The final day saw the sun streaming into the show-ring but when combined with the east wind, the heat never became intense, thus providing perfect conditions for the last of the stallion classes and most important, the championships.
The classes stared slightly later today, commencing with the stallions aged seven-to-nine years which was, unsurprisingly, given the number of entries in the other classes, split into two sections of 15 and 16 horses. The first section was won by the immensely flamboyant Al Aryam Bare’e (Al Bilal x Al Aryam Balkeas) who seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself. He put on a fabulous show to the delight of the spectators, scoring 92.88 points with five 20s across type and movement for his owner/breeder Al Aryam Arabians. Second to him was Bayh al Hawajer (ex Illuminate) who is very like his sire RFI Farid (RFI Maktub x RFI Fayara el Shiraz) in type. He scored evenly across all sections to finish with 91.75 points. Bred by Dr Ghanem Mohamed Obaid Alhajri, this stallion is owned by Mansour Humaid Ahmed Abdulla S. Alafreet Al Kuwaiti. ABD Justinian (Rough Justice x Magnums Mai Tai) took third place with 91.63 points for Al Jazeera Stud. Bred in the US by Vicki and Doug Niles, ABD Justinian has a very beautiful face, fabulous eyes and strong type.
Al Aryam Bare’e (Al Bilal x Al Aryam Balkeas)
Bayh al Hawajer (RFI Farid x Illuminate)
ABD Justinian (Rough Justice x Magnums Mai Tai)
Section B saw the second highest score of the show with E.S Sarab (Marajj x Mahjesty) scoring 93.25 points, just a fraction behind his son who took the win in the junior stallions the previous day. Owned and bred by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Majid Al Qassemi, he really is blossoming with age. Second with a very credible 93 points was Moharib al Khanza (ABL Jamil al Piana x Caterina FM), a very ethereal stallion with incredible type which he scored four 20s plus a further two for head/neck. This proud grey is bred and owned by Ali Ghanem Ali Humaila Al Mazrouei. The powerful moving, Polish-bred Gentelman (Madras Kossack x Greka) claimed third with 93 points, losing out on second place through lower type marks. He provided an excellent example of Polish movement, scoring three 20s. Bred by Agnieszeka Wojtowicz, he is owned by Adel Omar Mohamed Al Marzouqi.
E.S Sarab (Marajj x Mahjesty)
Moharib al Khanza (ABL Jamil al Piana x Caterina FM)
Gentelman (Madras Kossack x Greka)
The final class of the show was for stallions aged 10 years and over and had 15 horses forward. It provided a real treat for those who love Polish movement with the winner providing a faultless show of this, scoring five 20s for movement to take a total of 93 points. This was the utterly charming fleabitten Lissar (Gazal al Shaqab x Larissa), bred by Michałów State Stud and owned by Mia and Kim Hvid Wraae from Barakah Arabians of Denmark. Second place with 92.38 points went to IS Exxpu by QR Marc (Marwan al Shaqab x Swete Dreams) and out of IS Exelsia (Madkours Impuls x Exquita), bred by Dr Nils Ismar and owned by Al Juwaher Arabian Horse Stud. He was a typey compact stallion with a good head and he scored well over both sections. Memphis 27 (Al Amin x SA Misha Apal) scored 92 points to take third in a fabulous class, a well decorated stallion who looked fabulous. Bred by James Swaenepoel, he is owned by the Ajman Stud, and he really is a very beautiful horse. He scored three 20s for head/neck with a further two for type.
Lissar (Gazal al Shaqab x Larissa)
IS Exxpu (QR Marc x IS Exelsia)
Memphis 27 (Al Amin x SA Misha Apal)
So closed the showing classes. A total of 400 horses had been judged and preparations were made to continue to the Championships. Before these were some special awards and a charity auction that saw a presentation of Mahder Al Jamal (Nader Al Jamal x Mahity El Jamaal) with a breeding for him to be auctioned with all proceeds going to the United Nations Refugee Agency that will primarily help the children suffering from the Syrian conflict. Mahder Al Jamal is an exceptional stallion with beautiful face, strong body and excellent type. The winning bid was sold for AED 60,000 (£13,100, €14,960, $16,330).
Best Handler – Katrien van Dycke
Next was the presentations for Best Handler and Best Photographer. The judges chose to honour the Katrien van Dycke for the Best Handler. She who enjoyed a lap of honour aboard a trusty steed – not an Arabian horse this time, but a camel; this is the Middle East, of course. Meanwhile, the Best Photographer Award went to Ahmed Taha.
Katrien leaving the arena!
Best Photographer – Ahmed Taha. Credit Henrike Hörmann
There was much anticipation for the Championships, with such amazing prize money available we well as the converted titles of the first edition of the Al Shira’aa Arabian Horse Show. This is certain to be the most highly prized of accolades, such was the quality of competition at the show. Watching the championships certainly brought a reminder of the incredible horses who had won the top prizes in the classes.
Credit Henrike Hörmann
The yearling fillies took to the ring first, and the win could only have gone one way as the utterly incredible Al Aryam Banafsaj (Dominic M x Al Aryam Basma) scoring gold on six judges’ cards. It was easy to see on a comparable basis how structurally close to perfection she is, she really is superb filly. Silver went to the very pretty Ward Albidayer (D Seraj x Juri Albidayer) and D Sireen (D Seraj x D Ra’afah) claiming Bronze. All three are owned and bred by Al Aryam Arabians, Albidayer Stud, and Dubai Arabian Stud respectively.
