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What a gracious attitude the Santa Ynez Valley Arabian horse people have, after a year of competing with each other at shows and other horse trials. They come together at the end of the season to celebrate each other’s victories.

One recent event took place at Jade Creek Arabian Farm, when owner Manny Lawrence invited fellow Arabian enthusiasts to bring their most successful show horses to a luncheon.

The horses had already enjoyed alfalfa breakfasts, and the guests sipped local wines as the horses were presented. It was almost like a fashion show with haute couture models, as one gorgeous Arabian equine after another pranced forth with Mr. Lawrence announcing their accomplishments.

EC Cause to Celebrate is a stunner, who competes in the half-Arabian classes. He is owned by Maggie McCarthy and is in training with Ali Brady. He recently won two national championships in the hunter classes at the U.S. Nationals, in Tulsa, Okla., and this was only his third show!

Then came TTop Gun, a 3-year-old half-Arabian gelding, sired by Showgun PGN, who is by Showkayce and out of a Holsteiner mare. He was bred by Kristin Harden, who is one the leading Sport Horse and Jumper trainers. Ali saw this gorgeous horse at Day Dream Arabians, here in Santa Ynez, when he was just a late weanling.

She says, “His charisma and talent just stole my heart. I just had to have him. This year with the help of Greg Gallun, TTop Gun was named Unanimous Region One Champion HA geldings. Last month, he won the title of U.S. Reserve National Champion 3-year-old gelding. In September, he earned a Reserve Champion in the Hunter Pleasure Futurity at the fall Santa Barbara Show.”

He will go on to a performance career in both Open and Amateur Hunter Pleasure. The crossing of Arabians with different breeds goes back for centuries. It is said that they have influenced the development of the equine more than any other breed.

Elegant tables had been set up in the spacious aisle of Jade Creek’s big barn. And at lunch time, guests dined on the traditional Valley fare of barbecued beef and all the accompaniments.

Among the guests we found Tiffany Schmidt from Day Dream Arabians, Jennifer Beyer, Melissa Feather, Julie Patton, Emily Devers of Evergreen Arabians, Mary Myers, Linda Erickson from Marlin Arabians, Janina Merz of Om el Arab, Jennifer Diamond, Jieslin Yan, Flora Elm Colone, Kaitlin Harris, David De La Rosa from Alamo Pintado Clinic, Chelsea and Lori Cantero, Greg and Allyson Harris and Kit Hall. The noted Egyptian Arabian breeders, Henry and Christie Metz of Silver Maple Arabian farm are always fun to visit with. Did Henry used to be a race car driver?

There was a large group of proud owners and riders from Cynthia Burkman’s Training Centre.

They were celebrating five champions and 10 reserve champions, as well as, countless top ten awards. Also mingling with the guests were some very stylish French Bulldogs, wearing little quilted coats and quietly speaking French doggerel to each other.

At the end of the program the host, Manny Lawrence brought out his gorgeous horse STLA Purple Jade. The 2012 U.S. National Top 10 half-Arabian yearling winner, who was sired by Brandon Bey JCA. When we had barely recovered from that he presented Fellada JCA, who was 2012 Breeders Finals Unanimous Champion Mare. She was sired by his three-time National Champion Jake Jamal.

Katie Russell is the president of the SYV Arabian Association and other big national winners were Tammy Bowles, and Nan and Dick Walden of Rancho Sonado. The Santa Ynez Valley is famous for their incredible Arabian horses, trainers and horse farms and the afternoon was an exciting showcase of some of our stars. Others were away competing at shows. It is a thrill to see living beauty of this quality.