Page 1

a r a b i a n

h o r s e

Editor and Sales Manager

Lynn Anderson

Editor Mary Jane Parkinson

Managing Editor

w o r l d

Publisher Denise P. Hearst

Kirsten Mathieson

Senior Sales Associate Wendy Flynn

Sales/Marketing Consultant Carol Maginn

Art Director Melanie K. Davis

Art Production Donna Ellison, Jamie Fend-Kirkland, Louise Herndon, Elizabeth Howard, John Johnson, Sannie Ricasata, Janet Van Hoorebeke

Circulation/Accounting Manager Rhonda Hall

Computer Systems Douglas Tatelman

Staff Writers Steve Andersen, Betty Finke, Joanne Fox, Nancy Ryan, Cindy Reich

Chairman and CEO Efrem Zimbalist III

President and COO Andrew W. Clurman

Sr. Vice President and CFO Brian Sellstrom

Sr. Vice President, Operations Patricia B. Fox

EQUINE NETWORK

General Manager Tom Winsor

Associate Group Publishing Director Dave Andrick

Group Production Director Barb VanSickle

(303) 625-1624

bvansickle@aimmedia.com

Production Manager Hillary Evans

(303) 625-1611

hevans@aimmedia.com

Publishing Consultant Susan Harding

Copyright ©2011 by Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Reproductions of contents, either whole or in part, not permitted without written consent of publisher.

Address all advertising and subscription related queries to: ARABIAN HORSE WORLD 1316 Tamson Drive, Suite 101, Cambria, CA 93428 Phone: (800) 955-9423 or (805) 771-2300, Fax: (805) 927-6522 www.arabianhorseworld.com · info@arabianhorseworld.com SUBSCRIPTION RATES (NO REFUNDS): All residents of the U.S. and possessions $40 per year, $59.95 for two years. Canadian $72 per year ($128 two years) in U.S. funds. Foreign $88 per year ($160 two years), bank draft in U.S. funds must accompany order. For all subscription information contact 1-800-955-9423. Send new subscription and change of address information to Arabian Horse World, 1316 Tamson Drive, Suite 101, Cambria, CA 93428. RENEWALS: Send to Arabian Horse World, 1316 Tamson Drive, Suite 101, Cambria, CA 93428. Allow six weeks for processing. ARABIAN HORSE WORLD’S WORLDWIDE WEB ADDRESS: • http://www.arabianhorseworld.com • E-mail should be sent to info@arabianhorseworld.com Arabian Horse World reserves the right to edit all written materials submitted for publication. Printed in the USA

CORRECTIONS: In the January 2010 issue Sport Horse Nationals coverage (page 115), it was stated there were less horses at the 2010 Sport Horse Nationals in Nampa, Idaho, than at the same show in 2008. The Arabian Horse Association reports that the 2010 show brought 56 more horses to Nampa than in 2008.

10 b ARABIAN HORSE WORLD b mARCH 2011

WHAT IN THE

WORLD by Denise Hearst

Galloping Through the Revolution I sent the instructions to the mortuary: my father wished to be cremated, I said. One day this fall, I’ll scatter his ashes along Coffee Creek and Trinity River in Northern California where he taught me how to fly-fish when I was five years old. On some bright September morning I’ll drive to the spot where, just five years ago, he and I cast our last lines together in the dimming of the day. Perhaps he’ll become part of a rainbow trout swimming in clear, cool waters flowing toward the Pacific. I’ll let him fall like glitter from my fingers around the picnic table outside the cabin where we spent so many hilarious evenings telling our day’s fishing stories or playing gin rummy … always something delicious on the grill. I signed the papers that underscored the end of his life. Thirty-six hours later I was on a flight to Cairo. There, I thought I would right myself again, as I have on more than 20 years of annual visits to a place that seems to run in my blood. Little did I know that a young man would set himself ablaze in Tunisia and the fire would reach Egypt in the days after my arrival.


