Lead Photograph: ZANKADILLA
The twenty-second edition of Spain’s most important international show, the Arabes&Co, took place past 14th and 15th May at the Centro Ecuestre La Gerencia premises in Mioño, in Cantabria, North of Spain. The combined show & sport Arabes&Co Trophy 2016 went to Flor de Lis’ ZANKADILLA (Fiolek x Urraka), ridden by Alfonso de los Santos. At the ECAHO-B show, six owners from the United Arab Emirates, France and Spain shared the seven Championship Gold Medals: Mares Gold for LA-REINA-EA (Shanghai-EA x Lamira; Equus Arabians), Stallions Gold for JAHAMAL-DE-CARTHEREY (Ajman Moniscione x Yallah Bint Mahalim; Chantal Rigat), Colts Gold for JAWEL-ASLAL (ZT-Marwteyn x Just-Adore; Myriam and Alain Chatton), Yearling Colts Gold for AB’YADTH RIGEL (Kanz-Albidayer x AB’Yadth-Naseelah; Lucus Arabians), Fillies Gold for LABEEBAH-ALBIDAYER (Shanghai-EA x Falcons-Lovesong-BHF; Albidayer Stud), Yearling Fillies Gold for KONOUZ-ALBIDAYER (Kanz-Albidayer x Ebla; Albidayer Stud) and Geldings Gold for URKIOLA (Pekos x Ghorak; Flor de Lis).
The XXII Arabes&Co 2016 show made it again as Spain’s most important arabian horse show for both halter and sport, and confirmed it’s leading position as Europe’s most unique arabian sporthorse show. This year the ECAHO-B halter show was judged by Ann Stefaniuk from Poland, Pilar Cavero from Spain and Benny Freme from Sweden, and Griselda Cristófol was the president of the sporthorse competition jury. And once more time, the entries were over one hundred horses, with 80 of them for the halter show, 55 for the sport competition and 21 who did both to try to win the prestigious Arabes&Co Trophy. The ECAHO-B show competitors came from France, Germany, Jordan, Qatar, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.
Senior halter classes
The halter show started at 09:00 on saturday morning, May 14th, with the adult classes, geldings, mares and stallions, as several of these horses also were to compete in the ridden classes that started the same afternoon. The geldings were the first to enter the ring, with HACENDADO (Ramalazo x Araba; CDM La Dehesa) winning the junior class, and URKIOLA (Pekos x Ghorak; Flor de Lis) the senior class and subsequently the Champion Gelding Gold Medal. The Silver Medal went to PUSKIN (Fiolek x Finkara; Amaia Palmero), who was second in the senior class and finally HACENDADO was given the Bronze.
Next came the mares, 22 in three classes, with some very handsome, truly feminine and elegant ones. Cavero decided the winner LA-REINA-EA (Shanghai-EA x Lamira; Equus Arabians) in the 4 to 6 years old mares class, while Stefaniuk and Freme gave her the same totals as second placed FM-SELENE (Shanghai-EA x Resaca; Catherine Leborgne). Next class, mares 7 to 9 years old, and again it was Cavero who decided the winner PENELOPE-BV (WH-Justice x Factura; Bautista Vich). Stefaniuk gave her the same total as the “pure-spanish” PS-HAPPY-KORAL (Thamil x Trinidad), shown by her owner Nacho Berdasco, and who finished third, while Freme preferred AURA-EA (Khidar x Arabeska; Equus Arabians), who was second. The winner of the 10 years and older mares class ALIMA-MONISCIONE (WH-Justice x Armonia; Pedro Carriedo) was decided by Stefaniuk and Freme, while Cavero tied her with second placed PIKARA (Fiolek x Zoska; La Gerencia).
At the Mares Championship Cavero and Freme gave the Gold to LA-REINA-EA, while Stefaniuk preferred PENELOPE-BV, who then got the Silver Medal by unanimity of the three judges, and the Bronze went to ALIMA-MONISCIONE with the votes of Stefaniuk and Freme.
