Nov. 4, 2005 -- The 2005 U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show took place last week in Albuquerque, N.M., drawing 2,000 Arabian and Half-Arabian horses competing in everything from working cow and reining to halter and English Pleasure and Park.
For a newcomer to the show, some of the real thrills involved simply walking through the barn areas and seeing some of the super-stars of the versatile Arabian breed in the flesh or meeting the most notable trainers our day and realizing, "Hey, this guy's really nice!" or "This horse is a sweetheart!"
Watching a horse being crowned U.S. National Champion is something that makes your heart race. It's witnessing a piece of history; It's seeing a whole crowd of people (trainers, owners, grooms, and others) find their hard work has paid off and their faith in a horse proven to be not unfounded.
When Marwan Al Shaqab, owned by Al Shaqab Stud of the Emirate of Qatar, was crowned Champion Junior Stallion October 29, there was a tangible excitement in the air. In a similarly exhilarating class, the chestnut Enzo, owned by Philip del Pozzo and Brent Stone of Auburn, California, was named Champion Senior Stallion earlier in the week.
The highlights of the Finals Extravaganza were many, and included some amazing Half-Arabian English Pleasure horses who trotted with incredible grace, and a breathtaking Native Costume class. But perhaps the most touching moment was the tribute to the legendary *Aladdinn, 1979 U.S. National Champion Stallion and a leading sire of the breed with over 1,200 registered purebred foals. There weren't many dry eyes in the house after the 30-year-old stallion first trotted (brilliantly for his age) and then slowly walked around the ring, while various judges and friends shared their memories of him. It was certainly an emotional presentation--in fact, it was an emotional week for any horse lover--and one not soon to be forgotten.
More than $30,000 was distributed to the Champion, Reserve Champion, and third and fourth place winners in the U.S. National Champion Park class on October 28. Arabian Horse World magazine donated an original bronze (created by B.J. Frampton) to the Champion Aequus (Sheikh Ibn Shiko x C Me Maroussa), ridden by Bill Rodgers and owned by Hazelbank, Inc., of Hudson, Ohio.
The fundraising efforts for the park class came as a response to the lack of AHA Sweepstakes prize money for this class. Tom Zaffer and fellow ablackhorse.com members raised the prize money on their own.
For complete results from the 2005 National Championship, visit www.arabianhorses.org.