With the show closing, I had some time off to judge ALL the entries from the Halloween part of the Show and the Thanksgiving park of the Show and I must say, all the entries were so beautiful that I had a REALLY hard time deciding on Grand and Reserve Grand Champions for the Desert Sands Stud Arabian Horse Show.
I will write a little bit of critique on each piece that I judged, that way you know why I chose it for its proper recognition.
Everyone did extremely well in the shows (particularly because there were not very many entries to begin with), the lowest placing being Third place. Those who did well will have a chance at showing their horses at this year's Arabian Nationals
as our show was a qualifying event for entry into the Nationals.
So, without further ado, here are the Grand and Reserve Grand Champions of each
class!HALTER-YEARLINGSYearling Grand Champion: RTS Dawn Full of Diamonds
The reason why I chose this piece to take Grand Champion in the yearling is for several reasons. First of all, the artist did a correct background for the area, a sagebrush, scrub-desert type background. Desert Sands Stud is located in Eastern Oregon, where the country is full of sagebrush and scrub desert. I also appreciate the fact that the artist did this full piece in watercolor! I do watercolors myself and I know how incredibly difficult it is, and with the fine detail of this image I must say I am extremely impressed. The colors are soft and a little muted, but overall this picture is pleasing to look at and simply beautiful. Dawn Full of Diamonds is in a correct show stance and in this image the yearling looks lively and focused on what is at hand. Very good piece and such a beautiful horse. Yearling Reserve Grand Champion: Fontaine
This image displays the essence of the Arabian breed, which is why I give it Reserve Grand Champion. I absolutely love the coloration of this yearling colt; the graying out of the head smoothing into the shiny black of his base coat is what caught my eye when I first saw this picture. Also, the artist did an excellent job in bringing forth the shine in the Arabian's coat (something I am still learning to do!). I almost feel as if I could reach in and run my hand along the silkin coat, it's so shiny and lifelike. I also appreciate the dapples on the barrel and hindquarters; it adds character to this already beautiful image. Overall, I am very happy to award Reserve Champion to Fontaine, and to this image. HALTER-COLTS AND FILLIES 2-4 YEARSGrand Champion: ADSAHS Badia
This piece took Grand Champion in the Division for a couple of reasons. First of all, I love the angle at which the horse is standing. The colors are beautiful and flow well together, but two things about this horse really caught my attention. First, the hint of blue from the blue eye. Second, the traditional halter being used on this gorgeous filly. I also appreciate the smooth lines, curves and Arabian build of this horse. Though the picture was set against a plain background, it actually does this picture justice. I think a background would have taken away from the horse's beauty. Overall, I am very pleased with this picture and I am happy to award Grand Champion to Badia. Reserve Grand Champion: Nader
I love the soft golden colors to this picture, especially with the pale background. There is just enough highlighting on it to give it the shine it needs to stand out. I also really like the contrast between the golden horse and the black halter used. The eye is soft and gentle, yet the angle of the horse assumes coltish curiosity and spirit. I can imagine the Ring Judge standing just out of sight looking over the colt, and the young horse looking to see what he/she is doing. This is a beautiful image that evokes the nature of the Arabian in soft colors, which is why I award it Reserve Grand Champion in its division. HALTER-MARES, STALLIONS AND GELDINGS 5+
This was perhaps the hardest section to judge for Grand and Reserve Grand Champion, as there were several entries in both parts of the show. But, after deliberation and opinions from others, I have decided on the Champs. Grand Champion: Hearts On Fire
First of all, this piece is amazing. It is full of detail and character, and it is set to the correct background for the holding of the show. This was an entry for the Halloween section of the show, and I was very happy to see that the artist decided to add some costume details to the Arab mare. Which is why I decided to award it Grand Champion. This picture has depth and dimension to it and though the background is detailed, it does not take away from the horse at all, which stands out dark and proud in the foreground. The detail put into this piece is very striking, and I can tell this artist put time and effort into this piece. The mare is standing in the correct show stance, and she looks proud and even nonchalant about having a witch hat on her head (and with an Arab's flighty demeanor this is truly impressive!). I also love the orange strand of decoration lights on the fence. Very holiday themed and very thoughtful and creative! Reserve Grand Champion: Mhedi