The stallions were only 9, but shown in three classes. In the first class, stallions 4 to 6 years old, Cavero gave 93 points and a 20 in Movements to JAHAMAL-DE-CATHEREY (Ajman Moniscione x Yallah Bint Mahalim; Chantal Rigat), who won the class and the Senior Best Movements Throphy. BADI-LS (Da-Vinci-FM x MC-Amsi; Royaume du Lys d’Or), preferred by Freme, finished third, and the second place went to DZHARI-NUNKI (Piwosz x Solvia-de-Prazilia; Jean-Jacques & Félicité Savenier), to whom Stefaniuk and Freme gave the same totals as they did to the winner. In the next class, stallions 7 to 9 years old, the winner was BV-PERSIAN (WH-Justice x Koral; Al Shiraa), by unanimity of the judges, and then in the last class, stallions 10 years and older, both finished with the same total points, and EMBAJADOR (Vatoli x Paca; CDM La Dehesa) won because of his better Movement points.
At the Championship, the Stallion Gold went to JAHAMAL-DE-CATHEREY by unanimity of the judges. Stefaniuk and Freme then gave the Silver Medal to DZHARI-NUNKI, and again unanimity for the Bronze Medal to BV-PERSIAN.
Junior halter classes
On sunday morning the halter show continued with the junior classes, with a new ECAHO regulation to create new rewards and more medals to be given away as it now already seems to happen almost at every show. If a show has a hundred entries in the junior classes, this is probably a good idea, but when a show has several classes with 2 or 3 entries, one can doubt about its need. Of course, the organizer can’t be blamed, as this is an ECAHO rule; on the other hand ECAHO can’t be blamed neither, as this probably been decided in a democratic manner. So if someone is to blame, let’s blame the lack of common sense of this world. When a second placed horse wins a Championship and a Gold Medal, which also seems to happen, what does this say us about the judges and their judging? “Common sense is not so common”, Voltaire wrote about 3 centuries ago, and “Nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) was written about 23 centuries ago. So why worry?
No more thinkering, back to the Arabes&Co show with the junior classes: 20 fillies in four classes, and 13 colts, also in four classes. The yearling fillies were judged by Stefaniuk and Freme, because of some “conflict of interest” rule involving Cavero and one of the fillies shown. In the first class Freme gave 91 points to the winner SS-DANAT-DAR-AL-DHABI (Ajman-Moniscione x Saskia-BV; Al Shiraa) and to second placed ASRAR-MS (Cavalli x Isabella; Madros Stables), while Stefaniuk gave 90 points to the winner and to third placed DAA-ATHENA (Makisa-Adaggio x PM-Anais; Dalia Arabians). The second yearling fillies class was decided by Stefaniuk giving 93 points to winner KONOUZ-ALBIDAYER (Kanz-Albidayer x Ebla; Albidayer Stud) while Freme preferred ESMAELIA-AL-HEVAN (Emerald-J x Ekisma-Al-Hevan; Al Hevan Arabians). At the Yearling Fillies Championship Stefaniuk voted 3 times for SS-DANAT-DAR-AL-DHABI, who finally got the Bronze Medal, and Freme first gave the Gold to KONOUZ-ALBIDAYER and then the Silver to ESMAELIA-AL-HEVAN.
Next came the fillies, with three judges again, and a nice class of 2 years old fillies with 7 entries and lots of draws. First place went to DARIYAH-AL-ZUBI (Hasmangyo x WW-Nelita; Zubialdea Arabians), clearly preferred by Stefaniuk, but both Cavero and Freme gave same points to at least 4 fillies each, so second place went to DAA-ATHINA (Shanghai-EA x PM-Anais; Dalia Arabians), followed by 3 fillies with the same total points. The unanimous winner of the 3 years old fillies class LABEEBAH-ALBIDAYER (Shanghai-EA x Falcons-Lovesong-BHF; Albidayer Stud) went on to win also the Gold Medal at the Championship, with the votes of Cavero and Freme. Stefaniuk’s preferred DARIYAH-AL-ZUBI got Silver, and Bronze went to PEARL-DE-DJOON (Abha Qatar x Psymphonie; Karine Pinchinat), who was second of the last class.
