First published in The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine Volume II Issue I September 2017.
Celebrating the Champions – Fattan
Fattan, more widely known by his stable name ‘Fats’, is owned by my friend Jo Hollamby and was found by Mandy Burr around 11 years ago at a thoroughbred racing yard near Newmarket. Mandy bought him with Jo as a four-year old as when we tried him, he seemed to be really trainable and level headed. Jo then bought Mandy out about a year or so later , although he remains at her yard.
Fats was bred and raced in France but was not fast enough and was subsequently gelded and bought into the UK. He is a French-bred Arab from the prolific race line of Sire d’Albret (Cheri Bibi x Mangalie d’Albret) out of Vermeille (Manganate x Warka), bred by Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Fats is only about 14.2hh, but is a solid riding type and with his French type, he is not as exotic looking as some judges would want; having said that, he has very good conformation and exceptional manners and performance ability and can often make up for lacking a bit of type with these other marks in the ridden classes.
Fats is now 15 years old, so he has been with us for over 10 years now and what a wonderfully consistent horse he proven to be over the years. He has gained friends and fans over this time as he is such an honest and delightful ‘person’ to be around. Fats has been ridden by myself for many years and together, we have been familiar faces on both the showing and dressage circuits. Results include Supreme Ridden at the Norfolk and Suffolk Arabian Horse Group Show, second at both the British National Championships and Royal International Horse Show, twice third at the British Arabian Championships, Champion at Herts County, and second in the Ridden Arabian Star Series males.
Fatton. Credit Sweet photography.
However, the pinnacle of Fats’ show career has to be this year when he won the ridden gelding class at the UKIAHS and then went on to take the Supreme Ridden Championship in fabulous company. He gave the ride judge what she described as a “foot perfect ride”, enough to claim the gelding class over some fabulous quality geldings. In the championship, I knew that Fats could pull off a polished show packed with content to show him to his full advantage – and he duly obliged! What a thrill to be pulled forward as UKIAHS Ridden Champion! It was such an amazing result for Fats and the whole team involved – Jo, Mandy, myself, and the whole team at the yard where he is a firm favourite and is often fought over for hacking duties!
Alongside showing, Fats has also climbed up the dressage levels having originally been competed at Prelim Regionals level by Mandy. I then took him through the grades. He has now reached Advanced level dressage and is training at PSG with list 1 dressage judge Mark Ruddock. In 2016, Fats went to the British Dressage (BD) Winter Finals Pet Plan final at Advanced Medium level, and he has so far in 2017 qualified for the semi-final at the same level. He has 290 BD points.
Fats truly is an outstanding example of a ridden and performance Arabian who is not only winning top level showing, but also holding his own in the dressage ranks. He can be ridden by anyone, and he also loves to jump. He truly is a fantastic ambassador for the bred.