Jan 09 2019

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Offers for Amateurs

Al Jassimiya Amateur Challenge

Al Jassimya Farm aims to promote amateur shows in Europe by providing incentives to participate: a trip to Paris for the winner of each category and a trip to California for those lucky enough to be drawn by lottery.

Twenty-three amateurs were invited to come to Paris this year as the leading point scorers across Europe in the halter, ridden and trail Amateur divisions. The 2018 winners of the Aljassimya Amateur Challenge going to California next year which were drawn by ballot are Jose Blanco Estevez from Galicia (Spain), in-hand owner/breeder Jo Cooper and rider Anna Matthews from the UK. For two of them it was even their first visit to the Salon Du Cheval and to the World Championships and for all of them, it will be a first-time visit to the USA. Each of them will come with a friend to California in 2019 for a tour to visit Arabian horse breeders in the Santa Ynez Valley – Aljassimya Farm, Om El Arab, and Varian Arabians are amongst them, plus to experience many local attractions such as vineyards whale watching, shopping or seeing giant redwoods.

Results from Germany

The Aljassimya Amateur Challenge is grateful to the two German shows who participated in 2018, namely “Arabische Pferde in Westfalen”, at the beginning of June and the “Kauber Platte Championat” at the beginning of August. There is room for three shows per country in this Challenge and any other show interested in participating is welcome to apply. Three shows will mean more of a chance for German amateurs to win a place to Paris.
Special congratulations to Germany’s Lisa Heckenbücker, the leading halter handler in the most advanced ‘Amateur Experienced’ section with multiple wins with her spectacular gelding Postar (Om El Bellissimo / Pomerania) who even scored a full 100 points for movement at the European Amateur Cup in Belgium.

Different Scoring System

The halter classes use the usual five topic system of Type, Head, and Neck, Body and Topline, Legs and Movement plus two extra categories. Firstly, “Presentation” – judged as the accuracy with which the horse does the show; standing still, walking in a straight line and trotting without circling or breaking. Secondly, “Harmony between Handler and Horse” which scores how well the partnership works with each other to achieve the presentation – and allows a tactful handler to score highly even if his horse made mistakes in the presentation. The aim is to encourage a new generation of handlers to present their horses in a competent and respectful manner; but the system also rewards horses which are not just typey and correct but also confident, well mannered and a pleasure to show or watch being shown In short, just the sort of horse/handler interaction that could draw more people towards Arabians rather than turning them away.

Three levels of competence are provided so that first time handlers with inexperienced horses can have the space to compete against others at their level in the Novice classes, while the ‘Amateur’ and ‘Experienced Amateur’ levels provide the stepping stones on the way to showing in open classes. Professionally trained horses with many wins are welcome to join in with an Amateur handler but will compete in the upper levels. Large yards are also welcome to send their grooming staff with their horses as long as that person is paid for yard work and not presenting the horses in public. It is a great way to reward hard-working staff with experiences they can get nowhere else.
Riding Classes
Riding classes for Novice level in three styles, Classic, Hunter and Western are mandatory classes to offer, and require the horse to walk, trot and canter on each rein according to the ECAHO Sports Rules for Novice Classes. In-hand and Ridden Trail classes are also mandatory to offer, they are an excellent introduction to handling and riding with accuracy and respect.
Emma Maxwell
Anyone interested should visit the website www.aljassimya-amateur-challenge.com. There you can find the dates, the rules, the rankings, and much more.

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