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Katara International Arabian Horse Festival

A new title show took place in February – truly, a world-class event that has firmly established itself as the one to visit next year. Katara International Arabian Horse Festival, held under the patronage of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and run 2-6 February, had it all – deep classes full of beautiful Arabian horses, a stunning setting, and a clear desire to put the welfare of the Arabian horse first. Held at the Katara Cultural Village, the festival included a four-day title show and ended with the most amazing closing ceremony ever seen. All eyes must be on Qatar for 2022 when the second running of what is sure to become the ‘must-visit’ horse show for years to come will take place.

From the moment the Katara International Arabian Horse Festival was announced, you knew that this was going to be a special event. However, it wasn’t until the show began that you truly appreciated just how special it was. For a start, the setting was incredible, and very idyllic, being on Katara esplanade, with the space turned into a beautiful show-ring with the most incredible flowers in the centre. Dhows gently bobbing in the water behind the showground, making the perfect backdrop for photographs.

The view from the arena
The view from the arena – Scott Bailey photo

The show was proudly run as an ECAHO title show, and the rules were followed to the letter, with yellow cards handed out consistently throughout the show. And it was also a pacey show, with no big delays between classes, making for a very slick event.

The Katara International Arabian Horse Festival was conducted and organised by the Cultural Village Foundation, Katara, along with Qatar Equestrian Federation and Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club. A total of QAR 13,000,000 (£2,589,226, €2,951,926, $3,571,429) was given out as prize money, as well as a Mercedes car and a beautiful authentic Arabian saddle for the Gold Champions.

Rosette
Glenn Jacobs Photography

His Excellency Prof. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al-Sulaiti, Chairman of the Organising Committee, Katara International Arabian Horse Festival and General Manager, Katara, stated: “Qatar has a rich legacy of equestrian excellence with a passion and appreciation of the Arabian breed. The nation remains a world hub for horses, especially purebred Arabians, and continues to play a leading role in preserving and protecting them. The mission of the Katara International Arabian Horse Festival is to promote this rich heritage worldwide. The Festival, one of the largest sporting events in the equestrian field, aims to promote the standing of the unique purebred Arabian breed at various local, regional, and international platforms. In addition to the title show, the five-day Festival includes several related cultural and educational activities offering much fun and entertainment for the entire family.”

Khaled bin Ibrahim AlSulaiti
His Excellency Prof. Khaled bin Ibrahim AlSulaiti

Indeed Prof. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al-Sulati remained an ever-present figure throughout the Festival, presenting the prizes in the ring and, when giving the sponsors and judges their thank you gifts, he spent some time talking to each person, all adding to that personal touch.

The sponsors of KIAHF 2021 include diamond partner, Nasser Bin Khaled Group; platinum partner, Qatar Insurance Group; exclusive banking partner, Al Ahli Bank; telecom partner, Vodafone; diamond partner, Ali Bin Ali; media partner, Alkass; official airline partner, Qatar Airways; and social media partner, Qommunication.


Glenn Jacobs Photography

In the lead up to the title show, there was an auction of Arabian horse, and the Festival began with a day of activities held by the Katara Esplanade including: horse postal stamps exhibition; horse and poetry exhibition; photography exhibitions by Omar Al Hammadi and Shuaa Al Ghanim; Ahmed Al Maadeed exhibition; an art exhibition in collaboration with Al Shaqab – Member of Qatar Foundation; live saddle painting; live painting on cubes; and live 3D painting. There was also a carousal and kiosks for equestrian accessories and souvenirs. A parade of horses of horses was held, and Katara’s main street was decorated with Arabian-style lighting. Finally, there was an exhibition titled Manuscript Concerning the Horses of the Orient and those Originating from Oriental Breeds, providing interesting equine-related contributions by Polish traveller Wactaw Seweryn Rzewuski. To complete the Festival, there was Al Aseel, an art exhibition by AlBahie Auction House that would conclude during the show.

Dignitaries looking at art auction exhibits
Looking at the exhibits in Al Aseel art auction.

With many visiting dignitaries and sponsors, the Festival was already well underway by the time the title show began on 3 February. And, it is worth noting again, that COVID-19 protocols were followed throughout, with everyone attending the show having to pass a daily temperature check as well as wear masks and socially distance.

Day one
The show began with an opening ceremony that included a band from the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, all of which added to the building sense of occasion as visitors took their seats.

Band
Scott Bailey photo

Judging the show were Gianmarco Aragno (Italy), Klaus Beste (Germany), Jerzy Białobok (Poland), Ahmed Hamza (Egypt), Steve Lieblang (USA), Ann Norden (Sweden), Gideon Reisel (Nethelands), Francesco Santoro (Italy), Anna Stojanowska (Poland), Tomasz Tarczynski (Poland), and Michaela Weidner (Germany). The judging system had eight judges forward at a time, with the highest and lowest scores from each category dropped, which is definitely a popular system.

