Wetherby Racecourse. 14th August 2005

The Northern Arabian Group had long held the view that the amateur owner, rider needed encouragement and the opportunity to compete their horses on a more level playing field; hence in 2004 the first ‘amateur’ show was launched. Now in its’ second year, the show has expanded its’ range of classes to include non-Arabians, both in-hand and ridden.

Despite an abysmal week of heavy rain and driving winds, owners and handler’s defied the weather and travelled to the venue at Wetherby Racecourse. Their dogged determination was rewarded when the sun finally broke through the cloud mid morning, and heavy coats gave way to tee shirts. The facilities at the racecourse were excellent, the rings within yards of the racing stables.

In hand Judge Frances Grant-Chivers awarded Heather McBreen’s stunning yearling purebred Arabian colt the first class of the day. Ali Saleem, is by the prolific stallion Rusleem, this double El Saleem colt is one to watch. ‘I spotted him as a foal, and tried to buy him from his breeder John Coward, but he was promised to Stephen McMorrow,’ said Heather ‘A few weeks later, Stephen telephoned me to say he was going to Australia and would not be able to take on the colt after all, did I still want him!’ Ali Saleem went on to take the Junior Male pure bred Championship,

An apprehensive Mark Sorraine was forward to show his two year old colt NL Amir ‘We have had a bad start to the season’ said Mark ‘Somehow Amir had managed to become upside down in the box on the way to Malvern!’ There were no problems for Mark this time as colt went on to take second place without incident to Pat Birbeck’s homebred colt DNS Diddi.

Sharon Tyer, was still pinching herself at the end of the show, after her gelding AG El Khalif won Reserve Senior Champion, Khalif was produced and shown beautifully, by his owner, who was obviously delighted with their success. C Horrox’s gelding Parisfal stood second on this occasion, but came out later in the day, this time to compete under saddle in the novice ridden, and was awarded the Reserve ridden purebred Champion title for his owner! The novice ridden is always highly contested, and this class was to be no exception. Standing in second place to Parisfal was Sue Owens on the little shown Aleshir Alarabia, who almost de-noviced in this, one of their first outings! This pair had the only team of supporter’s willing them to take second place! Their individual show was almost faultless and this combination are sure to feature in the ribbons in the future.

There was a bit of excitement in the pure bred mare class when the Harris family’s filly foal HAC Izahbeyla, decided to evade her handler, and could not decide which mare was her ‘mum’ HT Lamia. Everyone was on hand to shepherd her in the right direction and mother and daughter were soon reunited to resume their first place position. Standing second to HT Lamia was Nileisha a typey chestnut daughter of Ansata Nile Pasha. This was the first outing to a show, for Nileisha’s new owner Karen Davies, ‘I had my heart set on a rosette, but can hardly believe it! I will definitely think about showing her again!’ HT Lamia continued to build on her success in the senior mare class, when she was awarded the Overall In hand Champion of the show for owners Mr & Mrs Harris. Mare and foal only failed to make it a double victory when they were piped to first place in the foal class by Tina Bennett’s very promising, but as yet un named filly foal who is by her own stallion Shamil. ‘I am very pleased with ‘Spikes’ (Shamil) first pure bred foal’ said Tina. We wait to hear what ‘Spikes’ filly will be named! Overall Reserve Champion went to Jayne Johnson’s successful mare, Premishah Bint Premier.

Horses forward for the Part bred and Anglo Arabs were light despite entries, however the quality was good, the in hand championship was awarded to the worthy winner Diamond Brite, a 3 year old filly by Fairlyn Gemini, exhibited by Anne Ainley.

Josie Swinburn’s chestnut and white mare Homeside Keepsake added a splash of colour, to the proceedings when she won the Open in hand Championship from Melissa Potters Telynau Delft. Keepsake is by the coloured stallion Orinoco and was bred by Josie.

Young riders and handlers were out in force, but it was a win in the ridden for Sue Travers on her Skewbald gelding Bailey’s Tipple, who also went on to win the ridden coloured horse class. Nicola Stanier and her palomino pony Inglebrook Miranda came second under saddle, but the same combination gained a first in the young handlers class. Melissa Potter came a close second with Telynau Delft. Young riders and exhibitors handled their horses and ponies with care and consideration, each combination immaculately turned out and were a pleasure to watch.

Mr and Mrs M A Johnson had a very busy day with their homebred stallion Rasheik ibn Malik. More used to competing under saddle, he took part and won the in hand stallion class. Not long after, he competed in the open ridden, gaining another win. He then went on to take the Overall Ridden Championship, the part bred Trellech Countryman impressed ridden judge Kathy Houghton to be awarded the reserve title for his owner Lydia Johnson.

We were to see Rasheik ibn Malik again, when this lovely natured white stallion gave the show a final Arabian spectacle. He appeared in the main ring for the final time attired in full authentic Arabian dress, attended by his Bedouin rider and spear-carrier. He showed no sign of tiredness, despite his long, but successful day. He cantered and paraded himself around the arena, much to the delight of the audience coming to a halt to allow his rider to launch a spear into the ground. The stallion looked spectacular in his traditional saddle and bridle. ‘The proper Arabian saddles are expensive. This one came from Jordan. Their a a lot advertised on the Internet but many aren’t really suitable to ride in safely’ said Mrs Johnson ‘Anyway, Rasheik bought this one for himself as a treat from his stud fee money!’

The show will take place in June next year and will become part of a full weekend Arabian event. The Amateur Show will expand it’s range of classes to add even more appeal to the amateur non Arabian horse owner, and will be followed on the Sunday by The New Northern Arabian International ‘C’ Show.

Melanie Gaddas-Brown

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