Many of you know from reading my Facebook page that the great stallion *Simeon Shai recently died.
*Simeon Shai was one of the most extraordinary and famous horses in the Arabian breed and will go down forever in the history books. His achievements have never been equalled and Shai himself was without equal - absolutely no debate about that. I believe he was the most beautiful and perfect stallion this breed has ever produced and the judges throughout the world agreed.
But, Shai did not accomplish his feats alone. His training, conditioning, management and showing by Ron Palelek was unequalled too. The conditioning program Ron undertook with Shai still ranks among the best of any breed. In my opinion, it was right up there with that of great race horses. Let me explain....
Shai and Ron traveled to Scottsdale, Canadian Nationals and US Nationals (winning all) and shortly after US, they flew to Paris where Shai broke the record books as he went on to become World Champion Stallion at Salon du Cheval that December, the first and still only stallion to win all four shows in one year. The Stallion class in Paris was by far the largest ever held. I might add that the Europeans threw every horse they could at Shai and Ron and, to make matters worse, Shai was the last to show out of the more than twenty horses and Shai had only been in Paris for two weeks. So how do you win facing such obstacles?
Part of the answer is superb conditioning and care. Attention to every last and least detail. This is something my friend Ron excels at. Shai was trained by and was absolutely Ron's partner. Shai and Ron accomplished their amazing feat as a team, not as adversaries. I often see horses that win in spite of their training, often times disliking or even hating (a human term) their trainers. This was definitely not the case with Shai and Ron. I loved to watch Ron handle Shai. Even in retirement, Shai loved to "show" for visitors. He was a kind stallion who was also proud and confident. A stallion who loved attention and people.
I feel so priviledged to have known Shai. And so fortunate to have worked with and trained his son VP Midnitestranger +// ("Wes"). Wes has many of his sire's traits. He loves children (amazing for a stallion), he is very masculine but easy to handle and he's extremely athletic. He's curious about everything and has brought much joy to his owner Joanne Salisbury and myself.
Thank you Ron and Shai, for without you both we would have never had the wonderful experience of showing and living with VP Midnitestranger +//. Shai, may you rest in peace. JD