Taryl O’Shea is the Executive director of the Arabian horse association of Arizona
Tell us about the origin of the Arabian National Breeder Finals.
In 2010, the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona, along with some members of the local halter community, wanted to come up with ideas to help stimulate the Arabian breeding industry. Through much discussion and brainstorming, the Arabian National Breeder Finals and the Breeders Club Futurity came to fruition. Scottsdale was the perfect location, with all of the Arabian horse farms in the area, and being the Mecca for the Arabian horse. And so, a unique event was created. With a great destination that allows horse owners and lovers to celebrate with the many local farms, as well as enjoy the wonderful amenities that Scottsdale offers, it was an instant success. The Finals committee’s focus was to create opportunities for owners and breeders to market and promote the Arabian horse to future Arabian horse lovers, not only at the show, but with open houses and local activities. The Arabian National Breeder Finals has proven to be one of the shows that combines all things great in the Arabian horse industry.
What distinguishes the Arabian National Breeder Finals from other shows?
The Arabian National Breeder Finals takes place at a world-class venue where we have literally created a stage to present beautiful Arabian horses, as well as an atmosphere that allows celebration and camaraderie within our breed. The condensed show schedule allows local farms to host open houses, and in the evenings, horse lovers are entertained at the many great venues in Scottsdale. This is a perfect place to come to have fun and celebrate the Arabian horse.
The implementation of the Breeders Club Futurity has been very exciting, as it gives breeders and owners another arena in which to win some big money. The Scottsdale Signature Stallion Futurity also offers many classes at the Finals, and they continue to be the largest classes both at the Finals and at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show (which takes place in February). We offer over $115,000 in prize money: $24,000 in the Breeders Club/Three-Year-Old Breeders Club Futurity, and over $60,000 in the Scottsdale Signature Stallion classes, just at the Finals this September!
What’s new this year?
We have some exciting additions this year! We have added AOTH Weanling classes (fillies and colts), where owners can come and show off their new foals to the world! This will be a fresh crop of babies, and there will be no cross entry with the open weanlings classes. The AOTH weanling classes will encourage a fun, safe atmosphere (weanlings can be presented with their dams if the owner wishes). Weanlings and handlers will walk around the arena and then stay on the rail. The judges will walk around the rail to evaluate the horses.
To add even more excitement to this new AOTH weanling class, we will have a 50/50 raffle throughout the show. Before the awards ceremony in these classes, we will draw the winning raffle ticket holder, and the 50 percent that goes to the show will be split between the winners of the filly class and the colt class. This is in addition to the prize money of $1,500 per class. So get those babies ready!
In the open weanling classes, we have another great surprise: six stallion owners have donated breedings to the top Arabian stallions in our industry. The gold, silver, and bronze winners in each open weanling class will draw out of a fish bowl to win a breeding to a top stallion during the awards ceremony.
What are some of the future plans for the Arabian National Breeder Finals?
Our plan is to offer what the Arabian industry needs to encourage breeding and ownership. Each year, we talk about things that worked and strive to create excitement for owners, while encouraging new people to be drawn to the breed. Watch for more exciting additions in 2019!