Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show Halter & Breeding Classes

by Beth Ellen Hunziker


The language of beauty is internationally understood. Whenever we speak about the most beautiful of all equines, the magnificent Arabian horse, our hearts do not need a translator. The elegance, grace, power and beauty of the breed was showcased to a record number of international guests at the 61st Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. Here are some of the most memorable moments.


From February 11th to the 21st, 2016, lovers of the Arabian horse traveled from around the globe to participate and enjoy the creme de la creme of the breed. They came from Australia and South Africa, from all regions of the Middle East and Europe, from South America, Mexico and Canada, as well as from 43 of the United States of America. They brought their best to compete at the largest Arabian horse show in the world, organized and hosted by the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona.


The horses that were competing - many of which were past Scottsdale, national and international champions - were absolutely spectacular. The weather was perfect, the organization and presentation of the classes were impeccable. The judges were first class in their experience and expertise, and the diversity of both the horses and their owners made this show an unforgettable experience.


For this report, I am focusing on the Open Halter and Breeding Classes of the show. The different categories within these Classes brought an increased diversity of the horses and owners who participated - it really was wonderful to see so many new people attending the show this year. The International Breeders Classics, with Egyptian Heritage, Straight Egyptian and Open Classes, were officiated by an international panel of judges who used the point system to evaluate and score the horses. Meanwhile, the Scottsdale Classic Classes were officiated by completely different group of judges, specifically selected for these classes, who used the comparative system to evaluate and score the horses.


The Scottsdale International Arabian Breeders Classic Classes were again sponsored by H.E. Sheikh Jassim bin Khalifa Al Thani of Aljassimya Farm of Qatar and Santa Ynez, California. The AHAA is deeply grateful for the continued patronage and generous spirit of Sheikh Jassim.


The Halter and Breeding competition began with the Egyptian Heritage Classes. Horses in these classes must have at least one parent or grandparent of straight Egyptian breeding to qualify for this category. It is a historically held breeding philosophy that combining straight Egyptian bloodlines with others results in an individual with superior Arabian type. From a breeder’s perspective, it is exciting and educational to study the pedigrees of these horses to see how and where using Egyptian bloodlines has influenced their beauty, conformation and other characteristics.


The SIBC Egyptian Heritage Senior Champion Mare and First Place in Mares 5 & Over was HADEEL AL SHAQAB (Ashhal Al Rayyan X Enshoda Al Shaqab) bred and owned by Al Shaqab Member Qatar Foundation and presented by David Boggs. This exquisite mare is heavily Egyptian bred as her sire is straight Egyptian and her dam is a grand daughter of Anaza El Farid through Gazal Al Shaqab.


The SIBC Egyptian Heritage Junior Champion Filly and First Place in the Yearling Fillies was MASRI AL MAGNIFFICOO (Marwan Al Magnifficoo X Masri Nijmi). This filly was bred by John Blincoe and is owned by Mark Davis of Royal Arabians. She was presented by Rodolfo Guzzo. Masri Al Magnifficoo’s Egyptian heritage comes from her straight Egyptian dam, a daughter of Thee Infidel. It is easy to recognize the Egyptian heritage in these beautiful mares and fillies.


The Egyptian Heritage Classes continued with the colts and stallions. The SIBC Egyptian Heritage Senior Champion Stallion and First Place Winner in EH Stallions 5 & Over was MONTHER AL NASSER (Ansata Hejazi X Aliah Al Nasser), bred by Al Nasser Stud, owned by Aljassimya Farm and shown by Glenn Schoukens. Monther’s sire is straight Egyptian while his dam carries lines to the legendary sires Ali Jamaal and Menes.


First Place in the EH Yearling Colt Class and the SIBC Egyptian Heritage Junior Champion Colt and was LARK RCA (Bellagio RCA x Star of Marajj), bred by Rock Creek Arabians, owned by John and Debra Mitchell and shown by Greg Knowles. Lark’s sire line is straight Egyptian and his dam, a daughter of Marajj, therefore has lines to Marwan Al Shaqab, Gazal Al Shaqab, Padrons Psyche and Aladdinn.


