Thursday, September 16, 2010

World Equestrian Games hopeful 'Zar' indeed a breed apart - Full Article

By Jennie Rees • • September 15, 2010

You've heard of shaggy dog stories. This is a Shagya horse story.

A rare breed of horse similar but distinct from the Arabian, the Shagya is so scarce in Kentucky that only two or three might be born in the commonwealth in a given year. But one of those, 13-year-old SA Belshazzar, is in the final days of evaluation to represent the United States in the 100-mile endurance race Sept.26 at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington.

It is the first time a Shagya born in the United States — let alone Kentucky — has made it to the short list for WEG endurance, a sport dominated by Arabians, according to Darlene Steven of Finchville, Ky., a past president and founding member of the organization that registers Shagyas in this country.

Of the 10 riders and 12 horses still in the running for the American team, five rider-horse combinations will be chosen Friday. Zar, as the gelding is called, is one of two horses who made the short list with rider Ellen Rapp. He also could serve as an alternate for Rapp if she is chosen for the team with her other horse, a 15-year-old Arabian...

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