Photography by Sweet Photography
Lead Photograph: Sulan Top Gun (Angelic Solitaire x Sulan Ellectroneeka)
Want a good horse? Get a gelding with some Arabian percentage! Or go one better, and breed one yourself.
The Arab Horse Society (AHS) National Championship Show is the place to see Arabians and derivatives, of all types and sizes, amassed together at the Three Counties Showground. The mood is generally very positive and some of the horses have a very full dance card between the ridden rings, dressage arenas, as well as the different type and sports classes also on offer. Even if pure-breds are not your thing, and you feel more at home watching standard showing classes, the show has plenty to keep you in your seat, marking your catalogue, seeing who qualifies for what, and looking up horses once you get home.
The Anglo and part-bred classes can seem a little sedate; a self-contained affair, unhurried and polite which, as an exhibitor, is really enjoyable. Not a great many spectators cross between the pure-bred halter classes and the derivative rings, but if you choose to take root there, you’ll see a parade of horses from the most dainty of riding pony youngsters, to big rangy sports horses, golden horses, two tone horses, and all in between.
|Myrrormere Miss Lacey (Downies Mystic Masterpiece x Myrrormere Miss Moneypenny)|
Of course, whenever this prestigious breed show coincides with the Royal International Horse Show, the numbers are hit fairly hard, the pony sections particularly, but not for lack of effort on the part of the organisers and the incredibly hard-working team that make the show possible. New classes are added all the time and whether your derivative is a Hack type, a Pintabian, a high-percentage Arab palomino, or a true British-bred Anglo – remember those? – there are classes for you, with esteemed judges, expert stewards and vast grassy rings in which to parade your horse. My advice is to use them or lose them – AHS Nationals; go go go!
|HA Grand Classique (Aja Sanchez x Sandown Tino)|
Ann Green was tasked with sorting the in-hand Anglos and part-breds into winning order as well as the sports horse/pony classes. Sue Woodhouse judged the light horse breeding classes as well as the Palominos, coloureds and high-percentage sections. Numbers forward were disappointing, with the largest class having just half a dozen make the line-up, but the quality is never lacking.
Headlining the Anglo championship cards were Junior Female Champion Myrrormere Miss Lacey (Downies Mystic Masterpiece x Myrrormere Miss Moneypenny), winner of the over 148cm yearling class, owned by Deana Bamford and bred by Mr and Mrs Houghton. Junior Male Anglo champion was Alf Hallworth’s three-year old colt HA Grand Classique (Aja Sanchez x Sandown Tino), who also took the Light Horse Championship under Mrs Woodhouse. He managed a third in his three-year old over 148cm class, behind Olivia Carter’s colt Sulan Top Gun (Angelic Solitaire x Sulan Ellectroneeka) up top, and later Reserve Champion Part-bred gelding as well as winning their amateur class, and Mettlewood Mayqueen (Mettlewood Jubilee Tribute x Mettlewood Liberty) in second. The latter, bred by Nina Hutton McKenzie and owned by Michael and Wendy Carr, is a very pleasing filly and has been consistent in the ring as a junior; one to watch.
|Sulan Top Gun (Angelic Solitaire x Sulan Ellectroneeka)|
|Mettlewood Mayqueen (Mettlewood Jubilee Tribute x Mettlewood Liberty)|
|Barnwell Drago (Pulsingh x Royalle Narishe)|
Anglo Gelding Champion was the metallic Barnwell Drago (Pulsingh x Royalle Narishe), exhibited by Paula Shenton and bred by Gail Smales. He was third in the mixed gelding class behind Frances Atkinson’s beautiful black D’aamascus (Flammengold x D’Aamsen) in first, who was later named Part-bred Gelding Champion and Sports Horse Champion; with parentage such as his, it came as no surprise. The dun, Lemons Masterpiece (Mayway Masterpiece x Lemon Meringue), was second in the mixed gelding class. The dun was also ridden by owner Sarah Plimley to a win in the Riding Horse Equifest qualifier and take Reserve Champion Hack/Riding Horse, as well as second in the over 148cm open ridden, and first in the amateurs. The three geldings made a striking lineup and their tally of prizes from the show is testament to the worth of the gelding!
|D’aamascus (Flammengold x D’Aamsen)|
D’aamascus took the Overall Supreme Anglo and Part-bred Championship matched in pace throughout the show by expert handler Ben Hester of course, in a repeat of his wins here as a yearling. Now four-years old and showing a keen attitude for work, a winter of careful education is sure to follow before hitting the show-ring next year once again. D’aamascus also took the UK Anglo and Part-bred scheme supreme honours, for an incredible third consecutive year. There’s no stopping him!
|Misunderstood (Saroukh x My Sister Rachel)||Classical Charmer (CAS Ravel x Sandown Tino)|
Senior Female Anglo Champion was the consistent performer and classy lady, Misunderstood (Saroukh x My Sister Rachel) for owner/breeder Angela Brown, in her last season before retiring from showing. Four-year old Palila (Persiflage x Branta), bred by the Hon Finn Guinness, stood Reserve. Misunderstood had a superb show, winning the ridden Small Hacks and the Hack and Riding Horse Championship, with Lemons Masterpiece in Reserve. She also won the Open Anglo ridden and the Ridden Anglo Championship as judges Miss Embleton and Ms Cheek clearly agreed she was their winner. Senior Male Anglo honours went to Danielle Kirkham’s Classical Charmer (CAS Ravel x Sandown Tino), bred by Gwyneth Rees, after winning his stallion class, adding a win in the light horse over 148cm class and placings under saddle as well.
