BY LEANN DILBECK –
Ms. Judith Forbis, who with her late husband Don, former owners of the Ansata Arabian Stud thoroughbred farm located outside Mena near the Rocky Community, was recently honored with the 2016 All Nations Cup Lifetime Achievement Award held in Aachen, Germany last week.
Forbis said of the honor, “I accept it not for myself, but on behalf of all those who have made the Ansata bloodlines a household word in the Arabian horse community worldwide for more than 50 years. Having judged the Nations Cup in the past, it was amazing to see how it has continued to improve, to experience the friendly atmosphere and see so many magnificent Arabian horses.”
Forbis is no stranger to prestigious international horse industry awards. In fact, she was the first woman to ever receive the John W. Galbreath Award that was first given in 1990 by the University of Louisville, Kentucky, to recognize outstanding entrepreneurs in the overall horse industry. It was named in honor of Mr. Galbreath, who owned the Pittsburgh Pirates and Darby Dan Thoroughbred farm, and presented on an annual basis to individuals who have changed the industry in some positive way. Among the previous winners were D. Wayne Lucas, John Bell, John Lyons, and other famous horsemen worldwide.
Forbis now resides in a hilltop home overlooking Wilhelmina Lake but remains an active supporter of activities in Mena, including the Horse Power Literacy Program that teaches children in Polk County schools to read based on the famed Black Stallion books of Walter Farley. Forbis is also a well-known author of books on Arabian horses.
Ansata was founded in 1958 by Donald and Judith Freni Forbis after they met and married in Turkey.
Thereafter, they lived or traveled in the Middle East. Recognizing the archetypical and genetic value of the Egyptian Arabian, they imported their first foundation stock from Egypt in 1959 including the Nazeer son, *Ansata Ibn Halima, and several Nazeer daughters. These horses re-established the popularity of Egyptian Arabians in America and today Ansata bloodlines and “The Ansata Look” are treasured globally.
Speaking of her recent Lifetime Achievement Award, Forbis told The Pulse, “It is a day I shall always remember, and to receive it at the hands of long-time friends was even more meaningful. Few are lucky enough in this life to work at what they love, and I count my blessings that I have been one of them.