Like a classic circus parade or the annual Western Stock Show parade in Denver, the Parisian Parade announces and invites the horse loving public of Paris to come to the Salon du Cheval. It began when the Salon began in 1972 but after three years was dropped from the itinerary until 1997 and has continued since then. This year it trotted through the streets of Paris on Sunday, November 27th, a week before the Salon. The 300 plus riders and 35 to 45 carriages pass the Louvre Museum, the Opera, and the Eiffel Tower, where this year they were met and saluted by the world famous mounted French Republican Guard.
The Salon du Cheval is held at the Villepinte Exhibition Centre, about 30 minutes by subway, car or train from the center of Paris. It lasts nine days encompassing the first two weekends of December, and includes the Libertashow on the Nuit du Cheval, stunt man Mario Luraschi’s amazing movie horses, vaulting, reining, driving competition and a score of well attended seminars and discussions on horses and horse health care.
The Gucci Masters International Show Jumping Series is the anchor for the first weekend of the show and the Arabian World Championships hold forth on the second weekend.
The Arabian show lasted three days, December 9th, 10th and 11th with preliminary classes on the first two days followed by the finals on Sunday. The show drew a large crowd, filled with unbelievable energy and enthusiasm.
“It’s a truly amazing horse show,” says annual visitor and frequent exhibitor Michael Byatt. “Hundreds of people filled the stands this year at the show.
During the finals the International Arena was packed. They stood up and loudly chanted the horses’ names. There was so much support and excitement. It would be thrilling to see that kind of crowd and energy in America.”
For the fifth year in a row, Marwan Al Shaqab was the Salon du Cheval Arabian World Championships Leading Sire. The Junior Champion Male, Kahil Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab x OFW Mishaahl by Mishaah) made a beautiful appearance in a great class. He was the highest scoring horse on championship day. The handsome three-year-old was trained and handled by Giacomo Capacci, and is on his way to Janow Podlaski where he has been leased.
Owned and bred by Al Shaqab Stud, Member of Qatar Foundation, he is a third generation Paris World Champion for them. The Reserve Champion in the Junior Colts was the three-year-old grey Shanghai EA (WH Justice x Salymah by Khidar) owned and bred by Equus Arabians, Barcelona, Spain.
The Junior Champion Female was the Marwan Al Shaqab daughter AJ Sawahi (x Siberia SA by Nuzyr HCF). Owned and bred by the Ajman Stud, AJ Sawahi is an extremely elegant and classic yearling bay filly. She won her title unanimously, no mean feat, since there were eight top judges hailing from almost as many countries. Reserve honors went to HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud’s lovely Ghazalat Al Khalediah (PA Gazsi x Argentinna SS by Arius SS).
The 2011 Salon du Cheval Senior Champion Mare was CR Jasmeenah (WH Justice x Fforget-Me-Not by Ffatal Attraction) owned by HE Sheikh Jassim bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar. The Reserve was Magora (Gazal Al Shaqab x Margotka by Algorytm), a paternal half-sister to Marwan Al Shaqab, owned by HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
The World Champion Senior Stallions created a grand finale for Marwan Al Shaqab as two of his best sons fought to the end for the Salon’s most prestigious title. The older horse, Marquis CAHR (x Rohara Magnifica by Echo Magnifficoo) won the day for the Al Khalediah Stables. Reserve in the championship went to the beautiful QR Marc (x Swete Dreams by Magic Dream CAHR) owned by Knocke Arabians, Belgium. It was a particularly sweet victory for Marwan Al Shaqab as Marquis CAHR was Reserve Champion Stallion in this same championship last year to another Marwan Al Shaqab son, Baanderos (x HB Bessolea by Besson Carol).
Marwan Al Shaqab is owned by the Al Shaqab Stud, Member of Qatar Foundation, and stands in the United States at Michael Byatt Arabians, Houston, Texas, www.michaelbyatt.com.