For years, the only place to show Egyptian horses in the United States was The Pyramid Society’s Annual Egyptian Event in Lexington, Kentucky. The addition of the Egyptian Heritage and Straight Egyptian classes to the Scottsdale show has opened the door to many new breeders and owners to attend and to compete at the largest Arabian horse show in the world. The quality of the horses presented in the Egyptian Heritage Classes created great excitement. Based upon comments I heard and conversations I had with clients and friends watching the classes, I believe the result will be an increase in the market for these horses for showing - and more importantly for breeding.


There was standing room only available in the Aljassimya Arena as the classes for Straight Egyptian Arabians drew record crowds. Among the stars of this exceptional group was the lovely filly, SOFIYAA AA (Al Ayal AA x Saniyyah RCA), bred and owned by Ariela Arabians, leased by the Sloan family and shown by David Boggs to the titles of Straight Egyptian Junior Champion Filly and First Place Two-Year-Old Filly. Sofiyaa AA was brought all the way from Israel to compete. The AA initials of her name indicate her breeders and owners, Ariela Arabians, a private farm that is world famous. Sofiyaa AA is another amazing example their incredibly influential breeding program.


The SIBC Straight Egyptian Senior Champion Mare and First Place Winner in Mares Five-Years & Over was MAKEDA DB (Mishaal HP x Jamil Baarrah) bred by DNJ Arabians, owned by Dreamco Breeders, LLC and presented by Greg Knowles. As everyone can see from the win photo, Makeda had a large and enthusiastic cheering section including Judy Sirbasku of Rock Creek Arabians and Shawn Crews of Arabians Ltd. These enterprising women have created a very successful program that has introduced the Straight Egyptian Arabian horse to many new people and now they have added the Scottsdale Show to their schedule of “Must See” events for their clients and friends.


The Scottsdale International Breeders Classic Straight Egyptian Classes presented some truly outstanding individuals. The judges’ choice for First Place Straight Egyptian Two-Year-Old Colts and SE Junior Champion Colt was Thee Dominion (Scapa x Thee Desert Rose) bred and owned by Daniel and Carol Heithold and presented by Luis Paniagua of Arabians Ltd. This colt’s pedigree bring together legends of the breed from Ansata and Imperial breeding programs. Thee Dominion also has a line to one of my favorite Egyptian lines: Hi-Fashion Mreekh, Ibn El Mareekh and El Mareekh, which of course includes the lovely mare Bint Deenaa.


After his stellar performance in the preliminary classes, crowds gathered to see Al Ayal AA (Al Ayad x The Vision HG) compete in the finals. He did not disappoint. He was magnificent and earned the judges’ unanimous choice for Gold Champion. Al Ayal AA was bred and is owned by Ariela Arabians and leased by Aljassimya Farm. He was presented by Giacomo Capacci. Reserve to Al Ayal AA was Baha AA, also sired by Al Ayad, he is yet another handsome representative of the Ariela Arabians breeding program.


Next came the Scottsdale International Breeders Classic Classes. The breeders and owners of the competitors represent the very best of our community. While many are established breeders with years of experience, there were also some new breeders and owners, which added a really fun and exciting dimension to the show.


The SIBC Gold Champion Yearling Filly and First Place Class Winner Yearling Filly was CELESTINA INZ (ML Mostly Padron x Serenitee CA) bred by Frances Butler, owned by Susann Vince and shown by Ted Carson. This filly is the result of Frances Butler’s long time breeding program, which although considered small, has produced national and international champions.


