicki Humphrey Natalie Lindmark Linda Misco North By Northwest LLC Helen Lacey Reed Remington Monroe Equine LLC Jennifer Schwing Nancy Shafer Shamrock Farms LLC
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5 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Arabian Leading Owners by number of horses 1. Starline Arabians LLC 2. Conway Arabians, Inc. Crescent Creek Farms LLC Lindsay Oâ€™Reilly French Kirby Arabians LLC Remington Monroe Equine LLC
3 2 2 2 2 2
The English Evolution by Mary Trowbridge
As in all things, evolution is assured. Just as social media, rap music and the internet are affecting and evolving the English language, so have innovations and changes in areas that include urban and societal trends, and training techniques along with major advances in farrier and veterinarian knowledge have affected the English Pleasure horse that we see in our show ring today. One of the many definitions of evolution is “the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.” This suits me well in regards to this article. The genesis of the saddle seat style of riding reaches back thousands of years, as noted Saddlebred trainer and author Smith Lily states in the beginning of his excellent book titled, Saddleseat Horsemanship, “The beautiful statue of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, dated 176 AD, shows that the principles of saddle seat riding are as timeless as horsemanship itself. From the beginning of mankind’s relationship with the horse, people have delighted in riding a horse of high spirits, proud carriage and an exuberant way of going.” The statue in the picture shows Aurelius mounted on an extremely high necked, collected horse trotting level in front, with a deeply engaged hind leg. As time progressed, the high necked, high motion saddle seat style of horse grew in popularity. In Victorian times, the English, or saddleseat style of riding moved to include not just emperors, conquerors and kings, but people riding in the parks on Sundays, intent on showing off their finery on the most charismatic, eyecatching horses. In the 1800’s in eastern European countries and Spain, the high-necked, high-energy horses were also coveted by cavalries of different countries to improve the breeding of cavalry mounts who would have the ability to perform the advanced dressage maneuvers that were taught to mounts for close-combat fighting assistance that are known today as the “Airs Above The Ground” commonly performed by the Lipizzans. I’ve been riding and training English style horses for a while now—it’s been pretty much a half a century. That’s hard to admit, since I still think of myself as the new kid on the block, especially now that there are so many really, really great new kids on the block; I wonder how to ever catch up. But I have seen some changes. Some good, some not so much, maybe, but evolving nonetheless.
When I first began showing my Arabian “English pleasure” gelding in 1972 at age 13, there was no question that the saddle seat discipline was popular and the English classes were full of entries. There were only two divisions of English type riding, English pleasure and park. At that time, in the 70’s and 80’s, Arabians had a hoof length limit of 4 inches, and no pads were allowed, along with a shoe weight not to exceed 12 ounces, and it was not uncommon at all for horses to compete in English, western, costume and trail at the same show. It was doable because the frame was basically the same for each discipline, and the training consisted mainly of being sure your horse would pick up correct leads and stop and start when you wanted them to. There were no hunter pleasure or country pleasure classes at Arabian horse shows, only the aforementioned, and of course, halter with just a bit of reining thrown in for flavor. No sport horse classes either. English classes were large at the few Class A shows there were, with 20-30+ horses common at the few big shows across the country, and at those, there might be eight or ten total English classes, including park. These classes were large for a number of reasons. There were much fewer Arabian clubs, and therefore significantly less Arabian shows to vie for competitors. Secondly, many exhibitors, if not most of us, were able to keep our horses at home in small barns and paddocks, whether it was one or two horses as in my case, or five or ten that people bred and sold. Land was cheaper, and urbanization had not yet taken up large tracts of it. If you had someone in your area to take lessons from you were lucky; luckier than me for sure. There were small breeding farms that catered to local populations, and many of them had their own stallions that bred area mares of all breeds. There was no transported semen yet, and owners promoted their own stallions to small breeders in the area. The horses that we showed and trained ourselves were seldom high end performers—they walked, trotted and cantered (most of the time), and hopefully, you learned to keep your hands quiet enough so that they wouldn’t knock your teeth out when you put a curb on them. There were certainly more and more great horse trainers emerging in those years, but the majority worked for larger breeding farms and trained and showed the farm-bred and owned horses. Amateur and junior riders were still doing it
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primarily on our own, because we had the time and property to keep horses at home, and we all went to the horse shows and club meetings to see each other a few times a year to stay connected with your friends, see each other’s horses, and indulge our passion for the Arabian horse together. Veterinarian care consisted mainly of worming. Shoeing was a simple thing, as the majority of the breed still had little or no fold to their front end motion, or necks either, for that matter— frankly, you could have hung a cinder block on the majority of the entries in the English division and it would not have affected their motion one iota. Now don’t shoot me—there were some great horses emerging that were ahead of the curve for sure, horses that blew my mind, like *Oran Van Crabett, Barbary+++/, Lewisfield Nizzof, Heritage Aiglon, *Sambor, and Mt. Hope Dahab, to name some of the great ones in the New England area where I grew up who would compete once a year at the AHANE show for us all to see. But these extreme athletes were still the exception, not the norm. Sires that would change the breed and the discipline, such as *Bask, Bay El Bey, Barbary and Huckleberry Bey, were just beginning to make their mark on the English style of breeding, training and showing, but without transported semen, their progressive effect on the breed and the English discipline as a whole was much slower. In the late 70’s and 80’s, a number of major changes occurred that began a seismic effect on the English division especially, although some impacted the entire Arabian breed. Probably the most profound change for the breed as a whole came in 1977, when the Arabian Horse Registry approved the use of transported semen. Not only did this provide a base revenue for farms through mare care and board, it also significantly increased the gene pool available to the breed. Once transported semen became a reality, *Bask+++ became the first stallion to sire over 1,000 foals, and the type of horses competing and winning in the English divisions began to radically change within five or six years as more and more foals were produced that began to fit today’s definition of an English pleasure style horse. In 1982 the National Show Horse Registry was born specifically to create high-necked, high motion horses that were Half-Arabian and Half-Saddlebred. Prior to the advent of the NSH registry, many of the successful Half-Arabians were purebred horses that were unable to be registered for various reasons, such as high white or body spots, which weren’t allowed on purebreds at the time, or ones who had been imported and not met the American registration criteria. Other Half-Arabians were almost entirely out of grade mares of all different types; people seldom bred a registered mare to a different breed of stallion. Only after creating a registry that encouraged the breeding of one purebred breed to another, the Half-Arabian/Half -Saddlebred cross, did we begin to see consistency of type emerging in the Half-Arabian English pleasure and park divisions. Not only did the style of the saddle seat horses begin to be more consistent in look and motion, but
we began to produce horses that were significantly larger than the purebred Arabian horse and who needed more length of foot to be safely and soundly shod. Two other major changes as the 80’s drew to a close that had a huge impact on the entries in the English divisions were the creation of the country English and the hunter pleasure divisions. The genesis for the additional divisions came from the desire to make a place for horses that were currently showing in the English division who a.) had high carriage but not high ambition or motion, and b.) horses with lower neck carriage who still had a forward mentality that was not suited to the western divisions. Additionally, the apprentice trainers who had worked across the country for various great horsemen were beginning to build their own businesses that were focused around amateur riders more than ever before, and the amateur division was becoming increasingly competitive. The late 80’s also saw the beginnings of the age divisions in amateur classes, and the advent of the split between youth classes, 18-40 and the 40+ group. Not long after that, Youth Nationals was born, and a few short years later Sport Horse Nationals, as the U.S. Nationals continued to face huge struggles accommodating the numbers of horses, disciplines and classes that were trying to converge all together in one venue at the end of the competition year for the U.S. National Championship Horse Show. In the late 1980’s the shoeing rule was amended for the first time since the inception of the rule, to move the length of foot from 4 inches to 4 and 1/2 inches, the weight of the shoe from 12 to 14 ounces, and also to include for the first time, the ability to utilize a single leather pad. Prior to this change, one of the most common leg injuries being experienced in the English division horses were bowed tendons and destroyed hoof walls, rendering horses unable to be shod, as the repetitive pounding of the hoof against the metal, with no leather to either absorb the shock or encompass the exterior wall of the foot, left the hoof extremely vulnerable to ripping and wall destruction. Additionally, veterinarian medicine was beginning to explore vast new areas of care, in all breeds and disciplines. I can still remember the first time I saw MHR Nobility with Gene LaCroix at U.S. Nationals on his return after having a chip taken out of his stifle in l989. I think he was among the first to have benefitted from what today is a common protocol. I will never, ever forget the huge difference it made in that great horse’s soundness, which led to greater height of motion, speed, and carriage than I had ever seen on an English or park horse before that. This seems like a good spot to comment about the number of entries that were filling the park classes in the past. Those classes were admittedly larger than today’s. However, the majority of the horses (and please remember that I am not saying ALL) were horses that performed in a manner that was not rewarded in the English pleasure classes, and not all were simply horses with more motion and energy. The horses winning in the English pleasure
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classes were well mannered, smooth moving, and performing on a comparatively light rein. The winners rarely ever broke gait or swapped a lead. Those that couldn’t meet those specifications were the ones considered “park” horses, and not all were ones with extreme motion. When we look at the videos today, we would almost all marvel at the lack of soundness in those horses, and today’s exhibitors, breeders, spectators and owners would all recognize that most if not all of the behavioral issues that made these entries “park” horses were in fact soundness related. While there were certainly many gifted individuals that showed and won in the park division, the simple fact was that even they were not as sound as the horses in our show ring today, and many of the other horses that competed who made up the number of horses competing in the division were decidedly less so. So where is the English division today vs. this historical narrative? As always, progress isn’t ever completely positive, and even that when it is, can be an easy target for contention. To fairly discuss the state of the English division, and all performance divisions today, it’s crucial for us to recognize the changes and their effect on what we see, both good and bad, so that we can continue to morph and build a sport, regardless of our discipline, that we all love and want to endure. One major change for all the divisions, is that our breed has morphed in the last twenty years from a primarily spectator event where open horses were shown in disciplines to highlight breeding programs, to an almost exclusively participants’ event, where amateurs are learning, riding and enjoying their horses more than ever before. This has impacted the open divisions dramatically, and with added pressure for amateurs to have more opportunity to show their horses at expensive events, the open divisions continue to shrink, since our knowledge of soundness, both mental and physical, has grown in leaps and bounds, along with our understanding that many behavioral issues that we used to see at Arabian shows (issues that incidentally gave credence to the “crazy Arabian” myths) are in reality, a strong, enduring breed’s reaction to physical pain.
put aside our sense of personal entitlement to what has brought us success in the past, to examine honestly, what will better serve the horse, the discipline and the breed in the future. Some of the challenges to growing the discipline are already being addressed and acted on. It’s crucial for the coming decade that as a community we continue to embrace and build the leveling system of dividing the amateur divisions so that new riders coming onto the show scene feel they are competing against people of similar experience and background. There’s no question that ‘select’ was a great addition for the breed in all divisions, but we have already hurt the original intent of the division, albeit inadvertently, when we added the next two levels and adopted a point system that is currently allowing riders who will tell you themselves, that they should not be eligible to ride in the select division any longer. As much as we hate to continue to change our rules, we owe it to ourselves and the breed to address the point system until it is truly making riders comfortable that they have an area where they can compete against their experience level. It’s crucial for the success of the efforts across the country, to help this breed survive and to bring new people into the show world through lesson programs, that the select division remain an obviously entry level class. Along with that, we need to allow ourselves as competitors to move away from age division classes, other than the 55 and over, and embrace the other new leveling divisions so that these flourish and survive. However, the select division remains, in my mind at least, the one that is most important to the growth of the breed as a whole and the English division in particular, and must be constantly evaluated and its integrity and intent protected at all costs.
To fairly discuss the condition of the English division today, I think it’s also important for us all to realize that this division is the only one in a very, very versatile breed that encompasses three different styles of horses within it, i.e. the country English pleasure, the English pleasure and the park horse. While other English style breeds also encompass these styles, they don’t see the depth of versatility within their breed across all divisions that we see within the Arabian breed.
Another issue, one that is most visible in the English divisions but that affects them all, is our current shoeing regulations. I am most definitely a proponent of being able to care for our horses in an individual manner as their conformation demands, and when we discuss this very contentious issue, we need to put aside, again, what may work for us individually and look at this issue from a perspective that takes into account all that is involved. The rules that we are currently showing under are the second rule change in my career, and the passing of this current one was much different than the first, back in the late ‘80’s. While I agreed then and still do that we need to be able to shoe horses differently today because of what we as a group have bred, this particular rule change opened the door too wide and too quickly, and frankly occurred with too little discussion and education about what affects and improves soundness vs. what is affected motion.
There are, in my opinion, changes that must be made to enhance the English division as a whole that we as a community have not yet had the collective courage to take on. If those of us who are most active in the arena today are truly invested in not only the present, but the future of the Arabian breed and our specific discipline of choice, then we owe it to ourselves and the horse to
There is no question that we have bred, as I stated above, larger horses in our Half-Arabian division and even in our purebred ranks that must be able to be shod with a length of foot that is appropriate to their size, and the 5” length rule for Half-Arabians accommodates that. As a breed, regardless of discipline, we have to accept that one of the greatest mistakes
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we’ve made as breeders over the last 40-50 years is that we have bred inconsistent front feet into our breed at a scope that is almost universal. This is something that cannot be laid at any one discipline’s door, or even one country—inconsistent front feet angles can be found all over the world, and as a global community, we didn’t realize the impact this would have as our disciplines progressed and evolved. The effects of what we currently call high-low front feet, meaning that one front foot has a high heel, the other a low heel, we now know affects virtually every aspect of the horse’s training, performance and soundness, regardless of the discipline. Today we are more knowledgeable about soundness as a group than ever before, and even the new eye can often pick out the gait deviations or performance issues that show pain reactions and effects on a horse’s carriage and position. The balance in our horse’s feet affects them all the way up through the limbs to the neck, thoracic cavity, back and sacroiliac, and even has a dramatic effect on one of the Arabian horse’s most signature traits, their tail carriage. Especially today, as every horse bred must have a way to live a productive life in order to survive, it’s crucial that we not only be able to shoe these horses in a manner that helps them stay sound, but we have to make a renewed push to educate owners, trainers and farriers around the country in the newest ways to manage what most horsemen, vets and farriers will agree is the basis to keeping a horse sound. While we need the ability to accommodate these crucial soundness issues to the best of our current ability, we also are in a climate where we have to consider the external perspective as we look to expose our horses to new marketplaces and introduce our horses outside of their borders. We also have to accept that the intricacy of shoeing under these current rules takes a specialist in a fading professional field, the show horse farrier, and that without a substantial educational effort to inform both at-home owner trainers, as well as farriers not familiar with this approach, we will continue to narrow the competitive field to that of the professionally managed English horses. These considerations can also be morphed to improve the distinction within our show ring between the different styles of English horses exhibiting. I will stand by my statement that shoeing cannot make an untalented, non-athletic horse talented and athletic, but our current rules do allow us to enhance motion to a degree that we are unwilling as a community to discuss. Until we accept this fact and incorporate it into our discussions of where we should be, we are simply not facing a reality that must be part of the same conversation that discusses how shoeing affects soundness. I also believe that the English divisions would be best served with revisiting and discussing both the expectations and the specifications surrounding our divisions that would encompass not only shoeing differences between that of the country, English and park divisions, but performance differences as well. Currently we look at the country division as the starting place for novice
amateur riders, with the English division being something to aspire to as horsemanship improves. Unfortunately, some of the things that are currently built into the specifications for the country division make this a more difficult division for new riders—perhaps it is time for us to change our thinking and understand that some of the things we are currently doing for all our English division horses, such as shoeing with heavier shoes and no limit on the number of pads, and training, showing and judging with emphasis on complete commitment to forward momentum, might in fact be better suited for the higher energy/ motion divisions, and that the country class could become a more intricate horsemanship event with performance on a light rein called for at all gaits, and less shoeing allowed that still allows us to care appropriately for our horses. Perhaps it’s time for us to consider that 5 inches isn’t extreme for any horse, purebred or Half-Arabian, but bands give a perception to the outside eye that isn’t in the best interest of the growth of our breed. Perhaps we need to discuss and consider whether as judges, trainers, owners and spectators, we are asking too much of our three year old horses in the name of early marketing, by expecting them to compete with flawless performances, flat-footed walks and yet extreme motion and brilliance in the English futurity classes. I believe that our training, breeding, ownership and horsemanship is the best it has ever been in my three plus decades of training and showing, and that virtually all of the horses that we see competing today are in venues suitable for their abilities that they are well trained and prepared for. However, what we haven’t done yet has been to look beyond our current accomplishments in perfecting performances and soundness care to how we can grow the breed and the show ring so that it can survive into the 21st century, the first one where horses are no longer critical for the survival of the majority of the human population. I believe that they still are, but we as a group have to be able to put aside our devotion to our personal tools of success and attempt to imagine a brave new world, to coin Aldous Huxley, where the Arabian breed is the leader of the equine world, as it should be, not the follower. Ultimately, we are living in an unprecedented era of knowledge and ability to perfect the craft of horsemanship, training, and riding that we all love deeply and consider a life-passion. However, we have to also accept that our knowledge and ability to affect our horses must be coupled with an appreciation that extremes are not necessarily extremely good, and that if we don’t continue to address our breed and areas of expertise from within with an eye to all involved, not just ourselves, then we will both lose support and participation. Even worse is that outside scrutiny from those not involved will, in this day of internet and imperceptible spying, attempt to contort and regulate for us in ways not in the best interest of our horses, if we don’t continue to examine where we are today and lay the groundwork for where we want to be tomorrow. ■
Ar abian Horse Times | 45 | English
SHINING ENGLISH STARS a n d Kathe rin e Kirby
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Ar abian Horse Times | 46 | English
Ar abian Horse Times | 47 | English
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Ar abian Horse Times | 48 | English
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Ar abian Horse Times | 49 | English
Ar abian Horse Times | 50 | English
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Itâ€™s Black and White ...
