Canadian-bred stallion Shy Gayfeen++++// pronounced “Most winning Straight Egyptian Horse in History”
This article was originally printed in the January, 2008 issue of the Canadian Arabian Horse News (Vol. 46, No. 1).
Shy Gayfeen++++// entered his first show in the spring of 2000. Just six years later, the stallion became one of only three living Arabian stallions to receive the Legion of Excellence and Legion of Masters awards. The Canadian-bred stallion is also the first ever Straight Egyptian to receive this award, making him the most winning Straight Egyptian horse in the AHA’s history.
“It’s funny how horses can come into our lives so unexpectedly,” says owner Cori Wilson. In May 1999, Cori moved her half-Arabian gelding Zeke to a new boarding facility. At that same farm, twenty-six Straight Egyptian horses were being boarded in the pastures. Cori soon found out that their owner had fallen on hard times and was dispersing the herd – in fact, they were getting run through a local auction within the week. “I wasn’t looking for another horse at that time,” says Cori, “but I did fall in love with a beautiful mare named Gayleen RCA (The Minstril x SF Bint Saher). She looked like she could have been a national level hunter. I inquired about her and found out that she was older and unbroke, but she had a yearling colt sired by Safeen (*Ibn Safinaz x Abitibi Madeena) in one of the paddocks.” (Gayleen RCA is currently owned by Pat & Colleen DeVry of NightWind Arabians.)
Cori spotted the colt right away. “He looked like a miniature of his dam,” she says, “but he was in quite a neglected state. I could count his ribs, he had overgrown feet and a mane full of burrs. I knew he needed a good home, so I told the owner if I could catch him, I’d buy him. I went out into the paddock full of yearling and 2-year-old colts fully expecting to never be able to get near him.” The little colt called ‘Hugo’ wasn’t halter broke, but he calmly let Cori approach him. “All his little buddies ran away, but he stood there and waited as I gently slipped the halter over his head,” says Cori proudly. “Hugo knew I was there for him and he never looked back; he followed me out of the paddock and into the trailer.”
“His owner realized that these horses would be going for meat prices at the auction, so for payment he offered to just take the cash I had in my purse,” says Cori. “We shook hands and he said to me, ‘Do you realize you just got the deal of the century? That’s one hell of a colt.’ I laughed and thought to myself, we’ll see if he makes it past his first deworming. I honestly felt at the time that I was just doing a ‘rescue’.”
Cori was in for a surprise. “After receiving his registration papers I realized that not only was he Straight Egyptian, but his pedigree was full of national winners in halter and performance. By the end of that summer, after a few months of care and attention, Hugo had started to grow and fill out. And I started to think, this is one fancy horse!” The time came to geld him but by then Cori was having second thoughts. “I wanted another opinion, so in the fall of 1999 I asked ask Brenda Driediger to come and see Hugo. I knew she’d be honest with her evaluation. Brenda looked at him and said, ‘Don’t you geld this colt!’ I took her advice, but knew he’d have to prove himself and so his show career began.”
“Shy Gayfeen++++// has since acquired countless class wins in halter and performance as well as many high point and Horse of the Year awards,” says Cori. “He has traveled all over Canada and the USA to compete and we have been blessed to have some great Arabian horse trainers come into our lives along the way. His temperament and trainability have allowed him to achieve these awards with several different riders and handlers. He’s a real joy to show because he loves his job. I would especially like to thank Brenda Driediger, Cheryl Fletcher and Todd Ehret for helping him achieve so much success.”
In 2003 Shy Gayfeen++++// was the Egyptian Event Unanimous Champion in World Class Stallions 4 & 5-year-olds. A few of his other career highlights include two Canadian National Top Tens in Hunter Pleasure Open, a Canadian National Top Ten in Hunter Pleasure AATR, and thirty-two Regional titles in Stallion Halter, Hunter Pleasure Open and Amateur, and Ladies Side Saddle English.
As a young sire Shy Gayfeen++++// is also proving himself. His first three foals shown were all unanimous Regional halter champions. His oldest foal, a 4-year-old gelding named Anything But Shy++, achieved 12 regional titles in halter and hunter pleasure along with many wins in Sport Horse In-Hand, Sport Horse Under Saddle and Western Pleasure. “Hugo is passing on his excellent temperament and trainability, great legs, hip and topline,” says Cori. “He’s producing foals that are not only great halter horses, but great performance horses as well.”