Katy, Texas – Nearly 80 purebred and Half-Andalusian/Lusitano horses competed for National Championship titles at the 2017 International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association (IALHA) National Championship Horse Show, October 10-15 at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas.
Judges Leslie Connor, Joan Harms, and Richard Petty, joined by dressage judge Peggy Klump and international guest judges Rafael Ortíz Alcalá-Zamora (Spain) and João Ralão Duarte (Portugal), evaluated 119 classes and crowned 111 national champions. The highest number of entries were seen in dressage hack, English pleasure hunt seat, dressage suitability, Western pleasure, youth showmanship, show hack, fantasy costume, and the halter classes for the senior stallions and mares. Of the 42 exhibitors competing, 14 of these were youth competitors and seven were exhibiting at the show for the first time.
Eight classes were opportunity or specialty classes. Three opportunity classes were introduced to the show this year, including dressage seat equitation, fantasy costume driving, and a musical freestyle jackpot class. These classes proved to be crowd favorites, with good numbers for entries.
New in 2017, a sanctioned Asociación Nacional de Criadores de Caballos de Pura Raza Española (ANCCE) show was held in conjunction with the IALHA National Championship Horse Show on Sunday, October 15. The classes had 19 entries, with the Senior Mare class proving to be the largest. The classes ran in accordance with the rules and regulations of ANCCE and gave exhibitors the chance to show their horses under international judges. The IALHA has high hopes of growing this portion of the show in future years.
The Wine Walk and Iberian Horse Fair was held on Friday, October 13. Ten sale horses and stallions were exhibited during the event, with the Foundation for the Pure Spanish Horse sponsoring the evening. The show committee hopes to see this event grow as it is a way to involve non-showing members to showcase their horses in a different way that also promotes the breed.
Included in the event was a toast by Howard Peet and the presentation of a gift by IALHA President Janita Smith to Malen Dell, to whom the show was dedicated. Dell served on the IALHA Board of Directors, as Board President, and sat on a variety of committees, including the IALHA National Championship Horse Show Committee. Her lifelong work as a trainer of the Andalusians and Lusitanos, along with her time as a USEF A/L Judge, has turned her into a fountain of knowledge and history, bringing sound judgement and continuity to the IALHA.
Throughout the show, 10 special sponsor awards were given to competitors whom the judges deemed the most deserving in a variety of categories:
- Premier Equestrian Award – Carlos Carneiro, riding Flash in the A/L Sr. Stallion 5 and Over Functionality
- Custom Saddlery Most Valuable Dressage Rider Award – Antonia Garcia Roldan, riding Ribera V in Dressage First Level Test 3, Open
- Vita Flex Victory Pass Award – Bill Deeney, riding Harlow CR in A/L Dressage Suitability Open
- Neue Schule Best Hands Award – Hannah Liscek, riding Xenophon in A/L Dressage Hack Open
- TheraPlate Peak Performance Award – Amy Lamberth, riding Alhena REA in A/L Dressage Suitability Amateur
- Omega Alpha Healthy Horse Award – Shannon Gillette, handling Seda in Specialty Half-Andalusian Western Stockhorse
- The Jacksonville Equestrian Center Sportsmanship Award – Jessica Daniel, riding Gitana RDL in A/L Dressage Suitability Amateur
- The Corta-Flx Sport Horse of the Week – Shannon Gillette, riding Seda in the Half-Andalusian Dressage Suitability Open
- The Triple Crown Excellence Award – Bill Deeney, riding Tantaro TA in A/L English Pleasure Hunt Seat Junior Horse
- Vetrolin Grooming Award – Bill Deeney, handling Suix MOR in A/L Sr. Stallion % and Over Morphology
The IALHA would like to thank all those who supported the IALHA National Championship Horse Show, including the volunteers, sponsors, exhibitors showing, or those who came to cheer everyone on – this made the event truly a great show.
Complete Show Results
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Photo: Don Stine Photography