The story of the SIBC Gold Champion and First Place Class Winner Yearling Colt, Versaces Eros (Versace x Jumeriah Rose SWF) bred and owned by Versaces Eros Partners and shown by Sandro Pinha, is quite the opposite. The partnership that bred this gorgeous colt consists of Kelly Campbell, her brother Casey Campbell, Cameron Nelson and Cindy McPike. Although the partners have been very successfully involved in Miniature Horses for a number of years, Versaces Eros is their first Arabian horse, the first Arabian they bred, and he was the first horse they have ever entered to compete at Scottsdale. Not bad for a first attempt! It was a joy to watch the total surprise and genuine joy when their colt won his class and then the gold title.


The Junior Fillies division included 2-3 Year-Olds. The SIBC Gold Junior Champion Filly and First Place Class Winner Two-Year-Old Filly MD MIRKA (AJ Thee Luca x MD Psylk) was bred and owned by Manuel Durini and shown by Mike Wilson. This filly has a very interesting pedigree, which combines straight Egyptian lines with Magnum Psyche on her sire line and Padrons Psyche, Bey Shah, El Shaklan and Aladdinn on her dam line.


Both the Silver and Bronze Junior Champion Fillies were bred by Lenita Perroy of Haras Meia Lua. Silver Champion ELZUNYA MEIA LUA (El Jahez WH x Elle Dorada) was also the Second Place Class Winner in Two-Year-Old Fillies shown by Austin Colangelo. Bronze Champion NIRAH MEIA LUA (WH Justice x Niceya El Perseus) was also the Second Place Class Winner in Three-Year-Old Fillies presented by Michael Byatt. Both these champions are owned by Al Shahania Stud.


The goals of the AHAA is to create an opportunity for the international community to gather together to share ideas and experiences in a way that benefits the breed, and to expand the participation of owners and breeders around the world, through the International Breeders Classics Classes. This year was the most successful in terms of numbers and quality - both were noticeably increased over past years.


The SIBC Gold Junior Champion Colt and Class Winner in the Three-Year-Old Colts was VANGELIS MI (DA Valentino x Always An Angel) bred and owned by Greg and Julie Farrell with Jane Farrell of Mulawa Arabian Stud and presented by Andrew Sellman. The Farrells are one of the leading breeders in Australia and they have been attending the Scottsdale show for more than 25 years. Vangelis MI joins the other Mulawa horses that have earned many Scottsdale Championship titles.


The Silver Junior Champion Colt JAZZAA ALJASSIMYA (WH Justice x Toscana PGA) bred & owned by Aljassimya Farm & presented Giacomo Capacci and the Bronze Junior Champion Colt OM EL BELLAMI (WH Justice x Om El Bellona) bred & owned by Om El Arab International & presented by Sandro Pinha, continued the global theme through their breeders and their sire. Aljassimya Farm and Om El Arab, both located in Santa Ynez, California, have worked closely for years. When Aljassimya Farm leased the mega superstar sire WH Justice from his owners Catherine and Thierry Kerjean of Equid System Ltd they both bred their best mares to him. The wisdom of this decision was proven in the show ring and will influence their programs for future generations.


The SIBC Gold Champion Senior Mare was HONEY'S DELIGHT RB (JJ Senor Magnum x Honeymoon HFP) bred by Adriana Espindola De Moura of Brazil, owned by Masterpiece Arabian Partners LLC and presented by David Boggs. This exotic beauty represents generations of great Brazilian breeding. Honey’s Delight RB is a U.S. National Champion, as well as the dam of World Bronze Champion Junior Filly Esperanza Al Ventur and Delight’s Diva, an international Gold Champion Filly.


The SIBC Silver Champion Senior Mare was OM EL SORAYA (Om El Bellissimo x Om El Sariyana). Her breeders Sigi Siller and Janina Mertz of Om El Arab International need no introduction to the international community. Her owner, H.E. Sheikh Jassim bin Khalifa Al Thani of Aljassimya Farm of Qatar and Santa Ynez, California, is world respected as a breeder of champions and a leader in the Arabian horse community. She was presented by Giacomo Capacci.


The SIBC Bronze Champion Senior Mare was MARMARRA (Gazal Al Shaqab x Cinderella WC), presented by Michael Byatt. Marmarra holds the distinction of being bred and owned by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani of Al Shahania Stud. No doubt that to own a champion is a thrill. However, to breed a champion is truly a remarkable accomplishment.


