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Roots in Racing: Behind-the-Ad & Interview with Gaurav Walia

CONCEPT: SUMMER 2010 CAMPAIGN

Behind the Ad and Concept

 Interview with Gaurav Walia

Aldebaran: Roots in Racing

Why Racing?

“Motion, racing in particular, forms a very integral part of certain foundation lines in our program. The consistent onward breeding of Racing ability, as a way of maintaining and improving certain qualities generation after generation, assure us of a very strong framework to use as a basis for the traits that we’re looking to develop into our own unique style of horses, from ground up.”

What does the race horse of today bring to the Aldebaran program? 

“We’re focused on classic beauty and racing ability itself sculpted a chief style of attributes. Without that history as a basis and foundation, we really would not have a clear direction of what we’re setting out to do. Racing ability entails what a horse was specifically bred to do generation after generation. When you look at a race horse, you see it carrying conformational qualities and traits that are very unique to its style and what it was bred for. Similarly, when you look at the Arabian horses of Aldebaran, the features you expect and find in remarkable consistency are strong legs, very beautifully correct bodies and functional necks with clean throat connections – our signature elements. Historically, these features of the classic Arabian were necessary for function – nothing more was required, nothing more was tolerated. When we use this as a foundation, we have a much clearer sense of where we’re hoping to progress and have a dynamic vision on what we’re expecting by using those strengths. By reflecting on the past, our future path is a lot clearer than it would have been without that sense of history and understanding on where our lines come from. Elements of racing strongly ingrained in this blood brings us many aspects, for one, it ensures a certain quality and style of movement that we look for. Most importantly, the mindset of these race horses is very unique and very important to what we need today for the contemporary horse to retain its companionability, intelligence and trusting demeanor.”

What does a contemporary race horse mean? 

“We have insufficient racing grounds, lacking training methods and facilities in this country at present time that really don’t allow us to race these younger horses to the degree one may like to. There are far too many limitations on Arabian racing and it would really need a significant mindset in the ability of racing the Arabian horse for it to be an endeavor that is more acceptable as a part of the breeding in this region. Despite those challenges, we continually look for racing ability. There is timeless modernity and a contemporary feel to our horses that is essentially, functional; those qualities are very necessary and they really have to be left in the foundation of what we’re trying to go with. Our horse still has to grow as part of what we like and enjoy looking at. The progression is that we cannot simply continue raising just race horses; if it does not fit in with our progressive ideal of classic beauty then it is just a horse; it is not an Arabian horse. Presently, Arabian horses are used as leisure sport and everyone also continues to look for where the next performance or pleasure horse will come from. We’re at a point where certain bloodlines have been tested, and also over-used. The uniqueness in ability and quality of racing bloodlines, used in the correct way, restore certain traits that were always alluring in the concept of beauty, without which we generally end up with horses that fit a certain contemporary style and look but really don’t remain as functional. Historically, racing ability offered a very strong foundation that was necessary more than just a preference. And looking back at these lines, athletic ability springs forth generations after generation by consistently garnering those qualities and carrying them forward.” 

 

What similarities does one see with the Classic Arabian Horse in the racing lines? 

“Horses strong in racing ability are Classic Arabian horses – they were bred for a very specific reason and they needed to retain classic traits to be race horses. It is how the classic Arabian survived; it was a specific horse that needed to be certain things and over generations, if a horse did not possess those qualities it discontinued to exist, for it was no longer used. So that was the Classic Arabian a hundred years ago. Racing blood, for it to have been successful and survived over the years, needed to have those qualities and only those qualities, so today when we use that blood we’re only taking elements that compose the classic Arabian horse and continue that with the contemporary progression we’re hoping to achieve.”

So, where does the race track lead Aldebaran? 

“We don’t wish to stray too far from the original purpose of the Arabian horse. Racing brings us closer to what the original intent was and by having race tracks in existence today, the Arabian breed is able to retain and focus those abilities, continually developing into every breeder’s own choice and purpose. Racing is very important, it would be necessary to have it implemented but perhaps not to the degree of a commercial venture of the performance industry. Our horses have racing ability, have generations of consistent racing blood in them, but we don’t live in a world, or society, where that is all that the horse needs to be used for. We have a certain element of compromise and flexibility where our own personal tastes and desires have to come forth. We’re not sending these horses into race tracks or wars; that’s not the world of today but the foundations are important. That which represents beauty to us is what we’re hoping to carry forth.”

{ Gaurav Walia on the Racing Dam lines of Aldebaran }

Recorded April 2010

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