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by Anne Cunningham

As a first time visitor to the World Championships in Paris, I thought itwould be nice to share my impressions with all of you at Arabian Lines.

Living in Folkestone, it was simple to 'pop' over to Paris via the Channel Tunnel, for the day, our train was booked for 6.30 am so that we could be in Paris by just after 10.00 am which I believe is the start time for the final day of the show so that we could see the Championships. Two friends and I had decided to go to the show and my husband was asked 'very nicely' if he would like to come along, and do the driving at the same time

The journey went smoothly until we were two exits on the Peripherique, away from the Paris Expo which is where the show was being held, then it was nose to tail all the way , next problem was parking, all the car parks were full! Eventually we were able to park in a hotel car park, which was only a short walk from the arena. Thank goodness we had bought our tickets beforehand as it was now past 12 noon!

We entered the exhibition hall by the stables, which seemed to be very quiet. It seemed that the Junior Female Championship was underway so we quickly made our way to the arena, we then found out why the stables were quiet! The seating areas were all filled with people, there were people on the stairs, in the aisles, everywhere. The arena is magnificent, complete with screens so that you don't miss anything.

As we found some seats the Senior Female Championship was about to begin. We were treated to about 10 of the world's most beautiful mares. Each was more beautiful than the one before. As expected ZT Sharuby was named Champion. Reserve was Bint Saida al Nasser. It was difficult to be really sure who was who as we hadn't been able to get a catalogue, they were all sold out. I was really pleased to have seen El Dorada, the Polish Sanadik el Shaklan daughter, as I am a fan of both Sanadik and the Polish horses.

The Junior Female Champion was the pretty grey filly Johara al Naif, the Reserve was Lady Psyche.

Next was the Junior Male Champion, it was gratifying to find that there were two British entries in this Championship, the first was the black AH Kuda by Pilot out of My Midnite Dancer, I hadn't seen him before, he is a very impressive young stallion. The crowd also seemed to like him. The other British entry was FL Sayawan. As far as I remember Sayawan was 7th and Kuda 8th. The Junior Male Champion was the bay Marwan al Shaqab, the Reserve El Amin.


The final Championship of the day was the Senior Male and I must admit to never having seen the like of this fantastic group of stallions before. They entered the arena snorting and blowing, just as you would expect from Arabian stallions, they looked absolutely magnificent! Included in this wonderful group were three British owned stallions Premier, Imperial Kamill and G Tamin. Premier was his usual enthusiastic self and the crowd loved him for it. Imperial Kamill was just as impressive as was the bay G Tamin. I very much liked Khidar a grey stallion that I hadn't seen before. The eventual Champion was the exquisite grey Al Adeed al Shaqab, he seems to have it all! This made it four out of four for Qatar. Reserve was Hlayyil Ramadan.


Al Adeed al Shaqab

Following the Championships we decided to have lunch, which consisted of French bread and some lovely Brie and then a walk round the stables. When we arrived at the stables it seemed that everyone from the arena had gone to the stables at the same time. It was absolutely packed at some points you couldn't move at all and had to wait for someone at the other end to move. It was amazing. However, we did manage to see the mares from the Polish State Studs, they were really beautiful and also the Qatari horses, including ZT Sharuby, she is truly gorgeous. The Qataris brought Al Adeed out of his stable to meet his fans, this lovely horse stood for quite some time being admired and having numerous photos taken. He took it all in his stride. As well as being beautiful he has an excellent temperament. As always Premier attracts your attention, as does the beautiful Australian National Champion Mare Windella Silver Sensation

This show is very different to anything I have been to before, it is more along the lines of the Horse of the Year show, as there were all horses of all breeds and plenty of trade stands to spend your money at.

After a look at the stands, it was time to start the journey home, which thankfully was uneventful.

On reflection, trying to do it all in one day was a bit ambitious, next time I would definitely stay in a hotel and use the Eurostar. If the opportunity arises I strongly recommend that you visit the World Championships in Paris, you won't have experienced anything like it!


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