HomeNewsBill Gore 1946 - 2024

Bill Gore 1946 – 2024

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Bill Gore has passed away. A true British showing icon, Bill was well known and well loved on the circuit. His daughter, Katie, has followed in his shoes as a trainer and now a judge, and the family had the incredible experience of their stallion, Arimathea (Makisa Adaggio x Misteeqa by G Iridis) taking the Ridden Purebred Arab title at last weekend’s Royal Windsor Horse Show. Although unable to attend, this final victory would prove to be the perfect lap of honour for Bill, a truly lovable gentleman of the breed.

Katie, Heather, Bill Gore
Bill with wife, Heather, and daughter Katie celebrating a magical win at the Royal Windsor Horse Show last Sunday. Credit Gore Archives

We are sharing below the story of Europa Arabians, run by Bill, his wife Heather, and Katie, published in The Arabian Magazine in 2007 and co-authored with Laura Pyke.

Our thoughts are with Heather, Katie, her fiancé Stuart and their son, Joshua. We shall all be raising a glass to you.

Europa Arabians
Photography unless stated by Sweet Photography 

Europa Arabians is a family run stud based in the north west of the UK, comprising Bill and Heather Gore and their daughter Katie. Theirs is a truly British operation, but the results that they and their horses have achieved go so much further. Heather acquired her first pure-bred in 1978, Blue Mor (Blue John x Rudaba), and the Gore family has been part of the UK Arabian show scene, and breeding, since the late 1980s. Even though it is Katie that now does the running, Bill and Heather’s decades of experience is as evident today as ever.

Katie grew up with Arabians; she spent her childhood years ringside and now does all of the training and showing herself. Today, she is preparing youngsters that carry the blood of her parent’s foundation stock. In a world of quick fixes and instant success, where few studs show such consistency, hers is a unique position. Chatting with Katie, her passion for the breed is clear; she knows the history and has ideas for the future.

Katie Gore Bill Gore
A young Katie with father Bill a the UK International Arabian Horse Show – an image that truly captured their relationship and shared passion for Arabian horses. 

“The significant bloodline in our breeding programme is, in a nutshell, White Lightening (Burkan x Latawica)! Before mum and dad got together, mum had a colt called Sheikh El Jayidd (White Lightening x Aphrodite) that she purchased as a weanling in 1983 from the late Anne Cummings. He was very successful with numerous wins and championships including Best Junior Stallion at Ascot in 1988. He had the kindest, sweetest temperament and apparently he would rock my pram if I was parked outside his stable. He left us in 1989 to join the herd of noted judge and breeder Holger Ismer.

Sheikh El Jayidd at Ascot
Sheikh El Jayidd at Ascot

“Back to mum’s start in breeding: her broodmare Kazminta (Melchior x Kazema) had been sent to stud to be covered by Rostam (White Lightening x Velvet Shadow), a full brother to the legendary Camargue. When she was confirmed not in foal, dad advised she ‘go to the bank’, meaning direct to White Lightening (Burkan x Latawica). She did, and Kazminta produced a colt, called Elite.”

Heather with Elite
Heather with Elite

Elite went on to have a successful show career and later moved to Cawthorne Arabian Stud where his own breeding duties began. There he sired the multiple-champion, CAS Sabur (ex Bur Sable). Kazminta later joined the stud too, producing well for them. Her most successful daughter was CAS Kazurai (by Shogun).

Bill was White Lightening’s regular show-ring handler, going back a few decades, and even today refers to the little horse’s exuberant trot as “quite frightening” to run with. He also showed Camargue and Rostam too as they competed as colts and then stallions. Many readers will remember the heady days of Haydock Park and Ascot and Bill can tell many a tale from that period.

White Lightening at Haydock Park
Bill showing White Lightening at Haydock Park

Over the years, the prominent features of White Lightening have been added to with each generation. The stud’s trademark today is their own version of the ‘golden cross’, combining mainly Spanish, English and Egyptian lines. Katie explains: “Our horses include the bloodlines of many famous horses including Camargue, El Shaklan (Shaker El Masri x Estopa), Psytadel (Padrons Psyche x Bint Bey Shah), Lavado (Jacio x Lavada), Bint Bey Shah (Bey Shah x Musk Angel Eyes), Versace (Fame VF x Precious as Gold), Ekstern (Monogramm x Erntyna) and so on. We favour outcrosses rather than breeding straight. We don’t necessarily breed to keep up with ‘fashion’ but incorporate lines that we like, making the best use of the mares we have.

Camargue at the British Nationals, Ascot
Camargue at the British Nationals, Ascot

“We firmly believe that you don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to be a successful breeder. I hope that we are also proof of that! When you believe something and have courage, making a decision on a breeding that others might not agree with, it is so satisfying when the result pays off. When that horse goes on to be successful when shown or ridden, or any other job it is given, it is an amazing feeling to know that one decision, and your own dedication, made that happen.”