a r a b i a n

h o r s e

w o r l d

Publisher Denise P. Hearst

Editor and Sales Manager Lynn Anderson

Editor Mary Jane Parkinson

Managing Editor Kirsten Mathieson

Senior Sales Associate Wendy Flynn

Sales/Marketing Consultant Carol Maginn

Art Director Melanie K. Davis

Art Production Donna Ellison, Jamie Fend-Kirkland,

Louise Herndon, Elizabeth Howard, John Johnson, Sannie Ricasata, Janet Van Hoorebeke

Circulation/Accounting Manager Rhonda Hall

Computer Systems Douglas Tatelman

Staff Writers Steve Andersen, Betty Finke,

Joanne Fox, Nancy Ryan, Cindy Reich

Chairman and CEO Efrem Zimbalist III

President and COO Andrew W. Clurman

Sr. Vice President and CFO Brian Sellstrom

Sr. Vice President, Operations Patricia B. Fox

EQUINE NETWORK

General Manager Tom Winsor

Associate Group Publishing Director Dave Andrick

Group Production Director Barb VanSickle

(303) 625-1624

bvansickle@aimmedia.com

Production Manager Hillary Evans

(303) 625-1611

hevans@aimmedia.com

Publishing Consultant Susan Harding

Copyright ©2011 by Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Reproductions of contents, either whole or in part, not permitted without written consent of publisher.

Address all advertising and subscription related queries to: ARABIAN HORSE WORLD 1316 Tamson Drive, Suite 101, Cambria, CA 93428 Phone: (800) 955-9423 or (805) 771-2300, Fax: (805) 927-6522 www.arabianhorseworld.com · info@arabianhorseworld.com SUBSCRIPTION RATES (NO REFUNDS): All residents of the U.S. and possessions $40 per year, $59.95 for two years. Canadian $72 per year ($128 two years) in U.S. funds. Foreign $88 per year ($160 two years), bank draft in U.S. funds must accompany order. For all subscription information contact 1-800-955-9423. Send new subscription and change of address information to Arabian Horse World, 1316 Tamson Drive, Suite 101, Cambria, CA 93428. RENEWALS: Send to Arabian Horse World, 1316 Tamson Drive, Suite 101, Cambria, CA 93428. Allow six weeks for processing. ARABIAN HORSE WORLD’S WORLDWIDE WEB ADDRESS: • http://www.arabianhorseworld.com • E-mail should be sent to info@arabianhorseworld.com Arabian Horse World reserves the right to edit all written materials submitted for publication. Printed in the USA

CORRECTIONS: In the January 2010 issue Sport Horse Nationals coverage (page 115), it was stated there were less horses at the 2010 Sport Horse Nationals in Nampa, Idaho, than at the same show in 2008. The Arabian Horse Association reports that the 2010 show brought 56 more horses to Nampa than in 2008.

10 b ARABIAN HORSE WORLD b maRCH 2011

WHAT IN THE

WORLD by Denise Hearst

Galloping Through the Revolution I sent the instructions to the mortuary: my father wished to be cremated, I said. One day this fall, I’ll scatter his ashes along Coffee Creek and Trinity River in Northern California where he taught me how to fly-fish when I was five years old. On some bright September morning I’ll drive to the spot where, just five years ago, he and I cast our last lines together in the dimming of the day. Perhaps he’ll become part of a rainbow trout swimming in clear, cool waters flowing toward the Pacific. I’ll let him fall like glitter from my fingers around the picnic table outside the cabin where we spent so many hilarious evenings telling our day’s fishing stories or playing gin rummy … always something delicious on the grill. I signed the papers that underscored the end of his life. Thirty-six hours later I was on a flight to Cairo. There, I thought I would right myself again, as I have on more than 20 years of annual visits to a place that seems to run in my blood. Little did I know that a young man would set himself ablaze in Tunisia and the fire would reach Egypt in the days after my arrival.


