On January 12-13th the 3rd Qatar National Arabian Peninsula Show for Individual Owners was held in Doha. Our report has been published in the Shows section.
During the show we spoke with Sheikh Hamad Bin Ali Al Thani, head of the Breeding and Show Department of Al Shaqab Stud, the host of the event, about the letter that he had sent to the ECAHO officials at the end of last year, announcing that Qatar would give up its membership in this organization. We asked Sheikh Hamad about his opinion on the main problems in the breeding and show field and if Qatar really is quitting ECAHO.
„Everything has now collapsed, we need to stand up, to start again – said Sheikh Hamad. – The biggest problem that I found out is that the shows nowadays are not for the breeders, but just a fun for the people who collect. The meaning of the Arabian horse show was to help breeders taking breeding decisions. And now it is all about the trophy! Our goal should be organizing seminars, offering the perfect stallion and not to hunt success at the shows”.
„This show is for supporting the individual Qatari breeders – he continued. – Also in Europe we need to support C-shows for smaller breeders. Breeders need support. Because who do the breeding now? The handlers, the training centers. Not the breeders. There are the training centers who decide which horse will be shown or sold. The breeding decisions are not in the hands of the breeder anymore. Where are the smaller European owners? At all the shows in Europe you can only see Middle East-owned horses. I don’t find ECAHO anymore. It is not a European society anymore”.
So is the decision of quitting ECAHO definitive? „Qatar will continue supporting ECAHO if ECAHO respects Qatar – declared Sheikh Hamad. – We have been supporting it for more than 25 years now. All our shows are ECAHO shows. We like the ECAHO because there are rules, and we need to follow the rules. But ECAHO needs to respect its members. And where is the sport section in ECAHO? It is finished. Where is the education? The main goal of the society should not be looking for sponsors, but teaching, giving people information, showing how we can support each other. We have meeting and meeting and meeting and it goes nowhere. We are horse lovers and we follow our passion which is the Arabian horse. You cannot make it all difficult to us – this is not allowed, that is not allowed. All that bans are not clear and when you ask nobody answers. At the end everybody will quit”.