Every single horse at the Arabian National Championship show was amazing. That should not be a surprise. By definition, a champion is "one who has defeated or surpassed all rivals in a competition". Therefore, at a National Championship show of any kind, you should expect to see the best of the best. Even so, at any competition there are stand out moments. Because I was working at the show office at Nationals, I didn't see any of the classes in person. Nonetheless, I could feel the pulse of the competition very clearly from listening to the comments of the exhibitors as they passed by the show office on their way to pick up their awards or to do some shopping with the vendors.
On Friday, one horse generating a lot of excitement was Inception -the winner of the AEPA Purebred English Pleasure Futurity. Bred and owned by Maroon Fire Arabians and ridden by Joel Kiesner, he was the talk of the show following the first half of the class. This Futurity has 2 parts. The first section is a simple pattern performed by each horse individually. The second part, which ran during the final evening session of the show, was a traditional show class, with walk, trot and canter performed both ways of the ring as a group. If you missed seeing the class-don't despair! I've included a link to the video of the class below. All the entries are well worth watching, but if you want to see the ultimate winner of the class, he takes charge of the Ford Arena at about 9 minutes in.
This Futurity class is a product of the Arabian English Pleasure Association, and they have developed not only the format of this (and several other futurity/maturity classes) but also devised the funding for the prize money. For more information on the AEPA visit their website at arabianenglishperformanceassociation.com