Words by Charlotte Roberts-Barr
Photography by Sweet Photography www.sweetphotography.com
Lead Picture: Maestro Des Alpes
The annual pilgrimage to Three Counties Showground at the end of July was particularly pleasing given my recent move back to the UK from the UAE. I have written many times about the evocative setting of this hallowed showground at the foot of the glorious Malvern Hills. Simply, if you have not visited, you are absolutely missing out; Britain was not voted most beautiful island on earth for no reason. The utterly unique British weather never fails to deliver; in fact, it is an intrinsic part of this esteemed show and certainly on the first day we ‘enjoyed’ four seasons in one day.
This show still maintains the largest single breed show in European status, no mean feat given the dwindling number of Arabian horses being shown and shows falling by the wayside due to lack of support. It must also be stated that the show team are not paid for the running of this show, so it is quite an admirable accolade that a show of this scale is run, almost seamlessly, with so many classes on offer to owners of pure, part-bred and Anglo Arabians. While spectator numbers were noticeably depleted this year, there were some fabulous horses shown, which makes it worthwhile as it is the horses we come to see after all. It is interesting to see what breedings were prevalent the in hand rings. Vivegas (Vervaldee x La Dolce Vita) stock seemed to do very well this year, dominating many of the in-hand championships, both juniors and seniors. Emerald J (QR Marc x Emandoria) was very much the stallion of choice in 2015, given the number of youngstock by him. Master Design GA (Versace x BEA Society Belle) was also up there, with his blood appearing in many youngstock breedings, and Maestro des Alpes (Marwan Al Shaqab x Maya des Alpes) stock and Psadisho Ibn Esstashan (Esstashan x Psyada Bint Psyche) babies also featuring. While the stallions, of course, produce their own types, one must always remember to consider the mare in breeding and there were some superb horses out of mares who produce excellent horses, over and over, no matter who the sire. So too the classes and numbers seemed quite steady this year, the stallion classes in particular were a real treat. The judging was a little confusing to start with, but one must bear in mind that many foreign judges rarely judge comparatively so we must go with what system works for them if it appears a little unorthodox.
The in hand classes took place in main ring, The Arabian Magazine ring, who displayed a superb central display with some super photography. The start was a little later start than previous years, due to the Horse of the Year Show qualifiers taking place beforehand in the ring.
|Yvie (Ascot DD x Yokosuka F)|
Yearling fillies commenced with Mr Cedes Bakker judging and the classes split into three sections, juniors first with seven forward where Yvie (Ascot DD x Yokosuka F) claimed the win. This was a very elegant filly who moved well, bred and exhibited by Mr and Mrs DWG Smith. The big moving Shades of Emerald R (Emerald J x Divine By Design) was awarded second, exhibited and bred by Mr R Jones and Mr R Fox, with the extremely pretty Forever MI Destiny (Maestro Des Alpes x Davinity FM) third, bred and exhibited by Mr and Mrs Foreman.
The intermediate class saw eight fillies and witnessed a torrential downpour that drenched the fillies and left many handlers and horses shivering in the ring. One filly that must be written about for her sheer presence and character to show superbly with tail over her back, in the worst of the rain, was HB Evangelia (Santorini x MC Angelica), a true show girl, bred and exhibited by Mrs H Brown, although she had to settle for third. The win went to Xotic Emerald, bred and exhibited by Mr and Mrs DWG Smith, a finely boned filly with a particularly good neck, by
Emerald J and out of a mare who, a champion herself, consistently produces champions, Xotic Desire. Second went to Alexa Magnifique (Magic Magnifique x DVA Amawa Bint Valentina AA) a refined black filly with dishy head. Exhibited by Amy Dutkowski- Southworth and bred by Kathleen Ohlsson.
|Alexa Magnifique (Magic Magnifique x DVA Amawa Bint Valentina AA)|
Seniors, again with eight in, was won by the extremely well grown Rosaleigh (MCA Magnum Gold x Psafeena) who looked as if she had wings and didn’t go flat on her individual either, clearly loving the show! Bred and exhibited by Mrs C Blyth. Second went to the very elegant and refined Venizwayla (Van Gogh x Verlenzia) exhibited and bred by Andrea Taylor. Another good mover was Elegante Luna SA (Emerald J x Narva D), bred and exhibited by Gabrielle Parker, who claimed third.
