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36th Music City Arabian Horse Show


Article & photos by LaCresha Kolba

Arabian horses have a long standing history in Tennessee. In the 1930’s Middle Tennessee was the heart of the Arabian breed in North America, and in the 1960’s the focus was towards Arabian horse racing. Then in 1971 a group of Arabian horse lovers started the Middle Tennessee Arabian Horse Association with the purpose to organize a yearly show just for Arabians. Beginning in the 1990s, a portion of the proceeds from their annual show have supported a scholarship in the Middle Tennessee State University Horse Science program. This year marked the 36th annual show, held August 14-16, 2015 at the Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, TN. 

With a drop in competitors this year, there still over 60 riders from Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana competing over the weekend.  The show  provided an interesting mix of Dressage, Hunter Pleasure, Country English Pleasure, Western Pleasure, AHA Hunt Seat Medal, Dressage Seat Equitation, Sport Horse Under Saddle, English Pleasure, Hunt Seat Academy Walk/Trot/Canter, English Show Hack, and the very popular – Arabian Native Costume. There were three main judges, consisting of a Main Ring Judge: Cynthia Howey, from Andale, Kansas; Dressage and Sport Horse Judge: Sandi Chohany from Hampshire, IL; and Academy Judge: Shelley Dunham from Bon Aqua, TN.

The Dressage part of the show allowed the riders to apply points toward AHA, USEF, and USDF Championships. Andra Kowalczyk Martens explained the importance of Dressage classes: “The Arabian horse is a multi discipline horse, very versatile, and adding Dressage allows us to showcase their versatility and abilities in the various disciplines.  We have been at this facility for over ten years and we are glad we have our new date on the books for years to come.” 

Andra was the event’s Safety Coordinator for the weekend and has been a member since 1995. She enjoys this organization as it showcases the versatile breed, and how they are highly trainable and workable animals.

Show manager Shelly Fugitt showed her horse, Vicki Vale, this weekend, “She is 20 years old, a really easy going horse, a little sensitive. I have had her for ten years and she does really well in the Sport Horse and Dressage classes.”
Whitney Butler had a flawless ride on her horse, OH Norma Jean, in the Country English Pleasure class. The training results Whitney and her horse have achieved were obvious as they rode into the arena. With each transition between gaits, their movements appeared effortless; from the hand gallop down to the walk, their performance was seamless. The stadium gradually filled with people coming to watch the graceful connection between horse and rider.

Young rider Bailey Lones and her half Arabian pony Raindrops On Roses HL, aka “Rosie,” were featured to highlight their accomplishments this past show season; she won national and reserve championships at the Arabian Horse Association Youth Nationals earlier in August. While the announcer read her accolades, Bailey and Rosie took their round in the main arena.

The Middle Tennessee Arabian Horse Association also offers a May fun show, along with their annual show.  They offer classes for half-bred Arabians, purebred Arabians, along with mixed breed classes. For more information about this organization and their shows, check them out on Facebook or visit their website:

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