In 1997 the Spanish/English mare Amellita Bint Lavado (Lavado x Amaveda), bred by Major and Mrs TWI Hedley, joined the family. She was gifted to Katie, then aged 10, by Alf Hallworth after the clear connection she had with the mare was noticed. The following year, Katie showed the mare at the UKIAHS where she was placed in the top five and was silver medal winner in a strong class of senior mares. She was in foal to AZ Zeem (Om El Azadik x Libanon Esplashal) at the time and in January 1999 foaled a grey colt, called Azif. Now well-known as a ridden gelding, Azif has been owned by Jane Miller since he was 18 months old and they have been a consistent pairing on the circuit for over a decade.

Some horses just stay with you, they are meant to be a part of your barn, and in the same year as Azif was born to Katie’s mare, Heather’s first Arabian, Blue Mor, returned to breed one last foal. The new millennium brought with it a filly, a perfect duplicate of her mother, also sired by AZ Zeem, and she was named EA Blues Azaura.

EA Ameillia and Delilah By Design
EA Ameillia and Delilah by Design

She was one of three foals that year, the others being a chestnut filly, EA Amellia (Raji x Amelliata Bint Lavado) and a grey colt, EA Azniah El Shaklan (Raji x AZ Bazia). These two need no introduction as they have been riding high in the halter classes ever since. EA Amellia has stormed her way to numerous championships and EA Azniah El Shaklan was twice a Bronze Champion at the British Nationals as well as Reserve Junior Male Champion at the UKIAHS.

There are five Arabians residing in the Europa Arabians stables today. The homebred mare EA Amellia is surrounded by her three daughters: Chicaago (by Aja Chicane), Delilah by Design and Dior by Design, both by Master Design GA. Finally, the colt Arimathea (Makisa Adaggio x Misteeqa) makes five. All of the juniors have been out showing this year, with an impressive haul of rosettes and titles.

Delilah by Design
Delilah by Design with Katie at the British Nationals

Katie explains: “This year has been a phenomenal year for us. Following on from her 2014 success, Delilah returned to the Nationals and won a strong class of 14 two-year-old fillies. That was mind blowing enough, but to then be Reserve British National Champion to the fabulous Vivacious – well, we were thrilled! We were also very proud as breeders of the novice ridden stallion winner, EA Eldorado (Eldyr x EA Amellia), purchased by the Titteringtons as a foal. To see him now mature and happy under saddle, standing Reserve Novice Ridden British National Champion, was not only a proud but an emotional one.

EA Eldorado
EA Eldorado. Credit Pleasure Prints

“Although Arimathea wasn’t bred by us, he has many of our lines as well as the blood of the legendary Ekstern. He’s had some excellent results and we are so excited about his future. We first saw him at just a few weeks old, when visiting his breeders, Amy Dutkowski-Southworth and Andrew Lilley. We all agreed he had something. We weren’t looking for a horse and anyone that knows mum will know we were never having another colt, but he kept coming into conversation. We still liked him after a second casual visit when he was older. I remember coming home from work one evening and I hadn’t even taken off my coat before mum pointed out the photographs and advert that Amy had posted online. We visited again and that was that; he was coming home with us.

Katie with Arimathea at the British Nationals

“We wanted a colt that we could use on our own mares, of a type we valued and a temperament we knew, without the additional stud fees, AI costs and logistics involved in breeding. It can work out extremely expensive. It’s also lovely to have something new to show and a project to work on over the winter. He already thinks he’s a pro, with four championships to his name, including British National Champion Yearling Colt!”

Katie is also in partnership with Laura, Dave and Marianne Smith and together they have bred and own this year’s British National Champion Foal, Diamond Xtreme (Psy Dream x Xotic Design). A product of a Diamond Auction breeding purchase, ‘Ralph’, as he is known at home, will be shown in the yearling colt classes on 2016.

The whole Gore family agree that the National Show is something special, that results there mean the most. Katie goes on to say: “Every year I say if I’m in the top five I will be happy; if I’m in the top three, it’s a bonus. This year was just incredible. To take two young horses to Malvern and come home with two firsts, a championship and reserve was amazing; and add to that the success of EA Eldorado and I was blown away!”

Heather, Katie and Bill Gore with EA Amellia at the 2012 UK International Arabian Horse Show
Heather, Katie and Bill Gore with EA Amellia at the 2012 UK International Arabian Horse Show

So, as the short nights of winter allow time to reflect, thoughts inevitably go to next year, next season, and breeding. Chicaago is in foal to Mater Design GA and due in April. This will be a third generation foal for the stud. Plans are to use Arimathea on some of the mares in house, and make him available to a few outside mares as well. Everyone is eager to see if he can gift his beauty and presence to his offspring.

Talking more broadly about breeding, Katie reiterates the words she has heard from a young age: that those breeding Arabians, or any other equine, should never assume that what clicks on paper will automatically work: “In this game, you need to be able to identify quality and, most importantly, remember that the Arabian has a purpose other than being a ‘thing on a string’.”

Bill Gore with the grey stallion Silver Satyr
Bill with the grey stallion Silver Satyr – showing how it’s done… Rest in peace, Bill


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