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U.S. Nationals Provides a Grand Finale to End of Show Season

The 36th U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show held October 11-18 at the Kentucky Fair and Exhibition Center in Louisville, Ky. featured the best and brightest Arabian and Half-Arabian horses from 52 different states and provinces. The International Arabian Horse Association® (IAHA®) of Aurora, Colo., produced the event. The U.S. Nationals is considered the most prestigious North American championship in the Arabian show horse industry, and this year's flagship event offered fun, excitement and beautiful Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses. When the final numbers were tallied, 2, 216 horses came to Louisville. Both amateur and professional riders or handlers competed in 120 classes ranging from halter, native costume, reining, working cow, cutting, trail, dressage, show hack, hunter/jumper, sidesaddle, park, driving and English, western and hunter pleasure classes.

Four new Arabian halter classes made their debut at U.S. Nationals with the split of the stallion and mare championships into junior and senior divisions. The creation of a junior and senior championship not only gave halter fans two additional champions to root for but nearly doubled the number of mare and stallion entries overall.

The first U.S. National Senior Mare Championship was awarded to Mike Nichol’s Polish import *Kwestura (Monogramm x Kwesta) and the senior mare reserve title went to James Stiscak’s HC Magnifico Miss (Echo Magnifficoo x HC Hilals Jahara). Competition for the junior mare title was no less exciting with 33 entries. In the end, four-year-old S Justadream+/ (Justafire DGL x Acquaintance) duplicated her 2001 mare win with the Junior Mare Championship.

The junior and senior stallion classes drew 42 of the breed’s most eligible bachelors to compete for the championship finals on Saturday night. Rolyn and Judith Schmid’s stallion Legacy of Fame (Legacy of Gold x Fames Elegance C) was awarded the Junior Stallion Championship while Dakar El Jamaal (*Ali Jamaal x *Sonoma Lady) was named Senior Champion Stallion with Michael Byatt handling for the Dakar Kartel.

More than $200,000 in prize money went to the top ten winners in the five Arabian and Half-Arabian Halter Futurity classes. The largest halter futurity class with 39 entries was Arabian Futurity Fillies where Maggdalina (Magnum Psyche x Zolina) picked up the championship and $18,419 in prize money for owner Walter Mishek. Sparkle Creek’s Odyssey SC (Versace x Latoura Echo) came up with the $16,062 win in the Arabian Futurity Colt Championship.

One trend at this year’s event was the increase in Arabian and Half-Arabian park horse entries. The two previous national shows drew approximately 50 entries. This year boasted 90 entries with the biggest increase in the purebred park divisions. Spectators had the opportunity of seeing park national champions from past years vie for the 2002 Arabian Park Horse Championship title, which was won by Apollopalooza, ridden by Carmelle Rooker for Esprit Arabians.

In English pleasure competition, Strawberry Banks Farm stallions A Temptation (Tempter x A Love Song) and Hey Hallelujah (Huckleberry Bey x Hallelujah Bask) racked up three championships in English pleasure and pleasure driving. Brian Murch rode former English pleasure junior horse champion A Temptation to the top spot in Arabian English Pleasure. Hey Hallelujah stepped between the shafts of a buggy for a successful driving debut, winning championships in Pleasure Driving with Brian Murch and Pleasure Driving AAOTD with Neil Chur.

Thanks to the Arabian Reining Horse Association (ARHA), reining contestants got an added bonus. For the second year, the ARHA sponsored $30,000 in prize money for the four Arabian and Half-Arabian Reining championship classes. The prize money was split equally between the four classes, awarding $2,250 to the four champions, $1,000 to the reserve champions and $500 to the remaining top ten. Half-Arabian Dun Scootin+/ (Hollywood Dunit x Ra-Bon Azragal), received a $4,500 share of the ARHA prize money when she took the championships in the Half-Arabian Reining and Half-Arabian Reining AAOTR with owner Cori Sampson.

In debut of the Working Cow Junior Horse Championship, VA Gai Caliente (Cavu Paragon x Gai Marionette) earned the championship for owner Irvin Verdin. Ten horses competed in the new Half-Arabian Working Cow class where stallion Chaos Reins (Hickorys Aftershock x Musk Be Fancy) and Kit Hall won the roses for Sherry Hall.

There was a strong showing of western pleasure horses with record entries in classes across the division. Diane Powers rode Link To Fame (Fame VF x Honeicomb) besting 64 horses for the championship in the show’s largest class, Arabian Western Pleasure AAOTR 40 & Over.

In dressage competition, HSA Haleys Comet+// (Skamper x OK Ellazella) turned in a stellar performance when he accumulated three national championships and a top ten. HSA Haleys Comet+// repeated his 2001 championships in open and amateur first level dressage and added a Second Level Championship and a Second Level AAOTR Top Ten to his list of credentials.

The versatile Ibn Promotion+// (Promotion x Dancing Melody) picked up three national championships and a top ten in three different disciplines; show hack, sidesaddle and hunter pleasure for owner Nicole Genzel.

In addition to horse show competition, the event held a trade fair with more than 150 commercial exhibitors offering items such as tack, equestrian gifts, clothing and jewelry. The IAHA® Youth Judging Contest, the longest running IAHA® youth program in existence, hosted more than 30 collegiate, 4-H/FFA and Junior and Senior IAHA teams.

Show sponsors included IAHA® Corporate Partners Arabian Saddle Company, Equisure, MD Barns, MBNA, Pfizer Animal Health, and Sundowner Trailers. Other sponsors were Cadillac Division, The Dannon Company, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Executive Inn Hotel, Executive West Hotel, Professional’s Choice and Zia Graphics. On-line show results can be found at

IAHA® is a 28,000 member breed association that registers Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses, administers more than $4 million in prize money annually, produces national events, maintains official event records , recognizes more than 400 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides a ctivities and programs that promote Arabian horse breeding and ownership. For in formation about Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses, call 303-696-4500, e-mail or visit


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