If you were watching the live feed from the Arabian US Open in Central Park on September 20th, 2017 you might recall the twenty-seven fantastic Arabian horses that showed that night! Among them were US National Top Ten Horses. Horses with multiple US and Canadian National Championships. UNDEFEATED Champions were in the house. However, there were really twenty-eight Arabian horses in the Wollman "arena" that night. That twenty-eighth horse has no show ribbons or trophies to his name. He probably took the most effort to prepare for hauling. He never takes a forward step of his own onto a trailer so loading and unloading him always requires a team and he definitely was the most recalcitrant to maneuver through the winding paths of Central Park. I really regret that we were all so busy getting our various jobs done－riders coached, horses schooled and boxes unpacked－that none of us had time to get photos of his team carefully rolling him across the park and into the arena. However, Goldie can be forgiven for being such a diva because it's hard to be cooperative when you're 300 pounds of rigid fiberglass that no amount of lateral bending exercises can make supple!
The 28th horse I refer to－the horse that was in the center of the Wollman Arena for every single class－is affectionately known as Goldie. He's more formally known and the Horse for Humanity. This life size statue, and his herd mates, are the brain child of the AHA Market Development and Promotion Committee, a committee made of up of AHA member volunteers. The purpose of the Arabian Horse for Humanity is as follows:
The project was created to bring a life size artistic rendition of the world’s oldest breed of horse to communities around the world. Arabian Horses for Humanity aims to bring together members of the Arabian horse industry with local businesses, charities, and artists through a shared appreciation of the living art the Arabian horse represents.
These life sized Arabian horse statues will be offered to community businesses. Each business will pick an artist and develop a theme for the painting on the statue, while partnering with a local charity and donating the statue upon completion of it’s exhibition. The MDP will connect these businesses with Arabian Horse owners so they can expose an entirely new group of people to the beauty and majesty of our favorite breed. Additionally, individuals in the Arabian industry may purchase a statue for their personal exhibition. This opportunity offers individuals to participate, while the AHA Marketing Development and Promotions committee handles the charity function.
One example of how this all works comes from the 2017 Arabian Youth Nationals where "Warrior", a shining silver model, was auctioned off with the proceeds going to Ryan Melendez's Warrior Horses for Warrior Kids for Leukemia and Lymphoma cancer research. The winning bidder on Warrior ultimately made a $7,600.00 contribution to that cause!
Do you have a cause that could use some great energy and excitement? Head over to the Arabian Horse For Humanity Facebook page and send a message. Members of the committee will be delighted to tell you more!