The SIBC Gold Champion Senior Stallion and Class Winner of Stallions Six-Seven Years-Old was EQUATOR (QR Marc x Ekliptyka). Equator is a handsome and athletic representative of the world famous Michalow Stud. He is being leased by Aljassimya Farm and was presented by Glenn Schoukens. Equator has earned numerous international championships throughout Europe including the title of Silver World Champion Senior Stallion. He was the highest scoring stallion in the Scottsdale International Breeder Classic Classes. Equator was very well received by breeders in the United States. He will stand at Aljassimya Farm in Santa Ynez, California, managed by Bart Van Buggenhout.


The Silver Champion Stallion and Class Winner of Stallions Eight-Years-Old and Over was SPITFYRE VF (TF Psymreekhe x Red Flame BRSB) bred by Ventura Farm, owned by M. G. Steenhart and presented by Andrew Sellman. This stallion has a very interesting pedigree with Russian and Crabbet lines through Padrons Psyche, Egyptian lines through Ibn El Mareekh and Morafic, Polish lines going back to Bask and Ofir, Spanish lines through An Malik and two lines to the fabulous Fadjur!


The SIBC Bronze Senior Champion Stallion and Second Place Winner of Eight-Years-Old and Over was EL CHALL WR (Magnum Chall HVP x Major Love Affair), bred by Don Camacho Jr., owned by Felix Cantu and presented by Rodolfo Guzzo. El Chall WR is a powerful mover with great athletic ability inherited from his Russian lines through Padrons Psyche, Polish lines through Afire Bey V, and two crosses to Aladdinn and Bask. In addition, he has very strong Spanish lines on both his sire and dam lines - a truly international pedigree.


The Scottsdale Arabian Classic Classes were held in the Wendell Arena and sponsored by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani, owner of Al Shahania Stud in Qatar. These classes were judged using the comparative system. There were qualifying sections for each age group and the championships were held on the final Sunday of the show. There was a large group of international spectators this year and for several, it was their first visit to Scottsdale. They seemed to really enjoy the people, parties and presentations - but most of all the horses!


The SAC Junior Champion Colt and First Place Winner in Yearling Colts was RAJJ Z (Marajj x Loredonna Z) bred by Duke and Renae Mendel, owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Saud Al Qasimi and presented by Sandro Pinha. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Saud Al Qasimi purchased the colt at the show and it was wonderful to see the new friendship that developed between these dedicated international breeders.


The Scottsdale Arabian Classic Junior Champion Filly and First Place Winner in Scottsdale Arabian Classic Yearling Fillies of April 16-December 31, was MYSTIC MAGNOLIA PF (Ever After NA X Mystic Rose BHF) bred and owned by Jessie Szymanski-Hoag and presented by Keith Krichke. Once again, it was a small breeder who achieved tremendous success and who confirmed the wisdom of acquiring the best foundation mare you can afford and then breeding her to a proven sire. Jessie Szymanski proved you do not have to be the biggest, to be the best. I have no doubt that if Mystic Magnolia PF had been judged using the point system, she would have earned several 20’s - she is that good. I am certain this filly has a wonderful future ahead of her. It will be exciting to see how she produces when her time comes.


The Senior Mare classes brought out some lovely individuals - several that are already highly accomplished, highly decorated mares. The Scottsdale Arabian Classic Champion Senior Mare and First Place Mares 6-7 Years Old was RH TRIANA (ROL Intencyty x Sylviah WLF) bred by Robin Hood Farm, owned by Triana Holdings LLC and shown by David Boggs. Although Triana has been shown extensively since she was just a yearling, when she won her first National Championship title and immediately achieved her super model status, she STILL thrilled the spectators with her beautiful entrance and rock solid performance. She clearly loves a crowd. One of the most memorable moments of the show came after Triana was awarded her championship roses and it was announced that it was her last show ring appearance. As she took her final victory lap, David Boggs handed her lead to her breeder Drago Kragulj so he could have the honor of leading her out. It was an incredibly emotional moment...