It still seems a little odd having the Yearling Championship immediately after the yearling classes, rather than at the end of the show although of course there were some super fillies forward. It was good to compare the top from each class. Bronze was awarded to Alexa Magnifique, and then in a magnificent result for the Smith family, they took not only the Silver Champion with Yvie, but also the title British National Champion with Xotic Emerald. Suffice to say, I think that they were extremely pleased, and it was quite an achievement!
|TD Mariada (Mahder Al Jamal x TD Mura)|
Following the Yearling Championship was the two-year old fillies class. The winner was simply divine, even ringside you could see how beautiful her head was, and she complimented this with a great neck and body, a really balanced horse. This was TD Mariada (Mahder Al Jamal x TD Mura) bred and exhibited by Mrs S Richards. Second was the very pretty and super showy Zaina Bint Mia (Audemars PA x Mia Bint Adala), exhibited and bred by Joyce Robertson. Third went to RO Destiny (Designed x Lianna) exhibited and bred by Mr S and Mrs R Howells.
|CPS Ashalina (Shanghai EA x PS Ambellina)|
Three-year old fillies saw the win go to Margaux Des Alpes by QR Marc (Marwan Al Shaqab x Swete Dreams) out of Mr O and Mrs A Berg’s consistently producing mare EAMT Marihuana (BJ Thee Mustafa x EAMT El Melissa). This was a pretty and feminine filly with a good mix of sire and dam. Second place was last year’s Bronze junior female champion, looking better than last year, CPS Ashalina (Shanghai EA x PS Ambellina) exhibited and bred by Chrissie Perez-Silva. Eqarra (Eqzotik x Saqqara Bint Damascene) took third, a really balanced looking filly with quite a following, bred by Claire Flower and exhibited by Amy Dutkowski-Southworth.
So to the championship and the title of Junior Female British National Champion was awarded to Margaux Des Alpes with CPS Ashalina going one better than last year and claiming the Silver championship with the utterly charming TD Maiada bronze.
|Margaux Des Alpes by QR Marc (Marwan Al Shaqab x Swete Dreams)|
The gelding classes followed with a switch of judge to Robbie Van Hartog and there were five yearlings forward in the first class. The powerful Lehana (Master Design GA x AA Lavinia) claimed the win for owner/exhibitor Laura Smith. Another good mover took second place, Forever Crackerjack (Revolution x TLC Lilly) exhibited and bred by Mrs S Foreman. Katie Gore claimed the third placed spot with her homebred Calvin by Design (Master Desgin GA x Chicaago).
|Aja Alisandro (EKS Alihandro x Aja Catarina)|
The two-year old geldings had just four forward, and the winner has wowed spectators up and down the country with his amazing movement. This was Alandro (EKS Alihandro x Adeeba) and he powered straight into the top slot for exhibitors/breeders Mrs K and Miss K Pody. Second went to Psaheeb (Roe Laheeb x Psycret) bred by Amanda Holloway and exhibited by Team ABH. Third place was awarded to Yanny (Master Design GA x Yannah), bred by Mr and Mrs E Jones and exhibited by Mrs J Givens and Mrs D Gowans.
The three-year old geldings saw a very exceptional gelding win, with oodles of type, movement, beauty and a compact body. This was Aja Alisandro (EKS Alihandro x Aja Catarina); he really is something very special and, I would argue, better than many of the colts I have seen. He was bred by Mr and Mrs Hickford and exhibited by Alf Hallworth and Miss B Napier. Even last year’s British National Champion could not beat the winner and so Galilieo OS (Orion OS X Syara) had to settle with second this time, although he still showed very well, exhibited by Mrs S Kent and bred by Mrs J Fraser-Brown. Mr and Mrs Whitlow’s Ffestival (Ffatal Attraction x Symphony) was awarded third.
In the Junior Gelding Championship there were two horses that really stood out, Alandro and Aja Alisandro, the latter eventually being crowned British National Champion. With so much type and quality, he really does look set to dominate the gelding rings moving forward. Alandro took the Silver with Lehana Bronze.
|Alandro (EKS Alihandro x Adeeba)|
The senior geldings were split into three classes defined by age. The first, for four-to-five-year olds, had eight forward and saw a very deserved win for the exceptional El Gianni (Vivegas x Bahiyaa), bred by Lynda Lyall and exhibited by Mrs A Le’Vell. Oozing quality, he is very typey horse with good movement and very balanced. Another super typey horse came second, the exceptionally pretty Aja Guiliano (Aja Angelo x Sahina) exhibited by Mrs S Robinson and bred by Mr and Mrs M Hickford. Third place went to well-garlanded Reemus (Psadisho Ibn Esstashan x Rafi’ah), who never fails to produce a good show; he was exhibited by Mrs A Ware and bred with Mrs J Ware.
