Sheila Varian

Sheila Varian

Horse Trainer and Breeder

Sheila Varian is a breeder of Arabian horses who lives and works at the Varian Arabians Ranch near Arroyo Grande, California. She grew up with a strong interest in horses, and was mentored in horsemanship by Mary "Sid" Spencer, a local rancher and Morgan horse breeder who also introduced Varian to the vaquero tradition of western riding. She started her horse ranch, Varian Arabians, in 1954 with the assistance of her parents.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Sheila Varian.


1908 Birth Born in 1908.


1952 44 Years Old Her first Arabian was the mare Farlotta (Lotnik × Farza), obtained in 1952. … Read More
1954 46 Years Old Varian and her parents began using the farm name "Varian Arabians" in 1954. … Read More


1959 51 Years Old In 1959, when she was 19 years old, Varian and her mother Wenonah purchased a two-year-old bay stallion named Bay Abi (Errabi × Angyl).
1961 53 Years Old 1 More Event
By 1961, Varian Arabians had a small number of mares. … Read More
1962 54 Years Old Trained and shown by Varian, he was the judges' unanimous choice for U.S. National Champion Arabian Stallion in 1962, later won U.S. National Top Ten awards in both Arabian English pleasure and Western pleasure, and thereafter was awarded the Legion of Merit. … Read More


1969 61 Years Old 1 More Event
…  The cross produced, among other champions, Varian's successor to Bay Abi, the 1969 colt Bay el Bey (Bay Abi × Naganka), who was U.S. Reserve National Champion stallion twice, 1977 Canadian National Champion stallion, and a regional champion in English pleasure. … Read More
1979 71 Years Old Subsequent generations of Varian stallions continued the pattern of winning in the show ring and then producing champion show horses across multiple disciplines. Huckleberry Bey was 1979 U.S. National Reserve Champion Futurity Stallion, 1981 U.S. National Top Ten Stallion, and 1984 U.S. National Reserve Champion English Pleasure. … Read More
1990 82 Years Old Died in 1990.
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