Story of arabian breeder Sheila Varian on silver screen

V-Legacy-sheila-varianThe small California town of Arroyo Grande is to host the world premier of a movie celebrating famed arabian horse breeder Sheila Varian in early August.

V: The Legacy of Sheila Varian also marks this year’s 60th anniversary of Varian Arabians. The film is described as “the ultimate underdog story”, and walks viewers through the epic story of Sheila Varian, known to be one of the world’s elite horse breeders and trainers, and includes never-before-seen footage of her early years and her horses.

Its premier in Arroyo Grande during the weekend of Varian Arabian’s Diamond Jubilee, and will include several guest speakers, including Sheila herself.

Sheila Varian has been breeding horses since 1955. The “V” following a horse’s name was initiated in 1981.

Ridden by Sheila, Ronteza (*Witez II x Ronna by Faronek) notched up three “firsts” at the Cow Palace in San Francisco in the 1950s, the first Arabian, the first female rider, and the first amateur rider to “win the world” – the Open Stock Horse Stakes against all breeds.

Ronteza and Sheila Varian.
Ronteza and Sheila Varian.

Know for her Polish arabian stock, 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.”

The cross of Bay-Abi on the Polish mares never failed. Bay-Abi never failed, in fact; every Bay-Abi offspring Sheila took to the National level went Top Ten or better. Ronteza, who must also be considered a foundation mare, was bred to Bay-Abi nine times, producing three National Champions by him.



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