Recapping the Egyptian Event 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 7:00pm

By Pyramid Society Staff. Photos courtesy of Richard T. Bryant. Video courtesy of Arabian Horse Global (click to see more footage on-demand).

Monday, June 6, 2012: The hum of tractors and the shuffle of footsteps begin early in the morning at The Kentucky Horse Park's Covered Arena, signaling onlookers that the ring is ready for a rush of desert wind. Egyptian Arabian horses and exhibitors alike, some of them attending their very first Event, are gathering at the in gate for an amateur showmanship clinic with Jill Girardi Thomas. An unseasonably cool breeze mingles with the warm, morning sunlight. It's no typical Monday morning in Kentucky... The 32nd Annual Egyptian Event is about to begin!

Living up to its theme, the 2012 Event was truly Born of the Desert Wind! Over 300 Straight Egyptian and Egyptian-sired horses from across the world made their way to Kentucky, ready to compete. The Kentucky Horse Park was beautifully turned out, as always, warmly welcoming both locals and distant travelers. The air, on the other hand, carried a comfortable chill for the entire week - a treat to long-time Event attendees and staff, who usually come prepared for the sweltering heat of early June. Instead, the excellent weather invigorated the Event, drawing in even more Horse Park Visitors... and it certainly didn't seem to hinder sales at Dede's Ice Cream stand!

"I had the best time ever at the Egyptian Event this year. I have been coming to the EE since 1985, and this was the best." - Pam Lawson, El Shadi Arabians

For 32 years, The Pyramid Society, along with generous sponsors such as Albaydaa, 2012 Signature Sponsor, has aimed to bring attendees "more than just a horse show." This year's Event proudly lived up to the goal, showcasing Egyptian Arabian Horses and providing an extravagant mix of social gatherings, shopping opportunities and educational offerings!

Embodying this year's Born of the Desert Wind theme, a photographic essay sponsored by Rhodium Stud transformed one alcove in the Covered Arena into an inviting desert gallery - The Colors of Egypt, featuring the works of Dr. Nasr Marei and Richard T. Bryant. Their photos vibrantly depicted life in Egypt through the faces of its people, the beauty of its architecture and the hues of its varied terrain.

Of course, this was not the only art on display at the Event. Stunning paintings, colorful scarves, a replica of an Arabic stirrup - covered in gold, and hand-crafted show halters were just a few of the items which captured the eyes and purses of attendees in The Pyramid Society's annual Art Auction fundraiser.

In a tribute to its timeless beauty, Mary Haggard’s giclee, “Black Eyed Susans,” took the top Silent Auction bid at $2,500. But the rare and exotic first casting of Nazeer by Karen Kasper highlighted the Premier Auction on Friday evening, bringing a final bid of $20,000! In total, the 2012 Art Auction brought in over $93,000 to benefit The Pyramid Society - a tremendous accolade for each and every artist, donor, and bidder.

Back in the Covered Arena, some of this year's Premier Artists, such as first-time Event attendee Lynne Gleason (whose donation is pictured left with its new owners), decorated the concourse all week, joining several other exquisite vendors of fine art, jewelry, and equine accessories - some of whom have been with the Egyptian Event since it began offering booth space! Faulkner’s Saddlery was stationed for last minute horse turnout accessories, such as leads, handler’s tools and coat polish, and California Arabian Halters and Macrabia both had a selection of stunning show halters on hand.

Other stops in the Covered Arena this year included the Legacy Lounge, where youth found a little bit of respite to chill and color, or to start off on the 2012 Scavenger Hunt after attending an informative live seminar on Equine and Canine Massage on Thursday morning. Later in the week, some avid readers opted to stop by book signings by Bachir Bsearani, author of the new Authentic Arabian Horse Names II. Resting places provided by Sponsor farms such as Miars Arabian Ranch and Etaya Egyptian Stud were abundant, including luxurious leather chairs and couches for those who got a little too tired from all that shopping! And for those looking for a more authentic desert experience, the "Bedouin Tent" at the Institute for the Desert Arabian Horse offered an inviting getaway from the crowds.

