Since 1970 the eldest Polish State Stud in Janów Podlaski which is situated among picturesque landscape of bushy meadows in the Bug riverbank attracts masses of guests from the whole wide world that would like to see, but above all buy Polish horses, that are the best ones in the world shows and also had a great influence on the world Arabian breed. That was the time that the first auction of pure Arabian Polish bred horses was organized. Although 39 years passed from this event, and this year the 40th jubilee auction will be celebrated (the 9th of August), it still connects tradition, Polish hospitality and work of many breeding generations. Nowadays nobody could imagine that prestigious auction held in the riding hall of the ‘Stajnia Czołowa’ (‘Chief Stable’), and instead of colorful catalogue the guests would be given grey typescript with the list of horses! And these were the beginnings of this event, better known as ‘Arabian Horse Days’, including not only the ‘Pride of Poland’ auction but also the National Championship.
Past and present
The growing interest forced the organizers to change not only the date of the event, which was postponed from June to September, but also to go out from the stables. In the middle of the stud a wooden shelter has been built in order to enable the buyers to have a sit. As from the 10th auction the guests gathered in an enormous circus tent with the presentation ring. In 2006, thanks to the newly built hall the event was organized under the roof, where it can be held till late night, regardless the weather conditions.
Animex – International Trade Centre – was the first organizer, beginning since 1970, during next 25 years. That time the biggest interest about the auction was among the US buyers and the spectacular successes of Polish Arabians in America were the main reason. In 1980 the auction gained the trade name of ‘Polish Prestige’ and was divided into the main auction and the silent sale. This kind of division has been kept till 2008 when instead of ‘silent sale’ the ‘selection sale’ has been introduced. The bidding is now public and its rules are similar to those from the main auction (while only horses with at least one purchase declaration submitted are being bidden), but the horses are not shown at the ring. During the Animex times, in 1981, the first colorful catalogue with pictures by Zofia Raczkowska and Marian Gadzalski (since 1997 the pictures by the American photographer Stuart Vesty are being used) was introduced.
The unchallenged event of those years was the Polish Ovation auction in 1985. 18 mares were brought to the US and they were sold for 11 million dollars, gaining an unbeaten till 2008 record price of 1,5 million dollars for Penicylina (by Palas, out of Pentoda/Bandos). Just the amount of 1 125 000 euro paid last year for Kwestura (by Monogramm, out of Kwesta/Pesennik) has beaten this record. During these years a growing interest of European buyers, who were leaving bigger and bigger amounts in Janów, could be noticed. Unfortunately in the 90s there was a market breakdown due to decreasing horses export to the US, where horse import and breed were taxed. In order to rescue the prosperity in 1990 special stars offer was prepared on which fabulous Pilarka (by Palas, out of Pierzga/Negatiw) was bidden for 215 thousand dollars. In a way the direction of horses export was successfully changed because 46 out of 58 horses stayed in Europe that year which however didn’t stop the further prices decline. In 1995, during the last auction organized by Animex, the highest price – just 35 thousand dollars – was reached by Pisanka (by Pepton, out of Pilarka/Palas).
After Animex was sold to a private owner and the studs were overtaken by the Agency of Agriculture Property of National Treasury (in 1996) a private company Polish Prestige, created by Marek Grzybowski, went into the organization of the auction. The new formula of the auction, called Polish Arabian Summer Festival, was applied. At the turn of the millennium a certain stabilization occurred, thanks to the buyers from the Middle East and Europe, led by Shirley Watts from Great Britain, who was paying higher and higher prices for her dream horses each year. Also the buyers from Turkey were leaving incredible amounts of money in Janów, paying 450 thousand dollars for Batyskaf (by Pamir, out of Bajeczka/Bandos) and two years later 500 thousand dollars for Druid (by Wojsław, out of Dalida/Probat). When the 21st century began, the Polturf company became the new organizer of the auctions and it directs them with very good results since 2001. The excellent financial results were influenced without any doubt by an excellent horses rate, above all by Monogramm (Negatraz – Monogramma/Knippel) and Eukaliptus (Bandos – Eunice/Comet) daughters, which attracted the buyers not only from Europe and the Arabian Peninsula, but also from Australia. The Polish breed was better advertised in the US by leasing Kwestura or Ganges (by Monogramm, out of Garonna/Fanatyk) which brought a rational marketing effect. Will the raising dollar and euro prices and the economic crisis influence the result of this year’s auction? We will see it soon. We hope however that the thesis ‘there will always be a buyer of fine horses’ will win.
