El desafío para la Industria del Caballo en la Argentina es nuevamente
Este año ¿lo lograremos?
Mario López Oliva

jueves, 5 de febrero de 2009

Arabian horses with auction, beauty show _ and a race

Newsday - Long Island,NY,USA

By DONNA ABU-NASR | Associated Press Writer
12:55 PM EST, January 30, 2009

Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan is seen during an interview with The Associated Press at the Al-Khalediah second international Arabian horse show in Tebrak, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009. The event, which began last Sunday, is hosted by Prince Khaled at his Al Khalediah Farm which has more than 900 Arabian horses. More than 400 horses from 18 countries took part in this year's fest. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) (Hassan Ammar, AP / January 29, 2009)

TEBRAK, Saudi Arabia (AP) — At a green oasis in the desert outside Riyadh, a dazzling array of Arabian horses with colors ranging from dark gray, coffee bean black and warm honey have competed all week in an extravaganza designed to celebrate Arabian horses.

The second Al Khalediah Arabian Horse Festival features a beauty show, races and an auction. The popular animal is intrinsic to this region's culture, and one that, according to ancient Bedouin legend, God designated as one of the "glories" of the earth.

The event, which began last Sunday and ends Friday, was hosted by Prince Khaled bin Sultan, the son of Crown Prince Sultan, at his Al Khalediah Farm which has more than 900 Arabian horses. More than 400 horses from 18 countries took part in this year's festival.

"This is one of the biggest such gatherings in the world," Khaled said of the festival.

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The prince, who is also the kingdom's assistant defense minister, has for the past two decades been buying Arabians from the United States, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, and bringing them to the land where many Saudis believe the horses belong.

The prince regularly competes in international and smaller competitions and has won scores of prizes: 22 championships in 2006, 26 in 2007 and 36 in 2008.

In December 2007, his Layan al-Khalediah won the title World Champion Filly at the Salon du Cheval World Arabian Championships in Paris, becoming the first horse bred in the kingdom to win an international prize.

The event in Saudi Arabia was an opportunity for the prince to showcase his own horses, housed in stables at Al Khalediah. The prince's sprawling, 4,200 acre farm on the edge of Tebrak, 70 miles west of Riyadh, includes an equine hospital and a wildlife reserve.

Khaled sold 32 of his horses at an auction held Sunday that fetched 5.2 million riyals ($1.4 million). A Saudi businessman paid 3 million riyals ($800,000) for one of the horses — a white-gray mare called Anasta Nile Pearl.

"The festival is extremely professional. It's a wonderful addition to the international horse community," said Scott Benjamin, a Canadian animal scientist and one of the judges. "The quality of the horses is world class."
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