An Emotional & Beautiful Journey of a World Champion

Argent Farms and Michael Byatt Arabians were hosts to a fantastic crowd at their beautiful Scottsdale facility during The 2010 ArabHorse Farm Tour. The tour included a benefit auction for St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital that garnered a $44,000 donation for an embryo right to the spectacular Arabian mare, RD Fabreanna (Falcon BHF x GF Simply Magic by Magic Dream).

Claire and Margaret Larson, then owners of RD Fabreanna, generously donated the embryo right to the St. Judes benefit auction. Dan and Maureen Grossman, owners of Multi National Champion DA Valentino, purchased this special embryo right and all proceeds were donated to St Judes Children’s Research. Murray and Shirley Popplewell are the breeder of RD Fabreanna who before selling her to the Larsons celebrated their first National win with a Rae Dawn bred horse.

A few short months after the emotional and special purchase, the Arabian community was devastated with the news that DA Valentino had passed. It was an overwhelming heartbreak for many, but clearly most devastating for Dan and Maureen Grossman. When the news was delivered that RD Fabreanna had been confirmed pregnant and was expecting the last foal conceived with DA Valentino’s fresh semen, everyone felt certain the resulting foal would be something special.

Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 3.37.38 PMSomething special INDEED… the resulting foal was Donna Molta Bella SRA. “Donna” now owned by Al Saqran Stud of Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates is undefeated in the International Arabian show circuit. She has won the coveted title of Las Vegas World Cup Supreme Champion, United States National Champion and now Salon du Cheval de Paris World Champion with David Boggs.

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Originally posted on the Arabian Horse Network – December 1st 2014

Hennessey Arabians—Breeding A Better Tomorrow

Hennessey Arabians’ level of commitment to the Arabian horse is no secret to the community as a whole, but for those who have come to know Frank Hennessey and farm manager, George Z, commitment takes on a whole new meaning. Everything they do is evidence that they exist to nurture, cultivate, honor, respect and share their infectious love for the Arabian horse with the world.

Since 2007, the 93-acre farm in Ocala, Fla., has been evolving into a haven where the Arabian mares of the farm, along with their foals, dictate the environment in which they live. They work tirelessly to fulfill their mantra, “A Horse for Every Home – A Home for Every Horse”. Their mission is to provide the world with the highest quality Arabian horses available anywhere in the world today, at any level a horse enthusiast wishes to be involved. “We never believed the Arabian horse could make such a difference in our lives, but it has. Of all our commitments, nothing provides us with more pleasure than being on the farm,” shares Frank. “Because they give us so much in return, it is impossible for us to contain our enthusiasm.” As a result, they maintain an open door policy and allow visitors from all over the world to come and discover what has so beautifully changed their lives.

Their passion for breeding quality has led them to great success, especially in Region 12, their home region. 2016 marked the second year in a row that Hennessey Arabians was awarded the coveted Spotlight Breeder of Distinction. This award is a special honor for breeders as it is calculated by the success and accomplishments of the horses a given breeder has produced, rather than by ‘popular’ vote, as in many other award programs within the breed. The horses that have competed in the Region 12 Spotlight program include both halter and performance horses. Hennessey-bred Spotlight Futurity Champions include (to name a few):

  • H Pepper H – Champion Western Pleasure Horse
  • H Samba H – Champion Yearling Filly
  • H Magic Mobility H – Champion English Pleasure Horse
  • H Diyas H – Top Five Country English Pleasure
  • H Amour H – Reserve Champion Hunter Horse
  • H Entuition H – Champion 2-Year-Old Filly

These represent a small percentage of the number of horses that have successfully competed in nearly every division of the Spotlight Futurity over the years. The Hennessey Spotlight success begins with the quality horses bred by Hennessey Arabians, and is supported by a team that works overtime to ensure its success. From the early days of halter breaking by farm workers Jose and Adela, to the more advanced training and conditioning at Wilson Training Center, both in-hand by Mike Wilson and under saddle by Peri Wilson, Hennessey-bred horses are nurtured and transformed into champions that the entire team is proud to represent.

Hennessey Arabians also strives to support the success of their friends, colleagues and new owners of Hennessey-bred horses. They encourage and offer valued friendship to all they come in contact with. Over the years, George Z has become famous for his ability to entertain and host fantastic gatherings. His crab cakes are coveted year round by all who have been lucky enough to enjoy them.