Sires National Champions
Ar abian Horse Times | 52 | English
Apollopalooza x Starkhana
B R AC H R TA
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AEPA Enrolled Sire | AHA Breeders Sweepstakes Sire | Minnesota Medallion Stallion 2016 Stud Fee: $2,500
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Afire Bey V x IXL Miss Firef ly
U N A N I M O U S CA N A D I A N N AT I O N A L C H A M P I O N A N D S CO T T S DA LE R ES ERV E C H A M P I O N EN G LI S H P LE A S U R E O P EN Scottsdale Signature Stallion | Minnesota Medallion Stallion | AEPA Enrolled Sire 2016 Stud Fee: $3,000
Owned by: Delsan Arabian LLC For breeding information contact: Golladay Training at Cedar Ridge Arabians John & Leah Golladay John 847-668-3538 | Leah 515-520-7604 firstname.lastname@example.org Ar abian Horse Times | 54 | English
Baske Afire x Ghreta by El Ghazi
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Ar abian Horse Times | 55 | English
HOWARD SCHATZBERG PHOTO • 2015
WINE WOMEN AND SONG X MISS MORIARTY 2012 SADDLEBRED STALLION AEPA ENROLLED SIRE
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MAHB Minnesota Fall Festival • September 30 – October 2, 2016 • St. Paul, Minnesota www.MedallionStallion.com
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Photos by Donna Hentges
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Ar abian Horse Times | 131 | Volume 46, No. 12
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Ar abian Horse Times | 132 | Volume 46, No. 12
MEET THE FACES OF AHA
Registrar and Senior Director of Registry/Member Services
Length of time with AHA: Tenure is just shy of 32 years. How did you get involved with the Arabian horse? I had a very interesting start with the Arabian horse. I graduated from Colorado State University and moved home over the weekend. One of the jobs that I had during college was with a temp agency. I phoned to let them know I was moving home over the weekend and that I needed to work a temporary job somewhere until I found a “real” job. They sent me to the Arabian Horse Registry that Monday and I have been here ever since. As the registrar of AHA, what does this job entail? It is my responsibility to record and preserve the pedigree of each horse while maintaining the integrity of the breed. It is also my responsibility to ensure that all of AHA’s owners, breeders and members dealing with any type of registration or membership request or question receive exceptional service. I also represent the registry and AHA as a whole in the equine industry, both domestically and abroad. As Registrar, I also serve as the delegate for the United States in the World Arabian Horse Organization (WAHO). Where have you travelled that is job related, what has it involved, and what do you do to promote AHA? The Registration Commission decided at the onset of the merger to take their business meetings on the road so that they could host a
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Breeders Forum in conjunction with their business meeting. These meetings, our shows, and my roles in the national equine industry have taken me to many states throughout the U.S. Internationally, I have had the opportunity to add a few stamps to my passport. I have traveled to England, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, China and Canada. When I am traveling, I represent AHA in several ways. It is important to me to develop and maintain strong, positive relationships with our members, breeders and owners, because with that, we are able to serve each of them better. I am available for calls or emails anytime they are in need of assistance. I strive to know what is going on in their portion of the equine world, and I have also developed strong working relationships and friendships with the other equine breed associations, other species breed associations, and the registrars and officials from registries around the world. What is the biggest change you have seen? A decline in all facets of equine activity. The number of people involved not only with our breed, but also with all of the others, has significantly declined over the past thirty years. This is reflected in the decline of membership, registrations and competitions for all of the equine breeds. With the decline in registrations, what is one way that you feel we can get more Arabian horses registered? We encourage breeders and owners to register their foals. We and other breeds have seen that not all of the horses born are registered in a timely manner or ever registered. We have a graduated fee scale for registrations to encourage owners to register at a younger age at the lowest price. What part of the world is registering the most Arabian horses? What registry has seen the biggest percentage increase and why? The United States continues to register the largest number of horses. We have registered around 50% more than Saudi Arabia which is the next highest country in registrations starting in 2013. Saudi Arabia has seen a substantial increase in registrations. In 2013, they registered three times as many horses as they did
in 2007. With the exception of the past couple of years, the United States registered four to six times as many horses as the next leading countries. In all of your travels, what is the most unique place you have visited and why? I attended my first WAHO Conference as the United States delegate in 2008. It was hosted by The Royal Calvary of Oman in Muscat, and was my first trip to the Middle East. Oman was absolutely beautiful. I had no idea that there were so many little oases in the desert terrain. It was an incredible experience and our hosts were amazing. The people were so warm and welcoming. What is the perfect day in your world? Working in the office all day getting things done, solving problems and/or issues that arise, talking to owners/ members. I am always glad to have been able to help with problems that come up. I go home feeling as though I was able to accomplish a great deal that day. Once home, it is especially nice, but rare, to have all three of my children, Shannon, Lexi and Ryan, home for dinner at the same time. The topping on the cake would be spending time playing games or cards with them afterwards.
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MEET THE FACES OF AHA
Since you travel so much for your work, do you still enjoy traveling for holidays or vacations? My travel for work is feast or famine. It seems as though there ends up being two or three events in a month that I am traveling to or there are none. Things have been incredibly busy lately, both in and out of the office. We have not taken a family vacation in a few years. I am ready to do some traveling with family where there is actually time to do some sightseeing. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? I see myself still at AHA. I absolutely love my job; I genuinely enjoy what I do and love working with my team—they are amazing! Each day brings new challenges; it is rare that two days are the same. I have often said that we are here for you and I mean it. We are here for our members, breeders, owners
and to protect the integrity of our horse. I have met so many wonderful people over the past 32 years; I consider myself to be incredibly blessed and fortunate. The Arabian community has added so much to my life. What would most be shocked to know about you? I think some might be surprised to know that I have my degree in Business Management, not in an agricultural or equine field. When I started at the Registry just under 32 years ago, I knew close to nothing about horses. In the first couple of years, the Registry sent me to a reproductive management course at CSU and also to riding lessons. Don’t get excited though, I still cannot ride. My husband won’t even let me get on his good roping horses, just the old ones. He does let me feed them and clean the stalls though! n
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2 0 1 6
S C O T T S D A L E
UNANIMOUS CHAMPION STALLION 8 & OLDER Ar abian Horse Times | 137 | Volume 46, No. 12
Two-Time World Champion
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2016 SCOTTSDALE CHAMPION SENIOR STALLION PRESENTED BY DAVID BOGGS
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M ARWAN A L S HAQAB
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CONTACT US TODAY FOR INCREDIBLE BREEDING INCENTIVES! S TANDING AT M IDWEST T RAINING A ND B REEDING S TATIONS F ROZEN S EMEN A VAILABLE W ORLD -W IDE
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www.MidwestArabian.com Ar abian Horse Times | 140 | Volume 46, No. 12
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AmAteur Spotlight ... Susan Copeland have ridden and/or shown her. I did all her training and she is nearly perfect. If there was one horse you could have or own, whom would it be and why? I wish I could have had a young Kornwall. 10 years of showing him has been a dream come true; I wish I could have 10 more! How many horse events do you attend a year? It depends on the year. Typically 4 to 6 Arabian shows, and 3 to 5 NRHA shows with my Quarter Horse reiner, Stop On Top. What is your favorite horse event and why? My favorite show is definitely Scottsdale. I love showing outside in Wendell arena—there is nothing else like it. Everyone is always so happy to be there and what better way to start off the show season.
Ko rn wa ll+//
How long have you been involved with Arabian horses? 33 years. What disciplines have you and are competing in? I have shown English, halter, showmanship, hunter, show hack, costume, western and reining.
Aside from horses, what is some of your favorite hobbies? Golf, hiking, snowmobiling, skiing, scuba diving, biking.
What is your favorite riding style? Western pleasure, but I have loved every discipline. If you come from a long line of family involved with the Arabian horse, what does it mean to carry this tradition on? I’m the first in my family to have Arabians, but I have passed my love of the Arabian onto my daughters. The memories we have made and share from riding and showing together is immeasurable. Who is your favorite horse you have ever owned? My favorite horse to show has to be Kornwall+//. He is incredibly beautiful, with the heart of a true champion. I have been blessed with a lot of great horses and have loved them all, but one very special mare, Beau Bask HiLite, has had my heart for 30 years. All three girls
Lisa and Zac Powell with Susan Copeland.
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What would be one thing our readers would be surprised to know about you? I almost panic when I have to show in the morning, and so does everyone else involved. To say I’m not a morning person, would be an understatement. If there is one person you could thank in this world, who would it be and why? This would have to be my mother. She has been my ‘everything’ in this crazy horse show life. It wouldn’t have been possible without her. She purchased Kornwall for me, telling me it was my inheritance I was riding, and what a great inheritance it has been! How do you see your involvement in the Arabian horse business 15 years from now? I think I will be getting pretty old in 15 years, but I hope I am still able to show a great western pleasure horse. n Kornwall+// 2014 U.S. National Champion Arabian Western Pleasure AAOTR 36-54
Authenic Melody 2008 Region 13 Champion HA/AA Reining ATR
Apollos Prada 2000 Arabian English Pleasure AAOTR 18-39
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A TOUCH OF STYLE
A TOUCH OF ST YLE Ashley Lauren To y e How long have you been associated with the Arabian horse industry? I have been enjoying Arabians for over 20 years. I started competing at the national level at the age of twelve. I found my passion for design and photography in 2010 and started my own company, Altogether Design & Communications. I have since continued contributing to the Arabian horse industry by becoming a registered judge and continuing my education in becoming a Regional/National Judge. Having the opportunity to combine my passion and work has been incredible.
achieving simplicity takes time and patience. I enjoy using a whimsical style and really see the importance of using white space in all of my work.
What made you choose design? I think design chose me. I love creating a style of ad that sets it apart from the rest. Finding a theme for my client and working with them to achieve something unique and special is what I love to do.
What design have you done in the Arabian horse industry that you are most proud of? I think my favorite ads to date have been a couple I have done for Hickerson Show Horses, â€œRide the Wave,â€? and a promotional ad for the Scottsdale Champion Pistachio PF. They have some elements that make them really stand out. Another set of ads that have always been a favorite of mine were for my good friend, Mackinley Wilson, and her horses Tolstoi+// and Toi Showgirl for Youth Nationals a couple years ago. I incorporated a Ferris wheel and a carousel; the theme was light and magical and worked in beautifully for her Youth Nationals spread. Â What has the Arabian horse industry provided for you? The Arabian horse industry has provided me with the foundation to combine my love for horses with my passion for design and photography. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to view the Arabian horse industry from a variety of perspectives: spectator, exhibitor, judge, steward, photographer and designer. I feel fortunate to have a career that allows me to pack up my laptop and camera so that I can travel, compete and judge.
When it comes to your designs, what would describe your sense of style? My style is simplistic and clean. I would much prefer to work with one or two great photos and let them speak for themselves. Less is always more and with that being said,
When you design an advertising campaign for a client, what is the most important aspect that you take into consideration? The most important aspect to consider is the purpose: promoting, selling, congratulating, etc. Then it is very important for me
Where did you go to school or how did you learn your craft? I went to university in Nebraska and Washington, earning a BA in Sociology. Further, I completed a 2-year university program in British Columbia in Public Relations where I was introduced to Graphic Design. I quickly became passionate about it and then found myself loving photography. I have since been able to combine both of those with my passion for the Arabian horse.
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A TOUCH OF STYLE
to have quality high resolution images. They give the horse the best representation and can turn an average advertisement into a piece of art!
find me in the barn enjoying my horses at 2 in the afternoon. The flexibility allows me to work around showing and, for this, I feel very fortunate.
Have you been involved with various different aspects of the Arabian horse industry? And if so, please share your road of travel. I’ve been competing at Arabian horse shows since I was nine years old.
Who would you like to design for? I have had the opportunity to do a lot of design work for a hunter/ jumper facility, and with that, I have worked in conjunction with some corporate clients. I would
ASHLE Y L AUR EN TOYE I am fortunate to have achieved national titles with eight different Arabians and Half-Arabians. I was the Youth Director for Region 17 from 1998-2002. I am a registered Arabian judge and an Equine Canada steward. I currently own one Arabian and three Half-Arabians. I am continuing my education and training in becoming a regional/national judge. How do you like to spend your time away from work? I am seldom ‘away’ from work. My work and play tend to work very well together. When I do close my computer and put the camera down, I’m most likely hiking in the mountains or enjoying spending time with friends. What is your perfect day? My perfect day would include sunshine, coffee, a little work and a little play, followed by some wine with people that make me laugh. I think it’s important to have balance. I always like to change it up and keep things fresh. Sometimes I’ll work from home, but I enjoy getting outside because I can work from anywhere—I may as well use that to my advantage. If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be? Focused. Where do you get your inspiration from? I get my inspiration from taking in everything around me. Inspiration can come from anywhere and I’m always thinking of what I can use for my next design. What is your favorite part of what you do? Having the flexibility to enjoy the things I love. I often will work until 2 a.m., but this is because you will often
like to explore that area further and look for opportunities to design for restaurants and wineries. How do you overcome ‘designers-block’? I switch gears. I move on to another project or I go out to the barn and work the horses and come back to it later with a fresh approach. I find that if a design just isn’t working, the best thing to do is get away from it. Design can’t be forced, the vision will come, it just doesn’t always come right away. ■
My style is simplistic and clean. I would much prefer to work with one or two great photos and let them speak for themselves. Less is always more and with that being said, achieving simplicity takes time and patience. I enjoy using a whimsical style and really see the importance of using white space in all of my work.
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Things You Don’T Know AbouT … 1. The first horse I ever rode or handled was … Baskazal-TU. She was a double *Bask bred mare I showed in western pleasure.
2. My happiest moment with a horse is … when I take off the bridle and give it treats after a great ride!
3. The first ribbon I ever won was … with Baskazal TU. I won
open western when I was 11 years old at the LSU Spring Show in a class of 17 horses. The judge was Mike Villasenor.
4. My first influence in the horse industry was … Joel Gangi. I
met Joel at the LSU Spring Show and he became my mentor.
5. The first breed of horse involved with was … Arabians. 6. The age I got involved with horses was … 11 years old. 7. The first thing I do when I get to the barn is … drag the arena while my groom, Antonio, gets my first horse ready.
8. The last thing I do when I leave the barn is … mark my work board for the next day and then walk down the barn aisles to check on the horses.
18. My top vacation spot is … what’s a vacation? 19. Few foods make me happier than … being born and raised in Louisiana, I would have to say crawfish.
20. Without horses, I would be … in a rock band wearing skinny jeans!
21. The piece of tack or equipment that I can’t live without is … Telestarr’s curb bit. It’s my go-to curb for many horses!
22. My childhood dream job was … to be a rock star. 23. My favorite breeding bloodline is … Afire Bey V crossed with a *Bask bred mare.
24. My biggest pet peeve is … a horse that doesn’t walk. 25. The most influential person in my life is … my step-father,
Bob Murray. He was instrumental in getting me interested in the Arabian horse breed at an early age when he bought our first horses. That led me down the path to a career of being a horse trainer.
9. The greatest horse I’ve ever ridden is … wow, I have to say
that I have had the privilege to ride many great ones! But I choose Afire Bey V, as he has had the greatest impact on the Arabian breed next to *Bask.
