Wet but successful!
The South African Arab National Championships are the highlight of the Arabian showing calendar. This year made its mark in history by offering new classes never before seen at Nationals, embracing other disciplines in which the Arab horse excels.
Breeders from all over the country brought their prized Arabs and for the first time after many years absence, part-bred Arabians and Anglo Arabians were included in the programme of the championships.
Another first was the introduction of the Sport Horse classes, which gives the endurance breeders a forum to showcase the Arabian’s versatility. Jumping classes were also on the programme this year, including the Arabian Six Bar class which drew a large crowd who cheered on the participants and their mounts.
Judging the Part Bred and Anglo Arab classes was South African SANEF Judge Michael Schultz of Port Elizabeth. The English Ridden classes were Judged by Michael Schultz and the European Judge Helen Hennekens-van Nes. The Halter Classes were Judged by Helen Hennekens-van Nes and the American Judges Nancy Harvey and Dana Gardner.
Scenes from this year’s Nationals were more like Noah’s Ark than the classic desert image the Arabian horse conjures up. The show had torrential rain and a hailstorm that caused a dam to break, flooding some of the stables, and leaving horses sharing their stalls with fish!
The show organisers had a big job helping exhibitors dry out and moving classes to the following day so no one had to miss out. We have to say very well done to them and their team!
The Show was rounded off by an awards dinner with 250 breeders and exhibitors attending. Our Belgian Judge Ms Hennekens-van Nes commended the exhibitors on the quality of their ridden horses and gently reminded the competitors to respect their halter horses and; “as a judge we want to see happy horses, not horses.”
To see the full schedule of results, the link to the PDF is below:
And here is the gallery of the Championships…