Monday, March 07, 2016

Arabian horse legend Sheila Varian dies at 79 - Full Article | 8 March 2016

Renowned US arabian horse breeder Sheila Varian has died at the age of 79 after a battle with cancer, which was diagnosed in 2013.

Varian, who died on the morning of March 6, had been breeding horses since 1954 and was considered one of the world’s leading breeders of arabian horses, but she was also well known in western riding circles.

Ridden by Sheila, Ronteza (*Witez II x Ronna by Faronek) notched up three “firsts” at the Cow Palace in San Francisco in the 1961, the first Arabian, the first female rider, and the first amateur rider to “win the world” – the Reined Cow Horse World Championships, a contest dominated by quarter horses.

She was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2003.

The Varians were among the first to import arabians from Poland. Varian said: “I didn’t breed my stallions to follow any trends. I’ve always tried to take the best stallion and breed it to the best mare for the purposes I had in mind. I have had a deep fondness for the Arabians from Poland – however I recognize that all Arabians came from the desert originally so quality is more important than origin...”

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