10. The most gratifying part of my job is … working with amateurs and watching them achieve their goals.
11. My favorite restaurant is … Lori’s Kitchen (Lori being my wife).
12. My favorite non-horse hobby is … going to music festivals and camping in my pop-up camper.
13. My favorite genre of movie is … comedy. 14. When someone asks me, why Arabians, I say … why not Arabians? The smartest breed of them all!
15. My favorite division to show in is … English Pleasure. 16. In my free time, I like to … go to music concerts. 17. Horses have taught me … how to be humble. Ar abian Horse Times | 148 | Volume 46, No. 12
No story about an unusually accomplished woman and a 62-year-old breeding program that has influenced the Arabian industry not only in North America, but in pedigrees worldwide, will fit in one issue of a magazine. For that reason, a fuller account of Sheila Varianâ€™s life, her breeding program and its impact will be published this fall in book form by ARABIAN HORSE TIMES. This tribute is only a taste, and since the history of her work and her top horses is well known, we focus here on the personality behind the remarkable achievements.
by MARY KIRKMAN Long before Sheila Varian became an icon in the modern Arabian community—as a breeder and, back in the day, as a trainer—she was a media darling who wowed the equestrian world at large. The “media darling” part (surrounding her Cinderella win at the Cow Palace in 1961) lasted only a few days; the wow factor, while it may have faded or intensified as the years passed, never really went away. That was rooted in her horsemanship, which, as formidable as it was from early in her life, did nothing but increase as time went on. By the time she died, on March 6, 2016, her 62-year-old breeding program had long since been recognized as a landmark in the Arabian industry, and as importantly, her single-minded regard for the animals in her care had attracted new generations of enthusiasts to horses. Glancing over the bare facts of Sheila Varian’s accomplishments, it would be easy to conclude that she was St. Sheila, the golden girl who opened doors with her extraordinary ability. But nothing could be further from the truth—or more boring, when stacked up against her real experience. There is no question that she did a lot of things right, but over the course of her life, she also knew tragedy, loss, loneliness and fear, and had to fight to overcome all of them. How Sheila Varian, the child who threw herself off of horses in a misguided attempt to be a “real cowgirl,” became Sheila Varian, the world-recognized Arabian horse breeder (and member of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame) is not a simple tale. She was not a simple woman.
Who Was Sheila Varian—Really? continued ...
Sheila Varian | 1
Sheila & Don Severa, Scottsale 1993
Bay El Bey (Bay-Abi x Naganka)
2 | Sheila Varian
Behind the scenes, who was the person, not the icon? How much time have you got? Clearly, she was a horsewoman. But she also was other, less well reported things. She was a trombone player in her high school band, a tomboy who loved dressing up, a natural (and trained) teacher, and an inspired, but educated, breeder who doggedly resisted barn blindness. She was incredibly sensitive with animals and liked people, but she also could be very impatient, and sometimes bossy, with humans (several of her friends observed that after one particularly trying period of her of life, she emerged noticeably more compassionate about those around her). And later in life, realizing that she had “girl friends” for the first time in her memory—just casual, day-to-day reading and riding buddies—she marveled at the joy they gave her. She was the product of a small California town named Halycon, which was founded as a center for theosophy (kind of a combination of the best of philosophies, she once described it). For practical purposes, it was a tolerant, inclusive community with a great appreciation for nature, and it attracted artistic types: poets, musicians, painters and writers were at home there. She grew up in a family where conversation challenged the mind, and the discipline, responsibility, honesty and fairness she learned there would be mentioned throughout her life when associates described her. From her early adulthood, she functioned in a man’s world, running her own ranch and supporting it with her own efforts, and she knew what it was to be solely accountable for not only herself, but a business with several other living beings. “One time when I was showing Ronteza, I had a guy tell me I should go home and cook and clean and be a girl,” she remembered in a 1995 Arabian Horse Times profile. “That absolutely stunned me
… I was so astonished. I couldn’t breathe … I really felt awful—he had no idea how badly he made me feel. At the time, I was making my living just like he was making his living.” It is sometimes forgotten now how stressful some of those early times were. Her recollection of the period mentions that for five years, she borrowed $5,000 annually from an aunt to stay afloat, paying it off promptly each time. But that doesn’t cover the uncertainty and thrift that marked her business plan. Stories of the intern program she instituted at the ranch during those years rarely include that the interns were unpaid—their compensation was the experience of learning from her already-vast equine knowledge—and everyone, Sheila included, ate generic brands and day-old bread. During that time, the Varian horses were hauling home a lot of hardware from shows, which was critical promotion for the program’s growth. In 1977, when Sheila took Bay El Bey to the Canadian Nationals, she needed to win as many trophies as possible, and counting the various disciplines, she had seven contenders available. The trouble was, she had only a sixhorse trailer. So her 8-year-old stallion, Bay El Bey, rode the entire trip from the central coast of California to Calgary in the open storage area near the front of the trailer, secured only by cross ties. Horsewoman Christy Egan, who was caravanning with Varian on the trip, remembers the surprise of the Canadian customs agents who opened the forward door to peer in—and came face to face with the tall bay stallion who gazed obligingly back at them. It was worth the effort; Bay El Bey was named Canadian National Champion Stallion a few days later. And to the end of his life, he was trustworthy about standing. He routinely greeted ranch visitors by posing un-tethered in the open doorway of his stall, his front feet planted firmly on the sill, never offering to walk out into the aisle. A dozen feet away, Sheila enjoyed watching him do it. continued ...
I first met Sheila, much like I meet most people, over the phone. It was 2004 and I had been assigned a magazine photo shoot on Bridle Horses with this gal named Sheila Varian. So I called her up; struck up a conversation; and a couple of weeks later I was a guest at her home and my life was changed forever. To say I loved hearing Sheila’s stories of past horses and people would be an understatement; I could listen to her for hours and never tire! Some other important things about Sheila were honesty, dependability, and keeping the things that worked, but not necessarily having a lot of ‘stuff.’ I personally valued that Sheila kept the bits from her childhood and that her favorite belt buckle was the small one with the reining horse that was dull with wear since her youth. She was totally at home in the saddle, adored her life, loved what she had; used what she loved on a daily basis; and took immense pride in adding to her chosen breed. And while I never got to speak with Angela much, you knew that these two were peas in a pod—where one left off, the other one picked up, and I feel the ranch and breed are both in excellent hands.
Happy Trails, Miss Sheila. ~ Photographer & friend Sharon Fibelkorn
With Audacious PS (Fame VF x HAL Flirtatious) 2015, photo by photographer and friend Brandon Bessey.
Varian was never a conventional beauty, but with her height (six feet in her prime), long legs and narrow hips, she was a clothing designer’s dream, and as time went on, she knew her own attributes as well as she knew those of her horses. Or in other words, she watched what she ate and didn’t take the level of exercise in her daily life for granted. For much of the first 20 years in her career as a breeder and trainer (roughly 1960-1980), she had little time to devote to her appearance, so jeans and tee shirts were the order of the day. When she teamed up with Don Severa, who would be her partner for more than two decades, he recruited Jerry Sparagowski to “rebrand” her image for their advertising campaign. The noted photographer shot a series of pictures of her wearing a silk shirt while interacting with her foundation stallion, Bay-Abi. Ironically, such was her relationship with Bay-Abi—and such was Sparagowski’s talent—that viewers may never have noticed the soft, feminine blouse. The overwhelming image was of a woman and a horse who loved each other. It was, perhaps, an unnecessary project anyway. Varian’s childhood had equipped her with an appreciation for beauty, and friends later noticed that when given the opportunity offered by more success, her taste in fashion
included beautiful fabrics and flattering cuts. In later years, although she usually chose stylish western outfits when she dressed up, her statement was always of taste and elegance. Early in her career, Sheila lost her beloved father, and later her mother and sister. Those were dark times; she remembered the pain and the gloom, especially after her mother, her closest confidant in her fascination with Arabian horses, died in 1973. She had no option, however, except to keep going. “It’s a tough thing to go alone,” she later said succinctly. “That’s the hardest of anything. Family is everything.” As the 1980s dawned, however, things changed. After two decades of working 24/seven, Varian Arabians was easing into more financial security and Sheila decided to reward herself with a more feminine bedroom. On the recommendation of a friend, she hired architect Don Severa to do the work, and with that, launched an important period of her life. It was a personal as well as business relationship, and with Severa’s input and encouragement, she honed business, management and promotional skills to augment her equine resume.
4 | Sheila Varian
“The two of them were whirlwinds,” Marty Shea reflects. “They syndicated [Huckleberry Bey], they traveled all over the country, they went to Tahiti for three weeks. Don opened up a whole new life, a new world, for her.” When the partnership ended painfully, Sheila was crushed and nearly broken—but she didn’t know how to give up and even if she had, it wouldn’t have been an option. Quitting was not in her vocabulary. “I’m a person who puts one foot in front of the other,” she would say. Nor did she, after she recovered, revise history. Although they emailed rather than spoke, she and Don would remain connected through business, and she acknowledged the role he had played in her life. “She was always fair,” Shea says. “He was a big part of that whole situation and she in no way would ever have excluded him from that. It would have been wrong; it would have been unfair in her eyes.” “Karma,” Sheila would chuckle when asked why she didn’t engage in other common but questionable practices. She was serious. When she was growing up, the Golden Rule was alive and well in the Varian household. That sort of broadminded commitment to a principle did not mean, however, that she was naïve or a Pollyanna. In a lifetime of earning her own way, she had to market the difficult sale candidates as well as the easy ones. Still, she always told the truth, one early associate noted, even in extreme circumstances. He recalled one instance in which he and a friend had looked at a horse who was not, to put it mildly, one of Varian’s stars. “This one is very tall and very stretchy,” she told them as horse
stood up for inspection. They looked him over but passed on buying him, and as they drove away, the friend remarked, “That was an ugly horse!” “Sheila never said he was beautiful,” the man telling the tale pointed out. “She never lied. She told us he was tall and stretchy, and he was.” That her clients were pleased with their horses was evident in the strength of her sales record. “She was very good with her customers,” Gene LaCroix says. “When she sold horses, she followed up. Obviously, she was doing it to promote success—there’s nothing wrong with that—but I always got the feeling she treated her customers well. She had a lot of repeat business.” Sheila loved animals with a practical ferocity, going so far as to refuse to sell if she thought a buyer wouldn’t treat the horse well, but once was surprised when someone referred to her horses as her friends. It was an easy mistake to make; her relationships with some of her favorites were unmistakably close and heartfelt. But as much as she cared for her animals—and went to great lengths in training her youngsters to interact well with humans and function in society—she refused to anthropomorphize them. She had too much respect for who they were as horses. Some of that was her rancher’s mentality, which was rooted in an understanding of life that didn’t look at the world through rose-colored glasses, and some of it was just her respect for nature. And that may have been the key to the success of Varian Arabians: breeding Arabian horses was not a game for her. It was a real, important and lifelong mission. continued ...
Aboard Jullyen El Jamaal (Ali Jamaal x Jullye El Ludjin)
MENTORS ~ Sheila didn’t have mentors in the conventional sense. She didn’t work under a well known breeder or trainer, or learn from a university professor who specialized in any one equine subject. Her knowledge of Arabians grew over years of experience, as well as, in common with many young horsemen of the era and even now, spending hours watching accomplished horsemen school and present horses at shows. She did, however, learn much about her approach and her priorities from four especially important people in her life. MENTOR ~ SID SPENCER The first was local rancher Mary Forsyth “Sid” Spencer, who owned a ranch about 10 miles from Halcyon, and when Sheila was 13 or 14, Spencer not only recognized the young teenager’s potential, but importantly, offered guidance and support. Sheila, whose skill with horses up to that point was self-taught and born of her love for animals, began her real education as a horsewoman and cowgirl with Sid.To the end of her life, she never spoke of her first mentor without admiration and respect evident in her voice. Sid, she said, did everything that male ranchers did—she could shoe, geld, and train horses, as well as repair fences, bring in hay, and more—and from her, Sheila learned how to do much of it as well. It was here also that she inherited a love of working cow horses and an affinity for the Vaquero method of training.
MENTOR ~ MARY ALICE MANKINS Nearly all who knew Varian well comment on her love not only of learning, but also of teaching. It was a Varian trait, something the founders of Halcyon had shared at the turn of the 20th century and characteristic of how she was raised. For Sheila, learning was not just a habit; when she chose a profession, it was as an instructor in physical education. She graduated from California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo in 1960, and accepted a position at her old high school on staff with the teacher who had most inspired her, Mary Alice Mankins. As Sid Spencer had shaped her horsemanship and her dedication to ranch life, Mankins influenced her affinity for teaching, offering Varian guidance and the freedom to explore her own ability to engage students’ interests and mental faculties. From Mankins, Sheila would comment, she learned that the best way to educate was to make learning fun. Years later, Sheila’s friend Marty Shea would smile when she recalled how reflexively that need to teach would kick in. “We would be riding and she would say, ‘Now, Marty, let’s try this …’ She was always the teacher and you were always the pupil.”
As of March 1, 2016, Sheila Varian was the breeder of nearly 1,300 registered Arabians and Half-Arabians, estimated to influence more than 70 percent of pedigrees today.
Sheila stories ... there is NO WAY only one!
s on rides that amazed me, There where so many times Sheila would do thing bled me. She rode with such a intimidated me, educated me, and above all, humition of it actually. quiet confidence, the original “Yahoo!” The defin but after many fun rides and Like everyone, I was in awe of her at the beginning,rable she was. An icon no doubt, shoots together, I realized just how soft and vulne ience great friendships! but Sheila was also just a girl who wanted to exper aways reached to earn it! She gave respect to those who earned it ... and I ed to me when I told her my Sheila let me make art with her stallions, she listen“current” mattered to her, I loved Being ons. opini my crazy ideas and she asked for was a buddy and a mother at the that about her! As I write this, I ache inside; sheof my life. e cours the d altere same time, she enriched and a different flavor without her. My world, and the Arabian world, will forever beI miss her every day. it. But both are rich and full from having her in Photographer and friend, ~ April Visel
6 | Sheila Varian
SHEILA VARIAN Winner of U.S. and Canadian National championships in English, hunter, park, stock, western and halter Member of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame (A personal favorite, given her background.)
Arabian Horse Trust Breeder of the Year four times Arabian Professional & Amateur Horsemenâ€™s Association Breeder of the Year four times Arabian Horse Breeders Association Lifetime Breeders Award Ellen Scripps Davis Memorial Award for breeding excellence, presented by the U.S. Equestrian Federation, addressing all breeds and disciplines USEF/Performance Horse Registry Leading Breeder Award Chosen by her peers as AHT Readersâ€™ Choice Breeder of the Year three times Leading breeder at the U.S. Nationals and Scottsdale on numerous occasions Member of the APAHA Hall of Fame Arabian Horse Breeders Association Lifetime Ambassador Award Monty Roberts Equitarian Award for trainers in the western discipline who choose to train in the absence of pain and violence
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Over the years, Sheila’s horses and experiences made for countless colorful stories. One of her all-time favorites tales, and one which says much about her and the horses who were special to her, was of how she and Ronteza took San Francisco’s Cow Palace by storm.
Ronteza: The Fairytale Story Of Winning The World
In her lifetime, Varian had many “personality” horses (Farlotta, Bay-Abi and Huckleberry Bey all were noteworthy characters), but in the beginning, Ronteza, her first headliner, was not one of them. “[S]he was just a very serious, kind and sweet horse that didn’t beg for treats and didn’t come when called,” Sheila recalled of those early days in one of her “A Lifetime With Horses” AHT columns. “She would have gotten the good citizenship award of a town because she was so conscientious. I suppose ‘conscientious’ was Ronteza’s middle name.” From the time Sheila began training Ronteza and first realized the filly’s talent, she dreamed big—really big. In her world, that meant winning the Reined Cow Horse Championship at the Grand National Rodeo, held every fall at the Cow Palace. She didn’t talk about it to others; in the beginning, it might have sounded delusional, or worse, arrogant. But she dreamed, and step by step, over a period of five years, she schooled Ronteza through the stages of her training, from the hackamore all the way to the spade bit. By October 1961, she and her mare were ready. It is true that she was not particularly well known in the reining world at that time, but she was not unknown. Riders on the west coast circuit where she showed were aware of Ronteza; one, celebrated horseman and judge Jimmy Williams, as accomplished in an English saddle as he was in a western, had complimented the mare. But probably the Cow Palace was not prepared for her. She was, after all, a girl and an amateur, and she was mounted on an Arabian mare, not a Quarter Horse. At best, she would have been a novelty—which is what attracted the newspapers and television crews, although they didn’t catch on until she won the Light Horse competition on Friday night. Sheila and her mother, who had driven up with her, were unaware of the hoopla. Their barebones, chilly and rather damp hotel room
had no television, and at the arena during the day, they were in their own world. Sheila exercised and groomed Ronteza and battled nerves, and Wenonah simply kept her daughter company. Other competitors, Sheila later said, enjoyed the camaraderie of their world and they were perfectly nice to her, but overall, it was her first time in that atmosphere and she was too focused— strung too tightly—to think of anything but showing Ronteza.
