2013... A Spectaculare Debut
2013 Scottsdale Champion Signautre Yearling Colt
2013 ABWC Silver Supreme Champion Yearling Colt
2013 ABWC Gold Champion Futurity Yearling Colt
2013 United States Reserve National Champion Yearling Colt
Already a successful show horse as a yearling, A Jericho is ready to take the next leap into the breeding world. His pedigree boasts many great champions and he has the blood to become an excellent sire. His type and great confirmation along with his attitude and charisma give great promise for this young colt as a breeding stallion.
The Abel family consists of a long line of competitive athletes. The most prominent being Sid Abel—a former Detroit Red Wing whose iconic #12 jersey is one of seven hung in the rafters at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena. Playing alongside Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay, Canadian native Abel will go down in history as the third member of this “Production Line,” one of the most intimidating combinations in NHL hockey history.
As we take this family’s story from the ice rink to the show ring, the next competitive athlete of the family comes in the form of beautiful 2-year-old Arabian colt A-Jericho (A Jakarta x Destiny VF). From the brilliant A-Jakarta, an Ali Jamaal grandson, and on the dam’s side, Destiny VF, a great-granddaughter of the one-n-only Padrons Psyche, A-Jericho has a foundation as firm as the ground beneath his hooves.
On this impeccable pedigree, Aude Espourteille, a friend of the Abel family and owner of A Jakarta, offers her take on what his lines might say about him as a show horse and future breeding stallion. “For me, A Jakarta is a sire that exemplifies through his pedigree the greatness and quality of legendary sires Ali Jamaal, Bey Shah+ and Ferzon. The grandam of A Jakarta is a full sister to U.S. National Champion Stallion, Gai Parada therefore his tail female line is second to none.. Specifically, through these bloodlines, A Jakarta exudes type, refinement, with a long neck, and the fountain tail that has somewhat been lost in the Arabian breed. A Jakarta then passed the traits of these rich and historical bloodlines to his son A-Jericho, who perfectly represents the next generation”
CATCHING THE SHOWRING BUG
It must be stated that the Abel family didn’t get their start in the business with A-Jericho. First, it was the thrill of competition that rendered them helpless to the irresistible Arabian horse. It was January of 2011 and the Abel family was looking for a black Arabian riding horse. As they journeyed to Ventura Farms and happened upon a mare called Destiny VF, they discovered that this mare came with a breeding to A Jakarta.
So with the purchase of their sought-after black Arabian riding horse, the Abel family had accomplished all they needed to in the Arabian horse business? Well, not exactly. Like many other starts in this industry, this first purchase proved to be a humble beginning to a whole future of Arabian horse endeavors. As the Abel’s headed to the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show in February of that year, they introduced themselves to Aude as the new owners of Destiny VF, and made plans to come by the farm to breed her to A Jakarta. At this time, they also spoke to Aude about purchasing another family riding gelding for $7500.00.
Aude reflects, “I'll tell you what, there's a really pretty yearling filly here on the farm that we intended to keep for our breeding program but will sell her today for $7,500, she is what we refer to in the Arabian world as a smart foundation purchase and you should make that type of a choice – you are ready. Her name is Athena VF and she's by TF Psymreekhe and out of the mare Appolonia ACF. You can also ride her when she gets older. She's pretty, she's got a beautiful pedigree, and she's not very expensive.’ So, they bought her sight unseen. I didn't know that at the time – only to find this out later. I, of course, assumed they went to look at her. So the beautiful Athena VF came up to the ranch and started getting ready for the 2011 show season.”
A few weeks later at the Region 4 show in Idaho, Aude learned of Norma Jean and Allan’s blind purchase of Athena VF when Allan shared, “Aude, we've never seen her.” A rather shocked and surprised Aude replied, “You mean you bought her just because I told you that she was a good one?” Just moments later Athena entered the arena and won the yearling filly sweepstakes class at region four – a competitive class at that. Athena VF sealed the deal and in that moment the Abel’s caught the showring bug forever”
A DESTINED COLT
This whirlwind of excitement and competition surrounding yearling filly Athena seemed to seamlessly transfer into a young colt called A-Jericho. Now 2012, after Destiny had the A Jakarta foal, Aude went up to Canada to see the offspring. “They had sent me pictures and it seemed that A-Jericho was special. He was very refined and never took a bad picture—even with a Polaroid. I said to them, “This one is extreme, and I think we need to take him to Scottsdale.” So they decided to send him down in October of 2012 to Tara and I to condition and train him for the Scottsdale show.”
Fast-forward to Scottsdale 2013 and A-Jericho is the champion Scottsdale Signature colt, shown by Jocelyn Hazelwood. The success of the 2013 show season had begun. Next on the bill was the World Cup Show in Las Vegas—an increasingly significant show. Again Jocelyn won the futurity class, and then he was in the qualifying class for the open. He was shown to a championship by Sandro Piñha, and then in the yearling championship, he was World Cup Silver Supreme Yearling Champion, shown by Pawel Kozikowski.
Following this magnanimous show, A-Jericho manufactured a lot of excitement and accrued many offers from people who wanted to own this up-and-coming colt. But for all of the great amounts of money, the potential future excitement and pride of ownership won out. The Abel family decided to keep A-Jericho and continue the quest. Also at this show, David Boggs expressed interest in the colt for the U.S. Nationals. In the Yearling Colt Championship with Boggs in Tulsa, A-Jericho was shown to a brilliant reserve win. Although he was tied for first, the champion edged A-Jericho by half of point. Impressive wins at the three most prestigious shows in the country made for a banner year in the Abel family.
A UNIQUE FAMILY
“For me, it has been fun to see a family go from having no intentions of getting into showing Arabian horses in 2011, to having a horse like A-Jericho,” Aude shares. “They are a family of very hard workers—the type that really started from the ground up and they're not a showy bunch. They weren’t used to the excitement of big offers and everybody chasing their horse and the nerve-wracking experience of a major show. There was just a lot of attention on them, but they handled it all so well. They are really gracious and giving while having a great time.”
More than a fun hobby, horses have brought the Abel family together—offering a wonderful activity all can enjoy. “This family really loves animals and always have many of them around. Horse shows have also become a real family thing. They all can come and have just a great time. When the family arrives in Scottsdale, Vegas, or the U.S. Nationals, it’s not just four or five people—they bring twelve or fifteen. They simply love doing this.”
As A-Jericho became a family treasure, something very special for the Abel family to bond over and enjoy together, he also allowed the Abels to become part of a bigger family, that of the Arabian horse.
And today, as their love for the horse and their total number of horses grows exponentially from that initial black riding mare, the Abel’s are getting more serious about breeding the Arabian horse as well as looking out for their prized possesion—A-Jericho. Coming off a big year, the colt now resides in Minnesota at Midwest Training Center while holding on to a strong relationship with Aude Espourteille and Tara Boresek, as well.
Trainer David Boggs offers, “It is a tremendous honor to show A-Jericho for the Abel family as I had the pleasure of showing his sire, A Jakarta as a yearling too. Both father and son represent the highest level of quality while exhibiting exquisite breed type. These are horses whose lineage includes the legendary stallions, Bey Shah+ and *Padron, both phenomenal show horses and breeding stallions that I had the pleasure of managing and living with. A-Jericho embodies all of the great qualities these horses stood for. I feel blessed to have A-Jericho in my life today and look forward to watching a bright future unfold for this very impressive colt.”