I decided on this piece for Reserve Champion for a couple of reasons. One, the action and spirit of the image. And two: the pumpkins! It adds just enough of a holiday touch without overwhelming the entire image. Mhedi here is rearing, but not in an aggressive manner at all. His eyes are bright and his ears are pricked which tells me he's feeling pretty good about himself! Again, the artist has done a fantastic job with the life-like shading. His coat shines and really add's depth and character to the horse. The artist also utilized over 80% of the canvas; the horse is the main focus (as he should be), and the pumpkins add that touch of color and season to it (and fill in an empty space). Overall, very well done and I am happy to award Reserve Champion to Mhedi!LIBERTY
Again, another difficult section to find a Grand and Reserve Grand Champion in because of the entries. But with careful consideration and deliberation, I finally settled on two.Grand Champion: Big Sky
For a watercolor, this image is impressive. The details are fine and the artist did a great job in bringing the picture to life. I chose this piece because of the correct Oregon background, the movement of the horse, and the overall pleasing view of the image to the eye. It evokes movement and sound; I can almost hear his hooves pounding into the snowy sand, and the air gushing from his nostrils. His Arabian spirit is a live and full of vigor in here, and it really just makes the picture life like to me. The background colors are soft and muted, while the horse is dark and stands out to take center stage. I really appreciate the shine to the horse's coat, and the musculature in the chest and neck as he puts on the brake to make his next move. Very well done and very impressive picture!Reserve Grand Champion: Janan Bint Taher
This was the hardest spot to choose a winner for me.
I really deliberated over this one; while the picture is beautiful, it did not have a correct background to the show setting, so I almost passed it over. HOWEVER, as I studied it I began to really appreciate the sense of depth and detail in this picture. The movement of the horse with the bright fall background really sold me on this one. The artist took the time to detail each tree, and add the shine of the glowing sun in the picture. The picture denotes warmth and perhaps even a small fall breeze; the sound of hooves on the compact earth, and the elegant pride of this beautiful horse. It is because of these details that I decided to overlook the missing correct background and award this image with a Reserve Championship. This is a truly impressive image, and I am overall pleased with it. WESTERN PLEASURE
Grand Champion: Rami
This is by default Grand Champion (there was only one entry). I really like this picture for the movement, the colors, and the holiday theme to it. This image was entered for the Halloween themed part of the show, and the artist added Halloween/fall colors to the image (the orange in the saddle and bridle). Rami is moving through an extended trot in this image, his head tucked in typical Western Pleasure fashion, completely focused on the task at hand. The rider adds human involvement to the image, and a splash of color as well, which makes the image stand out even more. FREE JUMPING
Grand Champion: HTS Fleur
This was the only entry for this class so it is by default Grand Champion. This image is colorful and full of life and movement, and I really appreciate it for that. Fleur is clearing the jump (which is also colored to the fall season) with vigor and ease, and seems to be enjoying herself. She has a lovely light bay coloring which contrasts beautifully with her dark points (lower legs, muzzle, mane and tail), and though the background is brightly colored, she seems to stand out above it all. This is a colorful and beautiful picture that is full of movement and life.IN HAND COSTUME/NATIVE
Grand Champion: HTS Illegal Dancing
Winner by default. I really love this picture because it has traditional Arabian garments on the horse. The colors are deep and rich and have yellow/gold accents which really bring the piece out. The mare is standing in her show pose, leg extended and head held high in pride. She looks truly magnificent with the traditional garments on her, and the colors really suit her. Overall, I am very happy with this image and the artist did a good job in the details of the picture, so I am happy to see it receive Grand Champion in the show. And that folks is this year's show for you! Because of the success of the debut and this show, I will be hosting this every year. Prizes will be dallied out as soon as I have available time (this weekend most likely), and the drawing prizes I promised will come eventually as I have time, so please be patient with me!
Congratulations to all who participated! I hope to see you next year!
Desert Sands Stud Staff