It’s not easy, to find neutral performance records of our Arabian horses. For classic sports (of the National Federation), there is an online-database (at least in Germany), where all competition results are available. For Western, there is nothing like that – unfortunately. Therefore we have asked the GAWA (German Arabian Westernhorse Association) and had a closer look at the results of the GAWA-Cup and the GAWA Performance Award.
About eight years ago, some Western riders which are at the same time Arabian horse enthusiasts have joined forces and founded the GAWA. Apart from seminars and clinics in various different disciplines, GAWA also collects the competition results as sent in by their members, evaluates them, comes up with a yearly ranking (GAWA-Cup) and gives Performance Awards for the life performance of the horses. Partbreds are eligible to compete, too, provided they have 25% or more Arabian blood. For the life performance, the points of the yearly Cup-rankings are added up, since the system was started in 2010. To achieve a Golden Performance Award, 750 points or more are needed, for Silver 500 points are necessary, for Bronze 250 points. In particular the 750 points for a Golden Performance plaque represent a major hurdle, which is proven by the fact that only two horses so far were able to achieve this!
THE GOLDEN PERFORMANCE AWARD
So far, two horses have achieved the Golden Performance Award, the Arabian Pinto Mare Louisiana Girl, ridden by Mara Stucki and the purbred Arabian Bo Tameeh Ibn Bendigo with Kathrin Hoffman in the saddle.
With Louisiana Girl (Naborscik ox / La Pinetta), Mara Stucki has hit the jackpot. The mare was purchased as a 9-year-old by Coloured Arabians Stud of the Stucki family and since then the two are competing in various Western disciplines. As early as 2011, they had collected the first points for the GAWA-Cup, one year later, in 2012, the mare received the Bronze and Silver Performance Awards. “Lucy”, as she is called by her rider, is an all-rounder, this way it is easier to collect points for the life performance, because if you start in many different disciplines, you have more possibilities to start and – if good enough all over – to collect points. And so, the two qualified to start at the German Open (German Nationals for all breeds under the rules of EWU) and qualified in six disciplines, managed to get into the finals in five disciplines where they achieved places between sixth and 14th rank. In 2012 and 2013, the two led the GAWA-Cup in the “All-round” (all disciplines added), and accumulated 838 points by the end of 2013, which qualified for the Golden Performance Award.
The pedigree of Louisiana Girl includes the purebred Arabian Naborscik on the sire’s side, who in turn is a “straight Russian”. Her dam is La Spinetta by the Pinto stallion Paquito, who brought the pinto colour.
For Katrin Hoffman with her Bo Tameeh Ibn Bendigo (Om El Bendigo / Taysouna), the year 2011 was very special, as the team got the qualification for the German Open in Kreuth. They arrived with the qualification to participate in four disciplines, and returned home with having participated in two finals and among them achieved a 7th rank in Senior Trail (of originally 75 starters!). Not least because of this success, the pair was able to win the 2011 all-around title in the amateur / open of the GAWA-Cup for the third time in a row. Also the points for the performance plaque grew steadily and by the end of 2011, the introduction of the performance award, it was enough for a Silver Award. Also in 2012, the team had the qualification for the German Open, but unfortunately, at the day they were not so lucky and did not get into the finals. Nevertheless they accumulated more points and by the end of 2012 had 743,5 points – and with this only 6,5 points less for the Golden Award. This deficit was compensated in 2013, and with a total of 1042,5 points they achieved the highest results ever for the Performance Award.
“Bo’chen”, as he is called by his owner, and which is some sort of diminutive form in German language, is actually 1.63 m high, and his pedigree consists of mainly Egyptian lines with some Spanish blood through Estopa (El Shaklan) and Morisca.
