THE Arabian horse has a 6000-year recorded history and has been in Australia for 200 years.
Hector or “Old Hector” was imported in 1806 from Calcutta to NSW and was the outstanding sire during the first decade of Australian racing.
The Arabian breed’s popularity has never waned and they have had a great influence, both as purebreds and crosses with other breeds, as competition horses.
The best were on show at the Australian National Arabian championships at Werribee Park at the weekend.
The champion purebred Arabian Stallion was the bay Maximilliano, owned by Shane Edwards Arabians and shown by Jason Hodgins.
The champion purebred Arabian mare was Always Valentine MI, shown by Mulawa Arabian Stud, which had a big team down from NSW.
The Arabian warmblood is popular as a show horse and in dressage and the winners of all championships could take their place in any good performance class.
Warmblood Arabian stallion or colt champion was Romeo FF, exhibited by Al Safwah Arabians, the champion senior Warmblood Arabian gelding was Havenleigh Furst Knight, owned by Donna White, and the champion senior Arabian Warmblood mare was Warrawee Beyonce, shown by Tafadin Arabians.
The champion senior was Quarab Gardenia Park Mercedes — a paint horse shown by Gardenia Park Stud.
The champion Arabian riding pony stallion or colt Ascot Royal Chorus, owned by Dean Matthews, is no stranger to winning sashes in open classes.
The breed classes were a standout and there were classes under saddle for every possible horse, from ridden pure and part-breeds to side-saddle and working stock horse.
In the junior judging section, Jessica Dertell and Kody Dertell were judged champion and reserve champion.
In the young adult judging the champion was Olivia Webster and reserve Bridie White.
Castileon Park Winning Edge and rider Polly O’Hearney put on a great display in the show costume in blazing red robes.