Article by Anne Brown in Australia's "Arabian Horse" magazine
Report on the Crabbet championships held at the AHS National Show at Malvern 2009.
THE DUCHESS DOES A DOUBLE
With the sad death of WAHO-winning stallion Imad at the age of 24 this year, it was particularly poignant to see so many of his stock excelling this year.
Held for the first time in conjunction with the AHS National Show at Malvern, the four Crabbet championship classes presented themselves before Mrs Ann Hooley, normally more at home judging ridden Arabs. But Mrs Hooley obviously liked the quiet way of going, with no poses, twirls or other tricks of showmanship. The eyes of the crowd at the main Ring A soon swivelled to Main ring B once they realised the quality of the horses parading - so much so, it is rumoured the Crabbet Championship will be invited into the bigger main ring next year. You read it here first.......
First to enter the ring were five strapping geldings, all power and breadth and girth. A tough contest between 1st and 2nd saw 10-year old Zinjadi, a strong chestnut with four white stockings, take the Gelding title for Lisa Breeze over the free-moving Ibn Aboud son, Astrologer.
Owners brought in some beautiful mares for the Senior Females class, with little to choose between the top three. But the Zarafah Trophy (and later the Reserve Overall championship) went to the well-balanced bay mare Redhouse Zinderella, owned by Davina Ransley, above the ethereal white grey mare Silvern Moonlight (Silvern Sceptre x PHA Silver Heart). Both these mares have won frequently at top level under saddle. In fact, Silvern Moonlight has qualified for the ultimate ridden challenge at the Horse of the Year show in October for the first time. Jane Kadri's impressive mover Gold Elyse came third, followed by the Imad daughter Gemima owned by the Duchess of Rutland.
Tension mounted for the stallion class - and a show by mostly professional handlers. Ian Woodward sprang into action with Silvern Surprise, chased by Dean Ingham running Daas. Perhaps Imperial Silver Star, eventually 3rd and Elizabeth Archer's Indian Idyll (5th) were too laid back in this company - but hey! They're Crabbets!
The exquisite crystal rose bowl engraved with the famous frontage of the Crabbet Park clock tower entrance donated by Llain Arabians to the Youngstock Champion went to Dhay, a handsome yearling chestnut colt by Spearmint out of the Imad daughter Daleela a thrilling win for owner Tina Bennett. A fine-boned grey Imad yearling filly Autumn Dew moved up from third place to take the Reserve, above the Duchess of Rutland's Charade, so far, the first and only offspring of Silvern Surprise.
Altogether, a fine display of Crabbet Arabians which in the words of judge Ann Hooley "were a pleasure to judge, with good limbs and bone, and naturally powerful movement."
Photo: Duchess of Rutland with Overall Crabbet Champion Silvern Sceptre receiving Gadebrook Shield from Anne Brown
Copyright: Anne Brown 2009