On Sunday 29 October 2017, the Downs Arabian Club conducted its annual Top of the Range Show at Toowoomba Showgrounds, Queensland.
Report by Rob Scott
Photography By Sue Crockett*
For the third year, a class was included for Qualified Endurance Arabians, and a record 21 Arabians were entered, the largest class section at the Show.
We were delighted to have Ron and Val Males from Windsor in New South Wales as judges. They are very well-known in Arabian and endurance circles, having been Arabian breeders for 65 years, and holding some 24 Tom Quilty buckles between them. (Editor’s note: The 160km Tom Quilty is Australia’s premier endurance ride.)
Winner of the Purebred Endurance Female class, from a strong field of 11, was Dunwingeri Zaza (Aloha Kaaba x Dunwingeri Bint Zarana), repeating her performance of two years earlier. Zaza has been a consistent endurance performer over many years for her proud owner Lorraine Ternouth. She was subsequently awarded the Champion Endurance Female of the Show. Just as proud was Sylvia Archer, her breeder who made the trip up from Boonah just for the event.
Second placing went to the 20-year-old grey Follydown Gai Emerald (Gai General x Formosa Park Faberge), shown by Adelaide Imray, with third going to Dhaniella Hawkes’ Mystical ERA (Woolf ERA x Eagleridge Romantika) from Beaudesert.
Fourth placing was the striking chestnut Meea (Mahazin Ibn Cairo x Marinella), shown by Alana Simpson, a recent entrant into the Endurance Riders Club, for owner Dick Collyer.
This line-up of Arabian mares was a credit to the breed and their respective breeders. Interesting to note that there were multiple Quilty buckle holders amongst the mares and a number of them had also been breeding and raising foals in their careers.
Some six Arabians contested the Male class, and the winner was the grey stallion Burren-Dah Gladiator (Compadre x Aloha Isabella), exhibited by Martin Gregson and bred by Jill Gregson from Belli Park. Partners for many years, Martin Gregson and Gladiator have successfully completed Quilty, NSW Championships and Shahzada rides together.
Second in the class went to the well performed Kalkadoon Zorro (Maf-ue Sultan x Autumn Leaf, shown by Erin Krahnen. Zorro is the proud holder of the Shareym Trophy for most number of successful Quilty completions. Also present on the day was breeder Karen Johanson.
Very consistent endurance horse Manet Ibn Rashan (Arundel House Rashan x Lady Anna-Lee) took out third placing, for owner Tanya Trevarthen.
If numbers continue to increase in this event, the Downs Club may have to consider splitting this class into stallions and geldings.The Derivative Endurance class was contested by some four horses, the winner being La-Battist Shadow Fax (Camelot Retreat Bedow x Princess Trepid), again presented by Erin Krahnen. This was a repeat for the Krahnen family, as they won the same event last year with Glengannon Serenity. Well done.
Overall Endurance Champion was awarded to Burren-Dah Gladiator and the sash was presented by Gerard Bou, President of the Queensland Endurance Riders Association, who strongly supported this class.
The endurance community should be proud of the overall manner in which they have supported this event, and in promoting Endurance Riding to a much larger audience.
From interest generated on the day, we may see some more horses and riders setting off in the dark, with enthusiasm (and torches) for distant destinations. It is to be hoped there may even be an Endurance Horse class at the Australian Arabian Championships one day.
* Please visit Sue Crockett’s website at www.suecrockettphotography.com for photos from the Top of the Range Arabian Event.
Being invited to judge the Endurance Classes at the Top of the Range Arabian Event was one of the highlights of our Judging career.
However, we admit to feeling a little overwhelmed when told the Purebred Mare Class, with its 11 entries, was the largest purebred class of the show, but, this was nothing to how we felt when confronted by these amazingly beautiful, fully qualified endurance mares. How could we ever place one above another? And so it was with the Purebred Endurance Male (Stallions and Geldings combined) and the Derivative Endurance classes.
Reaching our final decision in the class for males was the hardest decision either of us has ever had to make when judging, worldwide. Although we each agreed on our placings, we felt both stallions and geldings deserved separate classes where each could shine in their own right.
But at the end of the day, judging such a large number of unquestionably magnificent, athletic entries and inspecting each of them individually, unplaced, placed, winners, champions and supreme champion… confirmed, to us, whilst being one of the most challenging, it was indeed one of the highlights of our long judging career.