That HoCoN were able to hold fast to their traditional calendar slot in these times was testament to enthusiasm and dedication of Arabian owners who produced a little gem of a show. Taking place in the new venue of Forest Edge Arena in Norfolk, many left the HocoN Arabian Horse Show with happy smiles and trophies to match.
The ridden classes were under judges Jane Miller and Ben Hester. These classes brought a world-class roster of entries; one is always drawn to the novice classes as a portent of the future, and we were not disappointed.
Keiffa A, Ridden Amateur/Home-produced Champion and Reserve In-hand
Notable entrants were Vvivacious (ViVegas x Adeeba), who already has a multiple champion record in-hand, making her first show season under saddle. A very refined bay mare in the capable hands of Tash Nelson, Vvivacious showed a mature attitude and some pretty paces.
A classical type of stallion, Arazi al Kamar (Marwan al Kamar x Natalia NH) rose to the top spot and later took the Novice Championship. He was followed closely by the very elegant steel grey SAS Giovanni (Thee Fifth Element x Shezade Ibn Calera), owned by Julie Bosman and showing great presence.
HA Grand Classique, Anglo/Part-bred Champion
The novice geldings were no slouches either with top spot going to Bohemian Rhapsody (Orion OS x Om el Sariya Dream), a steady type who seemed to enjoy his performance. Others in a strong class included Obsession (Aja Estrravagance x CS Lelisha), a powerful forward-going type owned by Len Morgan and Aleeyah Dali. This gleaming bay picked his way through the class in a calm manner. Unfortunately, the charming fleabitten grey Ali Ffarid (Ali Khamsin x Ffinesse) became unsettled and could not maintain his free-flowing action.
The stallion Beeston Hakim (Klinta Bashir x Hadila) put on a consistent show in the Crabbet class.
Rafeekah, Silver Ridden Champion
Perhaps the story of the show was the result of the Young Riders class where Rafeekah (Designed x Kaamelia), ridden and schooled by the talented Kimberley Bates, claimed the tricolour and went on to stand Reserve Champion in the dizzy heights of the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) Championship.
Onwards to the very top level which is the HOYS Qualifiers bringing forward some truly stunning entrants. The mare class gave us the compact and measured Portia (Adawy x CS Christina) who claimed a win ahead of the ethereal CS Lelisha (Krown x G Lilja) and Ellyse Carden on the lovely Cotswold Safiya (Ruger AMW x Cotswolds Annisha). The combination of bravery and beauty in the mare classes is very appealing.
Mirv, Gold Champion Ridden
The gelding class was narrowly contested but rising supreme was the complete Mirv (Psadisho Ibn Esstashan x Mirwana II), a harmonious white-grey with a stand-out presence and workmanlike attitude to match, who claimed Gold and the Championship. Silver went to Rafeekah, with the attractive bay Forever Spirit of Versace (Forever Besson x Love by Design GA) taking Bronze having charmed us all with his smooth show.
When we are all free to do so, we can celebrate our good fortune of having such a high standard of ridden Arabians on our doorstep. Bravo!
JB Azada, Coloured Champion
In the meantime, the In-hand classes were progressing in the outdoor arena. The quality forward under judges Sue Woodhouse and Frances Atkinson was excellent, although the quantity was less than usual.
The first gelding win was Alpheios (Ruadi x Phyllidia) who gave a pleasing performance to win the junior class for owners Little and White.
In the four-to-eight-year old gelding class, DA Krystaldi (Emerald J x DA Kristallnaia), in the hands of Lindsay Dean, gave a vibrant display to win the class and the Silver spot in the Gelding Championship. He was followed closely by Lehana (Master Design GA x AA Lavinia), bred by the Smith family, for second and Bronze Champion.
Sadq Almuawd, Gold Gelding Champion
The Gold Gelding Championship went to the winner of the senior class. This was Sadq Almuawd (Revolution x Share the Joy), a very nice type who was appreciated by the ringside audience.
The favourite class for many, the fillies, resulted in a lovely group forward. Serendipity (Mabrouk Aljassimya x Symphony) lived up to her name with a happy, confident show but was chased to the wire by the exquisite Dolcearna (Marsevarno x La Dolce Diva). In third was the pleasing Lucy with Diamonds (Picasso Kossack x In the Sky), who showed flashes of her Russian sire with her powerful paces.
Serendipity, Gold Junior Female Champion
The junior mare class saw Venizwayla (Van Gogh AM x Verlenzia) excel with her wonderful action, big eyes and a silky coat, earning her the Gold Championship. In second spot was the renowned Mettlewood-bred MW Valentina Ballerina (A Sound of Thunder x Vataga).
Venizwayla, Gold Senior Female Champion
The senior mares were led by Kaamelia (Emiliusz x Tehama Ballalina), dam of Rafeekah, who has a nice way of going and a calm attitude. Taking second was Audija (Audemars PA x Kubija) taking second. The Bronze title went to a mare with foal at foot, LS Hadassah (ViVegas x Hepsebah Bey), a beautifully turned out chestnut.
The stallion classes were not well supported, but the quality was there with the typey Skipinzski (ViVegas x DG Givenchey) in first place for the Taylors and the rather handsome HB Krystoff (Santorini x Krystal) in second for Elle Wood and James Scammel.
Skipinski, Gold Senior Male Champion
The amateur classes were a treat with several accomplished displays throughout. Highlights were Sadq Almuawd, Bransby Tanzanite (Makisa Adaggio x Bint Valentino), Ethereal Sanseari (Aja Sankara x Muzlin), DD Amir Nuir (Deemonstrator x DD Flame of Fantasy), Beeston Hakim, Windvale Farayah (Tahira Faris x Windvale Jehan), and Moonlight Princess (Kasadi x Legend Moon Empress), who gave HoCoN a high note for the future.
Windvale Farayah, Gold Champion Amateur/Home-produced
Well done, a good time was had by all.