The following class was for six-to-nine-year olds again had eight forward. Aja Benraz (WH Justice x Aja Beneja) took the win with his extreme beauty and flamboyance, exhibited by Michaela Brand and bred by Mr and Mrs M Hickford. Another very well-known gelding stood second, Rioscocia CAS (Monescocia x Judals Little Kiss); there is little that this horse has not won being a British National Champion himself, and he is bred and exhibited by Mr and Mrs Mitchell. The flamboyant Monacco (AV Montoya x Shangrilla) claimed third for breeder-exhibitor Mr P and Mrs S Wainwright.
|Aja Benraz (WH Justice x Aja Beneja)|
The final section was for 10-16-year olds and saw some firm favourites forward into the ring. There were some amazing movers too and it was tough to choose between them, but it was Pikasso (Final Shadow x Pikiova) who caught the judge’s eye to win. He was a truly superb mover with wonderful front, exhibited by Jude Jones and bred by Mrs J Atkin. Second was another good mover, Rasputin PA (Psyche Spirit x Raffalynn Sra), bred by Mrs A Ware and exhibited by Zoe Brailsford. Magidaa PA (Khidar x Meenah) also showed well but it was a strong class so he had to settle for third, exhibited and bred by Mrs A Ware.
The veteran geldings saw the wonderful Samyr (Masjid x Mohica) at 30 years old, claim the third place; what an achievement for exhibitor Tracey S Richards, this lovely old boy was bred by Hazel Moss. The incredibly beautiful Fferzan (Ffatal attraction x Fazieta) was second, having been absent from the in-hand rings a while. He had not lost any of his charm or quality; he was bred by Mrs D Gamlin and exhibited by Louisa Biles. A rather jubilant Jayne Armstrong celebrated the class win with her homebred boy NPA Hazan (Shaikh Al Kuran x Havannah), who floated round the ring with his ears pricked, his big dark eyes reminiscent of his famous sire.
The Senior Gelding championship was a rather tense affair with so many strong geldings in the ring, including past British National Champions. The title of British National Champion was awarded the wonderful El Gianni; I think many were hoping he would take it, given the amount of cheers at the announcement. The Silver award went to super typey Aja Guiliano, while former stable mate Aja Benraz claimed the Bronze. Three truly outstanding horses.
|Aja Guiliano (Aja Angelo x Sahina)|
|ROE Lammah (Emerald J x Roe Layaal)|
Friday saw the colts turn in the ring, with the normal shows of bravado and testosterone – and that was just from the handlers! Robbie Van Hartog judging this section, and again, the yearling class was split into juniors and seniors. The first section had six forward, four sired by Emerald J, so it was a good chance to see how the cross worked with different mares. The winner though was a Marajj (Marwan Al Shaqab x RGA Kouress) son who came bounding into the ring with total joie de vive and was very impressive. This was HB Mirajj out of the consistently-producing broodmare Hosanna (Psyches Spirit x Gloriana), bred and exhibited by Mrs H Brown. HB Mirajj was well grown with lots of type and a fabulous neck. Second to him was ROE Lammah (Emerald J x Roe Layaal), exhibited and bred by Mr T Aggad who really does breed some superb horses. Third place went to a moving machine, who could only be out of the fabulous Legacy’s Sonata (Legacy of Fame x SC Psvavannah), the compact EAS Toujours L’Amour. This colt was better in the body than many of the others sired by Emerald J, and was exhibited and bred by Lisa Dunn.
|Saturninus (Maestro Des Alpes x Shamo)|
The senior yearlings was won by Saturninus (Maestro Des Alpes x Shamo) a showy colt bred and exhibited by Mr C Lowe. Second was Mrs S E Lindsay’s mature Valerian(Alfalbia Aragon x Wiosna), who looked to have particularly good limbs. Jade Warrior (Emerald J x Symphony) claimed third for breeder/exhibitor Mr and Mrs Whitlow.
The Yearling British National Champion was awarded to the very pleasing HB Mirajj with his second placed ROE Lammah taking Silver and Saturninus Bronze.
|Tyrion (Maestro Des Alpes x ES Tahriri)|
Two-year old colts were split into two classes, both with eight forward. The winner of the first was the powerful moving Tyrion (Maestro Des Alpes x ES Tahriri) bred and exhibited by Mr C Lowe and Mrs J White. Parvez (Emerald J x Parysa) was awarded second, exhibited and bred by Mr C Evans with ROE Adham (ROE Lateef x ROE Ameera) third for exhibitor and breeder Mr T Aggad.
