SARISHA, grey gelding, *1986 (Saran / Mareshah).
Breeders: Michael and Judith Bourke. Owner; Keryn Mahoney.
Strain: Dahman Abu Amr of Ibn Hemsi (Dahma, 1876)
Keryn Mahoney writes: When I was told Sarisha (Saran x Mareshah) was chosen by the Arab Horse Society of Australia as the winner of their 2010 World Arabian Horse Organization (WAHO) Trophy, I felt a rush of mixed emotions.
Pride in him for his achievement, amazement that he was to be awarded this prestigious honour and humility and gratitude for literally giving me the ride of my life. All of that, mixed with a flood of love and respect for the greatest horse I ever had the pleasure of partnering.
Sarisha is a purebred Arabian gelding bred by Michael and Judith Bourke and was born October 1, 1986.
Looking back I recall Sarisha on the day we met as a 15.1hh, well conformed grey gelding. I remember him then as a wily, rangy, determined Arabian with a glint in his eye and a fondness for himself and it seems like only yesterday! But that was back in 1991. Who would have thought in 2011 that I’d be reflecting on him successfully completing 16,679 endurance kilometres and being the 2010 WAHO Trophy Horse for Australia?
Sarisha’s endurance career spans 17 awesome, fun-filled years from 1992 to 2009.The record states he was AERA National Distance Horse in 1997, 1999, and 2001.In 1999 alone he achieved 2,000km. There are 161 successful ride completions to his credit, including thirty-seven 160km events, notably including eleven 160km Tom Quiltys and one 400km Shahzada Marathon.
If ever there was a horse with a ‘can do’ attitude it surely has to be Sarisha. His stamina is incredible. He’s never baulked, jacked up, or refused to take up a challenge and is happy being ridden any time, day or night, at home or during an event.
Sarisha has a remarkable mindset and he’s a great climber. They say ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’, for Sarisha that’s absolutely true. Although he loves a challenge he’s very much a solo horse, content to travel under saddle without another equine companion, and if in company he’s delighted to be the lead horse of the group. His ears are forever fixed forward while he strides out joyfully and maintains his interest in the job at hand.
Even in semi-retirement he sits in poll position as my favourite horse. Sarisha is very sound, has never required medicinal support or interventions either pre or post competition, and has continually demonstrated his ongoing ability to back up ride after ride.
He is an athletic, aloof horse, a special horse, and the horse of my heart. I am sure he’s my once in a lifetime horse. He is my beloved and trusted friend, I know he’s a gem and he’s my absolute treasure!
Sarisha with Keryn Mahoney at the 2002 Tasmanian State Championships
(photo credit Sue Crockett)