There have been 32 Egyptian Events since 1981, all of them filled with magical, beautiful horses and moments to remember, but 2012 may have reset the bar just a notch or two higher. It was an extraordinary show in every sense of the word. To begin, no one can remember having enjoyed a better week for weather. Always held the first week in June (this year from June 4th through the 9th), the weather is invariably hot and humid with thunderstorms. Not so in 2012. The weather was perfect. Beautiful sunny mornings and sweet pasture afternoons greeted exhibitors and spectators with balmy 70 degree temperatures and light breezes. The birds sang and the horses displayed their appreciation of the cooler weather with energy and enthusiasm in the ring. The visitors filled the parties on Wednesday afternoon and the stands over the weekend, especially on Saturday night.
Speaking of Saturday night, it was an especially memorable evening for Al Shaqab, Member Qatar Foundation and for trainer Michael Byatt, who showed their filly Layali Al Shaqab (Farhoud Al Shaqab x QR Annah Ferrari) to Gold Champion Junior Filly, their colt, Ghasham Al Shaqab (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Gazala Al Shaqab), to Gold Champion Junior Colt and their mare, Hooria Al Shaqab (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Hanouf Al Shaqab) to Gold Champion Senior Mare. Gold Champion Stallion, Hadban Al Shaqab (Ashhal Al Rayyan x Sundar Alisayyah), was also owned by Al Shaqab, leased by Jody Cruz and shown by trainer Greg Gallun. Michael Byatt handled the Silver Champion Stallion in that class as well … Suhal Al Nasser (Ashhal Al Rayyan x Konouz) for owner Luis Miguel Muzquiz.
The four major finals classes that crown the Gold, Silver and Bronze Champions of the show are most important to the Egyptian Event competitor, but after that the Egyptian Breeder’s Challenge ranks a close second. Spectators and owners filled the covered arena at the Kentucky Horse Park on Thursday afternoon, eager to see who would take home a share of the $104,000 in prize monies available for the two very competitive classes. After the long and closely scrutinized judging (each class took over an hour and a half) Karl Breckon led Amirah Gemaal DB (Bellagio RCA) into the winner’s circle to take the roses and the Championship title in the EBC Fillies for Virginia and Ruel Gober. Athala King presented Insignias Rosebud (Insignia Desha) to the Reserve for owner Bob Miars. Bob both owned and personally showed last year’s winning EBC Colt, Masir Al Mar (Ameer Al Rayyan). David Reissig handled the EBC Champion Colt, Premonition RCA (Thee Desperado) for the very proud and pleased owner/breeder Judy Sirbasku of Rock Creek Arabians. Reserve in the class was Nour Al Kamar MH (Imperial Al Kamar), bred owned and shown by Jody Cruz. It was a very good show for Rancho Bulakenyo and Jody Cruz who was in the winner’s circle several times and is the fortunate man leasing the 2012 Egyptian Event Gold Champion Stallion, Hadban Al Shaqab.
This year’s Halter Mare Championship ATH title went to Innisfree EQ with young Kenny McDonald at the lead for owners and breeders Susan and John Fox. The son of well-known Arabian Halter handler and trainer, Gary McDonald, Kenny is a familiar sight to attendees at the show and has been an exhibiting handler at the Egyptian Event since he was around eight-years-old. Stallion Championship ATH winner was Mikeen El Masr with owner/handler Dick Plazek leading. Dick was ecstatic about his win. This was Dick’s third trip into the show ring with a horse. It was his first time showing at the Event, and with the help of his trainer Mike Neal, he and his lovely stallion put together a memorable, winning performance.
The Friday Night Gala and Art Auction, themed “An Arabian Night in Black and White”, was lovely, wonderfully social and a great party to boot. The EBC Auction was a resounding success for the Pyramid Society’s top ranked breeding futurity. Stallion bookings purchased at this year’s auction will produce the colts and fillies competing in the 2015 Egyptian Event EBC classes. The seminars and clinics were interesting and very well-attended, but it was the magic of Sylvia Zerbini’s Grande Liberté performance on Saturday evening that lent real glamour to the 2012 Egyptian Event. Anticipation of Zerbini’s performance, a real “event” within the Event was high for the entire week. Between the Junior and Senior Championships, the ring went dark, the spotlights filled the center ring with pools of light and beginning with just one white horse, the ring gradually filled with eight magical dream horses. Zerbini’s elegant, choreographed dance with her Arabian liberty performers were every little girl’s fantasy come to life. It was the perfect close to an absolutely perfect Egyptian Event.
To watch the Sylvia Zerbini Grand Liberte performance as well as Opening ceremonies and the four Gold, Silver and Bronze Championship classes from Saturday night CLICK HERE.
CLICK HERE for Complete show results including judges cards and scores as well as each days show RESULTS.