Arabian Horse Cup 2017
Parco della Favorita - VIII Show B (ECHAO)
1th - 2th April 2017
The Arabiands Rider Home
Written By Sonja Smaldone - Photos by Antonio Caracciolo
The seasparkled in the sun.From the car windows it looked like a shimmering blue blanket. However, that was not the only breathtaking sight on display. Next to the crystal waters there appeared majestic landscapes, in a spellbinding panorama embodying what Goethe called ‘the harmonious union of the sky with the sea and the sea with the land’. This spectacular scenery almost felt like a loving embrace before we arrived in the city of Palermo. Once we finally got to the ‘Parco della Favorita’ we were warmly welcomed by Antonio Culcasi as the organizer of the Palermo Arabian Horse Cup, Michele Trapani as the creator of the Event, (both Purebred Arabian horse breeders) and the incredible Monte Erice Equestrian staff. We were showed around this spectacular property that stretches for almost 400 hectares of land on the slopes of the ‘Monte Pellegrino’. The ‘Parco della Favorita’ was created in 1799 by Ferdinando III of Borbons whom was forced to leave the Kingdom of Naples, already taken by the French Army. Once moved to Sicily, he succeeded to dispossess 400 hectares of land from the aristocratic families of that time to create the Royal Park of Favorita, a name which reminded of the homonym Reggia dei Portici. At the beginning, it was born as a field for agricultural experiments and private hunting reserve, garnished by statues and fountains in mythological style. Indeed, the two most important boulevards are dedicated to the Goddess of hunting Diana and to the 12 struggles-hero Hercules. Within the park, we visited the Palazzina Cinese, an exotic-style house of hunting of King Ferdinando IV of Borbons, and the eighteenth-century Villa Valguarnera di Niscemi, nowadays registered address of the current Mayor of Palermo, Leoluca Orlando who was there as the official Sponsor of the event together with Salvatore Orlando, President of the Palermo Municipal Council. The welcoming dinner strictly reserved to the guests of the show – gallantly offered by the Presidency of the City Council and held at the beautiful Massimo Theatre - was above all expectations. The conversation and the food (and wine, of course!) were wonderful. We lingered over multiple courses, sipping several bottles of local wines, biting into voluptuous cakes and typically Palermo flavored pastries, a whole ceremonial banquet for us where all sorts of dishes and local specialties were generously - and proudly - exposed and served in front of our lustful eyes: ‘Bread with panelle’, ‘Bread with potato croquettes’, ‘Bread with fried spleen’, ‘Pasta with Sarde’,’ Cassata cake’, ‘Cannoli ‘pastries…Whatever you wanted was there! With excellent food and company, the evening moved on in a really friendly and familiar atmosphere. We got back to the hotel late at night, after an unforgettable stroll in downtown. Everywhere we looked, there was only so much beauty to see. Palermo is a ‘living theater’, where it is still vibrant the Arabic-Norman influences that perfectly blend with the Mediterranean landscape of Palermo. In Sicily the layers of history are many and they tend to refuse to lie buried. Some buildings have their historical roots in the glorious age of the Norman Kings, when Arab and Byzantine artists and craftsmen worked in fruitful harmony in the trilingual capital of the Mediterranean. And there stood the Church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, known as La Martorana, and the Church of San Salvatore, founded in 1072 by Roberto il Guiscardo, the Cathedral, the Church of San Cataldo, the Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti. We were told that some Churches such as Sant’ Agostino, San Francesco, San Domenico, recall the glorious past of