The changes are about to come
This year’s auction is unprecedented because for the first time from many years among 33 mares offered at the main auction we will not see the daughters of epoch-making Eukaliptus who absolutely, together with Monogramm’s daughters were the biggest magnet which attracted buyers from the whole wide world. During his long breeding career Eukaliptus left 188 descendants in the country. Thanks to him the Polish breeding gained the double triple-crowned Pianissima (by Gazal Al Shaqab, out of Pianosa/Eukaliptus) and an exceptional bunch of stars in Michałów State Stud where he made an excellent connection with mares of Milordka dam line. The fact that his daughters raised an enormous interest among the buyers shouldn’t be anything strange, we can just mention: Amra (out of Albigowa/Fawor), Altona (out of Albigowa/Fawor), Amba (out of Albigowa/Fawor), Larissa (out of Linda/Palas) or the mare of two breeding sires Perseusz and Pegasus – Pepesza (out of Pestka/Probat) in order to find out how big was the influence of this stallion in the Pride of Poland auction success. In just 5 last years his 16 daughters were sold for the whole incredible amount of 1 233 000 euro, and since the Polturf company was running the auction
over 30 offspring of this stallion were sold for over 1,5 million euro (counting the dollar prices in 2001–2002)! Without any doubt a certain period is coming to an end, while browning the Eukaliptus’s inheritance could be selling his son Alwaro (out of Algora/Probat), the Senior Champion Stallion at Autumn Janów Podlaski Show in 2006.
The second stallion offered at the main auction (lot ‘B’) is a young, still progressing son of Polish National Champion Gaspar, three year old Panicz (out of Pelisa/Europejczyk), owned/bred by Monika Luft. This typey stallion, full of finesse inherited many advantages from his sire – a proportional, dishy head, a wide forehead, a deep mandible, smart and big eye, and among all a very elegant movement – which nowadays isn’t very frequent among the Polish-bred horses. The correct conformation and an exceptional grace allowed him to beat
the competition not only in Poland, but also abroad. After successful appearances in Poland as a yearling, in the next season he started conquering the European rings, and he won the International Junior Stallion Champion title in Radpuszta (Hungary) and the International Junior Stallion Champion title of Casino Cup in Baden (Austria), and he ended the season in a great style, winning another champion title, this time in his home country, during the 3rd Autumn Show in Janów Podlaski. Although this year’s show season has just started, Panicz has already marked his presence, winning the three year old stallions class and the Top Five title of the Stallions Championship at the 19th Spring Junior Show in Białka. He will delight the judges many times for sure, gaining their acclaim as well as the huge applause of the audience.
The ‘C’ lot was given to an extraordinary stallion from the race prospect, the winner of the ‘Best Racing Horse of the National Janów Podlaski Show’, bred by Tarus Arabians, owned by Andrzej Wójtowicz – Eliat (out of Eleuzyna/Wermut), who, during his three year career won five out of 18 races in which he participated, including the Derby Award, receiving a very high rate of 8,04. During the last years we could find out that not only the ring stars could achieve a financial success during the auction. Let’s just go 3 years back and remind the stormy auction of Espadero (out of Esparceta/Fawor), who was finally sold for 210 thousand euro to Australia. Both stallions not only have a very high rate (Espadero reached 10,99), but also the same sire, the European Champion Eldon, that passes on both bravery and beauty.
An exceptional collection of Monogramm’s daughters
Although the ending ‘resources’ of Monogramm’s daughters are being discussed for a couple of years and there are some possibilities that the auction will be held without them, it certainly won’t happen this year, because there are three daughters of this excellent American stallion in the offer. The Michałów State Stud, after last year’s success of selling the World Champion Kwestura for the record amount of 1 125 000 euro, decided to offer the Canadian Senior Champion Mare 2005 and Top Five of the European Senior Mares Championship 2006, also chestnut Fallada (out of Fanaberia/Probat) and the grey Nina (out of WN Nastasea/Nabor). The last one, although has never won any important trophies is without any doubt a very interesting offer, if we mention that her offspring is excellent, especially Norma (by Gazal Al Shaqab), with a shaped head, short mouth with a sophisticated dishy profile. Another Monogramm’s daughter, announced as a ‘goose that lays the golden eggs’, is being offered by the Chrcynno-Palace stud, the chestnut Granada (out of Grenlandia/Eukaliptus), who is famous of beautiful daughters by Emigrant. The eldest, grey Ganga, the class winner at the Tulip Cup – Durne show and at the Open Scandinavian Championship in Blommeröd in 2006, had her first offspring this year, a filly by Emiliusz. The other three sisters: Gaja Selene, Gaja Nike and Gaja Iris (the last one by Poganin), took part in the national show with a good fortune, being in the Top Fives of their classes. Without any doubt it is a mare with great capability and the future buyer could use her with success in his own stud.
The Monogramm’s participation in this auction will be even bigger as his son, the multichampion Ekstern (out of Ernestyna/Piechur), in this year’s offer is an absolute leader as we consider the amount of daughters. Every fourth filly on the list of the main auction is his daughter. One of them is being sold by Kębliny stud, owned by Leszek Jarmuż. The grey Wizga (by Wizula/Egon) is in the modern show type, moves in a beautiful way and she attracts not only by a dishy head with a dark eye, but also by an incredible dappled grey color. During the last year’s Janów Podlaski National Show she had to challenge a strong competition in the 4-6-years old mares class, in which the unbeaten Pianissima took part. Her excellent, dynamic end expressive trot was awarded with the highest grades in this group (20-19,5-19,5), and the total score of 90,5 points allowed her to become fourth. The Junior Reserve Champion Filly from Janów Podlaski 2007, a beautiful daughter of the excellent Pilar by Fawor – the grey Pinta, will be offered at the auction as well and is the youngest offered mare, which shall attract the potential buyers that are interested in buying horses oriented on the future show career.
Among the Ekstern daughters Droga Mleczna (out of Dąbrowica/Endel) also rivets attention, as she won the class as a yearling at the National Janów Podlaski Arabian Show in 2003, beating Palanga who had defeated her before at the Spring Junior Championship in Białka and whose movement was awarded with three ‘twenties’. It seemed that it wasn’t her last word but we didn’t see her during the next season. Sometimes young horses can change proportions and the thing that catches eye in a yearling, is nothing special anymore when the mare grows up.
10 years old Felicjana (out of Felicja/Probat) is the dam of Faustyna (by Emigrant), who two years ago, in a lightning way, after an exciting bidding, reached the price of 150 thousand euro! The majority of guests didn’t expect it, but, as we can see, the auctions are unpredictable and a horse can impress a couple of persons in the same moment which leads directly to a fierce financial rivalry. The new owners from Belgium probably don’t regret buying her because this year at the A-Wels show the mare became the National Austrian Senior Champion Mare.
Everyone shall find something interesting
The Białka stud prepared something special for the ‘floating in the air’ horses lovers. Emika (by Eldon, out of Emoza/Ernal) is one of the few mares with that dynamic movement, with a long phase of suspension which excites the enthusiastic audience and judges. As a two year old she won the Reserve Champion Mare title in Janów Podlaski and the Reserve Champion title of the Summer Junior Mares Show in Warsaw. Two years later, as a senior, she won the highest reward, the Champion title of the Senior Mares Summer Show and the Best Horse title of the Warsaw Show. The set of ‘20’ for movement allowed her to win the 7 years old and elder mares class in a beautiful way and then to win the title of Reserve Champion Senior Mare at the Autumn Show in Janów Podlaski. She is absolutely one of the best Białka-bred mares what she confirmed giving birth to an excellent stallion Ekier (by Metropolis NA).
On the other hand, the Janów Podlaski stud prepared something for the ‘black pearl’ lovers which enjoy a big interest last time. The winner of the yearling fillies class at the National Championship in Janów Podlaski in 2004, the black daughter of Pilot – Bellanda (out of Belladona/Europejczyk), will definitely attract the lovers of this rare color, which – as the last year’s auction history proves – is nowadays appreciated (Wróżka, 52 thousand euro; Elwinga, 42 thousand euro).
The foreign stallions’ offspring
Together with the development of modern reproduction techniques the whole bunch of possibilities of using foreign stallions appeared. There were certain fears, if the buyers would still be so eager to appear at the auctions in order to buy the offspring of sires which can get in their home countries… As the last auctions proved – yes. The last year’s sale of two daughters of Israeli-born Laheeb who was leased by the Michałów State Stud in 1999 and once more during the last season can be a good example. The excellent moving Egea (by Egna/Eukaliptus) attracted like a magnet the buyers’ eyes as they were bidding her price till the amount of 160 thousand euro, offered by a Saudi Arabian buyer. The second mare that was exposed to sale, Michałów-bred Laheeb daughter Ellissara (by Ekscella/Monogramm), went to the same country and she surprisingly reached the price of 240 thousand euro.
It might seem strange why the Saudi Arabian buyers went so far to buy those two prominent mares, although their sire comes from the near Israel? We shall still remember that, although last time the stallions promotion and marketing is more important, the horse inherits its beauty from its mare as well and the Polish breeding is famous because of beautiful mares. That’s why in our country a stallion can finally break out and give an extraordinary offspring. Maybe this year another daughter by this stallion, the grey Lozanna (out of Larissa/Eukaliptus) will emigrate in that direction? And the Qatar-bred stallion Gazal Al Shaqab will be represented this year by three excellent bay daughters: Elimeja (out of Ellanda/ Wojsław), Estaka (out of Eskalopka/Monogramm) and Filistia (out of Fantazja/Wachlarz).
Bred by the Nichols Arabians stud and since 2006 being a property of Janów Podlaski stud, Metropolis NA, an American offspring of Consensus (by Monogramm), is represented at the auction by two chestnut mares, Cesena (out of Celta/Pasat) and Nike (out of Nitra/Wermut). Hebe (out of Hossa/Pepton), a daughter of an unequalled sire of many champions, Tersk-bred legendary Kubinec, is offered by Agricola Farm and joins this international company. It is not a typical offer, mainly because this stallion was never used for a larger scale in Poland and left just a couple of foals in Tarus Arabians (later Agricola Farm). Remembering the success of the FS Bengali offspring (a Kubinec son, imported by Kielnarowa stud) at this year’s Białka show, we can affirm that it is a mare with an extraordinary pedigree, with hope of an excellent breeding career.
With the zeitgeist
The Janów Podlaski stud prepared an extraordinary offer, including to the auction’s list an innovative proposal. Facing the modernity it has been decided, for the first time in Polish auctions’ history, to sell an unborn foal of the multichampion Pianissima. And, although the embryo sale is being done for many years, this offer is exceptional as the buyer gets the right to breed the mare and choose the stallion so that the dream of introducing his own breeding idea with the most beautiful mare in the world, can come true.
During 40 years many things have changed, not to say – everything. The people that were creating this unique auction are gone, as well as those who bred the first horses offered to demanding buyers from the whole wide world. At least for a couple times the date and place of the auction has been changed, but one thing did not: the quality and class of horses sold in Poland. It would be difficult to count today how many Polish-bred Arabians helped Polish and international studs to raise their wings. One thing is certain: during almost 40 years the commitment of hundreds of people that mostly are not being noticed and are working hard in the studs in order to achieve a spectacular success this exceptional day, did allow the auction to stand the taste of time and we will probably be able to enjoy this impressive show for many years