At long last we can go to a UK Arabian Show! Personally, having spent much of last year in Tier 3 x 4 for much longer than much of the country and travelling only locally, it was extra exciting to actually book overnight accommodation and head down the M6! Putting on a show working with Covid restrictions means a lot of extra work for the organisers and also meant that no spectators could be admitted. Our last visit to the venue for the Midland Arabian Festival, Western Lawns, near Coventry, had shown the site under big development with quite a lot of machinery around and it was lovely to return to see the finished facilities – not that they could be fully used due to Covid restrictions. The two surface rings are both good sizes so plenty of fresh air around and although the weather forecast was not totally positive, we actually enjoyed a dry day with lots of sunny spells.
Gold Junior Female Champion, Irrisistabelle
The show itself took place on Sunday 9 May and while entries for the in-hand section were disappointingly low, although almost all turned up, the ridden classes, particularly the purebreds, were well supported.
ECAHO classes were judged by Frances Atkinson (geldings, colts and mares) and Caroline Reid (fillies and stallions). Both were accompanied by probationary judges, Mike Johnson and Jane Miller.
Gold Senior Female Champion, Maistella Bella
The morning commenced with the geldings with the junior winner being Ezra (Bourhani Aldebaran x Haniyyah) bred by Mr and Mrs E J Jones and owned by Mrs J Givens. The senior class was the biggest of the day with seven forward. The winner, although making his show debut, strode confidently round the ring and would go on to be Gold Champion. This was DA Krystaldi (Emerald J x DA Kristallnaia), bred in Germany by Darius Arabians and now owned by DE Arabians.
Gold Gelding Champion, DA Krystaldi
Both the Gold Champion Juniors had enjoyed a couple of successful shows on the continent last year. The two-year old filly Irrisistabelle (Aja Justified x DG Givenchey), owned and bred by Andrea Taylor, was Gold Champion Yearling and Best in Show at Bruges Arabian Horse Event where Luther (BK Latif x Xotic Design), owned by Mrs A Le’vell and bred by Mr and Mrs DWG and Miss L Smith, was Silver Champion Yearling Colt. Irrisistabelle was also Arabian Futurity Europe Yearling Filly Gold Champion in Ströhen, Germany, in the autumn.
Gold Junior Male Champion, Luther
The mares and stallions all treated us to lovely movement displays – the lack of ‘atmosphere’ did not seem to affect their willingness to show off at all. The five-year old mare Maistella Bella (MM Just Cavalli x Catwalk), owned and bred by Blackbridge Arabians and looking so like her dam, took the Gold while the Gold Champion Stallion was four-year old Bugatti (Master Design GA x Lyanka), bred by Mr and Mrs E J Jones and owned by Mrs A Joyce. Bugatti was the 2019 UKAIHS Silver Junior Male Champion.
Gold Senior Male Champion, Bugatti
In the Anglo and PBA section, Mrs L Heery’s bay 11-year old part-bred mare BA Charlies Angel (CAS Sabur x Gordon’s Ginny) was awarded the Championship by Tracey Austin. This was a good day for BA Charlies Angel as she also won her novice ridden class.
Champion Anglo and Part-bred, BA Charlies Angel
2020 had seen very little opportunity for riders to get their novices out and although some had experienced local small shows and dressage events, this was really their first chance to attend an AHS show. As a result, the pure novice class was split into two sections – stallions and geldings, and mares. Judge Sally Morgan was not able to ride due to Covid restrictions, so the competitors were asked to perform individual shows. First in both the pure novice and the novice geldings was Karen Musty riding her own Guadeloupe (AV Montoya x WW Grenobla), a six-year old bred by Mr and Mrs J Bundy. ‘Loopy’, as he is known – because of his formal name, not his personality! – was purchased on weaning and has been slowly brought on by Karen. The winning pure novice mare was Saphiire (Emerald J x Suzi Q), owned and bred by Mrs R McCormick and ridden by Sian Warman. Saphiire went on to place second to a most interesting recruit to the ridden circuit – Vvivacious (ViVegas x Addeba), owned and bred by Mrs K and Miss K Pody and ridden by Tash Nelson. This mare has surely got to be the most highly decorated UK in-hand champion since OAS Panache to grace the ridden ring! She stood Reserve Champion to the stallion winner, BHA Maranello (Ajman Moniscione x Judals Berugia), owned and bred by Mrs Warner and himself a big winner in-hand as a colt. I think the novice classes are in for a treat this season!
Novice Purebred Champion, BHA Maranello
The open ridden saw quite a galaxy of stars out for their 2021 debut. The winner of the gelding class the well-known Cbeebies (Monther Al Nasser x FS Cinderella), bred by the Lowes, owned by Mrs T Hateley and Mrs J Lowe, and ridden by Jade Hateley. Cbeebies took the Championship with the relative newcomer HA Zaaffiraah (Jaayd x FS Zaafinah), a mare bred by Mr A Hallworth and owned and ridden by Holly McDade, in Reserve. These two also contested the young rider with 13-year old Maddison Lindsay winning on the mare and 15-year old Libby Lowe third on the gelding. It was nice to see a Lowe in the ridden section again!
Open Ridden Champion, Cbeebies
The part-bred Lindeth Psalm (Whalton Above Suspicion x Yealand Praise) took the ridden Anglo/part-bred section for owner/rider Louise Graham.
Champion Anglo/Part-bred, Lindeth Psalm
Well done the Midland team for putting on a ‘behind closed doors’ show under these trying conditions!
For more show reports, click here.