Memories of the British Nationals: Windella Silver Sensation

As people descend on Malvern for this year’s National Championships, in this Centenary year for the Arab Horse Society, we feature our next British National Champion. This penultimate horse is Windella Silver Sensation, who was also a cover horse for The Arabian Magazine.

IMG_1535 Windella Silver Sensation

Windella Silver Sensation – by Alicia Bratby
An absolutely stunning grey mare with a typey and feminine appearance, Windella Silver Sensation in my opinion epitomises Arabian beauty. Born in Australia and bred from some of the best US and English imports, Windella Silver Sensation (SK Shakla Khan x Windella Silver Fascination by Amir El Shaklan) proved herself in the show-ring in her homeland, receiving the title of Australian National Champion Filly before repeating her success in 2002 as a mature mare.

In 2003, at 10 years of age, Windella Silver Sensation was imported into the UK by Heather Brown of Argos Hill Arabians. I watched with fascination as she entered her first shows; she had left her homeland with an unbeaten showing record and several titles to her name. The pictures of her were amazing and her pedigree, dotted with national champions from around the globe, read of great things, but Windella Silver Sensation in the flesh was nothing short of sensational. She has a classical appearance that cannot fail to be noticed combining beautiful Arabian type with the most wonderful, floating movement that really sets her a class apart.

IMG_8127 Windella Silver Sensation

For me, the British National Championships always brings out the best Arabians in the country, all competing for the coveted title. In 2005, I had watched Windella Silver Sensation win her class in style, yet disappointingly she had not been chosen to take any British National honours. It was, therefore, no surprise to see Windella Silver Sensation again enter the ring with her handler, Barry Shepherd, the following year. I have no doubt that Heather knew that this mare was made for great things and here was her chance to set the record straight and go down as one of the greats.

With my love of Crabbet bloodlines, in particular the Silver Fire lines, it would not surprise many that I have a soft spot for this wonderful mare. To me, she proves why out-crossing bloodlines, if done with care, can really work and produce the most outstanding result.

I waited with baited breath as I watched Windella Silver Sensation again win her class and then step back into the ring. Could she take up the challenge for a second year running only this time come out on top? The judges’ decision was made and Windella Silver Sensation was brought forward as British National Champion Mare. It was an emotional moment and so warming to look around and see so many beaming faces and clapping hands. In my eyes, this outstanding mare had deservedly won her crown and no matter what may happen in the future, she is etched in history on both sides of the world.

The Supreme Championship of the show is a must have and space around the ring is always at a premium with the best of the best presented for everyone to see and again being asked to show their worth. Each one of them on their day could well be worthy of the supreme title, but there has to be that special something about the winner that sets them apart. As an owner, I am sure that there is no better feeling than when the horse you love and cherish has the steward’s hat pointed in its direction to call it forward for the title. And so it was with a mixture of awe and relief that Windella Silver Sensation was selected as the 2006 Supreme British National Champion to rapturous applause.

This mare has more than proved herself many times over and I am now excited to see if her offspring can follow in her hoof steps.

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This post comes from a series we first ran in The Arabian Magazine in 2005. Called Malvern Calling, the series celebrated British National Champions from Malvern, Ascot and even Kempton Park, and different readers shared their favourite memory from the British Nationals. There is always something special about watching the moment a horse is crowned British National Champion, so please enjoy the memories that will be shared here over the coming month.


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