THE SILVER PERFORMANCE AWARD
Right now, only one horse has climbed the level for the Silver Performance Award: Mortischa (El Sareei Namib / BS Black Vision), who is ridden since 2012 by Corinna Thorn. Mortischa is far away from a “crazy Arab”, rather, her reliability and composure in competitions, trade fairs or the “Martinsritt” are one of her traits – and sometimes it’s close to stoic laziness… Mortischa likes to gallop and offered in an early stage of her training flying changes. But trotting is not so much her thing, which can be a problem in Trail competitions, although she likes the trail obstacles themselves. in 2010 and 2011 she won the Allround raking of the GAWA Cup with Donata Lotz, in 2013 she started off with her new rider Corinna Thorn in the Novice classes and in 2014, the two won the GAWA Cup All-round ranking. All in all, Mortischa had earned a total of 530 points and was therefore eligible for the Silver Performance Award.
In Mortischa’s pedigree we find Egyptian, “old American” and Polish components.
THE BRONZE PERFORMANCE AWARD
So far, four horses have achieved a Bronze Performance Award: Cascaya under Martina Hayn, GH Khaaba with Ute Dill, Kalief with her rider Emily Bell and CH Silverlight under Verena Böckle.
Let’s start with Cascaya (Poison / Cza-Cza-Bo), who is participating in competitions already for many years; even back in 2006 and 2007 she participated with her rider Martina Hayn at the European Championships for Sports Arabians in Stadl Paura – that was even before GAWA was founded and for this reason these results are not included. With time, the two had accumulated a basis of 244.5 points – only 6.5 points missing for the first plaque! After maternity leave of the rider, the two of them achieved another 30 points in Horsemanship and Trail to take the 250-point barrier, so that at the end of the year nothing stood in the way for the Bronze Performance Award. Cascaya is bred “straight Russian”.
Also GH Khaaba (Khalif El Assuad / Nhaaba) under Ute Dill from Hägerhof stud is well-known from the European Championships of Sport-Arabs, where both were able to achieve medals. Until 2012, the team had achieved 211 points, in 2013 they jumped to 368 and with that got the Bronze Award. At the same time they got the 2nd place in the GAWA Allround ranking. They place emphasis in Horsemanship, Trail and Pleasure – and for little Luca Anina, the 12-year-old daughter of Ute Dill, GH Khaaba is the ideal children and teaching horse. Interestingly, the gelding was awarded the “Golden Sporthorse Plaque” of the VZAP (German Arab Horse Society), where different criteria are applied, which are currently decided by individual decision. The gelding is bred by the Dill family and is “straight Egyptian”-bred.
The third in the league with a Bronze Performance Award is Kalief (Kurgan / Zara II) with his rider Emily Bell. He is 20 years old and thus the “Senior” of all the horses, and he proves once more that Arabians can perform to a ripe old age. His sporting achievements are to be proud of – alone at EWU tournaments he achieved 22 first places and many more placements. Among them the Bronze Medal at the Country Cup 2011 in Reining and others, such as twice the participation at the German Open with placements in the middle ranks. One of the highlights was, according to rider Emily Bell, the participation at the European Championships of Sports Arabians in 2013, where Kalle, as he is nick-named, once more showed what he is capable of: 4th place in Reining and 7th place in Pleasure. Apart from that, the two of them achieved several placements at the GAWA-Cup 2013 in Reining and Superhorse. The accumulated points, i.e. 306, were rewarded with the Bronze Performance Award, and so, Kalle could retire happily. With regards to his pedigree, it is a blend of Russian and Polish bloodlines.
Though small in size with only 1.43 m at the withers, CH Silverlight is one of the greatest Arabian reining horses in Germany. Nick-named “Crums” (Krümel) by his rider Verena Böckle, his size does not hinder him to compete very successfully against Quarter horses in open competitions, such as in 2012, when he showed the Quarters at NRHA Easter Tournament, what an Arabian is capable of: He won against 80 starters at the Reining “limited Non-Pro” with a score of 142 points! That result added to the existing points for the GAWA-ranking and he was awarded with the Bronze Performance Plaque. Verena Böckle likes to ride purebred Arabians, because “it needs some quite sensitive riding and a sensitive hand to train a purebred Arabian and to compete successfully against Quarter horses – Quarter horses can be ridden by just everybody”, she says.
Kalief is bred from Russian/Polish bloodlines and that he remained so small had to do with his most difficult start into this life – he was born too early and it wasn’t sure at all for the first week, whether or not he would make it. All the better are his success!