In true Event fashion, the Arena concourse was transformed thrice during the Event into an active, exciting shopping and social space - first on Thursday evening before the Egyptian Breeders' Challenge Auction, again on Wednesday morning for the cheerful Newcomers' Meet & Greet, and once more on Saturday evening just prior to the Championship Finals. Arabella Wines generously provided by Nic De Wet meant that Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot was free to flow alongside trays of cheese, crackers, fruits, vegetables and delicious pastries, all put in place with generous sponsorships.

For some, however, the choice beverage was coffee, and the choice hour for being social was the early morning, with daily educational seminars sponsored by Markel Insurance, ranging in topics from essential Equine Nutrition to best use of The Pyramid Society's Reference Handbook. The capstone for the week came on Saturday morning with the annual Membership Meeting, Breakfast, and keynote Pyramid Lecture by acclaimed historians Dr. Sandra Olsen and Cynthia Culbertson - graciously sponsored by Al Shaqab, Member of Qatar Foundation.

For others, still, fine dining and one-of-a-kind decor crowned their Event experience at "An Arabian Night in Black and White," this year's Fundraise Gala on Friday evening. Preceded by cocktails and an up-close look at the Premier Artwork in the Embassy Suites lounge, the evening soon turned to elegance and grandeur in the Crystal Ballroom, as guests were greeted by lush ambient light and black and white desert images moving along screens placed along the wall.

A full dinner buffet allowed time for great conversation and anticipation of the evening's agenda, which included a beautiful tribute to Rhita McNair and Judy & Jim Sirbasku, recipients of the 2012 Pyramid Society Trustees' Awards, along with recognition of new 2012 Pyramid Society Life Members. The night of emotional celebrations culminated with the live Premier Art Auction - and even those not bidding walked away with a beautiful booklet of rare prints - a token of compliments from Salayel, who sponsored the entirety of a truly memorable "Arabian Night."

Of course, for many, the casual social vibe of The Egyptian Event was key, and to catch a glimpse, one need only turn to the annual Barn Parties - undoubtedly one of the must-attend events within the Event in 2012. Hosted on Wednesday night by several groups of attending farms, this year's barn parties boasted comfortable evening temperatures, delicious eats - ranging from miniature Kentucky Hot Browns to hot-off-the-grill barbeque, and a joyful showcase of horses by owners and handlers. Add in the unforgettable Go-Go Boots and Flower Power theme that adorned Paradise Arabians’ shed row, and the Wednesday groove was certainly on!


A well-earned bravo to this year's attendees for fabulous barn decorations and over-the-top hospitality, which carried over into Thursday afternoon's free, guided tour of the barns led by Gail Mailloux, replete with the calculated red of the official Barn Tour stop signs! These visits offered a more intimate, but no less festive opportunity to see the horses and speak to their owners and handlers.

And that is why we all came, of course...  these unbelievable, enchanting creatures. It's no question that the Egyptian Event is more than just a horse show, but when it comes to horse shows...

2012 SHOW RESULTS RECAP / Monday (see full results)

Egyptian Event 2012 kicked off on Monday afternoon, opening with Hunter Pleasure – Open, which was won by TF Hassan (Botswana x SH Heumoresque), owned by Jazmin Palomera.  The afternoon continued with beauty, crowning TF Delfinia and SF Fitzgerald with the most classic head for a mare and stallion, respectively. The best Produce of Dam are out of Thee Desert Rose (Alixir x Nelly’s Rose), owned by Daniel Heithold and the best Get of Sire were sired by Justynn (Alixir x Bint Bint Justina), owned by Ahmad Amer .

The evening session marked the return of Country English Pleasure to the prize list with a wonderful representation by Jadoube Ibn Lahab DMF (Al Lahab Gasb x HMT Sylvanna) and his rider, Amy Spiker.  Monday evening concluded with the first preliminary round of the Liberty Class.  The top score of the round was a 268, earned by Thee Makers Rose. While a full nineteen points ahead of second place for the first round, it wasn’t enough to send Thee Makers Rose to Saturday’s final.