On Thursday morning, she and Ronteza competed against about 30 other Light Weight entries to win one of five slots in Friday night’s final. So uninitiated was she that she did not realize that when her number was called first, it meant that she and her mare had scored the highest of the five horses who moved on to the Friday class. Describing her emotions that opening day of competition—the moments when her tension transformed into a joy that resulted in a nearly flawless performance—she later wrote, “Riding a good bridle horse has always been like a song to me. The movements my horse and I make together are the melody that floats through the air.” On Friday, they were back, and Ronteza was sharper than ever, so tenacious as she battled her steer that when she hit a slick stretch of dirt and lost her footing, going down heavily on her side, she scrambled right back up and kept going. It was all so seamless that Sheila, who had been jolted up from the saddle, simply stood still and her mare rose under her, avoiding the automatic disqualification that would have resulted had she been thrown off. Again, she and Ronteza scored highest. That’s what put the press onto the hottest story at the Cow Palace: the tall, thin girl from nowhere, riding her spunky little Arab mare, was suddenly nose-to-nose with the best reining riders in the world. The final competition, where the top three horses from both the Light Weight and Heavy Weight divisions rode for the championship, a $1,000 prize and a Bill Maloy saddle, was almost anticlimactic. Before an audience of 10,000 people, Ronteza was so in the zone that for years afterward, photographer George Axt used a shot of her that afternoon as an example of a classic sliding stop.
8 | Sheila Varian
MENTOR ~ TOM DORRANCE
In reining parlance, scoring the highest in the Grand National Rodeo’s Reined Cow Horse Open Championship was called “Winning the World,” and the news about Sheila and Ronteza reverberated across the horse world. In Scottsdale, a 13-year-old Gene LaCroix, not yet the household name in Arabians that he would become, heard it. “It was huge,” he remembers now, and because she was riding an Arabian, it had special significance. “I identified with it.” In San Francisco that evening, the magnitude of the achievement had not yet set in for Sheila and Wenonah when they loaded up an exhausted Ronteza and headed down the coast for Halcyon. They didn’t know that there was a party going on that the winner traditionally attended (and where plenty of people were prepared to celebrate them), but it wouldn’t have mattered anyhow. Sheila had to teach school the next morning, and what is a four-hour trip now was even longer then, particularly when pulling a horse trailer—a horse trailer with a horse in it who was worth the world to her young owner.
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A few days after Sheila arrived home from her transformative win with Ronteza at the Cow Palace, her next mentor drove onto the property.Tom Dorrance, who in years to come would be recognized as the original “horse whisperer” (the inspiration for the individuals and training systems that later would be well known), came looking for her. He had seen Ronteza’s performance and he felt that Sheila had potential. He remained for a few days, teaching her methods he had developed after watching horses in the wild, a “soft approach” that was based on his observations of their body language and herd behavior. It was the first of many such consultations; Dorrance’s techniques fit with her approach not just to horses, but to all animals, and they would be dear friends until his death in 2003. “Probably the most fascinating thing to me about animals is their language,” Sheila commented in 1995. “I was a shy kid who was always good with animals, so I spent tremendous amounts of time with them. I find them ultimately fascinating. I understand: I can look into their faces, can look at their ears, at how their bodies move … I really enjoy that. I never look at an animal that I don’t see some little sign in its behavior, and in my subconscious I’ll say, ‘Oh, I never noticed that before, oh, I get what it means!’”
Huckleberry Bey (Bay El Bey x Taffona) Sheila with Peter Cameron and Gene LaCroix.
Bay-Abi (Errabi x Angyl)
The Significance Of Sheila Varian In The Arabian Breed “Sheila had her definite convictions about her breeding program,” says Gene LaCroix, who knew her for much of her life (she once informed him that she saw him at his first big show, in Santa Barbara in 1959, and he remembers her early-1960s visit to Lasma in Scottsdale after *Bask’s initial national championship). “The last time I was at the ranch in 2011, we walked through the herds as we had previously. Now we’re into 10 or more generations of breeding, and she’s injected some lines that maybe I wouldn’t have, but she made it work for herself and she produced really good horses. “It reminded me of going to Poland when you could see generation after generation of horses,” he continues, “and they may have changed in type, but they didn’t lose structural integrity. She was breeding for the market, and there is nothing wrong with that, but she did not compromise good, basic conformation. If something was going to take her in that direction, she wouldn’t do it. She’d stop using it in her program. She produced a beautiful horse, and obviously, the record speaks for itself.” Like many others who commented, he noted that her rigorous devotion to conformational excellence is an increasingly valuable resource in today’s industry. “You can see now where some breeding programs are going for a certain type of horse, which can be a saddle horse, a halter horse, or whatever different type,” he says. “And they are going so much for that look that conformational integrity is lost, and you see club feet, straight hocks, things like that. People don’t seem to be concerned about that.” He shakes his head. “Sheila was concerned about it.”
The progression of the Varian breeding program is well documented—old news at this point—but bears repeating. A study of her sire line, coupled with the performance of her most successful mares, reveals a blue chip strike rate of national champions and national champion producers (as well as winners and accomplished participants in most other equine disciplines, including Sheila’s own beloved cattle gathering and trail riding). In 1959, Varian acquired her first stallion, a 2-year-old colt named Bay-Abi, at the first Arabian auction held at San Francisco’s Cow Palace. As she told the story, the catalyst was that when she looked at Bay-Abi, she felt an instant connection to him. He had the essentials of what she liked: balanced conformation (he was a three-circle horse), beauty and a willing temperament. She was with her mother, Wenonah, at the time and it is likely that the pair found his pedigree to their taste as well. Two years later, they purchased their foundation mares. The first Arabians since General Patton’s World War II rescue were beginning to emigrate from Poland, and the Varians were among the earliest to participate. Wenonah researched pedigrees and, through British horsewoman Patricia Lindsay, selected three mares to import. “It sounds strange now,” horsewoman Christy Egan says, “but back in those days, it was more expensive to transport horses from Poland than to purchase them in the first place. You bought them ‘by the [shipping] crate.’ That was more practical than buying one or two.”
Wenonah’s choices were *Bachantka (Wielki Szlem x Balalajka, by Amurath-Sahib), *Naganka (Bad Afas x Najada, by Fetysz [and out of Gazella II]) and *Ostroga (Duch x Orda, by Omar II). It is interesting to note that *Bachantka’s dam, Balalajka, also produced *Bask and *Bandola—but when Wenonah selected her daughter, *Bask had not yet been imported to the United States. No one had ever heard of him outside of Poland. Over the years, the headline horses at Varian Arabians have been the stallions, who received the bulk of the ranch’s promotional efforts. From Bay-Abi would come one of the iconic dynasties in the Arabian breed. The first generation out was his son Bay El Bey, born in 1969 from *Bachantka. A tall, stretchy stallion for the era, Bay El Bey was a Canadian National Champion Stallion and twice reserve in the United States, but by far, his contribution to the Arabian breed was as a sire, particularly of stallions. His three most famous sons—Huckleberry Bey (retained for the Varian program), Barbary (sold to Mike Nichols), and Bey Shah (bred by Lester and Jennie Walton)—had a profound impact on the breed in both halter and performance from the 1980s to the present, at first directly in some of the most successful competitors of all time, and now as strong pedigree influences. Huckleberry Bey was Varian’s next sire, and while the ranch was a source of horses for all disciplines of the ring, in the 1980s it was particularly well known for Huck’s English horses. He dominated the division, and sired Afire Bey V (sold to Maroon Fire Arabians), who is its strongest influence now. The next stallion in the line was the Huckleberry Bey son Desperado V, who polished the farm’s presence in western disciplines. Today, the line has extended to Desperado’s sons (such as Maclintock V, at Varian, and Sundance Kid V, who was sold to Palmetto Arabians) and grandsons, currently represented by the young Maclintock V son, Major Mac V. Through the years, Sheila was never afraid to add other lines and even complete outcrosses. She was an early patron of *Bask, and in 1969, she leased a newcomer named Khemosabi. For a time, she was a part-owner of Sanadik El Shaklan, and later, her best known additions were Jullyen El Jamaal and Audacious PS. Both introduced new influences (Jullyen especially, with his double infusion of Ali Jamaal), but both also reflected a line of Varian heritage. Jullyen counted Bey Shah as a great-grandsire, while Audacious’ sire, Fame VF, was a Bay El Bey grandson.
MENTOR ~ WENONAH VARIAN Both of her parents were highly intelligent; stimulating conversation was a hallmark of the Varian household. And Eric Varian fully supported his wife and daughter in their growing equine venture, often serving as the anchor who cared for the horses when they traveled to farms or attended horses shows. But it was Wenonah who studied the breed itself, pursuing Arabian pedigrees all the way to the desert and selecting the family’s foundation mares. Early in her life, Sheila was more focused on her hands-on work with the horses, learning to care for, ride and train them. As she grew into herself, however, her mother’s encyclopedia knowledge of bloodlines fueled her own education in the Arabian breed around her.
The fame of the Varian stallions notwithstanding, the secret to the program’s success lies just as much in the long and proven history of its mares. All three of the original Polish mares made their contributions in an unbroken procession, as did select additions over the years did as well. Ten generations down now, their descendants are the backbone of a broodmare band that has fielded not only winners and bloodstock for Varian, but also in other programs as well. One good example would be the line which began with *Bachantka. Bred to Bay-Abi, she produced Baychatka, who when crossed with Khemosabi, offered Moska. From Moska came generational history that fired out national champion after champion—glittery names like Magination V, Melody V and more— and decades down the line resulted in such stars of today as Zefyr, Onyx A and Monticello V. continued ...
Sheila Varian | 11
Jullyen El Jamaal (Ali Jamaal x Jullye El Ludjin)
And that is just one line. *Naganka and *Ostroga made their marks, as did such additions as the *Bask daughter Autumn Fire, dam of Afire Bey V, who was purchased by Varian in 1981. These days, the Sanadik El Shaklan and Jullyen El Jamaal daughters are flexing their muscles, and individuals such as Misti Morn V (by Audacious PS), the Ali Jamaal mare Sweet Shalimar V (dam of Sundance Kid V), Sweet Klassique V (by Fairview Klassique), and the Desperado V mare Khantina Girl V, among others, are focused on the future. If the youngsters out on Colt Hill and in the filly pastures are any indication, visitors to the ranch lately report, there remains a lot of story to come for Varian Arabians.
Happy Trails, Sheila “There’s one thing you have to make clear,” says Sheila’s longtime friend, Kathie Hart. “Sheila Varian has died, but her program hasn’t. It is going on, and it is beautifully set up to do that.”
For Sheila’s many followers, the end came too soon for her. And even she might have said that her 78 years was more like a beginning than an entire journey. In 1995, when asked what she planned for her program after she was no longer there, she replied, “I never gave it much thought. Ask me in 30 years.” Sadly, she didn’t get 30 years, but given the passion with which she lived, it probably would not have been enough anyhow. Her death was the end of an era of horsemen. Like so many of her mid-century contemporaries, she occupied a place in the equine industry that has begun to disappear from view. It’s true that she was only one owner, one breeder, one trainer, one horsewoman in the Arabian breed—but as much as anyone could be, she was one of a kind.
Varian’s mission in life was her breeding program. “From the time I was a little kid, really little, I’ve never wondered what I was going to do,” she said in the 1995 AHT profile. “I had a fairly straight path to follow and I followed it. I’ve wound around a little bit, but I’ve never had to sit down and say, ‘Now, in my life, what am I going to do?’”
In the past few years, she may have realized that six decades would not be enough. She had depended on her right-hand person, Angela Alvarez, since 1986, and it was to Alvarez that she passed her trust for the future. (What most Arabian enthusiasts may not have realized is that in all that time, much of Sheila’s freedom to travel the industry, to keep up with the horses in it, form friendships and acquire bloodstock, directly related to having Alvarez at home. She could leave Arroyo Grande secure in her mind that the farm was running as she specified.) For the final few years that she had left, she worked even more closely with Alvarez, and established a panel of trustees so that when the time came, the transition would be as smooth as possible.
Afire Bey V (Huckleberry Bey x Autumn Fire)
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Watch for the full story coming this fall ...
Pictured above: Dave & Gail Liniger, Afire Bey V (Huckleberry Bey x Autumn Fire) Tim Shea, Allen Zeller, Sheila and Marty Shea.
I had just gotten off the plane and headed over to Sheila’s farm to ride four horses I was going to use in a clinic the following day. I get on the first one, and it’s wild. I mean, I’m having a serious time coping. I ride about five minutes; Sheila tells me to get off. I get on the next one; it’s even wilder. She gives me five minutes, tells me to get off. The next two, it’s the same deal. I’m in serious fear of my life. At this point, I’m having serio us concerns; here I am, a supposed big-time horse trainer from the East … now a dude-horse trainer from the East. I’m extremely worried about getting dumped the next day, thinking all the cowboys and cowgirls will love to see this. A little while later, the groom tells me those horses hadn’t been ridden in five days. The moral of the story ... Sheil a didn’t care if they were perfect, she just wanted them to be beautiful.
If any of you knew Sheila, she was like a lot of ranch girls; she didn’t throw money around and she could stretch a buck as far as anyone I knew. One day, Marty and I were out at the farm, and we went into town for lunch. We drove this big four-door Mercedes into town to get sandwiches, and after getting them, we drove another 10 or 15 minutes to the other side of town because we could save 25 cents on each can of pop. This Mercedes was a big gas-guzzling vehicle, and probably burned $2 worth of gas to save that 75 cents on pop. ~ Tim Shea
MAROON FIRE ARABIANS & SHEA STABLE
for Tim and their lives, and been great in le p eo p t n had porta dividuals. We a few really im Everyone has as definitely one of these in history, but our personal se nw I, Sheila Varia ce stepping into Arabian hor ed at her ranch during a p n si op s st er e h w of d it was the when fans se that day, an arted in 1986 relationship st . Of course, we bought a hor at changed our lives. tion ip th California vaca an association and friendsh of g in n n fairytale begi tic. Hers was a mplished en th au is er h co ibes her lap. She ac d that so descr To us, the wor use anything was dropped in a reminder for us all. y— beca story, but not emendous effort and tenacit tr h it w l al it e, and I am horsewoman w orse and d n ou ar lal g in kh orld class stoc most outstand Sheila was the ave ever known. From her w s in the English and Park ip ,h sure all of you her National Championsh ved and did it all. to lo e k, or Sh . w d t le bi e lle spad unpara is la ei Sh s, n io divis e horses qualities of th ped e th e se to as from her w ude that hel gs we learned e It was this attit One of the thin ed by their imperfections. e history of our industry. Sh d in th e bl in th be er d on ot ee n and er took tial br them. If you ev e most influen d her become th horses and saw the best in e well aware that she wante er ad h m d e truly love e, you wer of acquiring on EST FOR THEM! responsibility the B ories sitting s have our mem good points ay w al ill w e W out all of the osed minded. She was not cl se show, hearing her talk ab open mindedness, that a hor her next to her at ’s horses. It was because of her program. She figured of other people many different bloodlines to requisites: trainability, so r pre she brought in ose individuals had her fou bian type. It seemed that ra th A of d h an ic h ion breed her out w und conformat center and allowed her to so , ty ili ab c ti to le ath close a that kept her around horse. was the mantr alll hope for new life, we al to the greatest gs in br ar ye of t e While this tim ok. Foals that are a testamen lo n Varia all time. foals with that horsewoman of emories. tunities and m or p op , es m ti eat for so many gr e you proud. Sheila, thanks will work diligently to mak We ~ Marty Shea
Gail & David Liniger Tim & Marty Shea St. Clair, MI Sheila Varian | 13
When you think of Varian Arabians, it is Sheila who comes to mind and all of the amazing horses she has bred. It does not matter if it is a halter, saddle seat, western, hunt, or working western horse, in some way or form, the Varian name is in the pedigree, and we have been lucky to have some of her breeding program in our pedigrees at Cedar Ridge. Credit must be given to Sheila for all of the years that she has contributed to the Arabian horse breed. Some people come and go, but Sheila was always consistent. She had a product that she believed in and so did others—when she spoke, you listened.
