Arts / Museums

World Champion Arabian Horse and Lynn Wyatt Bond in Houston

Special Moment Teases Museum Magic to Come

BY // 01.15.20
photography Stuart Vesty

A misty rain fell over the Houston Polo Club, as Lynn Wyatt, stunning in her chic western-inspired attire, awaited introduction to Hariry Al Shaqab, the Qatar-owned Platinum World Champion Arabian, and Qatar’s new Consul General Rashid Al-Dehaimi. The soggy, yet impressive, meet-and-greet on the edge of Memorial Park was not the original plan.

It had been a brilliant idea. The world champion Arabian horse would make a personal appearance in Lynn and Oscar Wyatt’s front yard in advance of a program on Arabian horses, sponsored by the Qatar-America Institute, to be held later this month at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The photo op was a PR dream with the new Qatar Consul General in full robes on hand for the photo. And then it rained.

But all was not lost.

The session was moved to the polo club where an Oriental carpet was laid beneath a shelter, that opened on one side to the polo field and a training field on the other. It was a fitting station for the elegant Hariry, who was escorted by his breeder and rider Michael Byatt of New Ulm. Cameras and smartphones clicked, and a TV station filmed while accomplished equine photographer Stuart Vesty cleverly neighed in order to encourage Hariry to look his way.

A magnificent example of Arabian refinement and elegance, Hariry is part of the Al Shaqab breeding program, the venture established in Qatar in 1992 to preserve and perpetuate the Arabian horse. Today, the breeding farm and world class equestrian center is a member of the Qatar Foundation. While Hariry travels worldwide in competitions, having won the world championship in Paris in November, the stallion’s domain is on the Byatt ranch in New Ulm.

Byatt helped develop the incomparable Arabians at Qatar’s Al Shaqab equestrian center, which has influenced breeding worldwide.

Byatt and Diana Untermeyer  — author of Qatar: Sand, Sea and Sky, an accomplished equestrian and cultural advisor to the Qatar-America Institute — will lead the free program, “The Arabian Horse: Lore and Legend,” on January 28 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science Planetarium. The bonus for those attending — the stunning Hariry Al Shaqab will be on view on the HMNS sundial prior to the 6 pm program, weather permitting.

La Wyatt hosted tea for participants at her home following the photo shoot. While the intimate group sipped on ginger tea and tasted the homemade ginger snap cookies, Wyatt noted the connection between her interest in aiding the homeless via her long-time support of the Star of Hope Mission and the $30 million Qatar Harvey Fund.

Also in the small group were Ann Byatt, who with her husband owns Michael Byatt Arabians, George Smalley, communications advisor for the Qatar Harvey Fund, Chase Untermeyer, former Ambassador to the State of Qatar and husband of Diana Untermeyer, and real estate agent and national award-winning equestrian Lacy Baird.

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