HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Asil Cup International 2014

A new highlight for the Arabian Horse, with the help of a new judging system

From August 22-24, the 10th ASIL CUP INTERNATIONAL, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan took place at the princely demesne of Count Ferdinand zu Castell-Castell. It was organised by the Asil Club e.V. with ist chairman, publisher Dr. W. Georg Olms, an international society of breeders celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed, had sent Ambassador H.E. Jumaa Al Junaibi with the delegation of 20 high-ranking officials to Castell, to take note of the Quality of the horses and the new judging system. A judging system that takes into account not only the fascinating type of the Asil Arabian, but also ist riding qualities and its performance. There are plans to adopt this system for shows in 2015 in Abu Dhabi and possibly in Bahrain. For once, every care was taken to consequently eleminate the unpleasant aspects seen at Arabian shows everywhere.

Some 140 horses competed in endurance rides, dressage and Western competitions and halter classes. The latter were judged by renowned experts from Germany and abroad. Besides the endurance rides over difficult terrain up to 86 km (which was won by an Asil Arabian stallion), there was also a 6 km ride for children. Count Ferdinand zu Castell-Castell personally accompanied his daughter at a brisk trot, leading her Pony. Some 5000 spectators saw the international afternoon programme with attractive displays, such as classic dressage including airs above the ground, a parade of 30 Salukis, a hawking demonstration, Hungarian Post, Circus tricks and the eagerly anticipated championship finals. The princely family – led by H.H. Prince Albrecht zu Castell-Castell – personally watched almost all presentations with interest and appreciation, along with the guests from the Emirates. The Emirates delegation was very impressed by the entire atmosphere of the princely demesne, with a reception at the castle libary, the various aspects of the event with ridden classes and endurance rides, the afternoon show programme and the gala night featuring international artists. Dr. W. Georg Olms and Vice-Chairman Georg Thierer were especially fascinated to meet H.H. Prince Albrecht zu Castell-Castell, one of the few remaining survivors who, as young men, accompanied the cavalry brigade led by Georg Baron von Boeselager on its fast ride to Berlin from the Russian front to assist with the Stauffenberg revolt,but had to turn back after its failure.

With the best possible weather, the Asil Club once more held a successful major show and ridden event. Extensive reports were broadcast by Al Arabia-TV as well as Bayern 3, and the bibliophilic ASIL CUP show catalogue with the new judging system found great interest, as did the extensive, multi-lingual documentations „Asil Arabians - The Noble Arabian Horses”. After all, the chief purpose of the Asil Club is the preservation of the precious gene pool of the Asil Arabian, which traces in all lines exclusively to the horses of the Bedouins (asil = pure, noble, unadulterated).

 From the preface by H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed, patron and sponsor:

„In a world that changes incessantly, and which has changed considerably since my late father, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, had the privilege of addressing you through a similar foreword at the Asil Cup International 2000, there are nevertheless enduring constants. One of these is the Asil Arabian, a horse unlike any other and yet so much more than just a horse. (...) As it celebrates its 40th anniversary, the Asil Club deserves great praise for its unstinting efforts to promote the Asil Arabian both throughout Europe and far beyond and I wish all involved with the Club every success in their – appropriately – noble endeavours.”

Report on the show (German)

FAZ Online: [click here]