We wish Angela Alvarez the best of luck in carrying on the Varian tradition. There is no one better who knew how Sheila would want to continue. Sheila, we hope the Arabian community does you proud, and the “V” is carried on for years to come. Love, Dick, Lollie & Lara Ames
CEDAR RIDGE FARM
Dick, Lollie & Lara Ames Jordan, MN
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egionals. y $150 horse at R m g in d ri d an I was 13 ... Yup, 13 id: m up ring and sa ar w e th in e m y rb de b Sheila Varian ro that horse I might tighten his cu e on th as n, tightened â€œI think if I w .â€? I climbed dow e ring. I placed a ch ot n e on p u n chai in th ck up and went chain, climbed ba Pleasure. ish Top Five in Engl over ndship that grew ie fr a of g in in eg That was the b er stopped learning from her! ev decades. And I n ons she she bred, the less ngle s se or h e th r fo l Every si So thankfu ories we shared. em m e th d an t gh tau one of them! ~ Brett Becker
Lightning Strike V with Marjie (Audacious PS x Lalique V)
Prairie Juell V with Hayden (Jullyen El Jamaal x Precious V)
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Brett & Marjie Becker Grass Valley, CA
Justin Mac V with Brett (Maclintock V x Jortalia V)
Pictured right: Huckleberry Bey.This was my first shoot with Sheila and a very important session for my then early career. I was a bit intimidated. Sheila was gracious and welcoming, however, and looking for new images of Huckleberry Bey.This shoot ended up with one of the classic all-time action shots of Huck and the one that was used to make his Breyer® statue.
From photographer and friend, Scott Trees
Sheila’s great broodmares … and a difficult shot in terms of getting them all to look with their ears up at the same moment. In a final desperate effort, I had a tractor with a bucket raised high with a large tarp flapping come flying around the corner of the barn.This briefly startled the mares, they all looked up, I got my shot, and right after I took it, they broke position, but I had what I wanted. Sheila gave me some important career enhancing opportunities to photograph some exceptional horses and was instrumental in helping my career move forward and grow. I was always forever grateful to her for those opportunities, and more importantly, for her friendship. She was a talented horsewoman, one of the true exceptional breeders in the Arabian horse industry, and she will be greatly missed by many. ~ S cott Trees
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Agracie Girl V +++// with Nan Walden, Multi National and Scottsdale Champion in Western and English Trail, USEF Champion Working Western Arab Horse of the Year and more importantly, a treasured and beloved member of our family. She has been our ambassador to thousands at our events ranging from ranch tours for school kids to the annual Pecan Festival at our farm attracting 25,000 visitors.
d made a our expectations, an Walden. d se as rp su ve ha es ck rs All of our Varian ho formerly loyal Quarter Horse man, Diour Arabians, loyal Arabian fan of e his fellow ranchers by roping off of at the Dick loves to surprisRanch Trail Competition and Halter rses and polo winning ribbons in es, and out-striding their Quarter Ho Rancheros Visitadorrides in the hills! ponies on long trail rse, and buy my first ho the chance to select breeder in the world d ha y all fin I e, lif ly the only When late in for his u. You were probab I was lucky to find yoinced Dick Walden to buy an Arabians another nv wa co na ve me to Arizo that could ha ging Kay Pasa V ho e learned greenhorn wife. Brinth. We were amazed at how quickly sh rn, that is the bo lea d us ul entually wo education for conformation was to please. We ev and how eager she Arabians, in addition to their glorious n ria Va hallmark of and athleticism. d Regional titles many Scottsdale an d an er, lat s on pi 20 National Cham g more fun than kids! to boot, we are havin med us from the ateful that you welco and the business of gr en be s ay alw ve d ha t the bree Dick and I little we knew abou Jaime, Mike, very start, given howand showing. Your staff, Angela, Riyah, u are always Yo g o. in to in us kind to breeding, tra rahim, have been so Micki, Israel and Aber time of day or night. there for us, whatev r training methods, consistently to bette to the horses, and teach ed rk wo ve ha u yo are kind We know the freely out techniques that spread the word abneed to be turned out and treated like es rs ho at people th d made them to be. moving animals Go eved true ur dreams and achi and tough times. yo of ss pa m co e th You have followed stayed the course through the good ber most of all excellence. You have ve achieved are well deserved. Rememwho share our The accolades you hagiven to us, the owners, and to those the delight you have horses with us. ain in our hearts dinaire. You will rem or tra ex irl wg co a, Thank you, Sheil ever! and in our horses for rd Love, e Rancho Soñado He Nan and Dick & th
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Dick and Nan Walden with Romance V (Maclintock V x Ravven’s Skylark) and Agracie Girl V (Sundance Kid V x Amazing Grace V)
Dick & Nan Walden Amado, AZ & Santa Ynez, CA
Sara and I first met Sheila at the 1998 Scottsdale show. We were looking to get into the Arabian horse world and knew very little about how to start. We visited one barn of a prominent breeder and told them that we were looking to buy an Arabian horse. They obviously didn’t know us and didn’t give us the time of day. Fortunately the next barn we went to was Varian’s. Sheila couldn’t have been more welcoming and informative. She spent 2 hours w/ Sara and I. We didn’t buy a horse from her at Scottsdale, but set up a trip to her Spring Fling event 6 weeks later. At the Spring Fling we bought 3 horses from Sheila and bought 3 more at her Summer Spectacular in August. We developed a lasting relationship that went from client to dear friends. Sheila, more than anyone, is responsible for getting us into Arabian horses and advising and mentoring us thru every step of our wonderful journey. Decades later, there has still been no one more instrumental. Continued ...
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PA Lucchese Always (Always A Jullyen V x Lily Dancer V, by Sundance Kid V) and PA Dream Dancer (Sundance Kid V x Dreams Of Gold)
Frank & Sara Chisholm Breeding Manager Melissa Bradshaw Timmonsville, SC
Always A Jullyen V (Jullyen El Jamaal x Amazing Grace V by Huckleberry Bey)
ALWAYS A JULLYEN V Jullyen El Jamaal x Amazing Grace V by Huckleberry Bey Sire of National Champions
Sheila at the Cow Palace with Ronteza.
Sheila was the most amazing person weâ€™ve ever had the honor of knowing. Everything she did, she did with a passion and a never-give-up attitude. Her accomplishments in Arabian horse breeding are legendary in their results. However what I admired the most, was the way she took the road less traveled and blazed new trails.
Sheila with Huckleberry Bey
Starting with Bay-Abi, then going to the dangerous lengths she did to bring in the 6 Polish mares as her foundation mares is not just noteworthy, but incredible! She went new and different directions. Huckleberry Bey was a different type of breeding stallion that didnâ€™t have a lot of popularity until later in his life, but Sheila stuck with him and he took her program in a new direction. She made a 180 degree swing with Desperado V. He became a major breeding stallion with little to no show record. Not an easy task. I had many talks with her about the next direction of Varian Arabians as Desperado V was aging, but was shocked ( as most others were) when she chose Jullyen El Jamal. Again Sheila was right and had a vision beyond where most people would go. Sheila decided to take Ronteza to the Cow Palace to compete for the World Championship against all of the professional rodeo riders. How many people would have the guts to even try this? The results are a big part of her legacy- 1st person to Win The World riding an Arabian horse and the 1st woman to ever win the World Championship. This would put her in the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas. ~ continued
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May Dancer V (Sundance Kid V x Magdalena V by Sanadik El Shaklan) 2004 U.S. National Champion Western Pleasure Futurity with Rob Bick
Frank & Sara Chisholm Breeding Manager Melissa Bradshaw Timmonsville, SC Frank Chisholm with Always A Jullyen V and Sara Chisholm with May Dancer V
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SUNDANCE KID V Desperado V x Sweet Shalimar V by Ali Jamaal Leading sire of western pleasure show horses
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PA Kid Khan (Sundance Kid V x Kharrea PGA by Khadraj NA)
When Sheila decided to bring in Polish blood into her breeding program, she went to Europe and crossed the border into communist Poland hidden in the trunk of a car. Most people would be proud to have accomplished just one of the above things in their life. Sheila went places and did things that other may have just thought about. She’s been known as an incredible story teller. Those aren’t just stories. She’s lived it! Sheila, not only introduced us to an Arabian horse life, but to a friendship and experience we had never imagined. Now, all of us breeders are on our own, and thankful for her example. We have based our breeding program on the legendary V horses and what they stand for, and we can only hope we’ve learned enough to make her proud. Frank and Sara Chisholm
Frank & Sara Chisholm Breeding Manager Melissa Bradshaw Timmonsville, SC
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Sundance Kid V pictured at 20 years young, standing proudly at his home at Palmetto Arabians with owners Sara and Frank Chisholm, and breeding manager Melissa Bradshaw.
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Pictured top to bottom Full siblings from the golden cross of the Varian blood and Jerland’s Khadraj NA
KHAJA J BROKEN PROMISES PGA PROMISA J
Sheila Varian’s extraordinary influence on the Jerland breeding program through the mare Promise V (Huckleberry Bey ++ x Pavane V by Khemosabi++++//) is one for which I will always be grateful. As one of our aristocratic mares, Promise V has successfully been crossed with Khadraj NA+++/ many times, creating memorableshow horses like Broken Promises PGA, Promisa J, and our newest rising star, and next breeding stallion Khaja J. These siblings’ beauty, athletic ability, and accomplishments portray the strength of the Varian/Jerland program cross at its very best. I thank Sheila for the opportunity to acquire and blend her “V” program with my own, and I thank her for the opportunity she has shown so many others to do the same. All those who have known her, admired her, and respected her, would agree that she has created a legendary program whose influence in the Arabian breed will not soon be matched. We can only strive to walk beside her footsteps in our journey to create a better Arabian with each breeding generation. I will miss my friend Sheila, and I am thankful to have the horses who will continue her spirit for generations to come. ~ Larry Jerome
Lawrence Jerome Barron, WI
A friendship of respect, gratitude, and admiration.
Larry Jerome, Indira Van Handel & Sheila Varian with National Champion Promise V (Huckleberry Bey x Pavane V) receiving her Broodmare Elite Honors.
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SAN JACINTO JULLYEN V (*Jullyen El Jamaal x Sweet Klassique V) with Gary Ferguson up
The Sheila Varian Legacy Sheila was an individual who knew â€Ś What she wanted to do, When to do it and How to do it. And then, she did it! Her life has been and will continue to be beneficial to all of us. ~ Eleanor Hamilton
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SAN JACINTO JULLYEN V (*Jullyen El Jamaal x Sweet Klassique V by *Fairview Klassique) 2012 bay stallion, pictured with Sheila and Eleanor.
ELEANORâ€™S ARABIANS Eleanor Hamilton Trainer, Gary Ferguson Rogers, MN
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Cliff McCurdy & Michelle Watson Ocala, FL
SEVENTH SON V (Huckleberry Bey x Sweet Sanadika V) Pictured with Michelle Watson. Photo by Cliff McCurdy
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Haras Meia Lua, Brazil in 2010
High Sierra Ride in 2012
at Victoria Arabians over 20 years ago. The Varian horses entered our breeding program success. We are proud to say we have The Varian horses have been a huge part of our see “THE TEN COMMANDMENTS had 10 V horses in our barn. And, in our barn you Varian. Sheila had one primary comFOR BREEDING ARABIAN HORSES” by Sheila for the breed as a whole. We share the mandment - take into account what will be good Arabian horse. same belief as breeders and ambassadors for the
MIZ MARGEAUX V (Huckleberry Bey x Miz Bask) Pictured with Michelle Watson.
whether showing, riding or just looking We shared so many wonderful times together , the High Sierra ride in 2012 and at horses. Some of our favorite trips: Brazil in 2010 talk and ride, and we meant RIDE. always – riding the hills in California. We’d just when you can come our way, Sheila would always say “love to see you, let me know ~ WE WILL RIDE.” , her love for animals and We will forever remember Sheila’s wonderful smile and to us personally. the many true gifts she leaves to the Arabian breed Love, Michelle & Cliff
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MONACO JULLYEN V (Jullyen El Jamaal x Misti Morn V) 2015 U.S. & Canadian National Champion Western Pleasure Junior Horse with Joe Reser.
Owned by Shamrock Farms Castle Rock, CO
To have these two incredible stallions in our lives, takes it beyond all expectations. Their incredible quality, ability and personalities make them horses we are not only proud of, but horses we are honored to own. They are special, and we thank you, Sheila, for breeding true to your standards two stallions we know will continue to carry your “V” around the ring and beyond. ~ Carolyn Lesley & Leslie Doran Sommer
MONTICELLO V (Jullyen El Jamaal x Mosquerade V) Multi-National Champion Western Pleasure with Joe Reser & Carolyn Lesley Owned by Lesley Farms Ashland, OR
Being a part of the Varian dynasty would be a pinnacle in any Arabian horse lover’s experience.
Photographer and friend Sherry Conrads & Sheila
Sheila and I had a robust friendship. She was my mentor and teacher. I was her photographer and researcher.We complemented each other’s strengths and mitigated each other’s weaknesses.We were true soul sisters. Sheila shared Breathless V with me 6 years ago, and ever since then, she encouraged me and taught me about breeding and training Arabian horses.This was a priceless gift and one that I will never underestimate or take for granted. In the middle of the night, just days before Sheila died, she called me to her bedside and said to me, “Sherry, I want you to continue breeding horses … you’re ready … you don’t need me anymore.” The reader can only imagine the host of emotions that flooded over me. I’ve taken her wish to heart, because who could have had a better teacher to get me ready, nor better breeding stock to work with? I sorely miss my dear friend and sister. I feel her presence every day and will do my very best to carry on what she started with me—breeding the finest Arabian horses I possibly can. I’ll not compromise on my breeding decisions. I’ll not lie to others or to myself about the quality of my foals. I’ll make sure they are started and trained with respect, knowledge and experience. I’ll make sure I share them with worthy people who will cherish them, as they deserve to be cherished. I can’t think of a better way to honor the memory of Sheila Varian. ~ Sherry Conrads
Sweet Shalimar V (Ali Jamaal x Sweetinspirationv) Hennessey Arabians is proud to have been given the honor of caregiver to the legendary dam of Sundance Kid V. She retains her royal status in our pastures and inspires us daily.
The mission statement of the Hennessey breeding program is to “Breed a Better Tomorrow…” With an over 5 decade run of excellence, the Varian program has helped us strive for exactly that. With over 70% of the show horses winning today carrying Varian blood, our inclusion of Audacious PS, Jullyen El Jamaal, and Sundance Kid V has been paramount. Our second generations of these horses are instrumental in the quality we’ve been fortunate to see consistently. Sheila took the Varian breeding program to a place every breeder holds as THE example; truly the pinnacle of breeding success. She has lead by example, and we thank you, Sheila, for giving us all this incredible gift. ~ Frank & George
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H ALLURE H (Jullyen el Jamaal x Alegoria) with H Alouette H, her 2016 filly by Jaipur el Perseus.
Frank & Carol Hennessey Manager George Z Ocala, FL
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THE MAGICIAN V Audacious PS x Maya V by Sanadik El Shaklan 2009 Stallion Canadian Reserve National Champion Las Vegas World Cup Reserve Champion
TAOPHINA MCX (The Magician V x Princess Grace C) 2015 Filly
A Bit of History ...
I was a novice in the Arabian horse world when I came upon Varian Arabians. I had been “researching” Arabians online as a novelty with no intent on acquiring a horse, just interested in keeping occupied during the winter months on our farm. After viewing as many websites online as possible, Varian Arabians was at the top for various reasons—clarity of her philosophy, the Varian history, videos and photos. I had previously researched purebred dog breeds that I was interested in and ultimately owned, which allowed me to develop a clear vision on what to look for online. It was clear that Sheila had been in Arabians for many years and that she ran a larger operation, but other than that, I had no clue how important her contribution to the Arabian horse was or had been. Yes, Sheila had decades of show wins, important, but to have a real vision in how to assess and breed a beautiful versatile Arabian was her gift.
I signed up for the Varian newsletter and one day The Magician V was featured and being offered for sale. My interest was perked and I started researching his pedigree, going back as many generations as possible and finding as many photos of his ancestors as I could, having no clue who they were but realizing the beauty and quality of most. The Magician V’s pedigree was like a finely composed symphony. As a lark, I printed this photo onto photo paper showing it to my friends, stating, “See what I just bought!” As time passed by, this lark started to turn into a possible reality.