Judges
The judges

Jalyla AT
Jalyla AT – Scott Bailey photo

The first class in was the first of two sections for the yearling fillies and instantly taking my eye was Namah Al Shahania (Na’Mous Al Shahania x Anwar Al Shahania), bred and owned by Al Shahania Stud. A very feminine bay filly, she showed her natural Arabian type and flair as she danced around the show-ring to take second place with 90.83 points. Winning the class was the refined bay filly, Jalyla AT (Mahder Al Jamal x Jayda Alrabi), bred and owned by Al Thumama Stud. With 91.25 points, this dainty filly earned three 20s for head and neck, and comfortably took the win. Tied for third were the showy Maaly (S.M.A. Magic One x MB Doha), bred by Abdulla Hamad Al Attiyah and owned by Ebrahim bin Yusuf Al Rumaihi, and the very feminine Yassmin Al Nasser (Shagran Al Nasser x Johara Al Nasser), bred and owned by Al Nasser Stud, with Maaly taking third place on her type scores. Taking the final place in the top five was Farida NWA (Wadee Al Shaqab x Magdalina NWA), bred by NWA Arabian and owned by Al Jazeel Stud, with a score of 90.08.


Namah Al Shahania – Scott Bailey photo

Rafeef Al Shaqab
Rafeef Al Shaqab – Scott Bailey photo

The second yearling filly class was won by the lovely Rafeef Al Shaqab (Al Rashed Al Rayyan x Shaikha Al Shaqab), bred and owned by Al Shaqab, Member of Qatar Foundation. A dynamic bay filly, she put on a great show to score two 20s for type and win with 91.33 points. There was a tie for second place between two Al Nasser Stud-bred horses, with the higher spot going to the elegant chestnut filly Tibrah Al Nasser (Cavalli x Salsabil Al Nasser), who won by type. In third was the confident bay, Shadia Al Nasser (Naseem Al Rashediah x Bdour Al Nasser). Both fillies scored 90.75 points and are owned by Al Nasser Stud and Al Jazeel Stud respectively. Khawla Al Rayyan (Nasser Al Rayyan x Maisoon Al Rayyan), bred by Al Rayyan Farm and owned by Al Majda Farm, placed fourth with 90.33 points while Tarneem Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab x Nada Al Shaqab) took fifth with 89.83 points for her owner/breeder Al Shaqab – Member of Qatar Foundation.

Tibrah Al Nasser
Tibrah Al Nasser – Glenn Jacobs Photography

These two yearling filly classes really set the tone for the whole show – the classes were deep and full of quality. And, it was notable from the offset that the organising committee wanted not only the show to run smoothly, but that they wanted to truly showcase the Arabian breed. The emphasis was on showing the horses gently and allowing their true nature to come to the fore – something that was a pleasure to watch.

Shadia Al Nasser (
Shadia Al Nasser – Scott Bailey photo

The next class was the first of the two-year old filly classes, and this would prove to be very competitive, with the top seven being separated by just one point. From the initial presentation, Asia Al Jassim (Kahil Al Shaqab x Abha Zainab) caught the eye, a powerful mover who was very forward going. Bred and owned by Al Jassim Stud, this lovely dark bay scored 91.33 points to take third place. Winning the class was the feminine chestnut Celine AH Stud (FA El Rasheem x Magnolia NWA), bred by Said Bsoul and owned by Al-Hazm Stud. Her score of 91.75 points included four 20s for head and neck. Just behind in second place with a score of 91.42 points was the grey Jazi Al Ashwa (Egaab Al Rayyan x Mayar Al Waab), bred and owned by Ghanem Muhammad Saleh Al-Khayarin. This filly was reluctant to show but the judges still recognised her quality. IS Shereen (Gazwan Al Nasser x Fattam Al Nasser) was fourth with 91.17 points, bred by Al Asayel Stud and owned by Ebrahim Yusuf Alromaihi. Ayaar Al Shaqab (Cavalli x Olivia Rose JCA), completed the top five with 90.83 points; she is bred and owned by Al Shaqab – Member of Qatar Foundation.

Rose KAS
Rose KAS – Scott Bailey photo

The second two-year old filly class was also an incredibly deep class but there was a clear winner with Falak Al Shaqab (Enotri EEA x JJ Farabella), bred and owned by Al Shaqab, Member of Qatar Foundation. A very pretty and feminine grey, she stormed into the lead with 91.5 points. Taking second place with 90.75 points was the huge-moving bay Ghaliah Al Kheesa (S.M.A. Magic One x Shania NWA), owned by Ghanem Mubarak Nasser Zamil Al Kuwari and bred by Al Kheesa Stud. Just behind in third place was Rose KAS (Zeus EA x Remarqable Melody), bred by Dawid Borowiec and owned by Al Reeh Stud. This elegant grey filly scored 90.42 points. Just behind with 90.25 points and taking fourth was Lulu Almarroona (Fadi Al Shaqab x Edens Manderley), bred and owned by Almarroona Stud. With 90 points and taking fifth was Marwa Al Kheesa (Marwan Al Shaqab x BH Davinci Sweetheart), bred and owned by Ghanim Mubarak Nasser Zamel Al Kuwari.

