All photography by Sylwia Iłenda
La perle de la France, or ‘the pearl of France’, is another name for Menton located in southern France. Between 26/27 June, this town became the temporary capital of Arabian horses as the 30th anniversary of the Mediterranean and Arab Countries Arabian Horse Championships was held.
Guests were greeted by sunny weather and high temperatures, which stayed with them throughout the whole show. 161 horses were entered for the show, with 123 competitors appearing in the ring. The eight-years and over stallion class was a big surprise as only one of the six entered horses appeared in the ring, but what a stallion he was! Let’s get back to that in a moment…
The judges for the show were Cedes Bakker (the Netherlands), Sylvie Eberhardt (Germany), Irina Stigler (Russia), Eric Gear (France), Ferdinand Huemer (Austria), Ann Norden (Sweden), Fausto Scanzi (Italy), and Marek Trela (Poland).
Perfecta Aljassimya – Silver Yearling Female Champion
As usual, Saturday’s performance was focused on the mares, and they did not make us wait long for the first 20s, with the judges awarding them in the yearling filly classes. As it happened, the winner of the first yearling filly class Perfecta Aljassimya (Picasso Di Mar x Jazanah Al Jassimya), bred and owned by Aljassimya Farm, scored five 20s – three for type and one 20 each for head/neck and movement – giving a total of 91.83 points. Perfect Aljassimya would win the Silver medal in the Yearling Filly Championship.
D Thariah – Gold Yearling Female Champion
The Gold medal went unanimously to the winner of the second yearling filly class, D Thariah (FA El Rasheem x D Azalea), bred by Dubai Arabian Horse Stud and owned by the Al Wajba Stud. She stood out by type, which was reflected in the scores with the judges awarding her high marks in this category – four 20s and two 19.5s. D Thariah also received the four highest scores for head and neck, thus getting a final score of 92.33 points. Mejeeda Al Baydaa (Marajj x Madinat Al Baydaa), bred and owned by Al Baydaa Stud, took the Bronze medal; she scored 91.58 points in her class.
Majeeda Al Baydaa – Bronze Yearling Female Champion
The top horses in the two- and three-year old filles both qualified for the Junior Female Championship. The first of the two-year old filly classes was won by the grey El Medida (Morion x El Medara), bred and owned by Michałów State Stud, with 91.67 points.
El Medida – class winner
The second section belonged to the bay RDS Exquiste (Excalibur EA x Angelica KS), bred by Safadi Eaid and Amira and owned by the Al Orasia Stud. The mare earned four 20s for type and two for head/neck, scoring a total of 92.08 points. She did just as well in the championship, taking the Silver medal and leaving the Bronze for her rival, three-year old grey D Judi (AJ Azzam x Elle Flamenca), bred and owned by Dubai Arabian Horse Stud. D Judi came third in her class with a score of 92.25 points. The winner of this class, and Gold medallist in the championship, was grey Siwar Al Shaqab (SMA Magic One x Abha Myra), bred and owned by the Al Shaqab Stud. The judges rated her highly for type, with three 20s and three 19.5s as well as five 20s for head/neck giving her a total of 93 points.
RDS Exquisite – Silver Junior Female Champion
D Judi – Bronze Junior Female Champion
Siwar Al Shaqab – Gold Junior Female Champion
Mares aged four-to-seven years were divided into two classes, with the bay Protekcja (Ekstern x Pentra), bred at Michałów State Stud, winning the first section with 93.17 points. She was given six 20s – two for type, one for head/neck, and three for movement. This mare also won the special Best Head Award in her class.
Mozn Albidayer – Silver Senior Female Champion
The second section was led by grey Mozn Albidayer (SMA Magic One x Mattaharii), bred by Albidayer Stud and owned by Al Wajba Stud, who decided to ‘open the bag’ with the 20s! Mozn Albidayer won perfect scores for both type and head/neck. Together with one 20 for movement, her final score came to 93.5 points. She was awarded the Silver medal in the Senior Female Championship.