I eventually contacted Varian Arabians. Sheila, Angela and myself had several long conversations about Magician, owning a stallion and this novice’s interest in possibly purchasing him. Sheila and I both, were hesitant for this first-time horse owner taking on a stallion. We worked together to ensure that if I purchased The Magician V, that he would have the best life going forward, and the rest is history. Anyone who knew Sheila, knew how humble, kind, intelligent and witty she was, as well as an astute businesswoman. Sheila was encouraging and very supportive; her phone calls always giving deft and at times, humorous advice.
After purchasing The Magician V, my personal education continued into the Arabian horse and only then did I start to realize the depth of importance Sheila contributed. Her foresight with her breeding program was exemplary, such as recognizing Khemosabi as a two year old and leasing him; her purchase of Sanadik El Shaklan and her kindness selling him back to Om El Arabians; her re-discovering Audacious PS. Integrating these stellar Arabians into her program with her foundation of Bay-Abi, Bay el Bey, Baychatka and Naganka created a beautiful Arabian, The Magician V. It was Sheila’s courage—all Master Breeders like Sheila have to be courageous—of going in different directions while staying true to her principals, and her continuing to expand her knowledge that has allowed newcomers to the breed to have the opportunity to breed forward further generations of beautiful, versatile Arabian horses. I know the privilege and responsibility I have with The Magician V and he is breeding true to his pedigree that Sheila Varian created. Thank you, Sheila, for your generosity. We miss you. I will be skidding in sideways shouting, ‘WOW, WHAT A RIDE!’ when we meet again … The Magician V – MCX Inc. CEO Leslie Bartlett and CFO Richard Bartlett
THE MAGICIAN V — MCX INC
Leslie Bartlett Calgary, AB
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From photographer and friend, Scott Trees
Sheila was willing to trust my vision and my ideas. On Desperado V, I wanted to try something different that I had not done before, which was a blurred motion shot. Shot with film, it wasnâ€™t possible to look immediately and see if I got the effect I wanted, but I was delighted to see the idea worked, and it turned out to be a shot that Sheila used for many years in her farm promotions. ~ S cott Trees
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The Art Of Hunter Show Hack
irst held at the U.S. Nationals in 1985, today’s hunter pleasure and show hack horse remains one of the most populated disciplines to date. Combining old equestrian disciplines with a relatively new style refined for the Arabian’s looks and talents, the bar has been raised in quality and athletic ability, which fits the frame and character of many Arabians and Half-Arabians, and calls for a very good price in today’s market. Both require a lot of discipline and concentration, while looking effortless. It’s all about the connection between the horse and rider. Bottom line? The division’s focus on talents that come naturally to Arabians and a rapport between horse and rider may be the foundation for its continuing appeal. In the following pages, AHT asked two rising stars who specialize in the field of hunter pleasure and show hack to share the appeal for them, and showcase those who were leaders in 2015.
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Justin Cowden ROYAL ARABIANS What changes have you seen in the Arabian Hunter Pleasure/Show Hack divisions in recent years? From
my perspective, changes over the past ten years have all been positive. Hunter used to be a division where horses that weren’t as competitive in other divisions could mesh into, but it has since become very specialized. The training and presentation of today’s hunter pleasure and show hack horses is exceptional and definitely at an all-time high.
What quality or qualities do horses have that make them the ideal Hunter Pleasure/Show Hack horse?
First off, they have to look Arabian! The ideal horse in these divisions should have a shapely and well set on neck with bold, yet fluid motion, definite type and exhibit excellent manners.
What draws you to the Hunter/Show Hack horse over other divisions? They truly have become competitive
classes, and are a blast to show in as there is a ton of showmanship involved. The hunter division is typically the largest at every show and is filled with dozens of high quality horses and riders, especially at the national level. I feel it’s become not only enjoyable for exhibitors, but for spectators as well.
If you could select any horse to compete with in Hunter Pleasure/Show Hack, who would you choose? I am lucky to train and show several exceptional horses for this division; picking one would be way too tough! Your dream pedigree for a purebred and/or HalfArabian hunter horse would be? I think my perfect blend would be a horses with a mixture of Versace, Millennium LOA, Sundance Kid V, Allionce, and Jullyen El Jamaal.
Nestor Gonzalez ALJASSIMA FARM What changes have you seen in the Arabian Hunter Pleasure/Show Hack divisions in recent years?
The competition continues to grow in numbers and quality, not only in horses, but in the riders and the training. What quality or qualities do horses have that make them the ideal Hunter Pleasure/Show Hack horse? When I select a hunter pleasure horse, I look for excellent movement that reflects the division. I like a good mind, so I know I will end up with a steady, calm ride, even when allowing the horse to really move out. It should also look handsome under hunter tack; I like a “pretty” horse with some substance. What draws you to the Hunter/Show Hack horse over other divisions? I find it a fun class to ride in and enjoy training horses for this division, largely because I can allow the horse to move in a natural way.
class at Scottsdale. Aurora is a beautiful mare who has great movement, is always happy to perform and looks stunning in hunter turnout.
If you could select any horse to compete with in Hunter Pleasure/Show Hack, who would you choose? The dream hunter pleasure mare, who I was able to select is Aurora Aljassimya, a young mare bred by Sheikh Jassim who I have a lot of pride in showing. At her first show, she was the unanimous winner in the Hunter Pleasure Maiden
What would you like people to know about the Hunter/Show Hack horse? That we need to always keep in mind the basics of the class specifications and follow the gaits as described in the rule book. I think our judges are doing a very good job of not letting this division get out of hand with exaggerated movement (too much animation).
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Hunter/Hack Leaders Includes U.S., Canadian, Sport Horse and Youth Nationals Hunter Champions and Reserves. Hunter Pleasure, Show Hack, and Hunter Hack classes. Open and amateur/junior classes only.
by number of wins
Overall Arabian & Half-Arabian Leading Horses
1. Parys WA Renditions Rollin Doubles 2. Signal Bey 3. PA San Antonio Slam Dunk KS 4. Amnestey C Hondo EC Cause To Celebrate FS Love Story Halsteads Deven Khanquistador Ladys Man WH Lightning McQueen CRS MM Sabe Sir Charles PA
by number of wins
1. Parys WA Renditions 2. PA San Antonio 3. Amnestey C Hondo FS Love Story Khanquistador MM Sabe Sir Charles PA
by number of wins
1. 2. 3. 4.
Rollin Doubles Signal Bey Slam Dunk KS EC Cause To Celebrate Halsteads Deven Ladys Man WH Lightning McQueen CRS 5. Joyride SF Worldlee
2 championships, 1 reserve 2 championships, 1 reserve 2 championships, 1 reserve 1 championship, 2 reserves 3 reserves 3 reserves 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships
Owner Ashley Toye Sharon Fant-True Laura Lynn Dickert Laura Wood Lindsay Adams Michelle Harbridge Jill Nelson and Janene Boggs Wolf Springs Ranches, Inc. Debra and Maggie McCarthy Susan Barillaro Michelle Pease-Paulsen Arianna Bell and Norrie-Shan Fyfe Dennis and Willa Miller Katie and Joe Russell Morgan and Cynthia Kelly Michele, Molly and Madison Schwanz
Arabian Leading Horses 2 championships, 1 reserve 2 championships, 1 reserve 3 reserves 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships
Owner Ashley Toye Sharon Fant-True Lindsay Adams Jill Nelson and Janene Boggs Wolf Springs Ranches, Inc. Susan Barillaro Arianna Bell and Norrie-Shan Fyfe Morgan and Cynthia Kelly Michele, Molly and Madison Schwanz
Half-Arabian Leading Horses 2 championships, 1 reserve 1 championship, 2 reserves 3 reserves 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 2 championships 1 championship, 1 reserve 1 championship, 1 reserve
Owner Laura Lynn Dickert Laura Wood Michelle Harbridge Debra and Maggie McCarthy Michelle Pease-Paulsen Dennis and Willa Miller Katie and Joe Russell Highland Pride Arabians, Inc. Remie and Rene Moreno
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Overall Arabian Leading Sires by number of winning get
1. Baske Afire 2. Afire Bey V Always A Jullyen V Mamage 3. AA Apollo Bey Heir To Glory Millennium LOA
by number of wins
5 4 4 4 3 3 3
1. Afire Bey V Baske Afire Mamage Mariachi WA Sundance Kid V 2. Always A Jullyen V Desperado V Heir To Glory Possesion PGA
5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4
Leading Arabian Sires by number of Arabian winning get
1. Always A Jullyen V 2. Millennium LOA 3. Bey Ambition Apollopalooza Desperado V Eden C Enzo Exxpectation Justify Possesion PGA Surokhan
by number of Arabian wins
4 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
by number of Half-Arabian winning get
1. Mamage Baske Afire 2. Afire Bey V 3. AA Apollo Bey Heir To Glory Pension CAHR
1. Always A Jullyen V Desperado V Possesion PGA 2. Apollopalooza Enzo Exxpectation Justify Mariachi WA Millennium LOA Remington Magnum Surokhan
4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
by number of Half-Arabian wins
4 4 3 2 2 2
1. Mamage 2. Afire Bey V Baske Afire 3. Armani FC Bey Oro Heir To Glory Pension CAHR
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5 4 4 3 3 3 3
Hunter/Hack Leaders Overall Leading Owners
Overall Leading Open Trainers (Top Ten Included)
by number of horses
1. 2. 3. 4.
Wendy Potts Cynthia Burkman Sally Randle Liz Bentley Jada Reed 5. Justin Cowden Cheryl Fletcher 6. Lisa Monaghan Powell Tom Theisen Cari Thompson
1. Hannah Darby Highland Pride Arabians, Inc. 2. Arianna Bell and Norrie-Shan Fyfe Stephanie and Ricci Desiderio Sharon Fant-True Mike & Loren Hart or Gordon & Carol Walter Morgan or Cynthia Kelly Larry or Sue Lease Jill Nelson Ashley Lauren Toye Wolf Springs Ranches, Inc.
70 31 25 23 23 20 20 18 18 18
3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Overall Leading Breeders by number of horses
1. Frank Chisholm 2. Conway Arabians, Inc. R O Lervick Arabians 3. Robert or Janene Boggs El Camino Ranch Winnifred Furman Susan Fyfe William Jenkins Live Oak Arabians, Inc. Maroon Fire Arabians, Inc. Pegasus Arabians Bazy Tankersley Varian Arabians
Arabian Leading Breeders
Half-Arabian Leading Breeders
by number of horses
1. Frank Chisholm 2. Robert or Janene Boggs Susan Fyfe Bazy Tankersley Varian Arabians
6 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
by number of horses
6 2 2 2 2
1. Conway Arabians, Inc. El Camino Ranch Winnifred Furman R O Lervick Arabians
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2 2 2 2
HUNT SEAT EQUITATION
Hunt Seat Equitation There Is Only One Way To Ride A Horse … The Correct Way by ASHLEY LAUREN TOYE
ow often are you asked, “How hard can it be to ride a horse? Don’t you just sit there?” As equestrians, we know it’s a lot more complex than that, but our job is to make it look easy and effortless. So, because we get asked that question so often, we must be doing a good job at making it look easy! Evaluated on both the rider’s ability and style, hunt seat equitation is the foundation in forming strong and capable riders for the future of equestrianism. One must learn to ride effectively while staying in position, in order to properly negotiate their horse through day to day maneuvers, patterns and over jumping courses. There is only one way to ride a horse, and that is the correct way. Equitation is a universal term. Judges from all disciplines, breeds, countries and backgrounds are looking for the same elements in a rider: light and supple hands and seat, heels down, legs in contact with the horse’s sides, confidence and ability. The most important component of hunt seat equitation is the demonstration of negotiation and the rider’s ability to maintain a correct and stylish position while doing so. As an enthusiast in this division, you must always educate yourself. Everyone around you has information that can help you grow as a rider:
2015 Youth National Champion H/A Hunter Seat Equitation NTJ JTR 14-18 Allison Cederberg on TL Foolin Around.
Q: Why do we want our heels down?
A: It allows us to keep our legs in contact with our horse. Q: Why do we want our hands low and on either side of the horse’s withers? A: It maintains the straight line to the horse’s mouth. There are reasons behind every component of the rider’s position and it is the responsibility of a rider to understand these reasons. It is incorrect for a rider to just “sit there.” It is our job as equestrians to learn the ins and outs of what makes our horses perform. It is our job to develop the ability to execute a class effortlessly. The only way to achieve this correctly is to understand your horse, understand the mechanics of what you are doing and to understand how to correct things that go wrong. The hunt seat equitation division is not about who can be the most still, or who can sit the straightest; rather, it should be thought of as who can ride the most effectively while maintaining position and style. When we talk about style, we are referring to the rider’s form; smoothness and a steady rhythm are paramount. George Morris, founding father of hunt seat equitation, explains, “We all have a lack of confidence [at times during riding or especially, jumping], what helps that, is knowledge. Develop technique.” (Horse Connection Magazine May/June 09). With that in mind, in preparation for your next competition, a few instructors and an attire specialist share their thoughts on aspects of the division. But most of all, with your chin up and heels down, always remember to enjoy the ride!
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The Trainers Liz Bentley IIB FARMS
How did you become an instructor in the Hunt Seat division and how many years have you been an instructor? I’ve coached several clients over the years, but it’s not a regular practice. With the style of equitation they want at the national level, I’ve turned my students over to outside instructors. What do you have a typical student do in a week to practice, and how many times a week do you encourage your students to practice? I encourage all my clients to ride as much as possible, but if it’s not easily done, I suggest they do exercises. Other than riding, what other activities do you ask your student to do to prepare for the sport, such as aerobic activities and mental preparation? Inner strength, inner core, is the first group of exercises
they need to do. Sit ups, chin ups, push-ups, rowing, and yoga, all work well with equine performances. There has been a lot said about trainers’ kids having a huge advantage. What would you say to someone that may have these thoughts about their child having a disadvantage? I think, if anyone has a strong desire to be competitive, it doesn’t matter who you are the son or daughter of. Some trainer’s children don’t want to ride, so I don’t feel that scenario is a factor. How important do you think lesson programs and academy programs are? I believe lesson and academy programs are absolutely essential to the growth of our industry. That is why David and I sponsor the Instructor of the Year award at the APAHA Awards Banquet. The instructors are producing new owners and appreciation of the Arabian horse. What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to show ring attire? Inappropriate colors in jackets and britches and too much bling. It’s the one division you can buy clothing off the rack for a few hundred dollars and be appropriate and correct.
a video of a really great rider and watch your own videos so you can see what you need to work on—videos are so revealing!
There has been a lot said about trainers’ kids having a huge advantage. What would you say to someone that may have these thoughts about their child having a disadvantage? I can definitely see how people can think that. From personal experience, the biggest advantage my daughter has is that she can ride whenever she wants, but her disadvantage is that my clients almost ALWAYS come first. That means, unless she can find a break in my schedule, whoever is working with me gives my daughter a lesson.
How did you become an instructor in the Hunt Seat division and how many years have you been an instructor? I rode Hunt Seat on Arabians long before they offered Hunter classes. I’ve been training people and horses since I graduated from college in 1986. What do you have a typical student do in a week to practice, and how many times a week do you encourage your students to practice? The more anyone rides, the better they become. Unfortunately, many of my students don’t live in close proximity to my farm. It would be wonderful if people could practice three times a week. More likely, it’s once or twice a week. Other than riding, what other activities do you ask your student to do to prepare for the sport, such as aerobic activities and mental preparation? I can ask my students to do any manner of crazy things from balancing on a staircase with their heels down, to holding a beach ball between their calves while they do their homework. Rhythm is so important as a rider. I tell them to practice dancing, as well as alternating opening and closing their fingers to the beat of a song. For those that don’t get to ride with me on a regular basis, I tell them to write down the things I ask them to work on so they can study and memorize them. I think visualization is a really important tool. I also think it helps to get
How important do you think lesson programs and academy programs are? I think they are incredibly important! I think all kids should learn to ride by coming up through the ranks. That’s how most veteran trainers today learned. I still take my clients to one-day open shows where they can show in lots of classes and almost all of the equitation classes have patterns. As soon as I can get someone to help me, I plan on starting a lesson program at Freewill. What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to show ring attire? There are a few! First of all, a regulation helmet is a regulation helmet; it doesn’t make the rider! Needing to have the “right” kind of helmet for a kid to do well at Youth Nationals is ridiculous! I also feel the same way about the “Ruth Buzzy/lunch lady hair net” at Youth. This is the only show throughout the year that most kids completely change their look. I just care if you’re turned out well, that your conservative hunt attire fits, that your horse is well suited to you and most importantly, that you’re a great rider!