I won’t pretend to know exactly what unfolded in the Cairo streets and why. To paraphrase Fouad Ajami, we haven’t done well with Egypt — it is very difficult to read the mysteries of distant lands. I can only tell you what we saw and heard in the villages, and in hushed conversations with Egyptian friends, who first mentioned a protest scheduled for Tuesday a couple of days after my arrival. The anti-Mubarak opposition was railing against both his authoritarian regime and his financial corruption. The movement was gaining momentum and the word on the street was that this could be quite serious indeed. On Tuesday night my friend Darleen was due to arrive from California for her first visit to Egypt, eager to share the glorious rides I’d told her about over the years. I warned her about the protests, and cautioned her that if the demonstration surged she should be prepared to spend that night at an airport hotel. But things did not seem too worrisome and she joined me at the Mena House next to the Pyramids later that evening. The next morning I planned a special ride for Darleen, purchasing

“It was eerie, riding around the empty Pyramids plateau as army tanks and armored vehicles took up positions outside our hotel,” says Denise, pictured above right.

tickets allowing us to ride our horses right up to the Pyramids. As we ascended the Pyramids plateau, I was surprised to find no one there. Well, a few camel drivers and a handful of touts, an Egyptian family picnicking on a tomb, but no one else. No tourists. No buses, none of the typical noise and chaos. At first we reveled in our solitary excursion as we dismounted to explore the tombs, tracing our fingers around 4,500-year-old hieroglyphics, and walking our stallions across limestone and red granite blocks. But it was as though something was afoot in the underbrush. Something was building. We could feel it. 11 b ARABIAN HORSE WORLD b MARCH 2011


On Thursday we were invited to ride at a friend’s farm near Dashur, and to view his Arabians. On the way, our host called and said he was detained at work, that we should go ahead and ride without him. He would join us later in the afternoon. We wondered. Earlier, Pat, another friend who lives in Egypt, told us she’d heard a rumor that the movement was growing exponentially, and that cell phones and the Internet would be shut down later that day. We arrived at the beautiful palmshaded farm just as 12 traditionally attired grooms rode into the garden astride 12 beautiful stallions, chestnuts, bays, and all shades of greys. Gleaming coats, freshly oiled tack, and two stallions standing ready for us: Ateya, the fiery chestnut for me, and the handsome bay Goubrane for Darleen. We rode out with our entourage, 12 prancing stallions all eager for a gallop,

the pyramids of Dashur behind us, Sakarra before us. It is not possible to be any happier than I am at this moment, I thought to myself. Two hours later we returned to the farm, nibbled on sandwiches while enjoying a presentation of stunningly beautiful horses, and finally our host arrived. Alas, it was a short visit, as he had to leave us again to return to work. He seemed preoccupied. We learned from Pat that Friday, after noon prayers, there would be another, larger demonstration in Tahrir Square. Something in Pat’s tone was different now. She was somber. This was the day we rode to Abousir, following the edge of the desert along the farmland. From the villages, we could hear the calls to prayer from mosque after mosque, and the khutbah (the Islamic sermons) that seemed to go on and on, long past normal. This was ominous. After seven hours of riding, we returned to the stables to discover that a curfew had been imposed. We hurried through the village to return to our hotel, finding that the police barricades were now manned by army tanks and armored vehicles, military jeeps, and scores of armed soldiers. That night, we heard gunfire, and the sounds of tanks repositioning around the hotel. I looked around my room, put the steak knife, passport, water bottles and everything edible from the minibar in my purse, and then Darleen and I prowled around every stairwell and linen closet in the hotel, memorized the layout, and slept fitfully. Gangs of looters roamed the streets at night, taking advantage of the curfews and chaos. Police stations were attacked, weapons stolen. We watched as neighborhood vigilante groups formed to protect their villages, doing the job of the police who had suddenly vanished. These groups, polite but cautious, proved to be extremely effective, stopping passing cars and checking IDs. On Saturday morning, rattling around in a nearly empty hotel, I started to go a little stir crazy. There are only so many hours you can watch the endless loops of clueless newscasters pontificating. Suddenly everyone in the world was an expert on Egyptian politics. But on the ground no one knew what was going to happen. Even as I write this, on the day that President Hosni Mubarak finally resigned, no one knows what course Egypt will take; her future an enigma. I had to get out. I had to ride. Darleen and I stood at the hotel gates and I