Areeb Al Nasser
Areeb Al Nasser – Elena Vignato photo

It was then time for the first of two yearling colt classes and the win went to the grey colt Areeb Al Nasser (Naseem Al Rashediah x Loulou Al Nasser), bred and owned by Al Nasser Stud. Full of show, this typey colt scored 91.25 points. Taking second place was Ghaith Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab x Wijdan Al Shaqab), who moved effortlessly around the arena, Scoring 90.5 points, this colt is bred and owned by Al Shaqab, Member of Qatar Foundation and his stablemate took third place – Harqan Al Shaqab (Wadee Al Shaqab x Sharifa Al Shaqab). With good type scores, this grey colt scored 90.25 points. Scoring 90.17 points was Bariz OS (Cyclone OS x Vivanta OS), owned by Al Jazeel Stud and bred by Gestüt Osterhof who finished ahead of Enad Assayel Aluwaynah (Marwan Al Shaqab x Justa Beauty JPH) in fifth. Scoring 90.08 points, this colt is bred and owned by Assayel Al Uwaynah Stud.

Baghdad Alhazza
Baghdad Alhazza – Scott Bailey photo

The second yearling colt class had a clear winner in AG Noble Rafee (FA El Rasheem x AG Sahhara Gazal), whose glut of 20s – one for type and five for head/neck – were offset by low movement scores. There is no doubt that this is a lovely colt, and he took the win with 91 points. Bred by AG Nobel Arabians, he is owned by Kaheel Stud. One point behind in second place was Zubayr Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab x Torfa Al Shaqab), a classy bay bred and owned by Al Shaqab, Member of Qatar Foundation. Third place went to Al Hazza Stud’s homebred Baghdad Alhazza (Fadi Al Shaqab x Batlah Al Shahania) with 89.75 points. Completing the top five were Yazeed Al Rayyan (Farhoud Al Shaqab x Murjanah Elalya), bred and owned by Al Rayyan Farm with 89.58 points, and Egaab Al Hazm (Ameer Al Waab x Al Johara Al Waab), bred and owned by Al Hazm Stud, with 89 points.

Murana’s Nader
Murana’s Nader – Scott Bailey photo

Murana’s Nader (Emerald J x Murana’s Nabila Ox) commanded the second of the two-year old colt classes. Bred by Murana Stud in Germany and owned by Guy Jamar of Belgium, this grey colt scored well across all categories – including four 20s for type and four for head and neck – to win with 92.58 points, the highest of the show thus far. He is a very pretty colt with great movement, and he put on a great show in what was a very competitive class. In second place with 91.75 points was the good-moving grey Wadee Aljassimya (Wadee Al Shaqab x Just Love Aljassimya), bred and owned by Aljassimya Stud. There was a tie for third place and taking the higher placing on type was Gazwan Al Sraiya (Fadi Al Shaqab x Bidaya Al Sraiya). Another very showy and good-moving colt, this bay was bred and owned by Al Sraiya Stud. Settling for fourth was Razeen Al Nasser (QR Marc x Remal Al Nasser), bred and owned by Al Nasser Stud. Both colts scored 91.33 points. Completing the top five was Arkan Al Sraiya (Kahil Al Shaqab x Benedetta INZ), bred and owned by Al Sraiya Stud.

Hader Al Shaqab
Hader Al Shaqab – Glenn Jacobs Photography

The final class of the first day of the title show was the second of the two-year old colts and again, the winner here commanded the class to win with 92.08 points, the second highest score of the day. This was the incredibly charismatic chestnut, Hader Al Shaqab (Enotri EEA x Hayam Al Shaqab), bred and owned by Al Shaqab, Member of Qatar Foundation. Full of Arabian type and great movement, he finished comfortably ahead of stablemate Saa’id Al Shaqab (S.M.A. Magic One x Fouz Al Shaqab), who scored 91.42 points. This grey colt impressed the judges to score well across the board. In third was the straight Egyptian Afas Al Rayyan (Ezz Al Danat x Sulima Al Rayyan), bred owned by Al Rayyan Farm, who scored 90.42 points, tied for the place but taking the spot on higher type scores. Taking fourth was Osayel Al Shaqab (Cavalli x Marmar Al Shaqab), bred and owned by Al Shaqab – Member of Qatar Foundation, and in fifth place was Al Reeh Stud’s homebred Al Moheeb Al Reeh (Gazal Al Shaqab x Armonia Moniscone) with 89.33 points. What a section to close the day with!

