King Abdulaziz Arabian Horses Center (KAAHC) is to hold the Souq Okaz Arabian Horse Beauty Championship on Thursday as part of its participation in the 12th Souq Okaz festival.
Turki Al-Khalty, director of public relations and head of horse beauty contests at KAAHC, said the three-day contest, which is to be held in the Souq Okaz horse racing track between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., consists of 19 rounds with 148 participating horses that belong to Saudi owners.
“This contest aims to encourage competition in this Arab sport,” he added.
He stressed that the KAAHC was keen to feature beautiful Arabian horses at Souq Okaz for the first time since they are an important part of the history of Islam.
He explained that the contest is for C-category horses, which are considered beginners, and is overseen and rated by the European Conference of Arab Horse Organizations.
“This is the seventh contest of the season, in addition to five other championships that won’t be held in Souq Okaz,” he said, pointing out that arbitration is carried out by a panel of judges from different European countries.
Al-Khalty highlighted that the contest’s course goes through the first and third qualifiers of each round until the final day when the winning foal and mare/horse are announced.
Arbitration is based on five basic criteria: The head and neck, the back, the legs, the horse’s movement, and the breed. Additional observations include the beauty of a horse’s skeletal build.
The horse should also have a strong, straight back, a curved, long neck, a relatively straight muzzle, small and erect ears that are close to each other, wide black eyes, a broad convex forehead that narrows and concaves when it reaches the horse’s nose, and wide nostrils.