the great religious orders that dominated social life, the universities and culture in Medieval Europe. Some sacred sites are authentic Baroque little theaters, such as Santa Maria della Pietà and Santa Maria degli Angeli, known as La Gancia. Absolutely spectacular the Ammiraglio’s Bridge of 1130, the Zisa Castle of 1190 built by the Arabic ‘Al-Aziz’ translated into ‘The Glorious’, and the Royal Palace of the eleventh century, and now seat of the Sicilian Parliament. On Saturday 1st April, the show began in the obstacle field named ‘Giuseppe Di Matteo’ within the Park. The atmosphere was electric. We met several local important personalities of the sector, members of the town council and could gather relevant information. In Sicily, the Arabian horses breeders are almost 200, more than in any other region of Italy and most of them were registered at the VIII Palermo Arabian Horse Show. An extraordinary beauty contest expressly devoted to the Arabian horse where power, elegance, harmony between head and neck, and a distinctive high flagged-tail are a ‘must’ for both judges and breeders alike. For this VIII edition, some of the most beautiful Arabian horses turned up from I t a l y and abroad and paraded along the ring in trot, then stopped to strike a pose in front of an international seven-judge panel composed by: Mr. Bakker Cedes (The Netherlands); Mr. Kedar Chen (Israel); Mr. Moschini Cristian (Italy); Mrs. Stigler Irina (Russia); Mr. Tarczynski Tomasz (Poland); Mr. Sorroca Albert (probationer); Mrs. Nasr Amira (Probationer). The Disciplinary Commission was represented by: Mr. Frezza Marco; Mrs. Raso Barbara; Mr. Betti Walter and Dr. Vet. Fantauzzo Giuseppe. Excellent the job done by: Mr. Bonomi Mario in his qualities of Ring master; Mrs. Boschini Mirjam as official commentator of the show and by Mrs. Alinovi Marzia as general secretary. There were 150 registered horses divided in 18 categories according to sex and year of birth: fillies, colts, mares and stallions. The categories 15-18 were dedicated to the Straight Egyptian breed. For two unforgettable days, we watched the competition together with the breeders from the VIP tables. Screams and shouts of encouragement were being launched to the horses in the ring. Later on, on those same tables, the coveted trophies were eventually put on display with unbridled proud of the winners! Due to rainy weather, the Final Championships were entirely showed on April 1st and they gave the following results: As for the Yearling Fillies Championship, gold medal winner the very pretty chestnut MC CHANEL BY DAVIDE (AG NOBEL DAVIDE x DANUBIA EL AZIZ) bred and owned by Mario Cerveglione. Silver medal winner the bay GRETA MAA (MONNTRACHET x FARAH BY SHALOM) bred and owned by Tenuta Agricola Poggio Binaia. Bronze medal winner the bay ESTROVERSA (LBA AVALON x ESSTROSA AAS) bred and owned by Moscarelli Michele. The Yearling Colts Championship was won by the bay ARETUSA KING (ARETUSA Shamir x FARIDA PC) bred and owned by Aretusa Arabians of Pippo Palumbo. Silver medal for the gray ELYSEO (LBA x AVALON LADY ELIXIR) bred and owned by Gallina Salvatore. Bronze medal for the bay NAHID (LEBANON MPE x AMANDA GS) bred and owned by Griffo Matteo. As for the Juniors Fillies Championship, winner of the gold medal the lovely gray OBAYANA KA (ESPRESSIVO x ODALIS DE NAUTIAC) bred and owned by Knocke Arabians. Silver medal winner the bay DAPHNE (ARETUSA SHAMIR x LUMIAR BACHIANNA) bred and owned by Aretusa Arabians of Pippo Palumbo. Bronze medal winner the gray EL JADIDA MAGIC (MAGIC MAGIC PHARAOH x OHARA) bred and owned by Fontanella Magic Arabians. Winner of the Junior Colts Championship the handsome gray ALEXANDER PC (SHANGHAI EA x FARIDA PC) bred and owned by Capizzi Francesco Paolo. Silver medal for the bay QS MARZIO (EMERALD J x NAWAL BY APOLO) bred and owned by Morando Giovanni