Founded in 2022, the Australasian Arabian Breeders Coalition (AABC) has a singular purpose of promoting the breeding of purebred Arabian horses throughout Australasia. Following a successful 2023, the AABC has just shared exciting news that the Emirates Arabian Horse Society has partnered with the Coalition to host the inaugural Emirates Arabian Horse Global Cup Australasian Championship.
2023 was an incredibly busy and rewarding year for the Australasian Arabian Breeders Coalition (AABC). Not only has Coalition membership been on the rise, so has equine activity and involvement throughout Australia and New Zealand as a result of the positive influence of the AABC community.
Breeding assessments at Sa’vey Arabians
The cornerstone Coalition event on the annual calendar continues to be the Australasian Arabian Breeders Celebration. Renowned international judge and horse person extraordinaire Cindy Reich was once again in residence for nearly a month in late September and early October evaluating over 150 Arabian breeding and performance horses in the Australian states of South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales. Having evolved into more intimate onsite farm visits during which breeders can interact with and learn directly from Cindy one-on-one during the horse evaluation process, the Celebration continues to empower breeders with invaluable knowledge and understanding of their own breeding stock, good breeding decision making and the demanding standard of the international breed ideal.
Echos of Jezzire
Designed to celebrate, showcase, recognise and reward the best purebred Arabian breeding horses in Australasia, the Celebration continues to utilise the most comprehensive assessment system in the breed, evaluating over 350 individual characteristics to determine the classification of breeding stock as quality, premium and elite. Looking forward to 2024, Arabian breeders in Western Australia, Queensland and New Zealand will benefit from Cindy’s vast expertise and experience when the Celebration tour goes further afield to cover all regions in Australasia.
Simeon Shua. Credit Glenys Lilley – Foxwood Photography
The marquee event for the Coalition is unquestionably the Australasian Arabian International Championships (AAIC), which premiered with great fanfare on the first weekend of February 2023. Hosted at the magnificent Willinga Park, situated just metres from the South Pacific Ocean on New South Wales celebrated South Coast near the holiday destination of Bateman’s Bay, the International Championships benefitted immensely from the world-class amenities for both horses and exhibitors as well as the spectacular natural backdrop and resort feel of the facility, creating an atmosphere of enthusiasm, camaraderie, and uncompromising enjoyment unsurpassed at any other event in the region.
Konquest MI. Credit Glenys Lilley – Foxwood Photography
International judges and universally acclaimed breeders Chen Kedar and Eli Khaloon of Israel, as well as Isaac Taylor from the USA, officiated along with local experts Leonie Williamson and Mark Lilley. Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Top Five Championships were awarded to several of the best examples of Arabian breeding excellence in Australasia. There were also Championships for a full programme of performance classes from ridden to native costume, and in a continental first, straight Egyptian Arabians were honoured with their own division of recognition.
Tahvo FF. Credit Glenys Lilley – Foxwood Photography
F1 Arabian Derivatives – Arabian related horses with at least one registered purebred parent – were also in attendance and at their always dependable best, providing further support for Arabian breeding in the region and the broad appeal of Arabian-related horses for all levels of skill and interests across the entire spectrum of equine sport.
The international judges were particularly impressed with the world-class quality of the yearling and junior fillies, commenting publicly, to the delight of those breeders in contention, that the entire line-up in each championship would be highly competitive at the highest level anywhere in the world. With the purebred Arabian horse at the epicentre of all Coalition activities, it is incredibly rewarding to know that the youngest generations of Arabian horses envisioned by breeders in Australia and New Zealand are ascending to a level of international recognition and merit.
Hall of Fame Inductees
An indisputable highlight of the past year was the AABC Legacy Awards Gala Dinner, held on the Saturday evening of the International Championships in the sumptuous state-of-the-art event centre at Willinga Park. The AABC honoured three iconic breeding programmes and their breeders as the original inductees into the Australasian Arabian Breeders Hall of Fame: Ron and Val Males of Ralvon Stud; Peter and Vivienne Hall of Fairview Arabian Stud; and the Toft Family of Bremervale Arabians.
Ron and Val Males of Ralvon Stud, one of 5 Hall of Fame inductees
They also presented lifetime Breeding Achievement Awards to Marion Richmond of Simeon Stud and the Farrell Family of Mulawa Arabian Stud, while the internationally beloved Helen Dohan, the recently retired long-serving Australian registrar, was duly honoured with the Arabian Ambassador Award. All honourees were celebrated with tribute videos documenting their invaluable and enduring contribution to the breed, with framed awards presented to close out an unforgettable evening of commemoration and community.
The 2024 Australasian Arabian International Championships is scheduled again for early February, encompassing four days of activities on 1-4 February. World renowned judges, breeders and instructors Claudia Darius from Germany and Janice McCrea-Wight from the USA have kindly agreed to share their lifetimes of expertise and experience for our first annual Arabian Judges Seminar, which will include, for the first time outside of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, an opportunity for nationally recognised judges to participate in an ECAHO National Level 1 Assessment equivalent.
Adding further prestige to the International Championships, the Emirates Arabian Horse Society has generously partnered with the Coalition to host the inaugural Emirates Arabian Horse Global Cup Australasian Championship during the same weekend. This innovative, exciting, and truly global initiative will reward fifty locally bred and owned purebred Arabian breeding horses with nearly A$100,000 in prize money in ten qualifying classes, with the aim of promoting not only the breeding of purebred Arabian horses in the region, but also recognising the invaluable contribution of small and medium-sized breeders. The Coalition is thrilled to be hosting the very first event on the annual ten-show Global Cup Tour and looks forward to bringing more international recognition and collaboration to our dedicated breeders and owners in Australia and New Zealand.
The Coalition has also been very involved in creating social opportunities for members to engage with each other, share ideas and strengthen the community. These have included organised trips for members to overseas events, during which Australia and New Zealand have had a growing presence at Scottsdale, Menton, the Arabian Breeders World Cup, the All Nations Cup, the United States National Championships, and the World Championships.
With so much to look forward to in the months and years ahead, the Australasian Arabian Breeders Coalition remains committed to providing leadership, mentorship and abundant opportunity for its members, breeders, and owners, and to celebrating the Arabian excellence wherever it may be found in the world.