Please enjoy part one of our coverage of Alrubatiya International Arabian Horse Championships 2023. Photography by HH Photography and Design and Alessio Azzali.
Any inaugural show is always special, but when such an event takes place in the beautiful Sultanate of Oman, and against the backdrop of the Arabian Sea, then it has that little extra something, that magic and sparkle, that all helped make Alrubatiya International Arabian Horse Championships a memorable show for all who attended.
Alrubatiya International Arabian Horse Championships was born from the vision of Al Sayyidah Dhabia Bint Sami Al Busaidi of Dhabia Stud. It was her desire to revive the centuries-old heritage of Arabian horses in the Sultanate of Oman that resulted in an international group arriving in Muscat in the middle of January.
Al Sayyidah Dhabia Bint Sami Al Busaidi
The Sultanate of Oman has a long and rich history with the Arabian horse, and the show was named after Alrubatiya, the favourite horse of the Late Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Alrubatiya is derived from Arabic and means to bond or form a nexus. Alrubatiya was chosen as it represents the connection that Arabian horses give us with people from around the world, creating a community of horse lovers.
The show was held at Muscat Bay, and with most visitors arriving at night, they were greeted with incredible views of a vibrant blue sea and rock formations the following morning. The light was incredible, and the show’s official photographers, Henrike Hörmann and Alessio, were both transfixed with colours captured through their lens.
The show itself took place on the beach, next to the Arabian Sea and among some ancient ruins. It was a breath-taking location, probably the most beautiful I have been to. Held over two days, Alrubatiya International Arabian Horse Championships, an International B Show, brought the global Arabian horse community to the Sultanate of Oman, with world-class horses competing.
The showground itself had a Heritage Village, where visitors could learn more about both the local culture and the Arabian horse. On arriving at the welcoming VIP area, women in traditional costume met you to show you to your seats. From the moment you arrived, the show was run very smoothly, and despite this being the first international show in Oman, there was a truly relaxed feel to it – no doubt helped in part, by the breath-taking views.
Prize money was awarded to the Top Five, from 2,000 OMR down to 750 OMR, while the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Champions would receive 3,000 OMR, 2,000 OMR, and 1,000 OMR respectively.
Judging at this inaugural show were Josy Everars, Belgium; Elyas Faraj, Bahrain; Christian Moschini, Italy; William Oppen, Argentina; and Sufian Taha, Palestine.
The judges, the Organising Committee, and Discipline Committee: William Oppen, Fredricke Kopp, Josy Everars, Christian Moschini, Elyas Faraj, Al Sayyidah Dhabia Bint Sami Al Busaidi, Sufian Taha, Mohamed Akl, Dr Omnia Tawfeek, Nils Ismer
With the stage well and truly set, it was time for the first of two yearling filly classes. From the off, it was clear that the standard was high, with many of the leading farms in the Middle East all sending horses. It is also worth noting that all the horses moved extremely well – partly with the layout of the arena allowing an ‘open’ side, so the horses did not feel hemmed in, and also the sand providing a natural surface for them to move on.
Winning the first section was the feminine bay filly D Duweyyah (D Seraj x D Dalia), bred and owned by Dubai Arabian Stud. Her score of 92.13 set the standard for the show, and it stayed at that level. Taking second with 91.5 was the Marajj daughter, Shaikha Mudhar (ex Nahawand Al Zobair), bred and owned by Sheikh Hamad Ali al Thani’s Mudhar Stud, Qatar. Third place went to another from Mudhar Stud, Rahaf Mudhar (Wadee al Shaqab x Matina TRF) with 91.38 points. Completing the Top Five was Wasaif (Saddad al Zobair x Ammoura), bred and owned by Omair Asim al Zadjali from Oman, with 85.25 points.
RAWABI AL ZOBAIR
Another daughter of D Seraj, this time the showy, feminine chestnut Rawabi al Zobair (ex Rouwaya Al Zobair) won the second section. Bred and owned by Al Zobair Stud, this elegant filly won with a score of 92.38. Dubai Arabian Stud were second with their grey filly, D A’baq (D Shakhat x D Ajayeb), with a score of 91.63 points. Taking third was the free-moving chestnut, Ahlam Akmal, bred and owned by Akmal Stud in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Sired by Excalibur EA and out of Akira AS, she scored 91 points. Completing the Top Five were MK Neffertity (Ibn Farid x Omnia al Hawajer), bred and owned by Amro Mohsen Hussein Hussein from the UAE with 90.38 points and Alba O (EKS Farajj x Alma al Tiglio), bred by Sweden Arabian Stud and owned by Knooz Al Khaleej Stud of Oman, with 87.25 points.
