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USA Equestrian 2002 Horse of the Year Awards

Forty Arabians, Half-Arabians and Anglo-Arabians earned USA Equestrian 2002 awards, including 34 Horse of the Year Awards, five Grand Champion Awards and an Arabian Leading Sire Award. Included in this year’s championship roster was the Grand Champion Half-Arabian MS Scarlette+//, Grand Champion Arabian Vivacious Leigh+/, Leading Arabian Sire Desperado V and Grand Champion Arabian Gelding MFA Maverick+//.

It was a year marked with triumph, not just for the USA Equestrian award, but for the fact that Brianne Walker Parsons and her Half-Arabian mare MS Scarlette+// (Red Tape+// x Countess Vanessa) were able to show together again.

In the spring of 2001, 19-year-old Parsons was diagnosed with a rare pituitary tumor that threatened not only her ability to continue showing but her life. The tumor that severely impaired her eyesight and left her sleeping 18 hours a day forced her to stop riding and leave college. An operation in June of 2001 found two distinct tumors, one of which contained cancerous cells.

“Scarlette+// was the one thing that kept me going throughout my treatments. Each day I could handle it, my parents drove me up to the barn to see her against doctors’ orders specifying that I should not travel more than 30 minutes from a hospital. My parents knew how important it was for me to see her,” recollects Parsons.

After her recovery, Parsons and MS Scarlette+// showed successfully to titles in Regions 1, 2, 3 and 7 before heading to Canadian Nationals in August. Three Canadian National top tens in Hunter Pleasure, Native Costume and Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 18-39 topped off MS Scarlette+//’s winning show season.

Vivacious Leigh+/ (Focus Alimus+/ x BA Baskala+) earned the Grand Champion Arabian title for her stellar performance in the Arabian Specialty and Country English divisions where she picked up USA Equestrian Horse of the Year awards.

As 17-year-old Meghan Braden’s only horse, “Vivi” has taken her to national titles in a multitude of disciplines. At the 2002 Youth Nationals, Braden and Vivi received six titles in English show hack, native costume, English side saddle and country English pleasure. Last fall, Vivi and trainer Kimberly Berkley received their first U.S. Nationals title with a top ten in Arabian Mounted Native Costume.

Desperado V (Huckleberry Bey++ x Daraska) received his Leading Arabian Sire award when seven of his recorded foals earned high standings in eight different divisions, collecting 2,646 USA Equestrian points in 2002. His son, MFA Maverick+//, earned the majority of the points--1870 in the working western and hunter pleasure divisions. Desperado V is owned by Sheila Varian and Don Severa of Arroyo Grande, California.

MFA Maverick+// (Desperado V x Benraz Fancy), the Grand Champion Arabian Gelding, is owned by Kathy Pascal who shows him in western pleasure, hunter pleasure, western side saddle, trail and the occasional dressage class. Pascal loves to show western pleasure with Maverick while he seems to love the challenge of trail. “It is very funny. I have trail obstacles set up in the arena, and if I turn him out in there by himself he will work the obstacles on his own,” says Pascal.

Pascal took MFA Maverick+// to his first national championship title when they won the Arabian Trail Horse AOTR Championship last fall. She also watched Maverick pick up a top ten in the open trail championship with her trainer Mike Damianos.

AHA is a 40,000 member equine association that registers and maintains a database of more then one million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses. It administers more than $4 million in annual prize money, produces national events, maintains official event records, recognizes more than 400 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides activities and programs that promote breeding and ownership. For information about Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses, call 303-696-4500, e-mail or visit


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