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In life we have choices tempered and acted upon by our own specific circumstances. We can’t be forced into making a choice. Choices are made consciously to benefit personal plans and goals. Sometimes our choices don’t measure up to ideals and we then have to choose again.
Within the Arabian horse scene we constantly have to make choices, to breed, to sell, to show, to ride etc., never easy as the consequences of these choices are often unknown. Just being an Arabian horse breeder is a choice. And for the Arabian horse enthusiast studying what Arabian horse breeders have chosen to do in the past can offer choice insights as to how you choose for the future.
Following are some answers to a question asked of prominent Arabian personalities in Arabian Horse World 1986.

Stavs Kru Sayd Dec. One of our personal choices!

Q. Will the show ring continue to be the most important proving ground for Arabs and Arab breeding?

Gene LaCroix: Yes the show ring is and will continue to be, the proving ground. The increased costs of showing are no different to the increased costs of living. “You learn to live with it.” (At the time Gene LaCroix was owner of Lasma)

Mustafa Sabankaya: The importance of showing is jeopardized by flaws in the judging system and the ever increasing political influences. We need to judge HORSES not handlers. Also the high cost of transportation, entry fees, training fees etc. are forcing many people on limited budgets to drop out of the show ring. (M Sabankaya owner of Sabankaya Select)

Howard Kale: I take exception to the concept of the show ring as a proving ground for anything. The show ring has never been and never will be anything more than games and entertainment. Blue ribbons are not genetic. Horse breeders must depend on their own appraisals of quality and productivity – a blue ribbon proves only that a certain judge liked a certain horse on a certain day for one reason or another. If God were a judge, we could value show ring results. Otherwise the quality of the Arabian horse and its potential and productivity determine value. (Howard Kale was the owner of Karho Arabian Stud)

Paul Wooldridge: I’m not sure the show ring has ever proven the Arabian, but it has proven which wealthy owners could afford the biggest name in trainers. How many times have you seen good horses ignored because the judge didn’t recognise the handler? How many trainers have been fired on their way out to the ring during Scottsdale week? (Paul Wooldridge Dec. was a cartoonist and the instigator of One Mans Opinion in Arabian Horse World back in the 70’s and 80’s. It was a cartoon strip that bluntly poked fun at the Arabian horse scene.)

Photograph M Vink

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