Day two
Emarella
Emarella – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Day two saw the last of the youngstock classes as well as the start of the seniors, and opening the show was the first three-year old filly section. The enchanting grey filly Emarella (Sahm El Arab x Emandorella) was the first big winner of the day, scoring 92.42 points including one 20 for type and four for movement. Bred in Poland by the Michałów State Stud, this extremely feminine grey is owned by Aljassimya Farm. There was a tie for second, with two beautiful fillies scoring 92.17 points. In the end, with the higher type score, Sultanah Al Shahania (Sultan Al Zobara x Majolicaa, bred by Al Shahania Stud and owned by HE Sheikha Reem Mohammed A Al-Thani took second, a very feminine bay filly. In third place was the lovely chestnut Mona Lisa Aljassimya (Equator x Minwah), bred and owned by Aljassimya Farm. Completing the top five were Montana J (Shiraz De Lafon x Melody J), bred and owned by Jadem Arabians in Belgium, and Reem Al Sraiya (Marwan Al Shaqab x AG Nobel Alexia), bred and owned by Al Sraiya Stud with 91.75 and 90.42 points respectively. What a way to open the second day!

Sultanah Al Shahania
Sultanah Al Shahania – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Al Wazna Al Shaqab
Al Wazna Al Shaqab – Glenn Jacobs Photography

The next class was just as mesmerising and was won by the pretty and good-bodied bay Al Wazna Al Shaqab (S.M.A. Magic One x Bushrah Al Shaqab), bred and owned by Al Shaqab – Member of Qatar Foundation. Her score of 92.67 points included six 20s for type and five for head and neck. In second place with 92.17 points was Maria Magdalena NWA (FA El Rasheem x Magdalina NWA), bred by NWA Arabians and owned by Al Thumama Stud. This lovely bay earned an almost-perfect score for head and neck with just one 19.5 amid a glut of 20s. She also received one 20 for type to secure second spot comfortably. Adwaa Al Arab (Emerald J x HK Jojo RLC), bred by Ali bin Mohammed Ali Al Ali and owned by Al Jumail Stud, took third with 91.83 points ahead of Alma Al Jassim (Bandit SRA x Flora HVP), bred by Sarquil LTDA and owned by Al Jassim Stud with 91.58 points and Amirata (EKS Alihandro x Alhasa), bred by Janów Podlaski State Stud and owned by Al Sraiya Stud, with 91.17 points. Another exceptional class.


Maria Magdalena NWA – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Adawaa Al Arab
Adawaa Al Arab – Glenn Jacobs Photography

EM Queen Desert
EM Queen Desert – Glenn Jacobs Photography

If we thought that the filly classes were deep, the mares were about to claim their rightful titles as queen on the ring as we went into the first section of four-to-six-year old mares. Winning this was the feminine grey Najla Umm Aludham (Wadee Al Shaqab x DA Magic Moment), bred and owned by Nasser Mohammed Al Hajri and who covered the ground effortlessly to score 92.25 points. The exotic bay EM Queen Desert (Fadi Al Shaqab x Wajd Al Shaqab), bred by Abdullah Al Hajri and owned by Al Hamad Stud, took second place with 91.83 points, including one 20 for type. Third place went to Fajer Al Adeed (Hariry Al Shaqab x AS Michael), bred by Al Adeed Stud and owned by Khalid Ali Abdulla Al Obaidli, with 91.08 points. There was a tie for fourth, with the movement score separating them and putting Maharaani (Titan AS x Mystica Indiah) into the higher spot for Abdulaziz Almudahka; she was bred by Sherri W Youngblood. Ahood Umm Aludham (Fadi Al Shaqab x Farona) stood fifth for her owner/breeder Nasser Mohammed Al Hajri. Both mares scored 91 points.

Fajer Al Adeed
Fajer Al Adeed – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Hamamat Al Shahania - - Glenn Jacobs Photography
Hamamat Al Shahania – – Glenn Jacobs Photography

The very beautiful and elegant mare Hamamat Al Shahania (Kahil Al Shaqab x Majolicaa) won the second section with a huge score of 93.08 points – this included five 20s for type, two for head/neck, and two for movement. Bred and owned by Al Shahania Stud, this fairy tale grey commanded what was a very deep class. Standing a strong second was the bay Loulou Al Nasser (RFI Farid x Rihab Al Nasser), bred and owned by Al Nasser Stud. This very feminine mare danced her way around the show-ring to score 92.33 points, including one 20 for type and four for head and neck. Aria Dinara (AJ Dinar x GR Areylia), took third place with 91.83 points. Bred by Jay and Diane Allen, she is owned by Alsafwa Stud. Completing the top five were Magna MS (Abha Ubangui x Magna Begum), bred by Mandara Arabian Horses and owned by Assayel Al Uwaynah Stud, with 91.75 points, and Arcadya OS (EKS Alihandro x Lola OS), bred by Gestüt Osterhof and owned by Alsafwa Stud with 91.42 points.