Though Hennessey Arabians is home to primarily broodmares and their foals, two stallions currently owned are H Mobility H and Jaipur El Perseus. H Mobility H has been everything they hoped he would be for the show and breeding program. Mo’s performance titles began in 2009 when he was named U.S. National Reserve Champion English Pleasure Futurity horse. Over the past four years, he has been named Regional and Scottsdale Unanimous Champion English Pleasure multiple times. As quoted by Dr. Jim Alderson DVM, Director of W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center at Cal Poly Pomona, “H Mobility H has been incredibly consistent in producing top quality foals for us. He passes on the exact traits needed to produce outstanding English type horses. The foals we have by him are beautiful, athletic, have long upright necks, and tons of trot!” Mo stands at Trowbridge’s Ltd. under the nurturing care of Mary Trowbridge.

The program is celebrating tremendous success with Jaipur el Perseus as well, especially in the international circuit. Jaipur’s sire, Perseus el Jamaal is the super sire and son of three-time national champion and legendary Ali Jamaal. Jaipur is the most look-a-like son of his mother, known as the queen of Brazil, Jullye el Ludjin. His priceless genotype and extravagant phenotype, has made him the perfect choice to add exotic beauty and extreme type to today’s show ring. Jaipur has produced multiple halter champions both in the U.S. and abroad. He currently stands at Christine Jamar’s, Jadem Arabians in Belgium.

Whether you are inspired to own, breed, show, or simply enjoy the lifestyle, Hennessey Arabians is a destination not to be missed. Plan a visit. You’ll be glad you did!



A Inspirational Story of Success

One of the highlights of my involvement in the Arabian horse community is the incredibly special people I meet that inspire me and so many others whose lives they touch.

One such couple is John and Debra Mitchell of CME Arabian Equities. John and Deb attended a Farm Tour a fews years ago at Royal Arabians and shortly there after attended an Arabian horse seminar which served as an introduction to Arabian horse ownership, hosted by myself and Greg Knowles.

They were hungry for knowledge and madly in love with Arabian horses and all that they had to offer. In a few short years, their success has defied the odds both in their personal lives and the horse business. Deb suffered a stroke that doctors said she had a 1% chance of surviving. They feared if she did live, she would likely never wake from her coma. She did survive and after several weeks in deep sleep, awoke immediately speaking to John and her doctors of her beautiful Arabian horses.

This year, to the surprise and overwhelming joy of the Arabian horse community they experienced not one, but two significant wins at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, including the Arabian Senior Mare Championship win of the Gazal Al Shaqab daughter, Rose of Gazal APA.

Rose of Gazal_411An unborn foal of this beautiful mare will be available for purchase at the upcoming IntArah Dream Embryo Auction on Friday the 14th at the Arabian Breeders World Cup Show in Las Vegas. Don’t miss an opportunity to be touched by the success of these amazing people! Contact Greg Knowles for more information.


Interview with John, Deb and Greg at the 62nd Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show

Rose of Gazal APA – Scottsdale Senior Champion Mare


Futurity Programs Show Amateurs The Money

Arabian horse clubs annually sponsor amateur futurity programs that are proving to inspire both new and veteran horse enthusiasts across the country. These programs designed specifically for amateur owners and exhibitors offer thousands of dollars in cash awards. Nearly 1.5 MILLION dollars in payouts was reported by club organizers for amateur futurity classes in 2015 and 2016. These programs have significantly encouraged participation at the shows while reportedly increasing the market value of nominated horses. The chart below reflects payouts for amateur classes only. Visit the individual program websites for more information on classes and payouts.


Scottsdale Signature Futurities

Amateur-Only Halter Futurity | Amateur and Professional Performance Futurity

Over $575,000 in cash prizes were awarded at the 61st Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show in the Scottsdale Signature Stallion classes. A breeding from each 2016 Nominated Stallion was auctioned during the show. All the money raised at this auction is used for future prize money payout for all eligible SSS nominated foals.


AHBA Futurities

Amateur-Only Halter Futurity

The Arabian Horse Breeders Alliance (AHBA) will award $176,000 in cash prizes at the 10th Arabian Breeders World Cup Show in Las Vegas this April. The AHBA Stallion Auction is held online in March. All the money raised at this auction is used for future prize money payout for all eligible AHBA nominated foals in the AHBA Futurity and the Legacy Futurity programs.


