History

Anthea Wilson on Al Rih Rishan, Gary Finlayson on Whitestones Crystal Diane, Virgina on Jordan, Anne on Shalako

Anthea Wilson on Al Rih Rishan, Gary Finlayson on Whitestones Crystal Diane, Virgina on Jordan, Anne on Shalako

Back in 1978, Arabian horse breeder Helena Patchett placed an advertisement in the Livestock column of The Press calling for “Arabian horse fanciers” to gather for a meeting with the idea of forming a club or group. Several┬ápeople attended the first meeting and it was decided to proceed with a club to foster promotion of the Arabian horse.

An initial Committee was formed with Helena Patchett as President, Virginia Dean as Secretary/Treasurer and Show Secretary, the late Messrs Lester Marshall and Brian Ross, John Morrissey, Velia Henderson and Marie Daldry.

Committee meetings were held on a monthly basis and in order to raise funds, a horsemanship seminar was organised with guest speakers Ron and Val Males from Australia. This seminar was well attended and Club finances benefited considerably from this first venture. Plans were soon under way for the inaugural Canterbury Arabian Horse Club Show.

This first show was held at the Ellesmere A & P Showgrounds on 9 February1980 with a total of 141 entries ? comprising 50 Purebreds, 74 Partbreds and 17 Anglos. The judges were Cheryl Skinner and Lynnley Driver. In addition to the standard led and ridden classes, there were sections for Dressage, Trail Riding, Hunter Jumping, Harness and Native Costume, all of which were strongly contested. Every year since then, the Committee of the Canterbury Arabian Horse Club has put together an annual Arabian Show.

Virginia Dean on Anazeh el Jordan and Anne Hutchinson on Dellmount Shalako

Virginia Dean on Anazeh el Jordan and Anne Hutchinson on Dellmount Shalako

Promotion of the Arabian horse was high on the Club’s agenda and to this end, the Committee worked hard, being able to achieve Arab classes at local Agricultural and Pastoral Shows. Costumed horses and riders always took part in the Annual Street Parade prior to the Canterbury A & P Show and there was always a Club promotion tent at the Show itself, providing literature and leaflets, videos etc. The general public was made aware of our proud breed, especially so by the giving of “pony rides”, very often on the backs of stallions!

Other events organised by Committee included races, a Versatility day which soon became so popular it was opened to other breeds, various seminars, junior judging days, fun rides, trail riding days, high point competitions, annual award presentations, social outings and barbecues. Many individual members also supported the Pet Expos, promoting the Arabian.

The Newsletter has seen various editors contribute their time and effort over the years and has always provided a grapevine for members for news, advertising and promotion. Any articles or photographs from members are welcomed. A bi-annual Members Stud Directory has also been produced for a number of years, proving a valuable tool for everyone to keep up to date with the latest Arabians in the province.

In latter years, the Committee runs two strongly supported shows as fund raisers for the All Arabian Show, namely the Winter Woollies Show and the All Breeds In Hand and Ridden Show.

Recently at the 30th Year Celebration Dinner, a handful of founding members were honoured with Life Memberships, namely Helena Patchett-Carter, Bev Morrissey, Georgina Marshall and Virginia Dean.

All in all the Club has made a huge contribution to the promotion of the Arabian Horse since its inception.

Long may it continue!