Arab Horse Society
Shows & Events Committee 

Darley Arabian UK Challenge 2023


A new exciting, rewarding showing competition for the Amateur handlers and horse.

History of Darley Arabian

Darley, founded by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is a global thoroughbred stallion operation which currently stands stallions in six countries around the world.  Darley’s headquarters is Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket – the renowned home of racing.

A trio of dominant foundation sires heralded the dawn of the English Thoroughbred, and all racehorses now descent from these founding fathers.

The oldest of the three is the Byerley Turk.  Seized by a soldier call Captain Byerley during the battle of Buda in 1686, the Turkish stallion spend the next decade servicing as the captain’s warhorse. The Byerley Turk then moved with his newly-married owner to Yorkshire, England, where this legendary horse’s dynasty was founded.

In 1704, the Darley Arabian was bought in Aleppo, Syria by Thomas Darley – an English trader and emissary of Queen-Anne – who exchanged the horse for shipment of rifles in the first arms deal in the Middle East.  The stallion was then shipped to his family estate of Aldby Park, England, and entered racing legend as the Darley Arabian.  Known to have covered mares from 1706 – 1719, before dying at the wonderful age 30.  Most racehorses alive today carry several hundred crosses of his descendants and 95% of modern thoroughbred racehorses can trace their Y chromosome back to this single stallion.  Almost 280 years after the Darley Arabian stood his first season at stud Sheikh Mohammed named his breeding operation in honour of the stallion: one of the Arab world’s greatest exports.

So, why the Darley Arabian UK Challenge?

Amateurs are an extremely important part of the Arabian horse industry that should not be ignored, yet their contributions had been underestimated for far too long. After all, they are the foundation of the breed and, certainly in The United Kingdom, there are far more amateur breeders than big professional stud farms. The Arab Horse Society Shows committee have added an extra exciting element to the UK show scene and bring back the atmosphere and enthusiasm that could be found at shows in the past.

In-Hand classes to be held at AHS Affiliated Regional shows in the UK in 2023.  There are two classes, class A and class B.  Qualifying cards available from Linda Whincup, Arab Horse Society at a cost of £10.00.  Cards MUST be signed at the show either by the Judge/Steward or Show Secretary.

Class A – this class is for the Amateur handler (as defined in AHS Rules of Showing) and Amateur Horse (not to have been professionally trained either at home or stabled with a professional handler). Open to any colt, gelding, mare, filly or stallion any age Pure-bred or part bred. - Handler 8 years and over

Class B – this class is the Amateur handler (as defined in AHS Rules of Showing) and horse (HAVE been professionally trained either at home or stabled with a professional handler) Open to any colt, gelding, mare, filly or stallion any age pure-bred or part bred. - Handler 8 years and over

NOTE: there will be NO championships held at the regional shows, just the qualifying classes

The judge will be judging the Handler more than the horse and points will be awarded depending on the placing in the class.  All 1st to 3rd place placings will then be eligible to go forward to the Championship which will be held at BACS, Onley 9th/10th September 2023 (you will have a chance to increase your points as qualifying classes will also be held at BACS) The Championship will be judged as a separate class and Champion will be awarded £250 and Reserve will be awarded £100 kindly donated by DMG Arabians.  The overall highest points winners in A and B, which have been accumulated over the year will receive a trophy and garland kindly donated by Silverdale Arabians at BACS

Ranking & Scoring

Points will be collected by individual handler and one horse, should you wish to enter more classes you must purchase another qualifying card (cards for one handler one horse).  Every handler will win points according to his/her placing in the classes.  Double points will be awarded at the National Show, David Broome Centre, Chepstow 21st – 23rd July 2023

1st           -              8 points

2nd          -              4 points

3rd          -              3 points

4th          -              2 points

5th +        -              1 point

However, if you win a class with only one horse in it you will only score 5 points and not the normal 8 points.

If you are in a spilt class (split at 10 entries) all classes will be awarded full points.

There are three categories for judging with a total of 60 points: Harmony between horse and handler, presentation of both horse and handler & Movement.  For each category there is a maximum of 20 points that can be awarded.  Points are accumulated during the season.  Total points return to zero at the beginning of each showing season.

Any queries or questions please email who will be happy to help.

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