Arab Racing 2001

The Arab Horse Society


The AHS hosted a total of eleven race meetings during 2001, with almost 200 horses registered for racing competing in over 80 races. Once again the dedication and hard work of the AHS staff, in particular Jill Martin, the Race Committee and the army of volunteers that run racing ensured that 2001 was an enjoyable and successful year for Arabian Horse Racing. The year was characterised by teams of family and friends working together to produce their horses at their best for competitive racing on a fun day out. The two feature meetings of the year were Stratford in aid of the BBC Children in Need Appeal, and Goodwood in its 16th year of Championship races.

The Race Committee made the wise decision to delay the start of racing until the 9th June at Warwick due to the effects of Foot & Mouth Disease. The Jockey Club's stringent guidelines for disinfecting at home and on the racecourse were strictly adhered to in order to minimise any risk of spreading FMD. Horseboxes have never been so clean!

Champion Jockey Pierre Deymonaz started the season as he meant to go on with a treble, winning the opening race on Liza's homebred Pleinne D'Amour (Merlin al Maury - Daad), trained by Jennie Candlish, who went on to be the leading 4-year-old for the season. In fact all four leading horses of the season were winners at the first race meeting, a testament to their owners and trainers who were able to keep their charges fit and happy to race all season long. The other three were Sanji (Shomran - Hussi), leading horse, owned by Stuart Shefras and trained by Jennie Candlish; Rawen (Razif - Raweisha), leading mare, owned and trained by Joy Maclean; and El Sabio(El Prendero - Othersal Dawn Chorus), leading Anglo owned by Ann Harrison and trained by Annette Masterson.

A sign of things to come was the win by Charan El Nefous for the hard-working Boulton team, as jockey Brian swooped in the last furlong to take the race by half a length, this became Brian's favourite method of winning during the season giving him a total of 10 winners, and Andrea 14 as trainer. Sam Morris and Debbie Self, both having their first wins in Arabian racing, rode Andrea's other winners. Debbie's win came on the ever-young Al Jabal, Andrea's eighteen year old gelding who went on later in the year to finish second with Brian in the AHS Marathon on Salisbury Plain. Three of Brian and Andrea's wins came with Maxine Cave-Debuse's mare Riverdance. This 6-year-old by Dantist improved each time she ran and gave great pleasure to Robert and Maxine who unselfishly devoted their time and energies to the Race Committee and organising the Awards Dinner again this year.

Sarah Kelleway made her return to AHS Racing a successful one, winning the leading owner trophy for Khalid Al Ghurair, and taking the leading trainer title for herself, most of her wins came in the Open and Maiden races, sharing the rides with Simon Walker and Pierre Deymonaz.

Elizabeth and Joy Maclean had another successful season with their superb homebred Arabs and Anglos, including Razif who took the Penn Wood Challenge bonus for the second year, Rawen who was leading mare with three wins, a second and a third - including beating 'dad' on one occasion, and Arctic Gold (Ringing Sovereign - Arctic Wren) who triumphed in a close finish at Huntingdon. Stuart Shefras kindly donated the prize monies for the Penn Wood Challenge Series which is a test of the versatility of the Arabian Racehorse with races run over 6f, 1m and 1m 2f, and included a bonus of £500 for the owner of the horse with the most points.

Stuart Shefras worked all season to organise and promote the Children in Need Charity Day at Stratford. The meeting was well supported by members with over 50 runners on the day. Desert Orchid thrilled the crowd when he cantered down to the start with Colin Brown on board. An auction of the paddock sheet worn by Dessie raised £175, while a signed print from Richard Dunwoody of himself on the horse made £195 for Children in Need. The Celebrity Jockeys Race saw some familiar National Hunt faces mounted on Arabian Horses as Colin Brown and Hywel Davies turned out to support the day. Hywel won the race on Mr and Mrs Kippen's L'Enchanteur Royale (Merlin al Maury - Chaldensford Royal Independence), a lively colt who took a couple of runs before realising what the racing game was all about - now there's no stopping him.

Borago (Kantaka - Betula) was fourth in this race, warming himself up for Goodwood two weeks later where emotional scenes greeted him in the winner's enclosure as owner Yvonne Ruffle and trainer Andrea Boulton explained through tears that the horse had broken his back four years ago and it was a miracle that he was even racing. In the feature races of the day the Champions Stakes for Anglo Arabs and Part Bred Arabs went to Bold Midas (Fearless Action(USA) - Starrock Ceres) owned by Messrs. Mcnaught and Bowmer; the Championship for pure bred sprinters was won by Pavot Al Kyle (Pavot Al Maury - Ellaria) owned, trained and ridden by Cathy Thomas; while the long distance Championship Stakes went to Cheri Du Loup (FR) (Djouras Tu - Nevadou) owned, trained and ridden by Sarah Kelleway.

Anne Unwin donated a Challenge Trophy for a new race at Goodwood, The AHS Stewards Cup, in recognition of the great services rendered to Arab Racing by the team of Stewards and Officials throughout the season. The first running of this was won by Brian and Andrea Boulton with their Charan El Nefous.

Another highlight of the season was Jenny Peyton's double at the first of the Taunton meetings. Hardtoback (Norton Challenger - Harem) ridden by Rob Woollard won the Open Anglo race, while Island Benedict (Parmant - Rheinegold) won under James Davies giving him his first Arabian winner. This was a good day for the 'Island Horses' and breeder Joe Backhouse as Island Rover (Khamil(NL) - Colombine) was second to Benedict, and Island Star (Silver Scenario - Red Star) also won with Rob Woollard. John and Gwenda Morris bought Island Rover from Robert Cave-Debuse this year, the horse and Sam have done them proud, never out of the first four, including two wins, during the season.

Arabian Horse Racing continues to provide an exciting hobby for people to enjoy with their horses whilst showing how versatile and beautiful the Arabian horse is in action.

Claire Taylor


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