The 2016 Official Scottsdale Daily News - Saturday, February 13, 2016
The 2016 Official Scottsdale Daily News – Saturday, February 13, 2016
Today’s Official Scottsdale Daily News is sponsored by Athala Arabians of Scottsdale, Arizona, owned by Athala King. You are invited to contact Athala to make an appointment to come out and visit her ranch in North Scottsdale. The ranch is surrounded by the peaceful Arizona desert, which is the perfect place for Athala to breed and enjoy life with her beautiful Arabian hose. Her herd includes straight Egyptian Arabians with horses relating to Ruminaja Ali, Imperial Imdal, Nabiel, Thee Desperado and other notable Egyptian sires. Athala has created a place of serenity and beauty, where her horses are treated with kindness and respect, and are appreciated for their historic value as well as for the contributions they are making for the future of the breed. To learn more about Athala Arabians visit www.athalaarabians.com.
Yesterday, Friday, February 12th, was a beautiful day in Scottsdale with so much to see and do at the show. The commercial exhibit hall was busy with shoppers checking out the latest fashions, art, equine related products and services as well as the great food. All the show rings were going with all disciplines of performance as well as halter classes for the Straight Egyptian and Egyptian Heritage horses in the Aljassimya International Arena.
For many people, it is their first time to visit the Scottsdale show. It's fun and interesting to listen to their perspective and their thoughts about their experience. As I was watching some of the halter classes for the Straight Egyptian and Egyptian Heritage horses I met old friends from around the world, as well as some new friends. I ran into halter trainer Mike Neal, who had one arm full of ribbons and the other supporting his client who looked like she was crying. Fortunately, they were tears of joy! Mike introduced me to his client, Gail Ahrens, a breeder of Egyptian horses from Chaddsford, PA. Gail has been breeding Arabian horses for about five years and this was her first time her horses were shown at Scottsdale. Not many people can claim the kind of success Gail had yesterday,
Her colt, Caiiro (The Elixir x Good Faith by Thee Desperado) won the three-Year-Old Straight Egyptian Stallion Class and her filly, Daenerys (Burak Ben Eden x Good Faith, was Reserve in the Two-Year-Old Straight Egyptian Fillies Class. It was a very emotional moment – not only for her unexpected success, but because she lost these young horses' dam just this past year. Gail said it was a tremendous loss, but she has a great gift in these and other offspring from Good Faith.
I also had the great fun to welcome special friends from Belgium, Glenn Schoukens and Mieke Opsteyn. Trainer, Glenn Schoukens was on hand to show the stallion Monther Al Nasser for Aljassimya Farm in the Egyptian Heritage Stallion Five and Over Class, which he won. It was especially nice that Mieke could be there for support as this is her first time to attend the Scottsdale show. Mieke is the Farm Manager for Al Khaled Farm in Saudi Arabian and recently joined Arabian Horse Times Abroad. It seems Belgians love Scottsdale! Arabian horse breeder James Swaenepoel and his wife Crystal and her son Dante, are also visiting the show. James has visited Scottsdale for many years and Dante is here assisting Michael Steurs, owner of Arabian Horse Results. Michael is also assisted by Marga van Kessel (his lovely mother) all of whom are also from Belgium.
Michael explained that his company, Arabian Horse Results, is doing live stream and scoring in the International Arena, which uses the European Scoring System. To watch the classes and to check the scores for those classes, go to www.arabianhorseresults.com
Strolling around the grounds, I was able to catch some performance classes and later, just enjoy watching trainers working their horses in the warm glow of the late afternoon. Watching the horses working, is both relaxing and exciting – I can't wait to see what the classes have in store for Saturday. As I was heading out for the evening, I ran into some old friends – and I do mean old! Judges Cory Soltau, Debbie Reid and Bruce Bates were taking a break from their judging responsibilities before heading back in for the evening classes. Not only are these judges a lot of fun, they bring an immense amount of experience, integrity and horsemanship expertise. I enjoy talking and working with the judges – I always learn something new about them and the Arabian horse! See you ring side!
Thanks to the official show photographers, Howard Schatzberg/Rick Osteen Photography. Be sure to stop by the booth to order your Scottsdale photos.