The 2-year-old seniors section was won by a rather special colt bred and exhibited by Linda Hughes. This was Cotswolds Amal Amir (Om El Exquisit x Cotswolds Annisha) a very eye-catching horse with good head, neck and body and big movement. Second to him was another big mover sired by EKS Alihandro (Marwan Al Shaqab x OFW Psylhoutette), Maserati Des Alpes (ex Mira Des Alpes) bred and exhibited by Mr O and Mrs A Berg. Lady Jacqueline Halls’ EOS Dreamagic (Marwan Al Manificoo x Dream Fantasy), bred by the Wernette Family Trust in the US, took third.
|Forever Davincio (Aja Angelo x Davinity FM)||Arimathea (Makisa Addaggio x Misteeqa)|
The three-year old colts class was won by Forever Davincio (Aja Angelo x Davinity FM). This classically typey colt has had a successful show career and was bred by Mr M and Mrs S Foreman and exhibited by Mrs S Foreman. Katie Gore’s Arimathea (Makisa Addaggio x Misteeqa) took second with another good performance, while TD Madiba (Shanghai EA x Madiera) was awarded third. He really is growing into a fine colt, and is bred and exhibited by Mrs S Richards.
In the championship, the title of British National Champion Junior Male was awarded to Forever Davincio with Arimathea Silver with Tyrion Bronze.
|Vivacious (Vivegas x Adeeba).|
Sue Woodhouse then took to the ring to judge the mares. The mares with foals at foot are always such well-loved classes and it was a real crowd pleaser to see the eventual winner of the first class step into the ring. This was the twice British National Champion Filly who has now matured into an outstanding horse – Vivacious (Vivegas x Adeeba). She moved better than we had seen before, and is bred and exhibited by Mrs K and Miss K Pody. Mrs F Grant-Chivers feminine LS Demeera Bey (Aja Angelo x Laminka), who has super eyes, took second with the very classic Gatsbys Tia Marie KSA (Gatsby CC x Imperial Misterin) third for Mrs J Fraser-Brown MBE. Bred by by Joel Kuhens, it was a shame that Gatsbys Tia Marie’s foal was not entered in the foal class as she was a real treasure.
The second of the classes, the veteran mares with foals, was won by Shifali (FS Bengali x G Shyamasri) a popular horse, known for her extravagant movement bred by Mr E Starr and exhibited by Mr and Mrs S McCormick and Mrs W Carr. Jo Cooper’s Ruth OD (Laszio x Nadenova) at 20 years old, took second, bred by L J Van Der Berg, with Michael Innes Fehda Sadika (Flet x Sadika) awarded third; she was bred by Mrs W Carr.
So the foals were judged next, and the very impressive filly foal bred by Mrs F Grant-Chivers, Mr and Mrs McLachlan-Chivers, claimed the win. LS Aphrodite is elegant, with a good head, neck and a flamboyant trot, and was sired by Psadisho Ibn Esstashan and out of LS Demeera Bey. Second went to the ultra pretty filly, Delicious KK, bred by Mrs K and Miss K Pody, sired by Kanz Albidayer (Ajman Moniscione x DL Marielle) and out of Vivacious. Third went to the Emerald J filly out of Shifali, bred by Mrs R McCormick.
|Cwtchamma (Vivegas x Catwalk)|
The second of the foal classes, for weaned or orphaned foals, was won by the very well grown Emerald Jones, who oozed presence. Bred by Mr and Mrs E Jones and exhibited by Mrs S Jones, Emerald Jones is sired by Emerald J out of V Exotic Enchantress (Versace x BFA Enchantress). Second was a super filly by Pstravinsky (Vervaldee x Psymphony) out of Hyleah El Bri (CH El Brillo x Hyleah El Jamaal) exhibited by Mrs C Lewthwaite and bred with Mr A R MacGregor. The very showy colt Faraz Aljalyla (Empire xFellza) was third for owner and exhibitor Amy Dutkowski-Southworth.
In the Foal Championship, Emerald Jones took the Gold title with LS Aphrodite in Silver and Delicious KK Bronze.