from Qirat Stud. Bronze medal for the gray Hanaya KARAM (KENZ AL BAYDAA x HANAYA ELISSAE) bred and owned by Hanaya Stud. To drew the Final Championships to a close, as always, the Seniors Categories. As For the Mares Category, Gold Champion medal a beautiful daughter of the stallion QR MARC and out of ESPADRILLA, the gray ELAN DE MARC K.A bred and owned by Paul Gheysens NV Zoutekreken. Silver medal for the bay SOLEIKA AS (FS MICHELANGELO x SUOLI) bred and owned by Le Quercette Farm. Bronze medal for the gray PAPAYA (EKSTERN x PSYCHE ) bred by Janow Podlaski and owned by Brugman Arabians.The grand entrance of the fabulous gray stallion Engulo EEA (SHANGHAI EA x ENJORA E.) into the arena burst into a general elation among the spectators. On that day, this wonderful Arabian specimen gave us a stunning performance that left everyone in suspense and earned him the title of Gold Medal Champion! Engulo EEA is bred by Enzo LTD and owned by Fontanella Magic Arabians. Silver medal for the gray TF STAR IBN PSEQUEL (PSEQUEL x TF LUNA) bred and owned by Tripodi Francesco. Bronze medal for the gray SUMMUM MARC K.A. (QR MARC x L SERENELLA) bred by Nv ZOUTEKREKEN- Knocke Arabians and owned by Knocke Arabians. On Sunday, April 2nd there were exhibited the Futurity Categories, the III Egyptian Event solely dedicated to the Egyptian breed, and the III Sicily Cup, reserved for those horses born and bred in Sicily. Futurity Female Champion, the gray LEENA (ARETUSA Shamir x LEYLA PC) bred and owned by Capizzi Francesco Paolo. Futurity Male Champion, the gray Magnificat MAGIC (MAGIC MON AMI x SULTAN VENUS) bred and owned by Fontanella Magic Arabians. The III Egyptian Event was won by the gray Hanaya JAZEEBAH (KENZ AL BAIDAA x IMHAJAA) bred and owned by Hanaya Stud as regards the Fillies Category and by the handsome gray colt Hanaya Kamill (KENZ AL BAYDAA x DESHA MALIKAH) bred and owned by Hanaya Arabians and Nayla Hayek as for the Males Category; by the beautiful SULTAN VENUS (AL Maraam x Sharifa AL KADIR) bred by Bolzieri Roberto and owned by Fontanella Magic Arabians as for the Mares Category and by the bay AL ANEED LDA (ALIXIR x ILLA Magidaa) bred by LD Arabians and owned by Hanaya Arabians and Nayla Hayek as for the Stallions Category. The Third Sicily Cup was won by the pretty chestnut MC CHANEL BY DAVID (AG NOBEL DAVIDE x DANUBIA EL AZIZ) bred and owned by Cerveglione Mario as regards the Females Category, while the bay ARETUSA KING (ARETUSA SHAMIR x FARIDA PC) bred and owned by Aretusa Arabians and owned by Pippo Palumbo grabbed the trophy for the Males Category. Two collateral initiatives, always themed, further enriched the days of Saturday and Sunday thanks to the collaboration of the Arabian’s Ranch Valle del Belice. In fact, the Regional Arabian Saddled Horse Competition and the first stage of the Sicily Regional Fitetrec-Ante Championship took place at the B and C fields inside the ‘Parco della Favorita’. A spring sweetsmelling weekend thoroughly devoted to the immortality of the Arabian horse who those days only rode ‘back’ home… in Sicily. The beauty, elegance, power and irresistible charisma of such a ‘creature’ so close to our hearts were being celebrated there, in Palermo, at the ‘Parco Della Favorita’, in a breathtaking landscape which only could be worth a Show of this magnitude. And that, it could only be born - and made possible - thanks to the joint effort and extensive mobilization of institutions and people. Heartfelt thank you to the organizer of the event Antonio Culcasi, its creator Michele Trapani, the equestrian team Monte Erice, the members of the ‘Italian National Association of the Arabian Horse’ (Anica); the official photographers: Joelle Muller, Anna Marino, Miky Milazzo, Antonio Caracciolo, Giorgia Anselmo; handlers and breeders, their families and the many sponsors which intervened!