Loulou Al Nasser
Loulou Al Nasser – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Aria Dinara
Aria Dinara – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Momayz Aljassimya
Momayz Aljassimya – Glenn Jacobs Photography

There was just one three-year old colt class, andthis was won by the very showy Momayz Aljassimya (Equator x RP Miss Surprise) – his great presence was no surprise, given his sireline. Bred and owned by Aljassimya Farm, he received 91.33 points from the judges. The next two colts are both bred and owned by Al Shaqab – Member of Qatar Foundation, and they scored 91 and 90.58 points respectively. They were Radhee Al Shaqab (WH Justice x OFW Emmalee) and Fahad Al Shaqab (S.M.A. Magic One x DA Kharma) and they both put on a strong show to take second and third. With 90.5 points and in fourth place was Arrab Al Shahania (Fadi Al Shaqab x Miss Ali Anna SWF), bred by Al Shahania Stud and owned by Suhail Stud. Bahi Al Safinat (Kohinoor x Amira Al Safinat), completed the top five with 90.33 points. Owned by Abdulla Mohammed Al Marri, he was bred by Majid Ali Khamis Zamel Al Kuwari.

Radhee Al Shaqab
Radhee Al Shaqab – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Kashef al Shaqab
Kashef Al Shaqab – Glenn Jacobs Photography

On to the first of the four-to-six-year old stallion classes, won by Kashef Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab x Psyrella). A powerful and dynamic bay bred and owned by Al Shaqab – Member of Qatar Foundation, he scored 92.08 points, including one 20 for head and neck. There was a tie for second and taking the higher placing through his type scores was Al Reeh Stud’s homebred Amir Al Reeh (Fadi Al Shaqab x Zahra Al Zobair). Another showy bay, he scored 91.92 points. Settling for third was Badi Athbah (EKS Alihandro x Fedora RG), bred by Athbah Stud and owned by Al Jazeel Stud, a quality stallion showing his bloodlines. There was another tie for fourth, with the type score again deciding the final placement, meaning that fourth went to Shahir Al Reeh (Fadi Al Shaqab x Armonia), bred by Hassan Al Mannai and owned by Al Reeh Stud, with Jassar Albidayer (Eden C x Elixir of Shanghai EA), bred by Albidayer Stud and owned by Shaheen Ali Almadeed, in fifth.

Jaal Aljassimya
Jaal Aljassimya – Glenn Jacobs Photography

The second section for this age group completed the day’s showing and again, this was a strong class. It was tight at the top and seasoned campaigner Jaal Aljassimya (WH Justice x Annaiss), bred and owned by Aljassimya Farm, won a close competition to take the win with 91.75 points including two 20s for head and neck. Just behind on 91.67 points was the Al Nasser Stud-bred Badiea Al Nasser (RFI Farid x Aliah Al Nasser), owned by Al Jumail Stud, who also earned a 20 in the head and neck category. Sultan Al Rayyan (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Munira Al Rayyan), bred by Al Rayyan Stud and owned by Jabor Nasser Sultan Al Towar Al Kuwari, was just behind in third place with 91.33 points. Just behind was D Jaleel (Emerald J x D Myasah), bred by Dubai Arabian Stud and owned by Al Salem Stud, with 91.08 points. Completing the top five was Hagras Al Shaqab (Fadi Al Shaqab x Wind Kamelia) with 90.42 points for his owner/breeder Al Shaqab – Member of Qatar Foundation. What a day!

Badiea Al Nasser
Badiea Al Nasser – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Day three
The third day of the show opened with a mist coming in from the sea, creating an almost mystical atmosphere to watch the horses through. Somehow, this seemed apt as the remaining mare classes were truly the stuff of fairy tales and dreams, with one beauty after another coming into the ring. I can honestly not remember the last time that there was such a high standard of Arabian horses in the show-ring and the classes were simply a joy to watch. It says it all when a score over 92 points does not get you into the championships!

