California Riding Magazine • May, 2011

The California Andalusian
Horse Alliance
Active group of enthusiasts and supporters hosts June show in Del Mar.

by Amanda Shields

The California Andalusian Horse Alliance, also known as Cal-AHA or The Alliance, may be a new name, but it is not a new organization. This dedicated group of Andalusian lovers, show enthusiasts, breeders, trainers and owners has been around for over three decades. Cal-AHA's mission has been to preserve, promote, maintain and improve the purity of the Andalusian breed, which includes the Spanish, Spanish/Portuguese and Portuguese Horse. The vision of Cal-AHA is simple: foster, aid and promote breeding, exhibition and sponsorship of such.

In the spirit of achieving these goals, Cal-AHA hosts three breed shows throughout Southern California each year. This March provided beautiful weather for the first show of the year at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. With nearly 100 horses competing and a variety of breeds represented, the California Andalusian Horse Alliance successfully hosted another fun show with an atmosphere for all ages.

The next Cal-AHA-hosted show will be at the Del Mar Horsepark, June 11-12, when Andalusian, Friesian and other breed classes will be offered. In August, the Region 1 and Region 10 Championship will be held back at LAEC. The Regional Championship is always a successful and exciting show as proved in 2009 and 2010 when the Cal-AHA Regional Championship was awarded with the United States Equestrian Federation's Favorite Breed Competition Winner.

The show ring is not the only place you'll find the California Andalusian Horse Alliance. Each year you can visit the Alliance at their booth at the Equine Affaire in Pomona. Show Committee members and Cal-AHA members dedicate their time and passion at Equine Affaire by promoting the breed with educational material, supplying breeding and training information and participating in breed demonstrations. It is a great venue to educate the public on the Andalusian horse, its versatility and beauty.

Throughout the year Cal-AHA sponsors, promotes and supports educational clinics throughout California and the country. This year two clinics were already staged with active members of the show committee. The first, Lauren LaVine's presentation on the new show discipline of Western Dressage, took place in late March. Choice Show Horses presented a clinic series titled "The Iberian Halter Horse." This series covered the selection, training and presentation of the Andalusian (or part-bred) for halter and morphology classes. The clinic was held at the Renaissance Equestrian Center in Norco in early April. Keep checking www.Cal-AHA.org for more clinics and educational opportunities throughout the year.

One thing that makes Cal-AHA so unique is the passion behind the people involved. The 20-person show committee is made up of an eclectic group of people ranging from teachers, carpenters, insurance sales, financial backgrounds, marketing, event coordinators, show managers, secretaries, managers and so on. What unites this diverse group is their passion for the Andalusian horse. Each individual brings his or her expertise, experience, background and passion to help aid in the success of the Alliance. The members participate in several meetings a year, planning the shows, events, clinics, exhibitions and promotion of the Andalusian horse in California and throughout the United States.

At the end of the year the Alliance celebrates a successful season with a banquet and Awards Gala. High-Point Awards are presented in honor of the horse in seven categories for both Purebred Andalusians and Part-Bred Andalusians, ranging from High-Point Junior Horse, Youth Horse, Amateur Horse, Halter Horse, Saddle Horse, Driving Horse and Overall Performance Horse. The evening is full of celebration and appreciation of this special horse and special people that help make the Alliance the success that it is.

All of the shows that the California Andalusian Horse Alliance hosts are United States Equestrian Federation "A" rated, which qualify horses for the International Andalusian Lusitano Horse Association National Championship Show that runs every October in Ft. Worth, TX as well as the All American Andalusian & Lusitano Show Horse Alliance Grand National Championship Show that is held in September in Lake St. Louis, Missouri. For more information on these competitions, visit www.ialha.org and www.andalusian-lusitano-alliance.com.

For more information about the California Andalusian Horse Alliance please visit us at www.Cal-AHA.org.