GOLD CHAMPION – AL ARYAM BANAFSAJ (Dominic M x Al Aryam Basma)
SILVER CHAMPION – WARD ALBIDAYER (D Seraj x Juri Albidayer)
BRONZE CHAMPION – D SIREEN (D Seraj x D Ra’afah)
The Junior Female Championship went to the very beautiful AJ Samara (AJ Mardan x Sama AM), such a quality young horse owned and bred by the Ajman Stud. The winners of the three-year old classes claimed the remaining titles with D Nawahel (FA El Rasheem x D Noor) just taking the edge from her stable companion and paternal half-sister D Gharam (FA El Rasheem x FT Shaella) to take the Silver. Both are owned and bred by Dubai Arabian Stud.
GOLD CHAMPION – AJ SAMARA (AJ Mardan x Sama AM)
SILVER CHAMPION – D NAWAHEL (FA El Rasheem x D Noor)
BRONZE CHAMPION – D GHARAM (FA El Rasheem x FT Shaella)
The Senior Female Championship had so many good quality horses forward, and the Gold was awarded to the charming Al Aryam Alba (Marwan al Shaqab x SF Hossana) who had not lost any of her sparkle from her class. D Seeneyyah (FA El Rasheem x Royal Emira) claimed Silver for Dubai Arabian Stud with the Emirates Stud homebred E.S Sheikha (SMA Magic One x Mahjesty) taking Bronze.
GOLD CHAMPION – AL ARYAM ALBA (Marwan al Shaqab x SF Hossana)
SILVER CHAMPION – D SEENEYYAH (FA El Rasheem x Royal Emira)
BRONZE CHAMPION – E.S SHEIKHA (SMA Magic One x Mahjesty)
The Yearling Colt Championship was another opportunity to see the freakishly typey Exagon OS (Cyclone OS x Strastya OS), who claimed Gold for his owner/breeder Gestüt Osterhof. Ghaly Al Hawajer (Dominic M x Ghalyah Al Hawajer) took the Silver with Arjuwan Albidayer (AJ Marzan x Allezandra Albidayer) Bronze, bred and owned by Dr Ghanem Mohamad Obaid Alhajri’s Al Hawajer Stud and Albidayer Stud respectively. These truly were three superb colts.
GOLD CHAMPION – EXAGON OS (Cyclone OS x Strastya OS)
SILVER CHAMPION – GHALY AL HAWAJER (Dominic M x Ghalyah Al Hawajer)
BRONZE CHAMPION – ARJUWAN ALBIDAYER (AJ Marzan x Allezandra Albidayer)
The Junior Male Championship saw Al Hawajer Stud’s Mutabhi Al Hawajer (FA El Rasheem x ZT Magrumi) take unanimous Gold with a clean sweep from the judges. What an achievement! Silver went to SQ Shadda (FA El Rasheem x Lailac) for his breeder Al Saqran Stud with Emar Avi (Empire x El Medisa) claiming Bronze. Bred in Poland by Czeslaw Josef Galaszewski, Emar AVI is owned by Al Jawaher Arabian Horse Stud.
GOLD CHAMPION – MUTABHI AL HAWAJER (FA El Rasheem x ZT Magrumi)
SILVER CHAMPION – SQ SHADDA (FA El Rasheem x Lailac)
BRONZE CHAMPION – EMAR AVI (Empire x El Medisa)
There was quite a result in the Senior Male Championship as father and son stood Gold and Silver, with E.S Prince (E.S. Sarab x Raghard al Nasser) taking the top accolade from his sire E.S. Sarab (Marajj x Mahjesty). Both stalions are owned and bred by Sheikh Abdullah bin Majid Al Qassimi’s Emirates Stud. Al Aryam Arabians stood Bronze with their charismatic homebred Al Aryam Bare’e (Al Bilal x Al Aryam Balkeas).
GOLD CHAMPION – E.S. PRINCE (E.S. Sarab x Raghard al Nasser)
SILVER CHAMPION – E.S. SARAB (Marajj x Mahjesty)
BRONZE CHAMPION – AL ARYAM BARE’E (Al Bilal x Al Aryam Balkeas)
The Supreme Best in Show title went to E.S. Sarab, who was utterly perfect in the championship. He truly shone and deserved to walk away with the highest honour of the show. What an achievement for the Emirates Stud.
BEST IN SHOW – E.S. PRINCE
With the night air bringing the hint of warmth from the Middle Eastern skies, the horses returned to their stables while the handlers and owners went to celebrate their wins. For me, it an absolute treat to see such incredible horses all compete in one show, under the patronage of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the brainchild behind the event. The hospitality shown was the best in the world, and the facilities were faultless.
Father & son – E.S. Sarab (left) with E.S. Prince
The following morning, as I listened to the evocative call to prayer echoing through the misty air, my thoughts were alive with the horses, the people, the music, the production, all those who all worked so hard to put the show together and ensure it ran effortlessly. Huge congratulations to all – as I say here, it was FAB-U-LOUS!
It was particularly good to see so many ‘amateurs’ presenting their beautiful horses, and it must be reminded to continue to encourage this sector of the Arabian showing scene in UAE, which is currently undergoing huge growth. Take note form the diminished classes in the western world where many grass roots members lost heart and faded away with their horses, not keen to be continually looked over year after year. Look after those grass roots members and encourage them to compete and take part. Perhaps with such huge classes in the UAE, awards could go to 10th place and there could be the possibility to introduce gelding classes – just two ideas to go forth into consideration for next year, which I am really hoping with see the second edition of Al Shira’aa Arabian Show.
All photography unless stated by Paola Drera – follow her at www.instagram.com/paoladreraph