Galerida
Galerida – Glenn Jacobs Photography

The first of the classes was the opening section for the seven-to-ten-year old mares and this was won in some style by Galerida (Shanghai EA x Galilea), bred by Michałów State Stud and owned by Al Thumama Stud. This beautiful mare made it look easy as she powered effortlessly around the show-ring to win with 92.75 points, including three 20s for type and five for head and neck. She really is a mare with that je ne sais quoi. Just behind in second place on 92.42 points was Fattam Al Nasser (RFI Farid x Sarah Al Nasser), bred by Al Nasser Stud and owned by Al Asayel Stud. Another grey beauty, she appeared to float around the arena, so brilliant was her movement and was reflected in the seven 20s that she earned in this category as well as one each for type and head/neck. Mounira J (Emerald J x Magnificent Lady J), bred by Jadem Arabians and owned by Kaheel Stud, stood third with 91.75 points, including a couple of 20s for head and neck. In fourth with 91.5 points was NN Mejolica (WH Justice x Monieta El Jamaal), bred by Hillsbrook Arabians and owned by Al Shaqab – Member of Qatar Foundation, ahead of SH Julia (Montana Firenze x SH Tinkerbell), in fifth with 91.42 points, bred by Kenneth and Charlene Robinson and owned by Alsafwa Stud. Again, another magical opening to the day’s showing.

Mounira J
Mounira J – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Noft al Nayfa
Noft al Nayfat – Glenn Jacobs Photography

With barely a pause for breath, it was time for the second section and here we would then see the mare who earned the highest points of the show. This was the ethereal Noft Al Nayfat (Ajman Moniscione x Eagleridge Passionata), bred by Royal Arabians with Nancy and Greg Gallún and owned by Aljassimya Farm. This incredibly beautiful mare scored 94.17 points including straight 20s for type and head/neck, as well as five for movement. As the commentor said – “wow, wow, wow!” There was a tie for second with two mares on 92.67 points but taking the higher placing on her movement score was Baviera HVP (Marwan Al Shaqab x HB Bessolea), bred by Nelson de Oliveira Prato Pinto Moreira and owned by Sheikh Al Qaqa bin Hamad Kh H Al Thani. Settling for third was Aijana (Ajman Moniscione x Mikaella PIN), bred by Gestüt Osterhof and owned by Al Shaqab – Member of Qatar Foundation. Both mares are incredible, and both are big winners in their own right. Taking a dynamic fourth, and leading the class for a while, was the Janów-bred Al Jazeera (Kahil Al Shaqab x Alhasa), now owned by Al Sraiya Stud. Her scored of 92.33 points included seven 20s for movement, again underlining the quality of this class. Completing the top five was RB Ghaliah (Fares Al Rayyan x Roda Al Waab), bred and owned by Mohammed Ali Alkawari, with 91.17 points.

Baveria HVP
Baviera HVP – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Rihab Al Nasser
Rihab Al Nasser – Glenn Jacobs Photography

The final mare class was for those aged 11 years and over and Al Nasser Stud had success here with their homebred grey beauty, Rihab Al Nasser (Marwan Al Shaqab x Remal Al Nasser). Six 20s for type, and six for head/neck helped this incredibly feminine mare receive 93.17 points from the judges. Taking second place with 92.83 points was the ever-showy Michałów-bred Piacenza (QR Marc x Primawera), owned by Al Shahania Stud, who scored 92.83 points including two for type and three for head/neck. There was a tie for third, with the type score, including two 20s, placing Wasa (WH Justice x Waresa) in the higher spot. Bred by Falborek Arabians and owned by Nasser Mohammed Al Hajri, she finished ahead of Lamana (Laman HVP x Miriam), bred by Sax Arabians and owned by Al Sraiya Stud who scored a 20 each for type, head/neck, and movement. Both mares scored 92.17 points. Sax Arabians also bred the fifth-placed mare, Makhida (Khidar x Marenga). Also owned by Al Sraiya Stud, she scored 91.33 points including a 20 for movement. What an incredible section of mares!

Piacenza
Piacenza – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Wasa
Wasa – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Sundown KA
Sundown KA – Glenn Jacobs Photography

With barely time to draw breath, it was on to the seven-to-ten-year old stallion class, full of big names and winning here with a huge score of 94 points was Sundown KA (QR Marc x L Serenella), bred by Knocke Arabians and owned by Aljassimya Farm. With straight 20s for type and four for head and neck, this flashy grey commanded the class and very firmly put his stamp on the win. In second place was Falah Al Shaqab (Fadi Al Shaqab x Joseph Just Emotion, bred and owned by Al Shaqab – Member of Qatar Foundation. Three 20s each for type and head/neck helped this flashy chestnut stallion to a score of 92.17 points. Taking third was EKS Mansour (EKS Alihandro x EKS Phateena), bred by Elkasun Arabians and owned by Al Shahania Stud, who put on a great show to finish with 91.92 points including six 20s for type. Completing this amazing class was Sari Alo Wanah (Alfonzo x OFW Annica) in fourth place with 91.67 points, owned by Abdullatif Basheer Alrashidi and bred by Abdullah Naser Al Khaldi, and Sattam Al Zobair (SMA Magic One x Maliha Bouznika) in fifth with 90.75 points, bred by Nasser Abdul Qader Hasan Al Bulushi and owned by Ezz Al Khail.

