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The Sigi Siller Perpetual Scottsdale Senior Mare Trophy

It is with great pride that we announce the unveiling of a new perpetual trophy at Scottsdale that will honor the incomparable life and legacy of Sigi Siller. The trophy will be awarded to the Scottsdale Arabian Classic Senior Mare Champion beginning Scottsdale 2018. 

 

Join us! Exclusive Trophy Preview Events at Scottsdale 2018

 

Tuesday, February 20th at 6:30pm – Marquise Auction Preview

Sahara Scottsdale | 11309 E. Arabian Park Drive, Scottsdale, AZ

Can't attend? Join us as we stream it LIVE!

 

Saturday, February 24th at 3pm – Arabians International Open House

Arabians International | 28311 N. 66th St., Cave Creek, AZ

Can't attend? Join us as we stream it LIVE!

 

Sunday, February 25th at approx 9am – Official Trophy Presentation

Wendell Arena | WestWorld

Can't attend? Join us as we stream it LIVE!

 

Special Thanks

Special thanks to the following individuals who made this memorial trophy possible.

Anonymous Donor ,Diane & Tim Brown, Sherry & Bob Conrads, Greg & Nancy Gallun, Shirley Houchin, Mila Khamis, Christie Metz, Stu Nierenberg & Carol Fensholt Nierenberg, Joe & Kim Orr, Carol Steppe, Evie Tubbs Sweeney, Varian Arabians, Nan & Dick Walden 

 

Did You Know? 

-       Sigi Siller created the world-renowned Om El Arab breeding program using the powerful blood of *Estopa – named Europe’s Top 10 Most Influential Mares of the Century – to create the Spanish/Egyptian “Golden Cross” that resulted in greats such as El Shaklan, Sanadik El Shaklan, and many others. The program is now going on its sixth decade and remains one of the most formidable, progressive, and genetically vigorous breeding programs in the world for Arabian horses, expertly guided by Sigi’s daughter, Janina Merz.

-       The Sigi Siller Perpetual Trophy was skillfully crafted by one of the leading bronze artists in the world, Carol Fensholt Nierenberg. Depicting one of Om El Arab’s iconic and exotic broodmares doting on her chestnut foal, the trophy symbolizes the mothering nature of Sigi herself and her historic Om El Arab (which means “Mother of All Arabs”) program.  

-       The Sigi Siller Perpetual Scottsdale Senior Mare Trophy is the distaff counterpart to the Sheila Varian Perpetual Scottsdale Senior Stallion Trophy, which debuted at the 2017 Scottsdale Show. These two trophies – both created by Carol Fensholt Nierenberg – honor these two legendary breeders who died of cancer within three months of each other in 2015.

 

A Note from the Artist

 

The SIGI SILLER / OM EL MEMORIAL PERPETUAL SCOTTSDALE CHAMPION SENIOR MARE TROPHY

By Carol Fensholt Nierenberg, Silver Box Studios

  

Sigi Siller was a towering figure in the Arabian community, a legendary breeder, the mother of Janina and Benni, and a friend to thousands –– including me.

She was an icon and, while her memory will live in our hearts as long as her phenomenal Arabian line lives on in our stables, it is fitting that Sigi –– like Sheila Varian –– should be formally remembered once a year at a highlight moment of the world’s largest Arabian show.

The Sigi Siller / Om El Arab Memorial Perpetual Scottsdale Champion Senior Mare Trophy, to be annually awarded on Finals Day of the Scottsdale Arabian Show, is being inaugurated at the 2018 event.  It will serve as this public occasion of remembrance as long as the Arabian community comes together at Scottsdale in February.

This new trophy is the distaff counterpart to the Sheila Varian Memorial Perpetual Scottsdale Champion Senior Stallion Trophy, inaugurated last year at Scottsdale 2017 and won by SM Azraff, owned by George and Debbie Stuart Milne and presented by David Boggs.

These two trophies –– Champion Senior Stallion and Champion Senior Mare –– honor these two legendary breeders who passed away of cancer within three months of each other in 2016.

As Sheila was renowned for her legendary line of stallions founded on Bay-Abi, so Sigi was renowned for her line founded on the immortal Estopa, dam of El Shaklan. Thus it is fitting that Sigi’s trophy should depict a mare and her filly –- the symbol of Life’s continuity and the fulfillment of Destiny. 

As Sheila’s trophy depicts a bay stallion –- the color of her famed stallions Bay-Abi, Bay El Bay, Huckleberry Bey, Desperado V and Varian’s new “king maker,” Major Mac V –– so Sigi is best known for her greys –– Estopa, El Shaklan, Sanadik El Shaklan, Om El Shahmaan and countless more.  Indeed, who in the Arabian world has not made a pilgrimage to Om El Arab in the incomparably beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, and not been left breathless at the sight of Om El Arab's Sigi-designed airy swooping stalls, with their stunning white Arabian occupants?

Thus, Sigi’s trophy mare is white –– and her chestnut baby, depicted as a golden treasure beyond measure –– will be, one day, white as well.

But more than representing Sigi’s line, this trophy symbolizes Sigi herself –– her own beauty in every way; her nurturing nature; her care for all living things; and her devotion to her children, Janina and Benni.

The trophy sculpture is a formal tableau of sorts –– mare and filly are not parallel, unconnected; rather, they are facing one another, interacting, coming together, their footsteps a mirror image as they move into each other.

The mare fills the frame, but the filly is the focal point. Beneath the arch of her mother’s beautiful neck, the filly is, figuratively speaking, stepping through the curtain of her dam’s mane and onto Life’s stage.  She is curious –– eager to explore the world and engage with her onlookers –– us. By contrast, her dam is focused exclusively on her baby; she is oblivious to we viewers; her whole world is her baby, her attention is solely on the filly; her center of gravity and motion is downhill to the filly; she would merge with her baby once again if she could.

To me as the artist, this sculpture represents a multitude of things –– the serene and focused mare stands for Sigi’s loveliness, her seriousness of purpose, her life so well lived in fullness and to generativity, the gravitas of a memorial; the spritely and exotic filly represents Sigi’s playful, joyous, curious, exploratory side, her great genetic gifts to the Arabian world, and most of all, the continuity and continuous improvement of her powerful program in the capable hands of her own beautiful “filly,” Janina Merz. 

My hope is that this Memorial Trophy sculpture for Sigi –– and Sheila’s for her –– serves as one more way to keep her monumental contributions alive in the minds and hearts of Arabian breeders for generations to come. 

She deserves no less than her Om El Arab line –– immortality.

 

 

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