The classes on Saturday started with mares without foals, divided into four classes. The first, the juniors, was won by EAS Persephone (Tuscany BP x EAS Fate), a compact mare with excellent movement and type, exhibited and bred by Lisa Dunn. Second went to the elegant Cwtchamma (Vivegas x Catwalk), another super typey mare who also moved fantastically, bred and exhibited by Mr N Arnold, bred by Mr and Mrs Arnold. Third was awarded to Mrs A Ware’s homebred Kylena (Master Design GA x Kapaya).
|EAS Persephone (Tuscany BP x EAS Fate)|
The intermediate mares was won by the charming ROE Lulwa (Marwan Al Shaqab x ZT Ludjbrosiaa), a feminine mare with a real elegance about her, bred and exhibited by Mr T Aggad. Second was the super showy Verlenzia, (Vivegas x Legacy’s Sonata), who stormed the ring with her tail curled over her back, exhibited Mrs A Taylor and bred with Lisa Dunn. Mr and Mrs P Atkinson and Mrs N Howard-Price’s Nykitaa (Psadishio Ibn Esstashan x Nykola) took third in what was a very good class.
The senior mares saw the impeccably bred Desert Storm Estopa (Ali Khaziel x OML Sabiya Estopa) grace the ring for her owner/breeders Mr and Mrs McCormick. She took the win, which was no mean feat considering the equally super Kapaya’s Design (Master Design GA x Kapaya), herself a British National Champion, was also in the class. This lovely mare bred and owned by Mr and Mrs Howell had to settle for second on the day. Moja Mila (Ziocien x Malowana Lala) owned by Mrs R McCormick claimed third, bred by Agricola Farm.
The veteran class had some superb mares forward, the best of these was the immortal La Dolce Vita (Versace x Bint Bint Mierka), who claimed the win. This mare is known all over the world and was the first Versace offspring imported into the UK by exhibitor Mrs A Taylor, bred by Jenelle H Johnson. Second was the extremely good moving PA Berkana (Camargue x Arabia Crown), bred an exhibited by Mr and Mrs P Stimpson, and they also took third with their homebred PA Salomai (Rusleem x Siwah.
The Senior Female Championship was a little chaotic in the sense that there were so many horses in the ring, some of course with foals at foot, which is where this year’s British National Champion derived from. This was the amazing mare Vivacious, who has now achieved British National Champion three times, an incredible achievement. EAS Persephone claimed the silver with Cwtchamama Bronze. Interestingly, all the champions were Versace descendants.
|Serengeti (Vivegas x Legacy’s Sonata)|
The stallion classes were not enormous in numbers but they were still a treat for spectators as some extremely well known horses came forward.
The four-to-16 years old section had eight fabulous males forward with the judge, Mr C Bakker, favouring Maestro Des Alpes (Marwan Al Shaqab x Maya Des Alpes) who had a very impressive stand up. He took the win for his owners/breeders Mr O and Mrs A Berg. The moving machine Serengeti (Vivegas x Legacy’s Sonata), exhibited by Lisa Dunn and bred with Mrs A Taylor, took second; he is a horse with immense character. Third place went to the utterly charming Eqzotik (Ansata Qasim x NA Erotika), an extremely pretty stallion of excellent type and nature, bred and exhibited by Claire Fowler.
The veterans had the two biggest movers stepping out for the win and this time it was Psynergy (Padrons Psyche x Balenina), bred by Gestut Trummer and exhibited by Mr and Mrs E Jones, who won; it was good to see him in the ring again. 21-year old Oryon’s Prince (Orayan x Crown Princess) was in outstanding condition and really moved extremely well, but had to settle for second; he was bred and exhibited by Mr J and Mrs JL Parfitt. Another well known show winner was awarded third, Ffoenix (Ffatal Attraction x Alysia) bred by Mrs D Gamlin and exhibited by MR R and Mrs S Thomas.
The championship was absent of Psynergy, which left the opportunity open for Oryon’s Prince, who claimed the Bronze Champion. Serengeti won the Silver, with Maestro Des Alpes being awarded the British National Champion Senior Male title.
|Oryon’s Prince (Orayan x Crown Princess)|
The final in hand championship was for the veterans, mixed with, Anglo’s and part breds along with males and females, with all in hand judges forward to the ring to judge which gave a somewhat surprising result, Oryons Prince was awarded bronze, with the partbred Lowland Pretaporter ((Beckside Top Notch x Lowland Popcorn) bred by Mr D K Morgan and exhibited by Catherine L Edwards being awarded silver, and many thought the gold would go to La Dolce Vita, however, it was the second placed horse in her class which went Gold, PA Berkana, who clearly impressed the European judges with her movement.
The British Nationals remain an extremely impressive showcase of the Arabian horse in the UK, and in these days of dwindling breeders and general interest in the breed, it should perhaps be remembered that showing these fabulous horses to each other, whilst enjoyable, does nothing to create a greater interest in our breed. I am certain that the Arab Horse Society and its membership will do all they can to assist in encouraging ‘new blood’ to next year’s Centenary Show.