2012 SHOW RESULTS RECAP / Tuesday (see full results)

On Tuesday, the judges crowned a couple of World Class Fillies, with HC Abla El Saghira (Ali Reshan x Ravenwood Sensation) winning the Two Year Old Filly Championship for owner Deborah Hurdle, and Layali Al Shaqab (Farhoud Al Shaqab x QR Annah Ferrari) walking off proudly with the Yearling Filly Championship for owner Al Shaqab. The established stallions also had center stage on Tuesday.  The Bandera+ (Alixir x Arabella MCA) took home the 8 to 9 Year Old Stallion championship, while Hadban Al Shaqab (Ashhal Al Rayyan x Sundar Alisayyah) claimed the Ten and Older championship. Tuesday’s evening session concluded with the second preliminary round of Liberty, won by Karin Amin Al Jannat (Thee Asil x Anna Bellla) with a whopping score 275, securing him a spot in Saturday’s final.

2012 SHOW RESULTS RECAP / Wednesday (see full results)

Junior handlers had their chance to shine on Wednesday during the Amateur Halter Egyptian Fillies and Mares, Junior to handle class. Kenneth Blake McDonald and Innisfree EQ (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Marrakesh EQ) ran off with the championship. Older mares ruled the afternoon as Blackwatch Arabians and Immasa (Imtaarif xl Bint Mareekh Amir) took the World Class 8 to 9 Year Old Mare championship and Black Pearl WP (Thee Desperado xo RS Cherokee Rose) walked away with Ten and Older World Class Mare title for owner Manny Vierra. Not to be outdone by the mares, Al Hadiyah AA (Laheeb x *The Vision HG) was awarded the World Class Stallions – 6 to 7 year old title. Rounding out the classes for the day was the third preliminary group of Liberty contestants.  El Shuja Wahid (Norus x Naftula) and Abraxas Crown Prince (ET Crown Prince x Ansata Fayrouz) gained entry into Saturday’s final round with scores of 272 and 269, respectively.

2012 SHOW RESULTS RECAP / Thursday (see full results)

Thursday’s classes started up at 10:00 AM with  Hunter Pleasure – Amateur/Junior to Ride, won by Stargate namesake Ryac (Ali Rahaim x PJ Psychadelic) and Mary Scribner; Extended Specialty Straight Egyptian Three Year Old Colts, won by Amer Shahed (Imperial Shehaab x Imperial Kameesha) of SE Legacy Bloodstock; and Egyptian Halter Fillies/Mares 3+, Adult Amateur to Handle, won by TF Samantha (Botswana x Temima) and Jocelyn Hazlewood.

Thursday’s main events were reserved for the afternoon session, which kicked off with an Egyptian Event tradition: the Stick Horse Class. Hotly contested, the class consisted of lively group of youngsters and plenty of encouragement from the young at heart. We had damsels and dandys in suits, tea dresses, cowboy and cowgirl boots and even a young King Tut. True sportsmanship was evident throughout the class as older children rallied to help the younger ones and everyone took home a well deserved blue ribbon (and a lovely plush horse)!

Following Stick Horse were the two highly-anticipated Egyptian Breeders’ Challenge classes. First up were the fillies in a spectacular class that was won by Amirah Gemaal DB (Bellagio RCA x Silkh SWA), who took home over $21,000 in prize money for owner Virginia Gober. The top EBC colt was Premonition RCA (Thee Desperado x Mishaals Kiss RCA) who also walked away with over $21,000 for Rock Creek Arabians of Texas, Inc.



The excitement generated by the Thursday classes ran into the evening and the 2012 Egyptian Breeders’ Challenge live stallion breeding auction, sponsored by Lyday Farms. The auctioneers kept the crowd rapt as the handlers showed off their handsome stallions and, in some cases, their get.