The yearling colts were 7 in two classes. The handsome bay IZAY-RO (Izabal x Kitty; Roch Arabians), shown by his breeder and owner Oriol Roch, won the first by unanimity of the judges. Next winner AB’YADTH-RIGEL (Kanz-Albidayer x Ab’Yadth-Naseelah; Lucus Arabians) was preferred by Stefaniuk as Cavero tied him with second placed MUNTASIR-ALBIDAYER (Kanz-Albidayer x Manal-Albidayer; Albidayer Stud) and Freme tied him with third placed “pure-spanish” VAL-IDRIS (Val-Durban x Val-Ulema; Yeguada Valviejo). Full unanimity for the Championship: Gold for AB’YADTH-RIGEL, Silver for IZAY-RO and Bronze for MUNTASIR-ALBIDAYER.
Finally, 6 more colts for 2 classes. For the 2 years old colts again total unanimity for winner JAWEL-ASLAL (ZT-Marwteyn x Just-Adore; Myriam and Alain Chatton) and second placed BV-UNIK (Shanghai-EA x Flavia; Bautista Vich). Finally, at the 3 years old colts class the grey “pure-spanish” FL-HALKON (Unikornio x Maraka; Flor de Lis) stole the show and got three 20s for Movement and being at the same preferred by Freme, he won this last class, followed by MAMOUN-ALBIDAYER (RFI-Farid x Mirana; Albidayer Stud). At the Championship, unanimity for Gold going to JAWEL-ASLAL and Silver to BV-UNIK, but for Bronze Freme changed his mind and now voted with Cavero for MAMOUN-ALBIDAYER while Stefaniuk now voted for FL-HALKON, who got the Special Trophy for Junior Best Movements.
The sport competition started on saturday afternoon, right when the halter show finished, with Dressage where ZANKADILLA (Fiolek x Urraka; Flor de Lis), ridden by Alfonso de los Santos, captured the first position and was the provisional leader of the combined ranking. In the afternoon the Steeple at the Brazomar Beach in nearby Castro-Urdiales brought no changes. On sunday morning, at the Cross-Country stage, Jacobo Torralbo and URKIOLA (Pekos x Ghorak; Flor de Lis) did slightly better than ZANKADILLA and de los Santos, but not enough to take over the first place. Finally, on sunday afternoon, both ZANKADILLA and URKIOLA finished with the same points, so the Showjumping stage didn’t modify the final results, and Flor de Lis’ ZANKADILLA won the XXII Arabes&Co 2016 Trophy with Alfonso de los Santos.
XXIII Arabes&Co 2017
After being for 22 years the most important spanish arabian horse show, the now well known Arabes&Co is planning a major change for his next edition, the XXIII Arabes&Co 2017. The high quality level of both the halter show horses and the sporthorses, makes it every year more complicated to combine the quality accommodation and efficient organization all magnificent horses deserve. The organizers know it is their task to provide this optimal quality at all levels, so that’s why they have taken the decision to come back to their original Arabes&Co purpose and to work for the promotion of the arabian sport horses.
So the XXIII Arabes&Co 2017 will maintain the actual combination with halter and sport, but the halter will be only for purebred arabian sporthorses that are to compete at the sport events as well. The show will be judged by ECAHO judges, several of whom know very well the athletic aptitudes of the arabian horses. For all, organizers, owners, handlers and public, it has been a great honor to share the show with all those magnificent show champions who complimented us with their presence, and this must be recognized publicly.
Everyone knows the distance there is actually between show and sport, and although both descend from the same origins, as we all know and agree, today they seem worlds apart. The generous efforts done by the team at La Gerencia, leaded by Almudena and Julian Vinuesa, for the arabian sport horses, has been saluted all over Spain and Europe. After 22 years, the Arabes&Co is now definitely a grown-up adult, and must go his own way. A success it will be, no doubt!