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Half-Arabian Wins Percheron World Congress Crossbred Halter Championship

Robin Mountjoy knew that her Arabian/Percheron gelding, AGF Shamrock Bey, was a superb example of what a Half-Arabian sport horse gelding should look like. After all he won all seven in-hand classes he entered in the last two years and was Half-Arabian Sport Horse Gelding Reserve Champion last July at the International Arabian Horse Association® (IAHA®) Region 15 Show. But even Mountjoy was surprised at his latest victory. On October 26, 2002, she showed the 16.1-hand gelding to a championship at the Percheron World Congress in its first-ever Crossbred Halter 3 Years and Over Championship in a class of 18 mares, geldings and stallions.

"Most of the horses were Percheron/Thoroughbred crosses with a number of Paint and Quarter horse crosses," says Mountjoy, who lives in Richmond, Virginia. "He was the only Percheron/Arabian cross that I knew of there."

To be eligible, horses had to be at least Half-Percheron although according to Mountjoy, the prize list stressed that they were looking for horses with characteristics of a Warmblood.

Mountjoy showed AGF Shamrock Bey like a sport horse in a dressage bridle and braided mane, standing him square and trotting him out on a relaxed rein. "When we came out of the ring, you would have thought we had won the Olympics," says Mountjoy. "We were bombarded by photographers and reporters."

True to his Percheron dam Shamrock Jeski Miss, AGF Shamrock, or Shamu, as he is affectionately called, has a rounded body with a large arching neck, big bone and a big hip. He owes his beauty to his Arabian sire BR Bey Medley, a Bey Shah+ grandson, who refined his head, neck and body.

Mountjoy had been looking for a Half-Arabian "supersized" version of her purebred Arabian when she saw a hitch pulled by six Percherons at the Virginia State Fair in September of 2000. Mountjoy decided she wanted a Half-Arabian that looked like the rear horse. She lined up a lease on a Percheron mare that she planned to breed to a purebred Arabian stallion that spring until she met her ideal horse the next April.

"I was at the Bluegrass Classic Show in Kentucky when a friend of mine, Helen Slater, asked me if I wanted to look at her new horse, an Arabian/Percheron cross," says Mountjoy. "He was in a blanket and hood so I didn't see the rest of him. All I saw was the straightest legs and the four best feet I had seen in my life, and I decided I wanted him."

The gawky, short necked 3-year-old blossomed into a handsome sport horse, who excels in hunter pleasure, dressage and sport horse under saddle. Mountjoy's ultimate goal is to show him in sport horse show hack classes. "I will show him at Sport Horse Nationals in 2003 in hand, but now that he's 5, I'll be concentrating on him as an under saddle horse."

IAHA will hold its first Arabian Sport Horse Nationals at the Virginia Horse Park on September 17-21, 2003. Dressage horses will be required to use nationals qualifications that are already in place, but qualifications will be waived for hunter/jumpers and sport horses for the first year so that horses currently showing in open circuits can participate. All horses need to be Arabians, Half-Arabians or Anglo-Arabians registered with IAHA, the Arabian Horse Registry of America or the Canadian Arabian Horse Registry. Both rider and owner need to be IAHA members. For more information on dressage qualifications, check the 2002 IAHA Handbook or contact IAHA at 303-696-4500.

IAHA® is a 28,000 member breed association that registers Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses, administers more than $4 million in prize money annually, produces national events, maintains official event records , recognizes more than 400 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides a ctivities and programs that promote Arabian horse breeding and ownership. For in formation about Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses, call 303-696-4500, e-mail or visit


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