And what an exciting night it was, with live bids totaling over $152,000 - thanks in part to a rousing, gentlemanly bidding contest between DeShazer Arabians and Dreamco Breeders for the infamous Thee Desperado, selling at last for $21,000, accompanied by cheers and shouts from the crowd and hugs all around from owner Judy Sirbasku. It was a record setting bid, and a moment to be cherished.

Did you miss this moment during the EBC? Watch it here.

After the closing of the Silent Auction on Saturday, total EBC bids rang in at over $190,000 for 2012, which means exhibitors will be looking at a healthy purse for the Egyptian Breeders' Challenge classes in 2015. Here's to success in this year's EBC breedings.

2012 SHOW RESULTS RECAP / Friday (see full results)

The Kalkata Stakes Futurity Finals for Two Year Olds "woke up" Friday’s morning session. The Colt championship went to Cent Anni (Mishaal HP x La Marsala), owned by Jamie Zissis, who also brought in $1,174 for Kalkata high bidder Frank Holloman . The Filly champion was Desha Bahreyn (Laheeb Al Nasser x Bint Katyah), owned by Nayla Hayek, also scoring a wopping $2,011 for Kalkata high bidder Christian Klingebiel.

In the Yearling Futurity Fillies competition, Bella Mazin (Bellagio RCA x Thee Lotus Mazin), owned by Wendy Roberts, claimed the championship for the January to April fillies while TF Shaambalah (Botswana x Shaamis Amira), owned by Allison Mehta, took the title for the April to December fillies. For the Colts, Amirs Crescendo (Imperial Amir Kamar x Rhapsodys Crescendaa), owned by Timothy Manring, earned the Championship for January to April, and Ibn Raed (Scapa X LPS Thunderstruck), owned by Elizabeth Witt, earned the Championship for April to December.


This year's Breeding Excellence Awards - sponsored by Pure Gold Arabians for the top scoring Yearling Futurity Fillies and Colts, were presented to:
Colts: Elizabeth Witt, Witts End Arabians, Brownsboro, AL Joseph Cruz, MD, Rancho Bulakenyo, Los Osos, CA Ahmad E Amer, Yorklyn Arabians, Hockessin, DE Timothy Manring, Arabians at Egg & I, Chimacum, WA Allison Mehta-Westley, Talaria Farms, Newnan, GA Fillies: Matt and Wendy Roberts, Maiden Chase Arabians, McDonald, TN Lisa Cifrese (received by Joe Piccolo), Thornewood Farm, LLC, Stockton, NJ Gary and Mary Putman (received by Wanda Kenworthy), High Hope Arabians, Ringgold, GA Allison Mehta-Westley, Talaria Farms, Newnan, GA Daniel and Carol Heithold, Misty Valley Arabians, Chickamauga, TN

2012 SHOW RESULTS RECAP / Saturday (see full results)

Saturday was the day of champions, whether it be future champions, such as those showacased in the Heirs Apparent Junior Stalloin exhibition, or current champions, which began with the Amateur Halter Egyptian Filllies/Mares Championship. Top mare with an amateur to handle went to Innisfree EQ and Kenneth Blake McDonald, continuing their success from Wednesday. The Amateur Halter Egyptian Colts/Stallions Championship went to Mikeen El Masr (Madheen El Masr x Sha Shayna) and handler Dick Platzek. The Hunter Pleasure Championship went to Richters Finale (Richter MH x Eagle Elegant) while the Western Pleasure Championship went to Halimaars King Tut (Aga Gamaan x Haallie).

In a spectacular class of Native Costume contestants Jadoube Ibn Lahab DMF and Amy Spiker galloped home with the blue ribbon, adding to their Country English Pleasure win. And in the Liberty Final, Abraxas Crown Prince proved to the judges and to the audience that he could not be beat.

