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Rashid Van Ryad prances to title

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Enumclaw's Midcrest Farms celebrates win

By Brenda Sexton

The Courier-Herald

In Arabian horse circles, the asterisk in front of *Rashid Van Ryad's name means he was imported, but it could easily be a footnote at the bottom of a page in history that means he is something very special.

Rashid, as he's known, captured top honors in February at the Scottsdale Arabian Horseshow. Not only did the sire, who stands at Enumclaw's Midcrest Arabian Farms, win Grand Champion Stallion honors over a large field of world competitors, he won big.

Before taking the ring, many thought the walk-away winner would be *Piaff, an Arabian leased by a group of investors from the Polish government to show. This was Rashid's first show since coming to the United States.

“There was so much promotion behind this horse,” Stan Keeter said of Piaff. Keeter, who along with his wife Debbey manages Midcrest Farms, is also one of Rashid's owners as a member of Midcrest Associates. Midcrest Associates includes Keeter and a number of investors from across the United States from Seattle to New York.

“A number of people opted not to show against him,” Keeter said of Piaff. “We weren't going to run from him. We felt we were there to win it.”

Arabian competition is based on conformation and attitude.

“These are show horses,” Keeter said. “They're high-strung and high-carriage. They're like Hollywood stars. They come into the ring snorting and blowing.”

Keeter said Rashid was the last to show in the senior stallion class. Rashid, a two-time national champion in his native Brazil, strolled into the ring like he owned the place.

“When he went out there he lit the place up,” Keeter said.

“He (Piaff) was third in Rashid's class. He just crushed him.”

“It's a huge deal. It's as big as winning the (Kentucky) Derby,” Keeter said.

Like the Kentucky Derby it is the first in the Arabian Triple Crown. Rashid will now try and take the second and third legs of the competition. His next stops are the Canadian Nationals in August and U.S. Nationals in October in Louisville, Ky.

If he is successful, he will join others in the Midcrest stable which includes legendary sire and 1992 Scottsdale winner and triple crown winner Echo Magnifficoo and 1996 triple crown winner WN Ultimate Star, a sire that won his events with unanimous decisions from the judging staff.

He already joins a long list of national champions at Midcrest.

“We've been blessed,” Keeter said. “We've been blessed with great horses.”

And he's hoping that continues with the latest crop of Rashid's offspring entering the world this spring.

“The ultimate goal is to have him become a great sire and he's become that,” Keeter said.

Rashid is being billed as the “stallion of our time, sire of a lifetime.”

Keeter wants to share the celebration with the community. He, Debbey and the staff at Midcrest are planning an open house for the public to see Rashid, the other national champions, the latest crop of youngsters and the new facility around the first of May.

Brenda Sexton can be reached at bsexton@courierherald.com.

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