Afires Heir

Photo courtesy of Ferrara Photography Inc.
(2002 – )
Owned by William & Shirley Reilich
Inducted: 2013

Photos

Photo courtesy of Stuart Vesty, Vesty Photography
Photo courtesy of Ferrara Photography Inc.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Vesty, Vesty Photography
There are champions and then there are legends. Afires Heir has unquestionably earned his legend status. In a career that has seen astounding success in the Arabian English Pleasure division, there are few accolades left that haven't been lauded upon this bay Arabian stallion.

Winning the purebred English Pleasure championship at the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) U.S. Nationals has long been considered the pinnacle of a career. Horsemen and horsewomen, as well as spectators, crowd the rail two and three-deep during the final Saturday evening performance to catch a glimpse of the magnificent athletes, blowing into the arena with an elegance and spirit of centuries past. It is those who make their performances effortless, bridled high with an exuberant trot and balance with their riders that are awarded the coveted silver trophy and rose blanket. Horses that win this title are forever considered champions of the breed, regardless of future success.

With the 2010 Arabian English Pleasure U.S. National Championship win, Afires Heir, more affectionately known as Captain, accomplished what no other Arabian has done in the history of the breed "“ and it earned this victorious stallion Horse of Honor status by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

Afires Heir has the distinction of being the only Arabian English pleasure to win four consecutive, unanimous, U.S. National Championships in the prestigious Arabian English Pleasure Open division (one as a junior horse and three in the open division). His titles in the Open English division at the U.S. National Championships have written a new page in the Arabian horse show books and set the new record for the breed. Accepting his rose blanket with the dignity expected of true champions, Afires Heir trotted around the arena, exiting to much fanfare.

Afires Heir placed first on every judge's card in each class during his entire show career. No other Arabian has achieved his record of consecutive and unanimous wins in the English Pleasure division. He is regarded as one of the breed's most exciting stallions in both athleticism and artistry. His long, shapely neck creates an impressive vision in the bridle. His movement, impressive yet effortless, imposes awe with a strength of motion rarely seen. He is a truly great stallion that combines incomparable motion and breathtaking beauty. His indescribable charisma and likability make him a standout.

When asked about his legacy, those involved throughout his career point to his foals, the first of which began competing in 2010. All four of those shown at the 2010 Arabian Horse Association (AHA) U.S. Nationals earned a Top Ten award or better, with three of them taking home ribbons in the Arabian English Pleasure Futurity class for three year olds), including the Reserve National Championship. By 2012, he sired 10 National winners with eight of them in English Pleasure Junior Horse, English Pleasure Futurity, and the AEPA Saddle Seat Futurity classes.

Many predict that the face of Arabian English Pleasure is likely to change, such that successful show horses will have that regal, elegant style of a silhouette matched with the elegant style of motion, the gracefulness that is exemplified by Afires Heir. Time will determine his future impact on the breed, but he will always be remembered for his elegance and attitude in the show ring, and for his stature as an Arabian horse legend.