For those people who love the Arabian horse, but who could not attend the World Arabian Horse Championships at the Salon du Cheval in Paris last year, the Scottsdale show provided them the opportunity to see the reigning World Gold Champion Stallion - Kahil Al Shaqab. In a unanimous decision by the judges, Kahil won his first United States titles: Scottsdale Grand Champion Senior Stallion and Scottsdale Arabian Classic Stallions Eight Years & Older Class Winner. Kahil Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab x OFW Mishaahl) was bred and is owned by Al Shaqab Member Qatar Foundation and he was shown to the win by David Boggs. The influence of this farm’s breeding program is enormous and has secured them a place in history.


The line up in the Stallion Championships on Sunday morning illustrated this point in a very dramatic way, as three of the highly coveted spots were taken by stallions bred and owned by Al Shaqab: Champion Stallion Kahil Al Shaqab, Scottsdale Arabian Classic Three-Year-Old Stallions Winner FALAH AL SHAQAB (Fadi Al Shaqab x Joseph Just EM) and Scottsdale Arabian Classic Five-Year-Old Stallions Winner MARSAL AL SHAQAB (Marwan Al Shaqab x Miss El Power). In addition, the Scottsdale Arabian Classic Four-Year-Old Stallions Winner SF VERAZES QAMAR (SF Veraz x Sohos Honey Serenade) bred by Sycamore Farm LLC, owned by Felix Cantu and presented by Ted Carson is a grandson of Gazal Al Shaqab through his sire, SF Veraz (Gazal Al Shaqab x Veronica GA by Versace). The Al Shaqab breeding program - it truly is one of the most internationally influential programs in existence.


A stallion that also brought great depth to the competition at the Scottsdale show was the Champion Stallion 6-7 Years Old - BARZAN AL SHAHANIA (Stival x NW Sienna Psyche) bred by Ruth and Michael Doe, owned by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani of Al Shahania Stud and presented by Michael Byatt. It was wonderful to see this stallion in the ring again. It brought back fond memories of him showing in Scottsdale as a brilliant chestnut yearling colt, which is in such sharp contrast to the tall, handsome, mature champion he is today.


The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is a model of excellence, innovation, organization and commitment to the breed for other shows and events around the world. One particular program created by the AHAA is extremely successful because it achieves multiple goals and benefits numerous groups within the industry; it is the Scottsdale Signature Stallion Futurity.


This program benefits stallion owners, mare owners, amateur handlers, trainers and marketing professionals and many, many others. The foundation of the SSS Futurity program is the Signature Stallion Service Auction. Stallion owners nominate their horse and donate a breeding service which is then sold at the annual auction. The proceeds become the prize money for the Signature Auction Classes. The total amount earned with the 2016 SSS Auction was $483,650.00. People must nominate the mare they breed to the stallion whose service they purchase at the auction, in order to make the resulting foal eligible to compete. According to the AHAA the total 2016 SSS Futurity prize money, including the Auction Futurity Classes paid out was $497,554.00!


Mare owners benefit from this program by making some of the top sires in the world available to them. It increases the possibility to produce a high quality foal, it offers the opportunity for amateurs only to enjoy showing and competing with their horse, and it provides the possibility to earn prize money. There is hardly a person in the industry who does not benefit from this AHAA program and, it is really a lot of fun! That’s what the Scottsdale show is all about - having fun and promoting the beauty, athletic ability and versatility of the Arabian horse.


If you like sunshine, good food, great friends and Arabian horses, I suggest that you mark your calendar and make plans now to attend next year’s Scottsdale Show. The dates are already set for February 16-26, 2017. So please plan to join us for a wonderful experience with the most beautiful equine on earth - the Arabian horse. To see all the results from the 2016 Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, as well as others, and to see photo galleries, videos, stories and more, visit the website at: