The dean of Arabian horse English performance trainers, Bob Battaglia is respected for his four decades at the top of his profession. Growing up in Chicago, he learned to ride all types of horses, and worked under some of the most accomplished horsemen in American Saddlebreds before turning his attention to Arabians in the 1970s. The experience provided a comprehensive background of horse care and training, and lent to his lifelong respect for all breeds and equine individuals.
In Arabians, Battaglia has lost count of the farm’s championships and reserves at the U.S., Canadian and Youth Nationals. Ten years ago, the number was 450 and climbing. More importantly, his commitment to both the horses and amateur riders remains the focal point of his career. He not only trains and shows horses to the highest awards, he also enjoys working with amateurs and possesses a unique ability to communicate insight and instruction. Through the years, he also has been a breeder, with a host of national champion Arabians and Half-Arabians to his credit.
A partial list of professional awards and services begins to sketch the regard in which he is held by his peers:
The Arabian Professional and Amateur Horsemen’s Association (APAHA) has honored him eight times: as Horseman of the Year four times; Saddle Seat Trainer of the Year three times; and English Trainer of the Year.
He is a respected U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) Large R judge.
For the Arabian Horse Association, he has been a teacher at AHA Judges’ Seminars; a member of the AHA Judges’ Steering Committee; Vice Chairman of the National and Regional Classes Committee; a member of the IAHA (now AHA) Yearling Heritage Committee; a member of the Whip Study Committee; a member of the IAHA and APAHA Hoof Study Committee; and Chairman of IAHA Professional Horseman’s Committee. Additionally, he was one of five people who wrote the rules for the Country English Pleasure division.
For the USEF (formerly American Horse Shows Association), Battaglia served as Chairman of the Show Standards Committee.
A tireless advocate for the professional horseman, amateur, and breeder, he is a founding member and past president of APAHA.
At this stage of his career, Bob Battaglia is one of the most respected horsemen in the Arabian breed and beyond. But it is in Arabians that he serves as an articulate voice of reason. The aim, he says, is to provide for others the intense satisfaction that he has known in his love of Arabians—to aid his clients in reaching their goals, but also to improve the world for horses and their people alike.