Just before the afternoon break, time was set aside to award some very deserving members for their contributions to the Egyptian Arabian and for their performances during the Egyptian Event. Jasmine Montes was awarded the Amal Bukra Youth High Point Award (Sponsored by Etaya Egyptian Stud) for her excellence in handling for Achaean Arabians and for her outstanding partnership with Qudifa Imiir. Mary Scribner of Magnolia Farm Arabians, LLC, Ocala, FL won the *El Gohara+// Award (Sponsored by Etaya Egyptian Stud) in recognition of the bond formed between Mary and her horse, Ryac. Kimberly Shutts, handling for Ken & Karen Shutts, Lone Star Arabians, Magnolia, TX won the High Point Amateur Award (Sponsored by WEAHA).

2012 SHOW RESULTS RECAP / Finals (see full results)

Following the afternoon classes and awards, the growing audience and finalists gathered on the Arena concourse - some to get some last-minute moments with friends, others to watch the running of the Belmont Stakes on the big screen, and still others to grab an ice cream and find a seat in anticipation of Sylvia Zerbini's upcoming Liberty Performance! Opening ceremonies commenced with the USA National Anthem, sung by Miss Kathryn Lippman, while Warner Waite and Thee Outlaw - in full festive garb - presented the US Flag in the center ring. Then, the judges were introduced to the anxious crowds, and they were each honored with the playing of their countries’ national anthems.

Evening classes opened with the Junior Champion Egyptian Fillies Championship. Taking Gold was Layali Al Shaqab - owned by Al Shaqab, Member of Qatar Foundation, who also won the Two Year Old Filly title on Tuesday. Silver went to Desha Bahreyn, owned by Nayla Hayek, winner of the Kalkata Fillies class. Bronze was awarded to MVA Rae of Colours (True Colours x Thee Rae of Hope), owned by Jane Washburn.

The Junior Champion Egyptian Colts class was the next to play out. Winning Gold was Ghasham Al Shaqab (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Gazala Al Shaqab), owned by Al Shaqab, Member of Qatar Foundation. Silver went to AJ Thee Luca (Thee Desperado x Hed Caramba), owned by Manuel Durini. Bronze was awarded to Nour Al Kamar MH (Imperial Al Kamar x Binte Aziza MH), owned by Dr. Jody Cruz.

Before moving on to the Senior Championships, the audience was treated to Sylvia Zerbini, of Cavalia fame (See video on this page!), and her troupe of eight Arabian horses in Grande Liberte. Beginning with one horse and introducing one horse at a time throughout the performance, Ms. Zerbini ultimately had the troupe performing movements seen in quadrille simply through the use of her voice and body language. The performance ended in a poignant pose in which all eight horses lined up and the in gate and turned their heads over top of the neighbor’s back to look back at the audience in farewell.

And then it was time to crown the Senior Champions. First to the ring were the Senior Champion Egyptian Mares. Taking home the Gold was Hooria Al Shaqab (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Hanouf Al Shaqab) for owner and breeder Al Shaqab, Member of Qatar Foundation. Silver was awarded to Black Pearl WP, owned by Manny Vierra, who won the World Class Mare Ten and Over title earlier in the week. Winning Bronze was Dawlah Al Shaqab (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Badawieh Al Shaqab), owned by Al Shaqab, Member of Qatar Foundation.

Finally, in an unprecedented clean-sweep crowning, Hadban Al Shaqab (Ashhal Al Rayyan x Sundar Alisayyah), owned and bred by Al Shaqab, Member of Qatar Foundation and leased to Dr. Jody Cruz, claimed the Gold Championship for the Senior Stallions. The Silver title went to Suhal Al Nasser (Ashhal Al Rayyan x Konouz) for owner Luis Miguel Muzquiz. Al Hadiyah AA, who won the World Class Stallions – 6 to 7 year old championship on Wednesday, claimed Bronze for owner Fazenda Floresta, LLC.


The Egyptian Event 2012 was an exciting week filled camaraderie, sportsmanship, culture, cool weather, and fabulous horses. The staff of the Pyramid Society, all of the members and the multitude of sponsors and volunteers did an incredible job - transforming what is normally a plain arena into a truly international spectacle - Born of the Desert Wind. We'll see you again in 2013 at The Egyptian Event - the world's largest showcase of the Egyptian Arabian Horse.

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Finals - Opening & Sylvia Zerbini