15th Annual Sport Horse National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show is a Wrap

The Arabian Horse Association’s (AHA) 15th Annual Sport Horse National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show, the only breed-specific show specifically for sport horses, wrapped up recently in Raleigh, N.C.

Held at the Governor James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, Sport Horse Nationals’ east coast rotation site, this annual event boasted 499 horses and 2,249 entries. Arabians, Half-Arabians and Anglo-Arabians hailed from the U.S and Canada, some as far away as Oregon and California. Showcasing the sport disciplines of the breed, horses competed in all levels of Dressage, Basic Level to Second Level Western Dressage Hunter classes on the flat and over fences, Jumping, Carriage Driving, Sport Horse Under Saddle, Sport Horse Show Hack and Sport Horse In-Hand.

The Western Dressage isn’t new to Sport Horse Nationals, but for the first time this year, Basic and Level 1 were National Championship classes, where last year they were exhibition classes. Also, Level 2 Western Dressage was added and was a National Championship class too.

The added money classes were again a highlight of the show – with $17,500 in prize money generated by the $2,500 Adama Bi Bask++// Memorial Hunter Derby and the Arabian Breeders Sweepstakes (ABS) $15,000 Young Dressage Horse Prospect available to Sweepstakes enrolled breeding entries.

The $15,000 ABS Young Horse Dressage class took place on Saturday, September 9. The ABS program is an in-utero nomination program for Arabians, Half-Arabians and Anglo-Arabians which allows horses to earn money for the lifetime of their show or distance riding career. This was the second year that the Young Horse Dressage class was held at Sport Horse Nationals and was open to all entries for four and five year old horses. However, only those horses previously enrolled in the ABS program were eligible for the prize money.

With 26 horses entered, the class had a great turnout. The Young Horse Dressage inaugural class was won by Q-Star, ridden and owned by Katharina Huenermann and the Reserve Championship went to Furstafire, ridden and owned by Sharon Sexton.

Another edition in prize money to the show was the $2,500 Adama Bi Bask++// Memorial Hunter Derby. The Derby allowed Arabians & Half-Arabians to compete at three different heights, 2’6”, 2’9” and 3’0,” according to the heights they had competed in during the show. A slightly higher option was given for each obstacle, rewarding riders with extra points. Round 1 consisted of 19 entries and 12 of those entries moved on to Round 2. The class was won by FR Hercules, ridden by Caitlyn Saranchak and the Reserve Championship went to Ames Arrogen++/ ridden by Monica DePaul.

While the classes at the show are the focus of Sport Horse Nationals, several extracurricular events were also highlights of the week. The third Annual Sport Horse Nationals Silent Auction raised over $2,600 for beneficiaries, the Arabian Horsemen’s Distress Fund (AHDF) and the Duke’s Children Hospital.


Additionally, over 200 individuals participated in AHA’s Total Arabian Interaction and Learning (T.A.I.L) tours during the show, up from only 50 last year. This hands-on and interactive program introduces the Arabian horse to the public in an interactive and fun way.

Thank you to everyone that came out for Sport Horse Nationals and made the show another great success this year.

The 2018 Arabian & Half-Arabian Sport Horse National Championships will be held in Nampa, ID at the Ford Idaho Horse Park, September 19-23, 2018.