Declarations are done! Eleven starters prepare for the 2100m HARC European Championship on 30th October in Ghlin, Belgium offering a purse of Euros 20,000.
The big surprise for the forthcoming HARC Championship is the running of an Iranian horse that has travelled especially for this race all the way from Iran to Ireland, where the horse spent its last weeks of preparation at Highfort stud. One can guess the owner, Mr Mohammed Reza Ghanei Ardakani and his translator Hamid Reza Mojtahedzadeh, who started this venture are quite excited about it.
The horse Ganj Beik is one of the better Heritage racehorses in Iran having won a HARC race not so long ago. The sire of the paternal grand dam was the well-known black stallion Samarquand (pictured) that Mary Gharagozlou loved so much. He was a son of Arras (pictured with Mary), a horse Mary used to ride. We wish Ganj Beik the best of luck giving attention to the Iranian breed of Asil horses, tracing way back in the history of the Arab breed.
Also new to HARC and very much appreciated, is the participation of the two Italian Heritage horses, both belonging to Angela Origgi. Italy joined HARC racing just this year but have a strong tradition of racing Arab horses, especially in Sardinia, where the major state-stud produced very athletic Arabian horses. Both 3-year old contenders for the HARC Championship are bred by La Bosana Stud: Ibis Bosana of Egyptian/Russian /Polish bloodlines and Ianua Bosana of Russian/Polish lineage.
The Russian breeders (Tersk and Samovolov Stud) send again this year their good horses to compete in this HARC Championship, which means so much to the Russian Arab breeders. We all remember Sakmagon Tersk who finished second last year only 3/4th length behind the winner and thus contributing to the victory of Russia for the Nations Cup. Sakmagon Tersk will form the Russian team with two more colts, Ceylon the older one (2012) belonging to Valentin Bukhtoyarov and the young, but very successful in his homeland, Gidon belonging to Samovolov Stud. All three horses have been on the road since last Monday and we wish them safe travels and good condition upon arrival.
The Swedish delegation has three horses who also competed last year: the overall winner Pamill’s Lipse has a very favorable weight this year as she did not run in her home country in Heritage races, which she very probably would have won, but instead tackled open races of higher level where she did not achieve higher than third. Still a great performance for a Heritage horse in an open race. Her travelling companions Mr Maximus and RM Estelle both contributed last year to secure the second position in the Nations Cup.
Kallista, our only GB Heritage horse going for competition abroad is a strong competitor and won/placed several times in HARC and open races in England. Owner Paul Simmons will hopefully be present this year in Ghlin to offer support for this special occasion of his Sambist daughter trained by Peter Hammersley.
The only Belgian–trained contender is the Romanian-bred Demona by a Russian sire, but out of old bloodlines bred by Mangalia, the National Stud of Romania. Her owner, Guillaume Filet is in fact French, living in Romania and is working very hard there to start up again the races for Arabian horses and in particular for the Heritage horses. Until now, only very little French blood has found its way to Romania, and the Romanians have a strong pride of their national breeding.
We wish good luck to all horses and their connections.
Monday 30th October saw the much awaited coming together of six nations in Ghlin, Belgium to celebrate the 2017 end of season Heritage Arabian Racing Club’s (HARC) Championship gathering. A successful confrontation was delivered adhering to the HARC idea to promote racing of Heritage horses helping to maintain the original characteristics of the pure Arabian horse: beauty, speed and stamina!
Russia chose three of its best race horses to represent them, Sweden sent the same team as last year, England again had one interesting representative of essentially Russian bloodlines and the newcomers, Iran and Italy, had one horse each starting. The results were similar to last year's championship, confirming the exceptional quality of the Swedish-bred from Russian-American lines, Pamills Lipse (Top Flyte x Pamill), winning the individual HARC Championship. The strength of a professional breeding program on a large scale, using racing as one of the selection criteria for the Arabian breed, was again proven by the win of the Nations Cup by Russia with their second, third and fourth places from Sakmagon Tersk (Maklaud x Stepen), Ceylon (Dilijans xTrata) and Gidon (Dilijans x Galensia), before Sweden, who took glorious first, fifth and seventh placings.
Thanks to HARC’s Belgium AHRCB President and race organiser Nelly Philippot's hard work, travel incentives are offered enabling many horses to journey for several days to take part, but for the first time in 40 years, Iran were able to find a way to send their celebrated grey stallion Ganj Beik (Shaboad Mir x Yaghout Lorestan) to give their Asil bred Arabian a chance to compete. The good tempered stallion impressed everyone with his sixth place, despite the incredible trip from Iran to Ireland to join his new trainer Hugh Murphy and to adapt for one month before facing another trip of three days from Ireland to Belgium! For the first time this year, the Italian delegation, new to HARC’s growing country supporters, joined forces to see how they would fare but having sent two contenders, they had nothing but bad luck with firstly their Italian jockeys being unable to join, next, one of their two horses got slightly hurt during the trip and finally the replacing jockey unable to do the weight!
Strong HARC supporter Paul Simmons’ homebred Kallista (Sambist x Gas Pepelka) came over from the UK with trainer Peter Hammersley, and many times Swedish winner Mr. Maximus (Millenium x Tarnawa) and his young breeder/owner Johanna Aberg accompanied the team and the two other Swedish contenders, Pamills Lipse and RM Estelle (Millenium x Elcanta).
There was a warm atmosphere between the owners, trainers and support staff and all participating countries were keen to confirm they would be back next year and are looking to increase their HARC horse numbers to enable stronger competition in both the championship and the Nations Cup, which requires a minimum of three runners from each country to qualify.
Many thanks to H.H. Sheikh Sultan for his continuing support and to HARC participants for travelling a long way, proving their motivation in supporting HARC. HARC is only in its second year but is making positive strides with a growing number of countries, breeders and owners getting involved to retain the classic Arabian characteristics worldwide. Nineteen countries are currently participating and if you would like to get involved, we would love to hear from you. Check out www.harchorses.com or email [email protected]