The two-year-old filly class was next, and it would prove to be one of the biggest and best of the show – incredibly deep in quality, and with some very feminine fillies forward. The winner, with a huge score of 93 points, was the very pretty, extremely feminine AJ Sanem. Bred and owned by Ajman Stud, AJ Sanem is sired by AJ Azzam and is out of RK Sadeem, and her score included the first 20s of the show – three for type and two for head/neck. In second place was another beautiful filly, also scoring 20s – two for type and one for movement – D Tamia’a (D Seraj x D Azalea), bred and owned by Dubai Arabian Stud. Taking third place in this impressive class was D Eshraqah (Wortex Kalliste x D Gharam). Also bred and owned by Dubai Arabian Stud, she received 92.13 points from the judges – a score that would normally win, but such was the depth that D Eshraqah had to settle for third. Fourth went to Sabha Mudhar (Rhan al Shahania x Siena el Barzan), bred by Scott Walker and owned by Mudhar Stud with 92 points. Completing the Top Five was Manar al Zobair (Exxalt x Star of al Zobair), bred and owned by Al Zobair Stud, with 91.38 points.
The final filly class followed, the three-year-olds, and again, it was a deep class. The winner was Ajman Stud’s homebred AJ Tejan (AJ Kafu x AJ Tarim), who also scored 93 points including three 20s for type, three for head and neck, and one for movement. This grey filly is very ‘Ajman’ in look, and she oozed quality. In second place, on 92 points, was paternal half-sister Areeb al Hawajer (ex Areeb Almohamadia), bred by Al Hawajer Stud and owned by Mohsen Hussein Emara from the UAE, whose lovely extension in trot helped her earn two 20s from the judges. One point behind in third was the exotic bay Soufiya al Shaqab (S.M.A. Magic One x Pretia), bred by Al Shaqab, Member of Qatar Foundation, and owned by Mudhar Stud. Stablemate Alrisha al Shaqab (Nasser al Rayyan x Daleela al Shaqab), also bred by Al Shaqab, completed the Top Five with 90.38 points.
There were three mare classes, the first for those aged four-to-six years, and the win again went to the Ajman Stud with the elegant bay AJ Masari (FA el Rasheem x AJ Marateb). She scored 92.63 points including two 20s, one each for type and head/neck. In second place, on 92.25 points, was D Jahraa (Excalibur EA x D Jawaher), bred and owned by Dubai Arabian Stud. A smooth grey, she, too, scored two 20s in the same sections as AJ Masari. Taking third with straight 20s for movement – the only horse in the show to achieve that – was Al Zobair Stud’s Nouwaydra al Zobair (S.M.A. Magic One x Najdiya al Zobair). This pretty chestnut was a huge, powerful mover, and she scored 91.88 points in total. Alreem al Hawajer (RFI Farid x Gloryannaa) was fourth with 91.5 points, bred by Al Hawajer Stud and owned by Mohsen Hussein Emara. Completing the Top Five was Eliana RC (Pogrom x Aja Europa), bred and owned by the Royal Cavalry of Oman, with 91.13 points.
NOUWAYDRA AL ZOBAIR
The seven-to-ten-year-old mare class was full of grey beauties and the winner seemed to dance into the ring. This was RK Sadeem (Magid Monisicone x BV Especially Stivana) bred by Rashid Khalid Alanzan Shazin and owned by Ajman Stud. With three 20s for type and three for head and neck, she scored 93.5 points giving her a commanding lead. In second place was the showy E.S. Sheikha (S.M.A. Magic One x Mahjesty), bred and owned by Emirates Stud in the UAE, who covered the ground effortlessly to win with 91.88 points. Taking third was the exotic Royal Invicta Rose (Royal Invictus x Jumeriah Rose SWF), bred by Royal Arabians and owned by Al Thuraya Arabian Horse Stud in the UAE. She scored 91.63 points including a 20 for head and neck. Fourth went to SS Farah Olivia (Kahil al Shaqab x Farah-Darina), bred by Stigler Stud and owned by Jumah Mohammed Hamdi Bin Hamdi Alshemeili from the UAE, with 91.5 points. Just behind in fifth, with 91 points, was Jenevieve Z (Hariry al Shaqab x Loredonna Z), bred by Gemini Ranch and owned by Mudhar Stud, with 91 points.
With the sun setting, it was time for the final mare class for those aged 10 and over, and this was another lovely class. The class winner here was a mare many have not seen for many years – FS Venezuela (Vervaldee x FS Madeline), bred by Frank Spönle and owned by Ajman Stud. Now 10 years old, this proud bay mare scored two 20s for type to finish with a score of 92.63 from the judges. In second place was 14-year-old Astrea Del Ninfeo (Ajman Moniscione x Moddell JM), bred by Magi Maria Arturo and owned by the Royal Cavalry of Oman. A fairy-tale grey, she received three 20s for type to score 91.88 points. In third place, with a score of 90.25 points, was stablemate EKS Shakira (Poetica B x Shakir el Marwan), bred by Willie Brown. Completing the Top Five were Wind Kamelia (WH Justice x Wind Ferrianah), bred by Meldo Massimo, with 89.38 points, and D Rasha (Ajman Moniscione x Padrons Glo), bred by Dubai Arabian Stud, with 87.5 points. Both mares, aged 16 and 14 respectively, are owned by Sheikha Fawziya Saud Al Mukhaini of Oman.
Lead photo: JENEVIEVE Z (Hariry al Shaqab x Loredonna Z), bred by Gemini Ranch and owned by Mudhar Stud