|Palila (Persiflage x Branta)||Legend Hawk Moon (Legend Ghost Moon x Manakhah)|
Part-bred Male Champion, and Reserve Champion Palomino, was Theo Chan and Jo Cooper’s Legend Hawk Moon (Legend Ghost Moon x Manakhah). The stallion couldn’t quite beat the three-year old filly Coral’s Golden Promise (Montroze x Shulay Coral), bred by Joe Harris, to the tricolour though, which went home with Fiona Arbury. Part-bred Female Champion was Thimbleby Angelique (Merryment Puss in Boots x Westhill Debutante), owned, bred and exhibited by Linda Grant. She won the under 148cm mare class in both the part-bred and light horse sections, in a rare occurrence of the two sections tallying, and was also Amateur Handled champion and Reserve Supreme Anglo and Part-bred overall.
|Good Turn (Turning Point x Tuffet)|
|Ravels Picasso (CAS Ravel x Limehurst French Connection)||Thimbleby Angelique (Merryment Puss in Boots x Westhill Debutante)|
Reserve Champion Female was Lynn Lidbury’s homebred Good Turn (Turning Point x Tuffet), so typical of her sire’s get. They also took a turn around the novice over 148cm class, as well as the Golden Oldies ridden class. Erica Winn’s Ravels Picasso (CAS Ravel x Limehurst French Connection) picked up the Champion Coloured honours, with two-year old Terackie Emir (Royal Court Jester (US) x Psynsera BJ) in Reserve. Sadly both were the only ones forward in their classes, although the former was also second in the High Percentage (minimum 50%) part-bred adult class, to Beverley Pearce’s Playtime Prince (Ellation x Princess Gleaming Rose), who took that section’s championship with Terackie Emir in reserve. Playtime Prince also picked up the Coloured and High Percentage Ridden Reserve Champion award, behind Treenhill Aristotle (AH Cheshmak x Treenhilshillelagh), who was ridden by Aimee Stunt to the Novice Ridden Anglo win as well as Reserve Ridden Anglo Champion.
|Playtime Prince (Ellation x Princess Gleaming Rose)||Treenhill Aristotle (AH Cheshmak x Treenhilshillelagh)|
Part-bred Ridden Champion was Maythornes Easter Dimension (Cusop Dimension x Maybe Shades), exhibited by the Mylius/Low partnership. Selected as the novice under 148cm winner by judge Mrs V Ayling, the pony also clocked up placings in the in-hand and light horse classes as well as the young riders division. They pipped Ellie Mitchell and Cosford Glamour Girl (Stanley Grange Cocktail x Trelawn Glamour Puss) into second, ahead of BA Charlies Angel (CAS Sabur x Gordons Ginny), partnered by Lauren Cooper in third. The over 148cm novice was won by Louise Wood on her own Maraday Montellemar (Centyfield Censation x Maraday Nemesia), ahead of Lenmar Shady Sunrise (Excelsis (IRE) x Lenmar Misty May Shadow) in second, ridden by Emma Jones for breeder Helen Stratton. This was probably the largest class and had some very promising horses in the line-up, including Playtime Prince in third and Wethercotes Sapphire in fourth,
|Easter Dimension (Cusop Dimension x Maybe Shades)||BA Charlies Angel (CAS Sabur x Gordons Ginny)|
|Coedfryn Secret Whisper (Ramexico (NL) x Highmead Secret Valentine)|
The Part-bred Reserve Champion under saddle came from the open under 148cm class; Amanda Burr’s Silver Newoak Devil’s Laughter (Ardenhall Missoni D x Abbas Hunting Pink), bred by J Newbury. They also contested the Golden Oldie ridden class, incidentally, to stand fifth, as well as some dressage to go with their win in-hand in the part-bred section; another gelding doing it all. Second in the pony open ridden was Clare Fitch riding Coedfryn Secret Whisper (Ramexico (NL) x Highmead Secret Valentine) for owner Ruth Roberts, ahead of Rebecca Hobson on Hardwickview Cashman, owned by Emma Didlick.
The over 148cm open was taken by Alice Stratton and HA Mont Brilliant (Strinesdale Mastermind x AJA Nareyna), ahead of Lemons Masterpiece in second and Shahjih (Ventican (NL) x Shiffar), ridden by Tash Pimlott, in third.
|HA Mont Brilliant (Strinesdale Mastermind x AJA Nareyna)|
The striking thing from a glance at the entries and results is the decline in numbers. It is a problem hitting UK shows of all kinds, and it is saddening to see, at the National Championship Show, where the group of exhibits looks rather lost in the huge expanse of green arenas at Malvern. I’m not sure what the solution is – indeed some classes are vast – but there needs to be a way of matching enthusiasm and uptake for the show to the standards of horses and turnout that is already present.
Congratulations to all the winning derivatives and their connections; now, go tell your friends to bring theirs next year too!
Above: Lemons Masterpiece (Mayway Masterpiece x Lemon Meringue);
Below: Coral’s Golden Promise (Montroze x Shulay Coral)
Above: Lenmar Shady Sunrise (Excelsis (IRE) x Lenmar Misty May Shadow);
Below: Terackie Emir (Royal Court Jester (US) x Psynsera BJ)
Above: Wethercotes Sapphire;
Below: Cosford Glamour Girl (Stanley Grange Cocktail x Trelawn Glamour Puss)
Above: Montellemar (Centyfield Censation x Maraday Nemesia);
Below: Newoak Devil’s Laughter (Ardenhall Missoni D x Abbas Hunting Pink)