Falah Al Shaqab
Falah Al Shaqab – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Fadi Al Shaqab
Fadi Al Shaqab – Glenn Jacobs Photography

The final qualifying class was for stallions aged 11 years and over and this was won by the showy bay Fadi Al Shaqab (Besson Carol x Abha Myra), bred and owned by Al Shaqab – Member of Qatar Foundation. His 91.75 points included five 20s for type and four for head/neck. In third place was the Sax Arabians-bred grey stallion Al Milan (Al Lahab x Milena), owned by Nasser Mohammed Al Hajr,i who scored 90.83 points. There was a tie for third, with Om El Sanadeed (Om El Shahmaan x Om El Jinaah), bred by Om El Arab and owned by Al Reeh Stud, earning the higher type score and taking the place. In fourth was Gazwan Al Nasser (Gazal Al Shaqab x Ftoon Al Shaqab), bred by Al Nasser Stud and owned by Nasser Mohammed Al Hajri. Both stallions scored 90.5 points. The final top five spot went to Jamil Al Shahania (Marwan Al Shaqab x Majaarani), bred by Al Shahania Stud and owned by Al Dana Stud, with 90.25 points. With the presentations over, the day’s showing came to a close.

Championship day
The final day of the Katara International Arabian Horse Festival saw the championships take place. The top three from each class went through, and the arena was changed to a ‘runway’ for each horse to trot down and back before coming in for the stand up phase of judging. Here, crucially, the judges went around in a group, meaning that the pressure on each horse was at a minimum and it was noticeable how relaxed this day was. The championships were open, meaning that the winner could come anywhere from the line up, providing sometimes surprising results.

Jayla AT
Jayla AT – Scott Bailey photo

First in was the Yearling Filly Championship, full of dainty Arabian fillies that danced around the show-ring. Here, Jalyla AT took the Gold ahead of Namah Al Shahania in Silver and Rafeef Al Shaqab in Bronze.

Namah Al Shahania
Namah Al Shahania – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Rafeef Al Shaqab
Rafeef Al Shaqab – Glenn Jacobs Photography


AG Noble Rafee – Scott Bailey photo

The Yearling Colt Championship swiftly followed, with Gold going to AG Nobel Rafee. Areeb Al Nasser took the Silver while Bronze went to Ghaith Al Shaqab.


Areeb Al Nasser – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Ghaith Al Shaqab
Ghaith Al Shaqab – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Following the yearling championships was an art auction called Al Aseeel, run by Qatar-based auction house AlBahie. Ten lots were sold, the highest of which was Lot 3 – one of the last paintings by the brilliant artist Shary B Akers completed before her sad passing. This sold for $45,000.

Shary B Akers high lot
The highest selling lot was a beautiful painting by the late Shary B Akers

Barraq El Aliya
Barraq El Aliya – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Before the championships continued, there was a special presentation of the straight Egyptian stallion Barraq El Alya (Ashhal Al Rayyan x Asrar Al Rayan), who was wearing the iconic halter belonging to his great-grandsire Ansata Halim Shah (Ansata Ibn Halima x Ansata Rosetta). Owned by Al Waab Stud, Barraq Al Alya was presented with his daughter Ghazalah Al Waab (ex Nabeela Saqr), Gold Champion at the All Nations’ Cup in Kuwait. Barraq El Alya himself was named Gold Champion Stallion at the International Show in Qatar in 2013 and also Silver Straight Egyptian World Champion. Judith Forbis says of him: “Not only does Barraq El Alya have the most impeccable pedigree, he is a superior representative of traditional Arabian type.” It was a lovely presentation and a great opportunity to see this iconic thirteen-year old stallion.


Maria Magdalena NWA – Scott Bailey photo

It was then time for the Junior Female Championship, which was highly competitive given the quality of fillies forward. Taking Gold, and bettering second place in her qualifying class, was Maria Magdalena NWA. Silver went to Sultanah Al Shahania, and there was a tie for Bronze between Emarella and Al Wazna Al Shaqab. This meant that it went back to the scores in the qualifying rounds, with Al Wazna Al Shaqab having the higher score and thus taking the Bronze title.

Sultanah Al Shahania
Sultanah Al Shahania – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Al Wazna Al Shaqab
Al Wazna Al Shaqab – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Murana's Nader
Murana’s Nader – Glenn Jacobs Photography

The Junior Male Championship followed, with Murana’s Nader attaining Gold on all but one judge’s card to take the title. Hader Al Shaqab claimed the Silver, with Wadee Aljassimya taking Bronze.

