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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Gulf Coast Arabian Horse Club rides into Bryan

Photo by Photo by Annie Lui

The Arabian Autumn Classic Horse Show is held annually in September. 

One-hundred-fifty horses and riders arrived in Bryan from as far away as Louisiana for the fifth annual Arabian Autumn Classic Horse Show Sept. 14 through 16.
A month before the club’s national show, the event, made up of multiple rising classes, welcomed purebred Arabian and half Arabian horses. Riders performed in reigning, English pleasure, country English pleasure, hunter pleasure, driving and trail classes.
Cory Stiles has been part of the Gulf Coast Arabian Horse Club for 25 years. She is a graduate of the Texas A&M veterinary school and was in charge of delegating riders and distributing awards. She also rode western pleasure during the event.
“I really like to watch the native costume class where they wear clothes like running on the desert,” Stiles said. “They go around and they’ve got these flowing robes and the saddles will have flowing panels on them and when the horse runs, all that sort of flies around. It’s really neat — it’s what an Arabian is.”
Members of region nine, Southern Central States, out of the 18 regions of the National Arabian Horse Association in North America, the Gulf Coast Arabian Club hosts the Arabian Autumn Classic Show to give riders one more opportunity to qualify for nationals.
“We’re one of the most competitive [regions],” Stiles said. “We have some of the best trainers. We really win a lot at nationals. It’s a very good time and we usually have a very large number of horses that come because they want one more go before nationals or they still can qualify for nationals.”
The national show is held in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the end of October and will host over 2,500 horses this year.
“What I like is the variety that the breed can do,” Stiles said. “It’s very versatile. I had Quarter Horses growing up and then bought an Arabian. They look fragile, but they win the endurance races, going 50 miles, 100 miles over rocky terrain; They always win above any other breed.”
Sitoma is a first year rider at the Autumn Classic Horse Show. Her young horse, Despicable Me, nicknamed Gru, is performing some of his first rides in preparation for nationals.
“I’ve been riding since I was able to sit up,” Sitoma said. “I have a new horse this year, so I’m getting a few points in before nationals. My expectations are to have fun and have a good ride and have some fun out there.”
William Peterson is a young rider who participates in the leadline 2-6 class in this event he is led around the arena by his father on the horse Marilyn Monroe. He started riding in the event last year at the Arabian Autumn Classic Horse Show.
“I was six months old when I rode my first horse,” Peterson said. “Leadline is my favorite event.”
Half-Arabians were also ridden at the event as western and hunter horses. To be half-Arabian, one of the foal’s parents must be documented as a purebred Arabian.
“Most breeds show within their breed and that’s what we do, but alot of our half-Arabian horses are very interesting because you’ve got half-Arabian and the other half’s Quarter Horse, they make great western horses and great hunter horses.”
One of the most easily recognizable horse breeds, Arabians are bred with other horses to increase the bloodline’s speed, refinement and endurance.
“[Arabians] go and go,” Stiles said. “They have lots of endurance … and they’re very versatile. They’re a neat horse. … It’s the foundation breed of all the other breeds really if you think about it.”

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  • The Arabian Autumn Classic Horse Show is hosted by the Gulf Coast Arabian Horse Club

    Photo by Photo by Annie Lui
  • Riders may compete in categories such as halter, western, reining, trail, English pleasure, Country pleasure. 

    Photo by Photo by Annie Lui
  • The Arabian Autumn Classic Horse Show was held at the Brazos County Expo. 

    Photo by Photo by Annie Lui
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