24 September 2015, New York, NY ~ Horses returned to New York City’s Central Park for the second-annual Rolex Central Park Horse Show on Wednesday, 23 September, with the inaugural U.S. Open Arabians, presented by Aljassimya Farm. Showcasing the athleticism and diversity of the Arabian breed in the foreground of the Manhattan skyline, Champions in four under saddle and six halter classes were crowned.
Classes including Hunter Pleasure, Western Pleasure, and Country English Pleasure showcased the Arabian horse under saddle. Yearling Fillies, Yearling Colts, Junior Fillies 2-3 Years Old, Junior Colts 2-3 Years Old, Senior Mares and Senior Stallions were presented in hand to highlight these horses as desirable breeding stock based on their conformation and shape.
Capping the evening, Arabian fans at Wollman Rink traveled through time to when Arabian horses roamed the desert. The Arabian Mounted Native Costume class portrayed the magic and romance of the Arabian horse as ancestors of modern-day light breeds.
Gold, Silver and Bronze Champions were awarded for each of the ten classes offered at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show where Sally Wheeler-Maier, a New York City native, was presented as Silver Champion in the Country English Pleasure class aboard her own Captain Courageous PA. Wheeler-Maier is an amateur rider who makes a living as an actress and rides part-time.
“Usually you travel all over the country to show, but I walked ten blocks from 66th and 2nd carrying my show hat and I had a lot of family and friends here cheering me on, which was an amazing feeling,” she said.
Wheeler-Maier has been showing since she was nine years old, after reading The Black Stallion and asking her dad for a black Arabian stallion. She received just that and has since been dedicated to the breed through her training at Trowbridge Arabians in Westport, CT, and at shows from coast to coast, a list that now includes New York City.
“It’s like a really fantastic fancy horse camp,” said Wheeler-Maier of competing in Central Park alongside professionals.
One professional that competed in five of Wednesday’s classes and earned two Gold, one Silver and two Bronze Championships was Ted Carson from Minnesota.
“I’ve been showing horses professionally for 26 years now and this is the most amazing spot I have ever shown a horse in. To run in there with the first horse of the show was special,” he said. “I think the footing is some of the best I’ve ever seen in the world. This is probably the best setting you could ever think about and I think that everyone who put in the effort to get this done is amazing and we want to support this heavily.”
While exhibitors were in awe of their surroundings, they still impressed the judges, including Dr. Nasr Marei, who traveled from Egypt to be part of the U.S. Open Arabians. “It is a true honor to be here and I think it will get better and better,” he said. “The show was tremendous and organizationally it was spectacular. The quality of the horses was impressive and it’s a backdrop that is the best in the world.”
Cynthia Richardson, president of the Arabian Horse Association (AHA), spearheaded the U.S. Open Arabians after watching the inaugural Rolex Central Park Horse Show on television last year. “After I saw it, I asked the USEF if I could meet with the people who are organizing the show and I came to talk about how we could make this happen and it’s been an amazing journey,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to next year and building this.”
Richardson and International Equestrian Group CEO Mark Bellissimo were proud to announce that the U.S. Open Arabians will return to headline the 2016 Rolex Central Park Horse Show and anticipate a huge response from the Arabian horse community.
“I think it adds a different dimension and twist to the show and we’re very excited about the possibilities as we move forward,” said Bellissimo. “With more time and more exposure, I think the level of the event will continue to grow and I’m looking forward to packing the stands next year. Our vision for this horse show has always been a celebration of the horse and I think expanding that appropriately to different disciplines and breeds is something we aim to do.”
U.S. Open Arabians Final Results
Place Entry # Horse Exhibitor Owner
Gold 138 Verdette J Jeff Schall Larry Jerome
Silver 107 Xxpectations Ted Carson Butler or Collins
Gold 104 Klint Black+++// Wendy Shelton Flois or Cindy Burrow
Gold 114 Jalal Aljassimya Giamco Capacci Aljassimya Farm
Silver 122 IJ Bellatore Jeff Schall Isaac & Jessica Taylor
Junior Fillies 2-3 Years of Age
Gold 109 Edens Manderley Ted Carson Shelley Macmillan
Country English Pleasure
Gold 125 Afire Star VF Brooke Jarvis Kimberly Jarvis
Silver 128 Captain Courageous PA Sally Wheeler Maier Sally Wheeler Maier
Bronze 124 Baske Alarm Stephanie Lanvater Donald & Corinne Allen
Junior Colts 2-3 Years of Age
Gold 110 SF Verazes Qamar Ted Carson Sycamore Farm, LLC
Silver 130 Falah Al Shaqab David Boggs Al Shaqab Member Qatar Foundation
Gold 105 Monticello V Joe Reser Lesler Farms, LLC
Silver 118 Holdin Aces Thomas Garland Joelle or Robert Wright
Bronze 106 MPA Kharianne Wendy Shelton Flois or Cendy Burrow
Senior Mares Halter
Gold 133 Valentino’s Angel MI Andy Sellman HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Fahad Al Saud
Silver 115 CR Jasmeenah Michael Byatt Aljassimya Farm
Bronze 111 Gemellia Ted Carson Marcella G Haensch
Senior Stallions Halter
Gold 134 Om El Al Azeem Andy Sellman Om El Arab International
Silver 103 Miracle of Marwan Joe Alberti Miracle Maker Group
Bronze 112 Maihab Ted Carson Faisal Muhammad
Gold 135 HL Sanction Cathy Vecsey Hawk Haven Farms, LLC
Silver 137 EQ Escalade+// Kimberly Butler Blevins and Butler
Bronze 136 Squeezebox Mary Elizabeth Kelly Ronald Doerrer