Hader Al Shaqab
Hader Al Shaqab – Scott Bailey photo

Wadee Aljassimya
Wadee Aljassimya – Glenn Jacobs Photography

Hariry Al Shaqab
Hariry Al Shaqab – Glenn Jacobs Photography

There followed another presentation, this time for Hariry Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab x White Silkk), bred and owned by Al Shaqab – Member of Qatar Foundation. This eleven-year old stallion, a champion on three continents, has been the poster horse for the whole Katara International Arabian Horse Festival, and this time in the ring gave visitors a chance to see this stallion in person. A nice touch by the organisers.

Noft Al Nayfat
Noft Al Nayfat – Glenn Jacobs Photography

The Senior Female Championship was next and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Noft Al Nayfat was named unanimous Gold Champion. Rihab Al Nasser and Baviera HVP took Silver and Bronze respectively.


Rihab Al Nasser – Glenn Jacobs Photography


Baveria HVP – Glenn Jacobs Photography


Glenn Jacobs Photography


Glenn Jacobs Photography


Scott Bailey photo

The judging for the Senior Male Championship then took place but before the results were given, it was time for the closing ceremony. The dhows in the harbour, that had provided such a beautiful backdrop, took on a life of their own as they became the (literal) vessel from which a laser light show and firework display took place. A display team from the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club performed in the arena, all on pale grey Arabian horses, while there was the most amazing show behind them; I don’t think that the horses remained in the arena during the whole show, so they were quite safe. The ceremony included a rearing horse and rider carrying a flag made up from drone lights in the sky, with the drones rearranging to show the Qatar flag, a map of the country, and finally ending with ‘KIAHF see you next year’. It truly was an amazing spectacle, and it was very moving.

Sundown KA
Sundown KA – Glenn Jacobs Photography

All that was left to do was present the Senior Male Championship, with the unanimous Gold title going to Sundown KA. EKS Mansour took the Silver, with Fadi Al Shaqab taking Bronze.

EKS Mansour
EKS Mansour – Glenn Jacobs Photography


Fadi Al Shaqab – Glenn Jacobs Photography

The Katara International Arabian Horse Festival team must be rightly proud to have created an event such as this one – born out of a desire to keep the Arabian horse at the forefront of the spotlight on Qatar’s rich culture and heritage. Watching the show, it was apparent that at the heart of the show was respect for the Arabian horse – one person was allowed to bag in the collecting ring and clapping only was allowed around the show-ring. Handlers were given yellow cards if they stepped out of the ECAHO rules, with the commentator memorably adding that: “Handlers, these are magnificent creatures, and if you say they are giving you attitude… Well, I think they are allowed to do that.”

Very noticeable was how relaxed the handlers were in the championships, especially the yearlings when there was hardly any pressure on the horses. Some I have spoken to have said that the show had a good, positive atmosphere and that the rest followed naturally. I think show organisers and handlers around the world need to look to the Katara International Arabian Horse Festival to see what they did right – and how they can then improve their own. Those that know me will know I rarely watch a championship in detail as I cannot bear to see the horses being pulled around. These were a pleasure to watch, and the true type and beauty of the Arabian horse shone through. Thank you all.

The Katara International Arabian Horse Festival will return in 2022 and in a hopeful future, where COVID-19 is more contained and we can travel the world freely again, it must surely be a ‘must visit’ event for lovers of the Arabian horse the world over. The depth of the classes, the positive way of showing, the beautiful setting, and that closing ceremony all combined to create something very special. Congratulations to all involved in such a memorable event, one that has truly set the standard for shows the world over.


Scott Bailey photo

My personal thanks to the KIAHF Media Team for their professionalism throughout the Festival. You have been a pleasure to work with.

Cultural Village Foundation, Katara
Cultural Village Foundation is an exceptional project of hope for human interaction through art and cultural exchange – a project made possible thanks to the inspired vision, solid faith, and wise leadership of HH Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Emir of the State of Qatar.

Keeping pace with the emerging global culture that emphasizes the importance of diversity in human development, Katara Cultural Village is the largest and the most multidimensional cultural project of Qatar. It is a place where people come together to experience the cultures of the world. With beautiful theatres, concert halls, exhibition galleries, and cutting-edge facilities, Katara aims to become a world leader for multi-cultural activities.

In line with the goals set forward by the Qatar National Vision 2030, Katara serves as a guardian to the heritage and traditions of Qatar and endeavours to spread awareness about the importance of every culture and civilization and as such, Katara hosts international, regional, and local festivals, workshops, performances, and exhibitions.

The idea of Katara
Katara was born out of a long-held vision to position the State of Qatar as a cultural beacon, a lighthouse of art, radiating in the Middle East through theatre, literature, music, visual art, conventions, and exhibitions.

This village shall be a glimpse of the future of a world where people of different cultural backgrounds overcome their national boundaries and embrace common causes to promote a united humanity.

Katara is where the grace of the past meets the splendour of the future.

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