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Over $4 Million in Annual Sweepstakes Prize Money Available to Arabian Owners

by By Molly Benstein, AHA | Apr 7, 2005, 11:19 AM

In 2004, the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) paid out almost $3 million of a $4.6 million available pot in International Arabian Breeders Sweepstakes (Sweepstakes) prize money to eligible horses and scholarship recipients.

Most prize money was won at the 18 regional shows where more than $3 million is available in addition to $261,000 in gelding incentive, an extra 25% paid to Arabian geldings competing in performance classes. At Canadian and U.S. Nationals, competitors vie for more than $1 million in prize money and gelding incentive. Paying up to $10,000 in just one class, Sweepstakes is, per capita, the highest paying prize money program in the horse show industry.

Sweepstakes pays both amateur and open classes in a variety of disciplines, including in-hand, dressage, sidesaddle, pleasure driving, reining, mounted native costume and English, western and hunter pleasure. The program also pays more than $100,000 to regional and national competitive trail and endurance winners.

The top 2004 Sweepstakes show ring winner was MWF Benedykt (Afire Bey V x Bold Love), who took home $16,562 for winning three championships at U.S. and Canadian Nationals and two championships at regional shows. Owned by Angela and Clay Stanley and ridden by Bob Battaglia and Angela Stanley, MWF Benedykt competed successfully in Arabian English Pleasure open and AAOTR 18-39.

Shahdon (Tyx+ x Shaheda Saba), owned by Valerie Kanavy, was the top Sweepstakes endurance winner, earning $6,875 for his 2004 AHA 100-Mile Championship and a reserve in a regional championship ride. Brown R Raemon (Rae Ferzon x Brown-R Rasmiss), owned and ridden by Kathleen Griewe-Crandell, netted $6,875 for wins in the 2004 National Competitive Trail Ride Championship and a regional championship.

Another type of payback goes to Arabian Nominated Sires. This special bonus pays a sire five percent of whatever his eligible offspring earn in Sweepstakes classes at regional and national shows and rides. Afire Bey V (Huckleberry Bey++ x Autumn Fire) was the 2004 top sire as well as the all-time top earning sire with $40,000 earned to date from progeny winnings of more than $800,000.

The most cost effective way to enter a horse in the Sweepstakes program is to breed your mare to a Nominated Sire or a Non-Arabian Nominated Sire and enter the in-utero foal as a Breeding Entry for $400 the year it is conceived. Only offspring of Non-Arabian Nominated Sires, Arabian Nominated Sires or Nominated Mares are eligible to become Breeding Entries. These Breeding Entries have the added bonus of being able to compete in the Yearling Halter and Two-Year-Old Gelding Classes. The cost to enroll a Nominated Sire is $2,500* or $1,500* if the colt is a Breeding Entry. The Non-Arabian Nominated Sire fee is $3,000*.

If you own a horse that was not previously enrolled, and you want a chance to compete for Sweepstakes prize money, you may enroll it as an Original Entry for $3,500*. If the horse was by a Non-Arabian Nominated Sire, Arabian Nominated Sire or Nominated Mare, the fee is only $2,500.

Only Breeding and Original Entries may compete for prize money in performance classes or distance rides. Nominated Sire and Mare categories are not eligible to win prize money unless they have also been enrolled as Breeding or Original Entries.

Sweepstakes also has $100,000 in scholarships available every year to qualified youth graduating from high school. The scholarships are $2,500 each, and are available to youth who have ridden a Sweepstakes horse during their youth careers in regional and/or national competitions.

*Prices good through December 31, 2005 only. ~~~