AHT's May Leader Of The Times
The Return Of The Champion Turismo RA
by THERESA CARDAMONE
Turismo RA is unfamiliar with the word defeat or the feeling of being defeated. A regional champion as a yearling and a 2-year-old, he extended that streak when he was named the 2016 Region 16 Champion Stallion. Thus qualified, Turismo moved on to the national level, where he captured both the Canadian and United States National Champion Futurity Colt honors for Merrilee Lyons’ Silver Stag Arabians.
Given the following year off in order to start his breeding career, Turismo RA (Trussardi x Marlene Dietrich, by Marwan Al Shaqab) returned to the show arena at the recent Scottsdale All-Arabian Show, picking up exactly where he had left off.
The largest, and arguably, the most prestigious Arabian horse show in the world, the victory at Scottsdale is often a springboard to the title of U.S. National Champion Stallion. That, in a nutshell, was the game plan for Turismo, and he did not disappoint. True to his unblemished record, he was named the 2018 Scottsdale Champion Stallion, with David Boggs on the lead.
Merrilee is grateful for the loving care that Turismo has received throughout his life, which she feels is a huge factor in his success. Bred in America by Rojo Arabians, Turismo RA has been expertly conditioned, promoted and cared for by Cathy Vincent and her capable assistant Alayna Mala at Adandy Farm for most of his show career. A change of setting to Midwest Training Centre’s Scottsdale facility to prepare for the 2018 show season did not seem to bother Turismo at all.
“He is very happy doing halter,” says Merrilee. “He loves that ring and he loves that crowd. He’s perfect as a show horse. He doesn’t waste his energy, but when that gate opens, he is ready to go out there and wow them! David did a beautiful job with him. Those two looked at each other and said, ‘Yes, you’re the one,’ and it was a pleasure to see them together in the class.”
With the Scottsdale championship secured, plans are to continue on to Tulsa and an opportunity to claim the National Champion Stallion title with David. As for the future? “I’ve always said that we must follow Turismo’s lead,” Merrilee offers. “If he needs a year off, he’ll get it, but I don’t think his showing days will be over immediately after Nationals. I don’t want him to get tired of it, but we don’t want him to get bored either. We want to maintain his bright attitude.”
With the beautiful way that he moves, there is a lot of interest in Turismo from performance breeders as well as the international halter community. Merrilee concurs with their assessment. “You could ride this horse, without a doubt,” she says emphatically. “He can trot with all four corners under him, neck in the right place, head in the right place…but right now we are concentrating on halter.”
Halter and fatherhood. Getting foals on the ground is also a primary focus. “He’s got a foal at Cathy’s that is now about three weeks old and he looks just like Turismo,” Merrilee reports. “That is what people want…to see Turismo come through in the foals. This is a tall, bay colt who has it all. He is just wonderful. He is not a complete reproduction because you can see some of the mare’s finest qualities. This colt has everything you’re looking for…bay, high-headed, short-backed. We look forward to seeing how he and the other Turismo foals grow up.”
It should come as no surprise that, if Turismo has anything to say about it, they will grow up to be champions.