Pictured above, from top to bottom are: Gail Ahrens, Mary Ann Applegate, and Kathleen Petrelli, sponsors of the Straight Egyptian High Point Award at Nationals
Since the famed Egyptian Event is no more, it was evident that the straight Egyptian breeders needed additional showcases for their horses. Over the past few years, several regional and class A shows have been including straight Egyptian classes within their show format.
After many discussions with straight Egyptian breeders and trainers, questions arose, such as, why did the beautiful straight Egyptian Arabian have to be confined to only straight Egyptian classes? Why couldn’t they compete in Open classes against non-straight Egyptian Arabians? What about U.S. Nationals? Why are there so few, if any, straight Egyptian Arabians showing at U.S Nationals?
In 2021 three award sponsors, Gail Ahrens, Tribunal Arabians, MaryAnne Applegate, Al Azure Arabians, and Kathleen Petrelli, Kleio Arabians, banded together to promote the beautiful straight Egyptian Arabian. In prior years the group observed that both the Arabian Horse Association and The Pyramid Society were facing similar, if not identical issues facing them and their membership. Both were challenged by waning participation at their shows, and decreasing membership and registrations as breeders and owners are facing increased expenses across all spectrums of life. The straight Egyptian breeders need venues in which to show, and in recent shows they have proven that they enjoy showing their horses.
The award sponsors want to help breeders by keeping the straight Egyptian relevant at both class A, Regional and National shows. It is hoped that they can showcase what the straight Egyptian can contribute to all Arabian breeding programs: type, conformation, beauty and movement. As a result, the award sponsors approached the AHA to discuss an incentive at U.S. Nationals for straight Egyptians. The three women each committed to contribute to a five-year award program. In each of the five years the highest placing straight Egyptian (within the championship top ten) will receive an award of $3,000 at a minimum. They hope this incentive will draw straight Egyptians to U.S. Nationals and its qualifying shows. In fact, at the East Coast Championships, the Stallions Three Years and Older Championship included straight Egyptian stallions in the Top Three places. What a thrilling class and what an accomplishment.
Many trainers are supporting this endeavor. As Tony Steiner says, “I was so excited to hear about the Straight Egyptian High Place Award at Nationals! The idea is innovative and gives the trainers and breeders of straight Egyptians the opportunity to compete and showcase their great horses on the Arabian breed’s biggest stage. The straight Egyptian horses in the ’60s and ’70s added so much to the National Championships with wins by *Asaad, *Serenity Sonbolah, *Sakr and Anasata Ibn Sudan, and as outcrosses to create the legendary Ali Jamaal. Now the opportunity to compete with specific prize money for just straight Egyptian horses is awesome! I think it is helpful for everyone involved with Egyptian horses. Last year we showed Ibn Raad to a Top Ten in the Senior Stallions championship, which I believe led to a large breeding year for him this year. This idea will help remind people of the beauty and value of the Egyptian Arabian horse.”