Crete, Ill. - The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) hosted some of the most impressive Arabian sport horses in the U.S. and Canada at the 17th annual Sport Horse National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show from September 2-7 at Balmoral Park in Crete. Hundreds of Arabian horses competed across an array of sport horse divisions, including dressage, hunters, jumping, Western dressage, and under-saddle and halter classes. The horses were presented to a panel of judges as they sought out the illustrious title of Sport Horse Champion.
As the only sport horse competition offered by a breed organization, the show is unique and the competition was fierce. Beyond the arena, however, lifelong friends were made, and the AHA hosted a wide range of activities and horsemanship-based contests. The annual first-timers awards ceremony provided a welcoming kick-off to the competition. Several youth events were offered throughout the week and the AHA hosted a judging and hippology contest.
On September 5, the public was invited to attend Barn Night, featuring a dressage horse perspective jog and a classic and Western dressage musical freestyle event. A Calcutta auction was held in conjunction with the class. The winning bidder will receive 50 percent of the proceeds, with the remaining 50 percent going to the Arabian Horse Foundation and the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center. Total Arabian Interaction and Learning (T.A.I.L.) program tours were held at the competition, as well, providing newcomers an opportunity to learn more about the Arabian horse and get a behind-the-scenes look at how the horses are cared for and prepared for competition.
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Photos by Don Stine Photography