November 23, 2012 09:39
“He has the flanks of an antelope, the legs of an ostrich, the trot of a wolf and the gallop of a young fox.” ~ Edouard al-Dahdah, a breeder and lover of Desert Arabian Horses
Although summer has long fled, even here in B.C., I greatly want to share my experience this August at the 2nd Annual Canadian National Arab and Half-Arab Championships in Brandon, Manitoba. I don’t often attend major horse shows focusing on one breed, so this opportunity could only be described as a thrill for me.
The show, a flagship event for the Arabian Horse Association (AHA), hauled in for a week at the Keystone Center in mid-August. My first surprise was to hear how much revenue this generated within Brandon over that week - 8 to 10 million dollars overall. Show exhibitors arrived from 40 states and 6 provinces with roughly 750 horses to compete in 187 classes – and downtown Brandon was abuzz with retail activity from morning until night as classes proceeded.
The atmosphere was extraordinarily friendly in the barns and the spectacular Trade Show. There was ample opportunity to say hello to breeders and competitors, or relax in front of their viewing areas, watching dvds of the horses in show and available for sale. It was evident everywhere we went that education and training in responsible horsemanship and horse welfare is paramount to these individuals and organizations. What an incredible level of involvement, especially for our young folks!
Being new to it all, I was particularly enamoured of the special evening performances like the Best of Breeding Mares and Stallions, and the purebred Native Costume and Park Championships. I could not do these performances justice with my small digital, but you can see it all for yourself next year!
Videos, live feeds and results can be found at the Arabian Horse Association link: http://www.arabianhorses.org/competitions/nationalevents/canadiannationals/2012/
There are exhibitors from all across North America designated as “Discovery Farms”, a designation that indicates their willingness to introduce visitors in-person to this incredible athletic and romantic breed in a non-sales atmosphere. The purebred Arabian is today virtually the same as that ridden in the ancient Middle East. More information on Discovery Farms can be found at this link:
Carol Upton (604) 886-8951
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