The Minnesota Arabian Horse Breeders Futurity

Amateur-Only Halter and Performance Futurity

Over $168,000 in cash prizes was awarded at the 2015 Minnesota Arabian Horse Breeders Fall Festival show. Any purebred Arabian mare in foal to a nominated Medallion Stallion is eligible to be nominated in the halter futurity. Any foal whose dam was nominated to the Futurity is eligible to compete in all performance divisions. The Minnesota program auctions breedings during the club’s Minnesota Fall Festival Horse Show, which also hosts its futurity.


Region 12 Spotlight Futurity

Amateur-Only Halter Futurity | Amateur and Professional Performance Futurity

Over $180,000 in cash prizes will be awarded at the 2016 Region 12 Horse Show in the Spotlight Futurity classes. A breeding from each 2016 Nominated Spotlight Stallion will be auctioned live on May 5th, 2016 in Perry, Ga. The successful bidder for each stallion will be eligible to compete in the 2018 Auction classes.


AHA Performance Maturity

Amateur-Only Performance Maturity

Over $130,000 in cash prizes was awarded at the 2015 U.S. Nationals in the AHA Purebred and Half-Arabian Performance classes. Western and hunter pleasure classes are offered to four- to five-year-old Arabian and Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian performance horses. Country English and English pleasure classes are offered to five- to six-year-old Arabian and Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian performance horses.


Silver Sire Futurity

Amateur-Only Halter Futurity

Over $55,000 in cash prizes is projected to be awarded at the 2016 Silver Sire Amateur Futurity Show held in Scottsdale, Az at the 2016 Arabian National Breeder Finals Show. Nomination to the Open Futurity is available to any registered purebred Arabian mare bred to any purebred stallion, not just the Auction Stallions. The breeding services purchased through the online Stallion Service Auction allow participation in the Auction Futurity classes. The stallion nomination fee of $500 is waived for stallions that meet specified requirements. Visit for more information.


Breeders Club & Three Year Old Finals Futurities

Amateur and Professional Halter Futurity

Over $8,000 in cash prizes were awarded at the 2015 Arabian National Breeder Finals show in the Breeders Club and 3-Year-Old Futurity classes. Anyone who breeds to a Breeders Club nominated stallion can nominate their purebred mare so that the resulting foal can compete for Breeders Club prize money.


The chart reflects information on amateur futurity payouts only. There are multiple money programs offered to Arabian horse breeders for amateur and professional participants in both halter and performance nationwide.



AHA Prize Money Programs

Amateur and Professional Performance and Halter Programs

AHA awards more than $2 million in prize money annually through the Breeders Sweepstakes, Halter Futurities and Performance Futurities programs. These programs showcase yearlings, two-year-olds and three-year-olds. Futurity winners can win thousands of dollars during their three-year-old year, and many Sweepstakes horses are eligible to win prize money at the Regional and National level for their entire life.


AEPA Performance Futurities

Amateur and Professional Performance Programs

AEPA Arabian Horse Times Arabian Futurity & AEPA Halcon Furniture Half-Arabian Futurity – The AEPA Arabian and Half-Arabian Futurities, for 4 year olds, are held each year at the U.S. National Arabian Horse Show. The AEPA Strawberry Banks Country Maturity is open to 5 and 6 year old horses that were sired by AEPA enrolled stallions. The Maturity takes place at the Buckeye show in Ohio.

Rodolfo Guzzo

When Rodolfo Guzzo laid his eyes on an Arabian horse for the first time, he did not wonder “if” he would be involved with Arabian horses, he wondered ‘how fast’ he could make it happen.


Rodolfo’s family had been involved with horses his entire life. They primarily raised and cared for Mangalarga Paulista, a horse breed native to Brazil. “When I was 15, my father took me to an All Breed Horse show. I saw a chestnut mare that took my breath away because she was so different than any horse I had ever seen. I told my father that I HAD to see the others of this breed. It was then that my father was introduced to Palo Levy and I was introduced to the Arabian stallion, *Lyphard. Everything changed for me in that moment. I still get goose bumps when I remember seeing him for the first time. In that moment, my life was changed.”

Rodolfo’s passion for the Arabian horse grew stronger every day, as did his quest for more knowledge. In school, Rodolfo was very involved in sports. As is the case for many, his desire to excel in sports superseded his book studies. His attendance to horse shows nearly every weekend helped Rodolfo identify an important link between horse competition and sports; hard work, dedication and commitment make ALL the difference between success and failure.