said to her, “It’s probably folly, when there are tanks outside your hotel, to leave, right?” “Right,” she said. But I did. I knew I’d be safe in the village, and I knew time on a horse was what I needed. But what none of us knew, was that while I was out there in the windblown desert, watching clouds cast shadows in the shapes of chariots on the sides of the pyramids, the protest had grown beyond all predictions, and the start of curfew changed from 6 p.m. to 3 p.m. This fact was made crystal clear at 5:45 p.m. when my Egyptian friend Gamal attempted to drive me to a point close to the Mena House via a narrow back alley in the ancient village below the Sphinx, and suddenly we heard a volley of gunfire and about 50 kids armed with sticks came running from the Pyramids road right at us. At this point, we couldn’t turn around or go forward. We were stuck. We got out of the car and Gamal said, “Come on, the soldiers won’t shoot you.” Now that is a surreal thing to hear someone say

Denise Hearst, left and Darleen Barnes, riding at Dashur on a friend’s beautiful stallions, and enjoying the beauty of his farm. “Little did we know the size or scope of the demonstration that would materialize in Cairo the next day.”

to you. And then he bravely walked out to the street, and shouted in Arabic to the kids to go home and stop taunting the soldiers. He called out to the soldiers and told them I was coming, that I was bound for the hotel just 200 yards up the street behind the tanks. I saw a soldier motion for me to come. I walked toward him, hoping the others behind him had gotten the message. Another soldier walked over to me and asked where I’d been. I asked him if he would walk with me. I was trembling when I got inside the hotel. Yes, I felt foolish, as I told Darleen the story. That night another Egyptian friend called and told us we should get out of Egypt as quickly as possible. Take any flight. Go anywhere, just get out. But by now the airspace was closed. 13 b ARABIAN HORSE WORLD b MARCH 2011


We spent another day working the phones, trying to find flights. Our original flight was canceled, rescheduled, canceled again, then finally set for 4:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, the eighth day of the revolution. But how to get to the airport with a 3 p.m. to 9 a.m. curfew? We had no choice but to go on Monday, and be prepared to spend the night at the airport. Loaded up with water, food, TP (we knew there’d be nothing available at the airport), we plunged into the crowds … that’s when I accidently ran my luggage cart over the toes of an old Egyptian woman who screamed at me in Arabic and then tried to chase me all over the terminal. Luckily I outran her and lost myself in the throng. With nothing to do but wait, we figured we might as well stand in the Lufthansa line. After two hours we at last reached the ticket agent who told us, to our astonishment, that Lufthansa had flown two 747s down to Cairo that morning bearing U.S. military personnel sent to protect the U.S. embassy. The plan now was to fill the planes up, first come first serve, and take off within the hour. This was our tomorrow’s aircraft, leaving today instead. “Yallah,” let’s go, hurry up, we were told.

14 b ARABIAN HORSE WORLD b maRCH 2011

As the 747 pushed back from the gate I thought about living the rest of my life without my dad in it. I thought about my Egyptian friends and the new uncertainties and dangers they face, conscious of the fact that we were witnessing a moment of epochal change in Egypt. I thought about the richness and abundance of the country’s treasures, from its valiant and peaceful people, to its Arabian horses. A friend said, in farewell, “We will see what will happen. It could be good for us. It could be bad.” And then I remembered a line from a favorite book — “It’s hard to tell of happiness — time goes by and we feel safe too soon.”

Galloping Through the Revolution  

Published in the March 2011 issue of Arabian Horse World magazine.