D Aziza – Gold Senior Female Champion (and lead photo)
The Gold went to the winner of the mares aged eight-years and older class, the grey D Aziza (Ajman Moniscione x Midnight Kiss), bred by Dubai Arabian Horse Stud and owned by Hanaya Stud. She obtained the highest score among all the mares, 93.75 points, including a set of 20s for type, five for head/neck, and three for movement. However, this was not the end as D Aziza also won the title of Best in Show. Bronze went to the well-presented Alsa (Kahil Al Shaqab x Alameda), bred by Janów Podlaski and owned by Hanaya Stud. Alsa came second in her class with a high score of 93.58 points, influenced by three 20s for type, one for head/neck, and four for movement! Thus Alsa also received a special award for the Best Movement among the mares.
Alsa – Bronze Senior Female Champion
The yearling colt classes were quite large, but it was the bay Lehon (FA El Rasheem x Aragia), bred and owned by Aljassimya Farm, that did the best job. He took place in the second section before earning the highest laurels in the championship. Lehon was awarded 92.92 points, including four 20s for type and a whole row of them for movement! Second in his class, and Silver medal in the championship, went to D Sharar (D Seraj x FT Shaella), bred and owned by Dubai Arabian Horse Stud, with 92.58 points including three 20s for type, two for head/neck, and one for movement. Bronze went to WF Gawin (Magic Magnifique x WW Gawina), bred by Madelene Whihaten and owned by Aingeru Vilabrille Cimas, who was second in first colt class with a score of 91.75.
Lehon – Gold Yearling Male Champion
D Sharar – Silver Yearling Male Champion
WF Gawin – Bronze Yearling Male Champion
The title of Junior Male Champion was won by the winner of the three-year old colt class, the bay D Sheimaz (FA El Rasheem x Ladi Veronika) bred and owned by Dubai Arabian Horse Stud. His high marks for type – three 20s and three 19.5s – and for head and neck – four 20s and two 19.5s – amounted to a total of 92.58 points. Right behind him in the class, and taking the Bronze medal, was Mutabahi Al Hawajer (FA El Rasheem x ZT Magrumi), bred by Al Hawajer Stud and owned by Sama Najd Stud. This bay stallion also obtained a high score of 92.25 points, including three 20s for type and head/neck. Silver medal in the Championship was won by RDS Armani (Excalibur EA x Stellaris BPA), bred by Amira and Eaid Safadi and owned by Aljassimya Farm, with 92.5 points.
D Sheimaz – Gold Junior Male Champion
Mutabahi Al Hawajer – Silver Junior Male Champion
RDS Armani – Bronze Junior Male Champion
We finally got to the so-called icing on the cake, the senior male classes. It is when watching this that we experience the greatest emotions because the ring becomes a scene for amazing individual shows. The unquestionable candidate for the Gold medal and the Championship title was the 10-year old Excalibur EA (Shanghai EA x Essence of Marwan EA), bred by Equus Arabians and owned by Akmal Stud. Of course, there were no surprises, and the gold medal went to him. Excalibur EA was the only competitor in his senior male class, but this did not stop him from obtaining the highest score of the show, 94.83 points. He won an entire row of 20s for both type and movement, as well as five 20s for head/neck and, as you can guess, the title of Best in Show.
Excalibur EA – Gold Senior Male Champion
In the final, right next to him on the podium with a Silver medal, stood D Seraj (FA El Rasheem x Ladi Veronika) bred and owned by Dubai Arabian Horse Stud, who started from the second place in the four-to-seven-year old stallion class with a score of 93.08 points. This was quite a surprise because the winner of this class, the grey Saif Albidayer (ex Nesj El Markhisa), a son of Excalibur EA bred and owned by Albidayer Stud, didn’t win any medals. The Bronze medal was won by the straight Egyptian Naseem Al Rashediah (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Naba Weyyah Ezzain), bred and owned by Al Rashediah Stud, who came third in this class with a score of 92.67 points, including three 20s for type, two for head/neck, and three for movement.
D Seraj – Silver Senior Male Champion
Naseem Al Rashediah – Bronze Senior Male Champion
The French Riviera is an unusual place that attracts people like a magnet. The great atmosphere and high-quality Arabian horses make us look forward to the next shows.
For more show reports, click here.