When asked which horse he first found himself emotionally connected to, Rodolfo responded, “There were a few, but my first National Champion, Shaklans Padron NA was the first truly impactful experience I had with an Arabian. David Boggs had purchased the 7-month-old colt for a client, but was not able to come to the show to present him. I worked for Haras Santa Gertrudes, Nagib Audi, at the time and was told I had to do this, and that I had to win. I remember feeling as though I was thrown in shark-infested waters because in my mind, I was too young. The pressure was intense.”


As special as that memory was, Rodolfo reflects that the horse that remains in his heart, as “the most special” is FA El Shawan. “I worked closely with Bolívar Figueredo to create a partnership to purchase him as a young colt. He was a star from the beginning and excelled in every way, even after his untimely passing. His legacy continues through his foals who are achieving international acclaim in competitions all over the world. There are so many more horses that have meant a lot to me. I represented Padrons Psyche in Brazil before Robert and Dixie North owned him. He has remained a very important horse for me.”

“I am deeply affected by moments and have experienced growth in my career as a result. For example, everything changed in my life and career when I saw Ali Jamaal for the first time.” Similar to his experience when first seeing an Arabian horse, Rodolfo recalls thinking that he had never seen an Arabian like Ali Jamaal. “My eye for a horse and how I evaluated all horses dramatically changed that day. I was accustomed to the Spanish style of horses. They were beautiful horses, but a bit ‘heavier’ in structure compared to Ali Jamaal. I was determined from that day forward to incorporate this ‘look’ of the US National Champion, Ali Jamaal in my program.”


“Sometimes I think about how fast everything happened my career. I have been very lucky and feel as though everything happens for a reason, but really, it was so fast. To have won a National Championship after just 2 years working with Arabian horses was unheard of. To then travel to the United States where I so quickly experienced success in the show ring all over the country was exciting and exhilarating, but crazy fast!”

On a personal note, Rodolfo expressed his gratitude for how he was received by his friends in the United States. “I will be eternally grateful for the support, direction and opportunities presented to me by Robert and Dixie North. They and my peers have treated me with respect and I am so thankful for that.”


After sharing his appreciation for the way he has been treated here, Rodolfo paused and began to speak of his emotional connection to the United States. His expression was soft and gentle and tears filled his eyes as he began to express what happens to him when he hears the National Anthem. “I don’t fully understand it myself, but I feel as though I was destined to be here. It’s been my dream for as long as I can remember to live in this country that I have so much respect for. I made great sacrifices to move my business and my life from Brazil and it was hard, but worth it. I feel home here.”


Those who know and have worked closely with Rodolfo will attest to his superior level of horsemanship skills. He has a deep understanding of proper diet, hoof care and varying levels of work routines to present horses at their highest potential. “I had 3 important mentors that engrained the phrase ‘a horses quality begins in their feet’, my father, Ricardo Suma and Caitano Fabrini. They taught me to take care of their feet first so that I would have a better horse in the end.”

Before pursuing his career as a horse trainer, Rodolfo dreamt of becoming a veterinarian. He traveled to farms with his family friend, veterinarian Ricardo Suma. “He taught me so much about caring for horses. I believe I learned more from the experiences I shared with Ricardo than I ever would have in school. I think this passion I felt for veterinary medicine is why I now do everything in my power to help people from Brazil who pursue their quest to become veterinarians.”

When asked what would most surprise people about who he is, Rodolfo responded, “I think people that don’t know me see me as very serious and possibly angry. The truth is, I am very shy. I am also a family man and a man of faith. I love to be with my family!” Some may be surprised to learn that Rodolfo and Natalia are driven by a desire to help, encourage and support others as they pursue their hopes and dreams. They are both giving, kind and gentle spirits who genuinely care about the needs and feelings of those closest to them.


“I am an emotional person. I am often moved to tears when I win classes because I have put so much into that moment, and have a deep commitment to succeed as a sign of respect for the people that work for me. They are passionate and driven and I owe it to them to do my best when I enter the ring. I am very proud of the teams I have built over the years and the success that many of them have experienced. I respect and understand that I would not be where I am today without each and every one of them as individuals.”

