The 2014 Arabian Foal Festival and Show in Santa Ynez, California

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 11:52am
Silver Maple Farm - Santa Ynez, CA
United States

article by Christie Metz, Silver Maple Farm

The second annual Foal Show took place on the hottest weekend of the year in our Santa Ynez Valley, located in central California just north of Santa Barbara. However, everyone that came to the show had a good time, in spite of the heat. The show was held at the local Santa Ynez Valley Equestrian Center that overlooks the beautiful and tranquil, Refugio Mountains. Portable stalls provided much needed shade for the horses showing and for horses spending a night. Sofas made from hay bales and covered with nylon packing blankets provided seating, nestled under the shade of huge Pepper trees overlooking the arena. Peaked white tents along one side divided the main arena into two venues, the halter arena and the trail class course. These peaked tents also provided more seating for observers and one end was sectioned off for the judges' lounge.

Each class had a maximum of five horses with the exception of one class that had six horses. All the classes pinned a Champion and a Reserve with those horses returning to compete in the Gold, Silver and Bronze Championships on Sunday. Yearling fillies and colts along with two-year old fillies and geldings competed. Only amateur handlers were allowed to show, and all the horses that entered were required to have never competed at a show previously.

The Judges in 2014 were AHA President Cynthia Richardson of Colorado for Trail in Hand, Jeannine Boggs and Lori Conway from Minnesota and George “Z”, Zbyszewski of Florida. The idea behind this concept came from Bart Van Buggenout, Manager of Aljassimya Farms with horses kept at One Hundred Oaks Farm in Santa Ynez. Bart brought the concept to the Santa Ynez Valley Arabian Horse Association members as a new project and they embraced it wholeheartedly. The Foal Festival has also rejuvenated our local club, spurring on other events to be organized and take place in this valley of Arabian horses. Events such as the Trail Ride and the Arabian Breeders Celebration and the Breeders Challenge are a reflection of this new energy.

Bart’s goal for this show is to encourage breeders and owners of Arabians to enjoy themselves by exhibiting horses in a relaxed manner. The show provides a pleasant environment for amateurs to show young horses for the first time and not so far from home. Added to this year’s schedule were the Gelding Futurity Class, Produce of Dam and Get of Sire Class, easily crowd favorites. Local dealers displayed their cars and many local vendors helped to sponsor the show.

Saturday evening there was a BBQ provided by Crimson Farms, owners Susanne Mackrell along with husband Steve Granger did all the cooking as well as providing the staff for serving. Last year the Valley Club honored Paul and Carol Hemmings of Hemmings Arabians, longtime valley residents and owners of such illustrious horses as Raffon and Bey Elation. This year, the Cisco Marei family was honored for their fifty plus years of breeding and showing Arabians. A display of photos reflected their involvement over the years along with a retrospective of their lives with horses as told by Kelly Elm of Arroyo Arabians.

Pyramid Society members from Om El Arab achieved a Silver Champion large breeder award ( 6 or more foals) and granddaughter Sophia Merz was third in the yearling trail class and the given youngest exhibitor award. Silver Maple Farm had two Reserve Champions in the two-year old classes, Mouneera SMF and Sheikha Sara SMF.

Produce of Dam Gold Champion honors went to the homebred mare for SMF, Bint Bint Sayo (Ali Saroukh x Samura by Anaza El Farid). Bronze Get of Sire Champion honors went to the Majestic Noble SMF foals, Sheikh Sami SMF (Bint Bint Sayo), Mouneera SMF and full sister, Malak SMF (Ansata Majdiya by Ansata Iemhotep). SMF also garnered Silver Champion Small Breeder of the show (5 or less foals). Jeff and Sylvia Linn came from northern California to watch. Granddaughter, Jessica vowed to compete next year in the Trail in Hand class.

Overall, the weekend was a success and left everyone looking forward to next year.