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HUNT SEAT EQUITATION
Becky DeRegnaucourt DEREGNAUCOURT LTD.
Please describe what the proper attire for Hunter Seat equitation should be. Hunter Seat, of all the equitation seats, has the most rigid guidelines. They do not allow for fashion, but rather a superior fitted black or dark navy coat with white shirt, beige breeches, gloves and regulation helmet. See USEF Rule below: USEF Rule EQ110: Riders should wear coats of any tweed or Melton for hunting (conservative wash jackets in season), breeches or jodhpurs and boots. Conservative colored protective headgear with no additional adornments in accordance with GR801.3 is mandatory. Spurs, crops or bats are optional. Hunter Pleasure on the other hand is more fashionable, but with rules passed by AHA in coordination with USEF: Coats must be conservative in hunting style fabrics, not glossy in appearance and without any ornamentation. The breeches must be lighter than the coat.
However, this rule is left to the judges’ discretion to penalize for not conforming. Recent trends seem to be taking us back to lighter coats with more pattern and darker breeches, without penalty from judges. So, my advice is to error on the side of conservative at all times, and know whom you are showing to. Do your homework to know if a judge will be offended by your violation or if it will have no impact on their evaluation of your pleasure horse. When it comes to equitation apparel, how do you think an outfit can stand out from the rest? In Hunter Seat Equitation, it is the objective to blend in. This is not a “seat” of fashion or style, but rather the rider’s ability and no more. What is your biggest pet peeve you see in Hunter Seat apparel? Coats that are not properly tailored. When fashion is removed, you must rely on the fit, cleanliness and quality of your appearance in order to stand out and showcase proper form. When it comes to accessories, some can overdo; what do you suggest? Per the rule book, accessories are just not acceptable in this venue. n
Riding Apparel provided by DeRegnaucourt Ltd. Ar abian Horse Times | 207 | Volume 46, No. 12
Experience Justin Cowden ... Inside the Magic that is Royal Arabians’ Performance Divison!
Justin Cowden 2015 C. Jarvis Insurance Arabian Horse Times Readers’ Choice Show Hack/Hunter Trainer Of the Year M ARK D AVIS
C INDY M C G OWN ,
9720 E. C ACTUS ROAD, S COTTSDALE , A Z | 1660 N. L INDSAY ROAD, M ESA, A Z TEL :
480.220.1108 | I NFO @ROYALARABIANS .COM Ar abian Horse Times | 208 | Volume 46, No. 12
What You Need To Know About Breeding Horses Today EMBRYO T R A NSFER, PA RT 2
by Dr. Mario Zerlotti photos by Chelly Zerlotti
With technical advances in modern veterinary medicine, Arabian breeders today have more ways to achieve a healthy foal than ever before. An owner doesn’t have to postpone his top show mare’s career as a mother or retire a standout broodmare due to age, or lose year after year of production because a broodmare has a history of problems. That does not mean that these procedures are simple, however; as in many pursuits, the more you know, the better results you will see. To make that easier for everyone, AHT asked embryo transfer specialist Dr. Mario Zerlotti, of Zerlotti Genetics Ltd., to write a series of articles on breeding techniques for mares who need more than just artificial insemination. In part one, Dr. Zerlotti sets the stage. If you’re new to the game or just want to brush up on your knowledge, here’s where you start. In coming segments, he’ll explore more “exotic,” cutting-edge procedures.
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Recipient mares at Zerlotti Genetics.
The embryo transfer procedure came of age for horses in the 1980s, and at that time, most breeds allowed an owner to register only one embryo per mare. By the 1990s, most had increased that number, and in Arabians now, there is no limit on the number of foals an owner may register from a mare in one year. Let’s begin by answering a few of the questions we hear routinely as more and more breeders consider using embryo transfer.
How many people really are using embryo transfer? At Zerlotti Genetics, we perform between 300 and 400 procedures a year (that’s pregnancies, not just flushes). We are one of the larger organizations in the equine industry, but there are some in other breeds who do as many as 700 a year. Our work primarily serves the Arabian breed, but also includes Quarter Horses and Warmbloods.
Why do an embryo transfer? As we wrote last time, there are many reasons. The most common is that ET makes it possible to obtain offspring from mares that might not otherwise produce babies, such old ones who can’t carry a foal, mares in show training who can’t take a year off, and especially in the case of young mares, those for whom owners want to know more about their breeding potential without investing a year in each cross. Embryo transfer allows them to try a variety of bloodlines in a short span of time. Dr. Mario Zerlotti
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Isnâ€™t it very expensive (something only for wealthy owners)? That depends on how you use it. Yes, it is not inexpensive. But embryo transfer also can offer a significant cost savings for some breeders. Owners who do not want to buy a very expensive mare instead can purchase the embryo right(s) to one, or an embryo from one who is already mated, for a fraction of the cost of acquiring the mare. That represents an opportunity for small breeders to purchase top class bloodlines without having to buy the bloodstock. We have a number of clients who have bought embryo rights and been very successful. And it is true that sometimes embryos sell for substantial sums, but not always. Who are the best candidates for embryo transfer? The most suitable mares are aged 3 years old and up, and some 2-year-old fillies. They need to be in good body condition and have started cycling. If they are sent to us before breeding season, we put them under lights; if the owner sends them later, we recommend that he or she put the mare under lights, as we commented in article one. On February 1, we begin collection.
Typically, what percentage of pregnancy can be expected? We calculate percentages after we have the embryo; if the mare canâ€™t produce a viable embryo, then we canâ€™t blame the lack of a positive result on the transfer technique. For a Grade 1 embryo, our experience results in pregnancy 80 to 85 percent of the time. Counting other transferrable embryos, our rate is approximately 80 percent. With substandard embryos, the rate can drop to the 60 to 70 percent range. The variable factors in rates usually relate to the individual mares and to the handling of the embryos. For example, embryos produced by older mares or infected mares are frequently of lower quality, and embryos which are not properly shipped are sometimes not viable. Preparing The Donor Mare As we discussed in part one, it is important that donors in the ET process are healthy and cycling regularly in advance of the procedure, and have reproductive tracts that are clean of infection. It is also best if their lifestyle
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is free of stress, i.e., a show mare might take a month or two off from athletic training, while a broodmare enjoys a familiar, undemanding routine. They also need to pass a breeding soundness exam, and if their condition indicates that it is necessary, have a uterine culture, cytology and/ or biopsy performed. Recipient Mares: The Key To Embryo Transfer Success One common misconception is that only one recipient mare is needed. It is true that only one will carry the embryo, but more than one mare (usually two or three) need to be prepared for each donor mare. When we start the breeding season, most of our recipients are not cycling. We do a protocol with hormones to artificially prepare them to receive the embryo. In other words, we mimic the cycle. We use estrogen to produce edema in a mare’s uterus so that she shows in cycle, but has no follicle in the ovaries. Then we give a progesterone injection, so that she appears to be ovulating, but is not really ovulating. At three to seven
days after the recipient mare’s shot of progesterone, she will receive the embryo from the donor mare. This is more complicated than the description might indicate because the synchronization of timing is challenging. When you begin preparing the recipient mares, you cannot be certain that one is going to be ready to receive the embryo at the time that you need her to. That is why we maintain a herd of more than 500 mares, and have two or three prepared for each donor mare on the day of her transfer. The Embryo Transfer Process After the mares have been prepared, the donor is inseminated with semen from the stallion of choice, and within a range of six to nine days (we use seven or eight), an embryo is flushed. Here’s how the procedure works. ♦ A silicone catheter is introduced into the mare’s vagina through the cervix and approximately five cm into the uterine body. Once in position, the cuff of the catheter is inflated with 30 to 60 ml (depending on the size of the
Tools of the trade: the instruments used to perform an ET procedure.
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Grading Embryos cervix) of air or sterile saline. The catheter is then drawn back against the “internal os” of the cervix (the upper end of the cervix that opens into the uterus) to assure a tight seal.
Grade 1: Excellent—no abnormalities observed; spherical in shape; cells of uniform size, color and texture; size and developmental stage appropriate for age postovulation.
Grade 2: Good—minor imperfections, such as a few extruded blastomeres (cells); slight irregularities in shape, size, color, or texture; limited separation between trophoblast layer and zona pellucida or capsule.
♦ The embryo flush media is infused into the uterus one to two liters at a time, and after a uterine massage, recovered by gravity through a 75 micron filter. The procedure is repeated at least three times. Usually, the embryos are recovered in the first two liters. ♦ The filtered media is tipped into a search dish and is then examined under a stereo dissection microscope. Usually the larger embryos (collected at days eight and nine) can be seen with the naked eye, but the younger embryos (collected at days six and seven) require the use of the stereomicroscope. ♦ The recovered embryos are washed and graded, and then maintained in the culture dish at room temperature until they are transferred to the recipient mares. The Timetable ♦ When the donor mare starts cycling, we begin checking the potential recipients for synchronization to see which mare has the best condition to receive the embryo at the time it is ready. The recipient mare will have “ovulated” one day before the donor or will within four days after. ♦ The range of time in which the donor mare may be flushed is six to nine days; we flush at seven to eight. We check the recipient to make sure that her uterus is ready to receive the embryo, her cervix is in good tone and closed, and she is not cycling or producing any follicle.
Grade 3: Poor—moderate level of imperfections, such as a larger percentage of extruded or degenerated blastomeres; partial collapse of blastocele; or moderate shrinkage of trophoblast from zona pelucida or capsule.
Grade 4: Degenerate or dead—severe problems easily identified, embryonic death.
That is the basic procedure for mares who are at Zerlotti Genetics. When embryos are flushed in another location and shipped in, another dimension is added to the process.
Embryo at 8.5 days, visible to naked eye.
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Shipping Embryos Shipping embryos is common, which means that the extra attention in a facility such as ours is routine as well. When we flush embryos from mares who are in our custody, we are aware of every step in the procedure and all contributing factors. When veterinarians around the country flush and ship the embryos, the system changes—sometimes seamlessly, as more and more veterinarians become familiar with ET’s unique requirements, and sometimes not. The bottom line is, it is essential that veterinarians who are harvesting the embryo and we who are transferring it are all using the same protocol. An important factor in embryo transfer is that the embryo be as high a grade as possible (Grade 1 is optimal to withstand the stress of shipping), and that it be prepared and shipped as required, which means in the correct medium and at the correct temperature. Semen can be shipped cooled or frozen, but if you cool an embryo too much, you risk damaging it, because the very low temperature damages the structures of the embryo,
compromising its development. The conditions under which the embryo is flushed and prepared for shipment also matter: if the veterinarian’s equipment and laboratory are not clean, the embryo can be infected, which can contaminate it and make it unsuitable for transfer. Recapping The Pros And Cons Of Embryo Transfer We’ve mentioned many positive aspects already, but one we haven’t cited is that with ET, there is less physical risk in breeding and foaling for a valuable or fragile mare. Every time a mare carries a foal, complications can occur (retained placenta, a tear in the cervix or vagina, etc.); those experiences, while not frequent, are not uncommon. In some cases, mares who endure them have been unable to carry foals or even be bred via embryo transfer again. On some mares, particularly valuable young show mares, ET allows the owner to have several embryos before the mare herself foals for the first time. Another benefit for show mares is that many of them have been in training for most of their life—some have
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not lived in pastures or enjoyed much “let down” time. Some look at that first foal with a “What is this?” attitude because it is all new to them, and some reject their foal. Once they go back to a farm, settle down and get out in a pasture with other mares, then they’re fine to carry a baby. But owners have to decide their priorities, and embryo transfer offers a safe way for the mare to have a career and a foal too. This is particularly applicable in the case of 2 year olds. Most breeders do not breed their fillies that young, but some do, especially in the show world. After Scottsdale, we see an influx of top-class 2-year-old mares beginning their breeding careers with us before returning to their trainers for the summer show season. Typically, they are fairly hot and we’re very careful when handling them. However, it should also be taken into account that 2 year olds are a mystery; you don’t know what you have until you examine their reproductive tract and follow their cycle. After following a few cycles and sometimes having negative flushes, we ask the owner to wait until the next year. There are not a lot of ‘cons’ with embryo transfer. However, over the years, every time you inseminate or flush a mare, this is a minor aggression into the uterus, and that can cause a little inflammation that over time can precipitate a small fibrosis in the uterus. For this reason, I recommend that after a few years of embryo transfer, an owner let the mare carry for a year. Her system will regulate itself and then she can return to the ET process. ■ Coming next month: Advanced techniques in equine reproduction.
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Beginnings: Part III The Arabian Horse Role In Riding School Programs
by Catherine Cole-Ferandelli
ur third of three series featuring Arabian horse training barns who include riding lesson programs for beginners concludes with Scottsdale Equestrian Academy/Beethe Arabians LLC and Bein Performance Horses. Both barns are located in the Scottsdale area, and owned and operated by trainers who grew up in the Arabian horse show world and have many multiple national titles under their belts. Shannon Beethe and Jessica Bein simultaneously operate full-time show barns and clientele, as well as full-time lesson programs. From grassroots to U.S. Nationals, their goal is to share their beloved Arabian horses to horse loversâ€”whether new to the equine world or seeking that next big prize in the show pen.
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Scottsdale Equestrian Academy Beethe Arabians LLC: Shannon Beethe, Owner
Cave Creek, Arizona
Established in February 2015, Scottsdale Equestrian Academy (SEA) has grown rapidly and organically. Shannon explains its beginnings, “We were blessed with a show client who was determined to help us start a riding academy. Amateur rider, Barbara Rothman, generously donated funds with the stipulation that Scottsdale Equestrian Academy was to be a non-profit (501-(C)-3). SEA may be the only Arabian riding academy in the country operating under this nonprofit status.” Challenged by the arduous task involving legal work and ‘mountains’ of detail and documentation, Shannon went forward, making SEA a non-profit in near record time. Shannon relates, “We envisioned a lesson program that would appeal to an entire spectrum of the population. Our goal is to bring in young, kind of young, middle aged and upward folks to enjoy and experience our gentle, people loving Arabian horses.” Several SEA lesson horses have had show careers earning multiple national titles. They are older, yet not ready to retire. They are managed similarly to the competition show horses, though now their job is in the lesson pen rather than the show pen. Case in point, is Bandida, twenty-two years young, who enjoyed a long and lucrative show career. “Bandida was our first lesson horse with our first lesson
client, “Shannon recalls. “Then 9-year-old Lela Haslup started out with Bandida on the longe line. She literally had had zero experience with horses. Still, I could see this young girl had the focus, posture, balance and determination to quickly become a real competitor in the walk/trot classes.” With great pride Shannon shares, “2016 Scottsdale was an amazing show for Lela. In less than a years’ time, she was competing at the highest levels, winning a championship in western walk/trot with Gold Country+/, and reserve champion titles in saddle seat equitation walk/trot and Half-Arabian country English walk/trot with Sir Lancelott. We have a growing crop of new riders, and cannot wait to see how they grow and evolve in our program!” While Lela’s rapid ascent to a top show level is nothing short of amazing, Shannon clearly states that SEA is not all about fast tracking to the show pen. “We strive to keep our barn environment flexible and fun. People can text us to schedule a riding lesson. We have lots of little girls, aged 2 to 4 whose parents have signed them up for lessons. We give them their own backpack with equine goodies and a place to store their helmet. All start in lead line fashion, moving on to a longe line and then on their own—with our very, very careful one-on-one teaching.” Shannon laughs, “Those of us who remember Bandida in the show pen recollect a real fancy, fiery English horse. Well, we knew how loving and gentle Bandida was. Now she enjoys taking these youngsters out for their first rides, the very picture of equine kindness and patience.” Riders of all ages have been drawn to SEA. Shannon is incredulous at the rapid organic growth of the riding program, “Our short term
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goal continues to be that of building up a great group of riders, whether they show or not, doesn’t matter. We simply want them to meet our Arabian horses, enjoy our casual barn atmosphere and appreciate the love and compassion of our senior equine partners. SEA offers western, hunt seat and English riding lessons as our horses are able to do all. Our newest group is our ‘twenty something’ riders. They’re all new to the horse world and loving every minute they spend here with us.” Always moving ahead, Shannon grew the SEA lesson program further by training with the Girl Scouts, earning accreditation to teach and award the Girl Scout Junior Riding Horse Badge. “Our clients have amazing ideas of how to expand SEA,” Shannon shares. “Offering the Girl Scout Badge was one of them. It’s not as easy as it seems and we spent many hours training and obtaining approval to offer and teach for the Junior Equine Badge. Every Girl Scout earns the badge by—in two hours time—correctly cleaning a stall, grooming a horse and riding. We have awarded our first two Girl Scouts and currently have nine more Scouts going for the badge.” Other ideas on the books are more field trips to schools, hosting school field trips at the Beethe Barn and partnering with the local Boys and Girls Club. Shannon wants to see the Arabian breed start an Academy Program similar to the program established by the Saddlebred breed. “The Academy program provides a clear cut path of showing from the ground up. Yes, the program requires certain specifics in terms of rider and horse. Still, it opens up opportunities for new riders to show competitively with little initial investment. Should the Academy riders ‘catch the bug’ of showing competitively, we can move them forward to purchasing a show horse and competing with a full time national level show barn. If the student chooses to remain with the Academy program, SEA has still achieved its purpose, that of bringing in more people who can realize, appreciate and interact with our friendly Arabian horses.” Shannon Beethe’s eyes sparkle as she describes the Scottsdale Riding Academy (SEA) program, “Very possibly, if I hadn’t had children, I would not have experienced the rewards of owning and operating a grassroots riding barn like SEA. We see a bright exciting future with all our lesson riders—toddlers, teenagers, seniors and all between.” Scottsdale Equestrian Academy/Beethe Arabians, LLC: Shannon Beethe. (480) 563-4200, www.scottsdaleequestrianacademy.com
Bein Performance Horses: Jessica Bein, Owner
Bein Performance Horses (BPH) has been a fixture in the working western show pen for many years. Trainer Jessica Bein literally grew up in a lesson environment with mother Tamera Tozer Wald operating several training barns in Southern California that featured lesson programs. Jessica explains, “My mother always had lesson programs. That exposure, plus my first equine job with Del Camino Riding Academy in Scottsdale, firmed up the structure of BPH’s lesson program. We operate based on that structure today.” BPH’s lessons start out with 30 minute private lessons riding bareback. Jessica believes this practice develops balance and new muscle memory— key to development for any riding discipline. From there, beginning riders graduate to private 30 minute lessons riding without stirrups, then with, and forward to the riding discipline favored. The goal is to establish long-term riding habits that will serve the rider well, whether in the show pen or for pleasure riding.