Rodolfo’s greatest hope for his two sons, Rodolfinho and Giovanni, is that they will learn from him to respect life and to be strong no matter what life has in store for them. “I want them to love what they do, and to be able to tell the people closest to them that they love them.” In a moment of vulnerability, Rodolfo shared, “I worked a lot while Rodolfinho was young. I wasn’t there for him as much as I would have liked. I am very blessed to have this second chance so-to-speak with Gio. I want to be an every day part of his life and watch him grow.”

Taryl O’Shea

20 years ago, young horse enthusiast Taryl O’Shea sought out to volunteer at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. She had moved from Canada to Scottsdale on New Year’s Day and had seen signs promoting the show. “I left a message at the listed number and did not hear back, so I went out to WestWorld, walked into the old A-frame office building on the grounds and was signed up as a ribbon presenter.” Taryl’s dedication to the volunteer position, and strong work ethic garnered her the position of volunteer organizer the following year. O’Shea’s official position with the AHAA began in 1998. Currently serving as the Executive Director, the 10-day Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show & Shopping Expo is the largest Arabian horse show in the world with over 300,000 people entering the gates, and the organization is responsible for over $1,000,000 in charitable giving to local and national organizations. Since 2011, she has also been producing the Scottsdale Polo Championships, the largest Polo event in North America.


When asked what people might be surprised to know about her, Taryl replied, “I think it’s my aptitude for adventure. This last summer I went on a glacier trekking expedition. We were flown in by helicopter and rappelled to the base camp. It was a wild and fantastic adventure!” Taryl’s thrill seeking nature led her to compete in three-day Eventing and Hunter Jumper competitions for years. She chuckled as she realized that her sense of adventure had likely attributed to her ability to successfully navigate her current position in life.


When entering the AHAA offices in the Scottsdale Airpark for our interview, I couldn’t help but notice the fantastic photo of Taryl on horseback in what she recalls as the highlight of her equestrian life. In 2013, Celebrity Slide organizer, Phyllis LaMalfa invited Taryl to ride in the increasingly popular event at the Scottsdale Arabian horse show. The Celebrity Slide is a “for fun and for profit” event that pairs up well-known non reining personalities with the top reining trainers in the industry. The celebrities are auctioned in a Calcutta that awards 65% of the proceeds to the buyer of the winning team. “I had full intent on practicing every day and being fully prepared for the event,” recalls Taryl. “I felt so bad for trainer, Nathan Kent. He didn’t know me from Adam. He must have wondered what he had done to be paired with the ‘dud.’ I was the lowest selling ‘celebrity’ in the Calcutta, and I overheard a group of the pro’s wondering who the ‘office girl’ was that Nathan got stuck with.”


Taryl’s schedule had been so filled with show management, that she had not even had time to try on her chaps prior to the ride. “I couldn’t get them on! It took two people to help me pry the zippers together and 3 people to hurl me on my horse, Kermit (Kharamat). I couldn’t move! I kept telling myself, ‘just don’t fall off!’” On top of all that, Taryl and Kermit were drawn as the first in the order of go. First draw is generally the kiss of death in reining competitions. As expressed in the photo on the facing page, she not only stayed on, she nailed it! In the end, Taryl and Kermit held the lead score until the final horse competed. Nathan, Kermit and their ‘office girl’ shined as the Reserve Champion Celebrity Sliders.

Taryl’s executive director seat for the AHAA is only one of many of her responsibilities. In addition to the Scottsdale Polo Championships, she also manages the Arabian Breeders World Cup show in Las Vegas and later this year, will manage the Australian Nationals for her first time. Asking Taryl if it was hard for her to juggle all the major events, she replied, “Thankfully, I love what I do in my work, because there is currently very little free time outside of the workplace.” She is known for her ability to clearly communicate and navigate the ‘big picture’ to the board members of each of the organizations she serves. She communicates with exhibitors, breeders, horse enthusiasts and committees, and carefully constructs their thoughts, ideas and efforts and presents them in a way that allows for careful consideration and execution. “My job is to communicate what the board of directors vote on and decide, whether I agree with their decisions or not. I love to help people with different personalities see the big picture and get along with one another.”


O’Shea’s most excellent adventure began over 20 years ago. She had not imagined that her first steps on this path as a volunteer ribbon presenter would lead her to this dream equestrian lifestyle. “My job is to help people learn about, love and own Arabian horses. I am lucky because I am positioned in organizations that produce world-class competitions that also take advantage of tremendous opportunities to share every aspect of the Arabian horse lifestyle.