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Client Ashlye Daniel, is an illustration defining the BPH program. Jessica reflects, “Ashlye found BPH on the internet. She lived part-time in Scottsdale then, and had little equine experience. Ashlye started with our riding lesson program about four years ago, riding part-time when in town. In the past couple years, Ashley has gone on to own multiple show horses, competing a couple years now at Scottsdale and even earning a top ten in amateur trail at her first U.S. Nationals in 2015!” Discipline and efficiency are cornerstones to the BPH lesson program, whether the rider aspires to showing at national levels or pleasure riding. Jessica expounds, “We have lesson horses who have won national titles. These equine partners impart kindness and caring to all our riders. I’d like to see more lesson programs within the Arabian industry, and see trainers collaborate and share ideas. By doing so, we can grow and prosper together.” Bein Performance Horses: Jessica Bein. (480) 220-6710, www.beinperformancehorses.com n
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AmAteur Spotlight ... Allie Ollila Saddle seat equitation has already given me so many amazing opportunities and memories, and I can’t wait for my equitation years ahead. Who is your favorite horse you have ever owned? Although I love all of the horses I own or have ever owned, unconditionally, Conway will always hold an extra special place in my heart. Conway was an amazing partner in and out of the show ring. He was always there when I needed someone, and somehow he always knew exactly what I needed, sometimes even when I didn’t know myself. He taught me so much, and I will never be able to thank him enough. I am forever grateful that he was a part of my life. I love you always.
How long have you been involved with Arabian horses? For about ten years now. I first became involved when I was six years old, and since then, Arabians are the only breed for me!
If there was one horse you could have or own, whom would it be and why? I would want to own Nutcracker Sweet PF. Ever since she started showing, I have been absolutely in love with her. She is absolutely breathtaking to watch in the show ring, and based on what Juliette posts and says about her, she seems just as amazing outside of the show ring as well.
What disciplines have you and are competing in? I have competed in country and English pleasure, western pleasure, saddle seat and western equitation, and for a very short time, hunter pleasure and hunter seat equitation. This year I will be competing in country pleasure, saddle seat equitation, and I am very excited to compete in English ladies side saddle for the first time. What is your favorite riding style? My favorite and always will be, is saddle seat equitation. It has always been a prominent part of my showing career. It taught me and continues to teach me, so many things, two of which I think stand out more than the others: how to be effective, yet soft, and how to look graceful and actually ride your horse at the same time. Without saddle seat equitation being a prominent part of my career, I don’t know what kind of rider I would be today. At every show I go to, it’s always the class I look forward to the most and have the most fun showing in.
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How many horse events do you attend a year? Normally I go to around six or seven horse shows a year. What is your favorite horse event and why? The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. The facility it’s held at is amazing and the weather is absolutely gorgeous, especially when you’re from Iowa in February. Scottsdale also attracts people from all over the country, which means I am able to see friends that I don’t get to see very often. Overall, Scottsdale has a fun atmosphere and it’s always really enjoyable to attend. Aside from horses, what are some of your favorite hobbies? One of my favorite hobbies is playing the
clarinet. I’ve been playing since fifth grade and I’ve begun to enjoy it more and more since then. I also enjoy reading and spending time with friends. What would be one thing our readers would be surprised to know about you? I am a complete and total nerd. I actually enjoy school, especially math; I even went to a math contest. I am currently taking numerous advanced classes, and I would like to take more. When I graduate, my goal is to be at the top of my class. If there is one person you could thank in this world, who would it be and why? I wouldn’t be able to choose just one, I would have to thank two. I will never be able to thank my parents enough for everything they have done for me and continue to do for me, especially for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this amazing sport and industry. How do you see your involvement in the Arabian horse business 15 years from now? I see myself as a trainer in the Arabian horse industry. That has always been my goal, and as I get older, I am starting to see more and more, that achieving that goal isn’t too far out of reach. n
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ABOUT THE ARABIAN HORSE
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www.ahtboutique.com Ar abian Horse Times | 224 | Volume 46, No. 12
We Suit the Best
CUSTOM TAILORED RIDING APPAREL
Located in the Asheville area of Western North Carolina
828-749-2088 or 828-243-8399 Frierson cell firstname.lastname@example.org
Terri Deering 27754 197 Ave. SE Kent, WA 98042 253-630-0886 206-465-7089 mobile
Western Hats, Derbies, Homburgs and Snapbrims. Custom hats. Top hats, hunt caps and helmets. Hat carriers: single and multiple. Ultimate Show Apparel by Diane Olsen. Frank Principe Silver Bits. AHA Official Championship Jackets.
Champion Show Horse For Sale.
Visit me online: www.thehatlady.com E-mail: email@example.com
IrIsh Born & raIsed!
Purebred Arabian Horses Young stock for sale - Reasonably priced Photo: Zygmunt (*Ganges x Zuzanna)
Mrs. Mickey Hegg Bordwin, Mountrath, Co. Laois, Ireland firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: Cell: 353-87-3831800 353-87-6937634•• Home: Home:353-57-87-56435 353-57-87-56435
HORSES FOR SALE
Owned by: Maroon Fire Arabians, Inc. Standing at: Shea Stables ~ 1925 Bartlett Rd., St. Clair, MI 48079
(810) 329-6392 ~ www.AfireBeyV.com
R.O. LERVICK ARABIANS Home of Cytosk+++ & Out Of Cyte Halter & Performance Horses For Sale Roger & Linda Lervick Dennis Wigren - Manager/Trainer P.O. Box 699 Stanwood, Washington 98292 360-652-0108 • 800-669-2745 E-mail: email@example.com Web site: www.rolervickarabians.com
We offer: Lowest Rates
Pure Polish Arabians with racing and show bloodlines.
Beautiful & Athletic Classic Polish Arabians Available For Sale
Immediate Coverage Loss of Use & Fertility Premium Financing
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God's Business: Assurance - I John 5:13 830 G Street, Geneva, Nebraska 68361
Call Bob Wilkins
800-826-9441 firstname.lastname@example.org www.livestockinsurance.biz
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LOOKING AHE AD J U N E 2016
Showcase your horses in the new
OFFICIAL 2016 YOUTH NATIONAL SHOW PROGRAM & YEARBOOK This year’s AHT JUNE ISSUE is entirely dedicated to our amazing youth! Arabian Horse Times is proud to support the Arabian Horse Association with the production of this year’s official Youth National Show Program.
Call today for more information on how to be included. 1-800-248-4637 or 952-492-3213
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LOOKING AHE AD
J U LY 2 016
ONA I G E
P U D R OU N
Show coverage and proud producer of Regions 7, 9, 10 & 13 Directories.
GET TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE! Support and Celebrate your Region with upcoming Show Coverage and in your Regional Directory. AHT ... proud producer of Regions 7, 9, 10 & 13 Directories.
Canadian Nationals Preview
Ar abian Horse Times | 60 | Volume 46, No. 12
Arabians of the Southeast Call today for more information on how to be included. 1-800-248-4637 or 952-492-3213
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Calendar Of Events REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
May 2-7, 2016, Region 12 Championships, Perry, Georgia. www.aharegion12.com May 19-22, 2016, Region 1 Championships, Del Mar, California. www.aharegionone.org June 1-4, 2016, Region 9 Championships, Fort Worth, Texas. www.region9aha.org June 8-11, 2016, Region 8 Championships, Denver, Colorado. www.aharegion8.org June 9-12, 2016, Region 10 Championships, St. Paul, Minnesota. www.region10arabians.com June 21-25, 2016, Region 4 Championships, Nampa, Idaho. www.aharegioniv.com June 21-26, 2016, Region 2 Championships, Santa Barbara, California. www.ahareg2.org June 22-26, 2016, Region 13 Championships, Springfield, Ohio. www.region13.net June 30-July 2, 2016, Region 6 Championships, Douglas, Wyoming. www.aharegion6.com June 30-July 3, 2016, Region 14 Championships, Lexington, Kentucky. www.aha14.com July 8-9, 2016, Region 18 Championship, London, Ontario, Canada. www.region18.on.ca July 6-10, 2016, Region 5 Championships, Monroe, Washington. www.regionv.com July 6-10, 2016, Region 15 Championships, Lexington, Virginia. www.region15.com
July 7-10, 2016, Region 11 Championships, Springfield, Illinois. www.aha11.org July 13-16, 2016, Region 3 Championships, Rancho Murieta, California. www.arabianhorses3.org July 20-23, 2016, Region 16 Championships, Syracuse, New York. www.region16.org July 25-30, 2016, Region 17 Championships, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. www.region17.com
www.arabianhorses.org July 23-30, 2016, Youth Nationals, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. August 14-20, 2016, Canadian Nationals, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. September 21-25, 2016, Sport Horse Nationals, Nampa, Idaho. October 21-29, 2016, U.S. Nationals, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
November 26-December 4, 2016, Salon du Cheval World Championships, Paris, France. en.salon-cheval.com
May 26-29, 2016, Ohio Buckeye Sweepstakes, Columbus, Ohio. www.buckeyesweepstakes.com June 7-11, 2016, Egyptian Event, Lexington, Kentucky. www.pyramidsociety.org September 3-5, 2016, Iowa Gold Star Futurity, Des Moines, Iowa. www.iowaarabianhorseassociation.com September 15-17, 2016, NSH Finals, Springfield, Illinois. www.nshregistry.org September 21, 2016, Arabian Open at the Rolex Central Park Show, New York City, New York. cphs.coth.com/ September 29-October 2, 2016, Arabian National Breeder Finals and Silver Sire Futurity, Scottsdale, Arizona. www.scottsdaleshow.com September 30-October 2, 2016, Minnesota Fall Festival, St. Paul, Minnesota. www.medallionstallion.com
*Go to www.arabianessence.com or www.ecaho.org for additional international shows and information. Visit www.ahtimes.com for a calendar view of these dates and more. Calendar listings are subject to change; please confirm dates and locale before making your plans or reservations. E-mail notices to: email@example.com. *Due to the intrinsic nature of these shows, Arabian Horse Times cannot be held accountable for their validity.
Correction: The Minnesota Arabian Horse Breeders Fall Festival Futurity Show on September 30-October 2, is located at the State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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Index Of Advertisers A
Adandy Farm .........................................................................6-7English (68, 69)
Lesley Farms ..................................................................................32Varian (182)
Agricon Logistics Horse Transports .............................................................. 132
AHT Boutique...........................................................................................29, 224
Al Baydaa Stud ..................................................................................... FC, 17-28
Al Shaqab ..................................................................................................136-141
Al Thumama Stud ........................................................................................... BC
Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center ..................................... 48Varian (198) Aljassimya Farm........................................................................................... 10, 11
Argent Farms LLC..........................................................................................2, 3
B Becker Stables ............................................................................... 15Varian (165)
Beloveds Farm .............................................................................................IFC, 1
C Castro, Bill .................................................................................... 15English (77) Cedar Ridge Arabians, Inc. .............................................10-11English (72, 73),
Lone Tree Farm ............................................................... 40-41Varian (190-191)
M Maroon Fire Arabians ........................... 62, 1English (63), 13Varian (163), 225
Matlack DVM, David ...................................................................42Varian (192) Midwest ............................................................................................ 8, 9, 136-141
Minnesota Arabian Horse Breeders ......................................................130, 131
P Palmetto Arabians LLC.................................................. 18-23Varian (168-173)
Pay-Jay Arabians ..............................................................................................225
Prestige Farms LLC ..............................................................4-5English (66, 67)
Q Quarry Hill Farm ..........................................................................21English (91)
R R.O. Lervick Arabians ....................................................................................225
.................................... 50-55English (120-125), 14Varian (164), 230, IBC
Rancho Sonado ..............................................................................16Varian (166)
Culbreth Equine ................................................................................................ 38
Reed Training ..................................................................................................209
Conway Arabians ...............................................................12-13English (74, 75)
D Dan Lynch Farms ......................................................................... 38Varian (188)
Delsan Arabians LLC ................................................................ 54English (124)
E EAC Equine LLC ...................................................... 56English (126), 127, 128
Eleanor’s Arabians ............................................................28-29Varian (178-179)
F FireLight Arabians ....................................................................... 44Varian (194) Frierson’s Custom Riding Apparel .................................... 48English (118), 225
G Golladay Training..........................................................50-55English (120-125)
H HA Toskcan Sun LLC................................................................47English (117)
Harris Arabians............................................................................47English (117)
Heathcott Arabians ...................................................................... 45Varian (195)
Hegg, Mrs. Mickey .........................................................................................225
Hennessey Arabian Horse Partners LLC ............................................................
.......................................................... 8English (70), 34-35Varian (184-185)
Highland Pride Arabians ........................................................... 55English (125)
J Jackson, Karlton .................................................................16-17English (78, 87)
Jerland Farms ................................................................... 24-27Varian (174-177)
K Kiesner Training ....................................................61, 16-20English (78, 87-90)
Kirby Arabians LLC ...................................................................46English (116)
Red Tail Arabians ........................................................................53English (123)
Rooker Training Stable ...................................................................9English (71)
Royal Arabians .................................................................................................208
S Shada, Inc............................................................................................................. 5 Shamrock Farm..............................................................................32Varian (182) Shea Stables ............................................ 62, 1English (63), 13Varian (163), 225 Showtime Training Center ............. 56English (126), 127, 128, 47Varian (197)
Siemon Stables ...................................................................14-15English (76, 77)
Singing Hills ............................................................... 56English (126), 127, 128 Smoky Mountain Park Arabians ...............................................49English (119)
Southern Oaks Farm ......................................................................................... 61
Stachowski Farm, Inc. ...................................................46-47English (116, 117)
Stalmare Arabians........................................................................52English (122)
Stevens, Linda ............................................................................... 46Varian (196)
T The Abel Family ..............................................................................................8, 9 The Hat Lady ..................................................................................................225
The Magician V — MCX, Inc. ...................................... 36-37Varian (186-187)
Trowbridge’s Ltd ..............................................................................8English (70)
Twin XX Arabians.........................................................................39Varian (189)
V Van Dyke, Les & Diane ...................................................................................... 5 Varian Arabians ................................................................................................... 7 Vicki Humphrey Training Center ........................................2-3English (64, 65)
Victoria Arabians ..............................................................30-31Varian (180-181)
W Wild Horse Studio...........................................................................................224 Wilkins Livestock Insurers, Inc......................................................................225
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Love for the Arabian Horse 45 years
Generation after Generation
... AND WILL CONTINUE AT CEDAR RIDGE FOR YEARS TO COME!
T H E A M E S FA M I LY | w w w. C e d a r- R i d g e . c o m
Published on May 11, 2016