One of the classic Polish mares, bringing great fame to Polish Arabian horse breeding for years, close to the hearts of all Polish Arabian horse enthusiasts, representing the valuable damline of Gazella d.b. – GEORGIA has found a new home in Saudi Arabia. During this year’s Janów Podlaski sale she was sold to Athbah Stud.
“We decided to sell Georgia with great sorrow”, said Michałów Stud director, Jerzy Białbok before the sale. “I like this mare very much and that’s why her selling took place so late. But we have a large collection of Monogramm mares which have ended their breeding career at our stud and our
stables have a limited number of places. For Georgia it is the last moment in terms of breeding, although with today’s reproductive techniques she will still be able to produce several foals. She can also win at prestigious shows. This is an exquisite offer for a collector and we will definitely not sell Georgia just for the sake of getting rid of her. If she doesn’t achieve her reserve price, she will remain at the stud”.
Indeed, a 21 year old mare of Georgia’s quality is an offer for a connoisseur – for someone who does not pursue the current trends, but is a fan of timeless values. These include the Arabian type, balance and wonderful pedigree, exactly what this daughter of Monogramm and Gizela by Palas has to offer. Not to mention her beautiful show career. She began as a yearling in 1995, placing in the top five of her class during the Polish National Show in Janów Podlaski. In 2009 she claimed the title of World Senior Top Ten Mare in Paris and earlier in Aachen collected applause as one of five Michałów-bred Monogramm daughters that placed in the top of the 11 year old and older mares’ class. It was a memorable moment – the public went crazy when five grey,
statue-like beauties stood on the arena next to each other during the decoration ceremony. The previous year Georgia was awarded the title of Polish National Reserve Champion and the Highest Scored Horse of the show. Her score, 95,17, including as many as seven “20s” (a whole set of top marks for type and movement and another “20” for head and neck), turned out to be a Janów show record! A week later Georgia received a silver medal at the Al Khalediah European Arabian Horse Festival in Nowe Wrońska.
“A chance to literally own a part of Michałów itself” – states the sale catalogue. There were several
clients eager to take advantage of this occasion. Many breeders dreamed of being able to enrich their collection with Georgia (Lot 2); this was realized by Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmad bin Abdulaziz, represented at the Janów Podlaski sale by the manager of Athbah Stud, Ward Bemong, who offered the highest amount: 105 thousand Euro. „We wanted to have Georgia to make sure that she would not go to a country where she would not deserve to be in. She should have an amazing life. It’s an honour to have such a great mare with the Athbah collection”, said Bemong after the bidding.
The inconspicuous Gastronomia: twice lost and regained for breeding
Why did this mare cause and still causes so much emotion? Georgia is regarded as the embodiment of charm and maternity. Additionally she can boast unquestionable beauty and excellent movement. Flowing in her veins is the blood of Monogramm and Gizela by Palas. The influence of Monogramm on Polish breeding needs no introduction. His daughters are, as was often written, more valuable than gold! And the “G” line, associated today with Michałów, has its faithful followers – the one with the longest tenure is the 90 year old Roman Pankiewicz, known as the breeder of Bask. In September of 1951 he began working at Albigowa State Stud. It was him that rescued and brought back the great-grandam of Georgia twice, a mare that was deemed unfit and removed from state breeding by inspectors of the Horse Breeding Federation – the born in 1946 in Janów Podlaski Gastronomia (Marabut – Ofirka/Ofir). He met her already in 1951, upon the return of four mares that completed their racing trials. Racing has traditionally been part of the Polish breeding program for three year olds. Horses talented in terms of sport remain in racing training longer and such was the fate of Gastronomia, who spent as many as three years at the track. Roman Pankiewicz recalled (“Koński Targ” 11/2006): “Gastronomia’s head was large, but beautifully shaped, with an expressive eye and small ears. The neck was fat and short, but despite that nicely set and arched (…). In a square-ish outline, with distinctive withers and a short, level topline, a beautifully set tail with delicate hair. Her silhouette reminded me of the oriental horses drawn by Juliusz Kossak. And of course her fabulous movement, which bewitched everyone”. The mare participated in a total of 27 races and won six of them. In terms of prize money won she placed fourth among the four year olds. Roman Pankiewicz became interested in her pedigree,
which had a linebreeding to Bakszysz (whose daughters proved valuable at Janów Podlaski) and such stars among her ancestors as Koalicja and Dziwa. However Gastronomia mated with Witraż did not produce good foals and was removed from breeding for the first time in 1955. “In order to save Gastronomia from leaving the stud we harnessed her and she pulled a carriage wonderfully”, recalls Roman Pankiewicz. “In 1957 there was an exchange of mares between studs and I was able to transfer Gastronomia to Nowy Dwór State Stud”. After producing several foals (Garufa and Garsonka were sold to the US, while Gomora and Grójec to England, to Mrs. Patricia Lindsay), Gastronomia was again selected for removal. In 1960 she was purchased by a private owner, Mr. Kazimierz Gałuszko from Kurdwanów. However after two years he decided to sell her. Roman Pankiewicz, who at the time was already working at Michałów, did all he could to have the mare re-purchased. The mare soon found her way to the barns near Pińczów. In Michałów she foaled, among others, Gilza by Espartero, considered the most valuable of her daughters. In 1987 Gilza left for the USA, but before that left several produce at Michałów, including Georgia’s dam Gizela, bold and beautiful, who was capable of winning a class in Aachen and a race at the Służewiec track. And who later turned out to be a valuable broodmare! She produced as many as nine daughters, among them (apart from Georgia) Geneza, Garonna, Gaskonia, Gehenna, Gwarancja and Giza.
There are also several chief sires descending from Gastronomia, including ambassadors of Polish breeding at world shows – Gondolier, Gil, Gabaryt, Ganges, Grafik, Gaspar and Girlan-Bey, the first and only Polish private bred horse that stood on the podium of the World Championships in Paris, claiming the Junior Reserve Championship in 2005. In 2015 the stallion, who today performs under the Swedish banner, won the bronze medal in the Polish National Senior Male Championships, reminding about himself in his country of origin.
This is what Director Jerzy Białobok has to say about the progenitor of this subline: “Gastronomia’s name reflected her look [“Gastronomy”]. If she was born near Moscow, she would probably be called “Stołowaja”. But it turned out that she had genetic potential. If we were to look back and closely inspect Kwestura’s dam and grandam, they would probably also cause lots of doubts as to whether they should be used in breeding. In turn Kwestura has the same problem as Pianissima – it is hard to expect her to produce something better than herself. Mares that are close to perfection are usually condemned to fail by Mother Nature itself. Although there are surprises, such as with Kwestura, who was able to give a splendid son. But usually the most beautiful foals come from mares that are inconspicuous. Who knows, perhaps today no one would pay much attention to Emigracja? She was pretty, but did not have champion-like beauty. But that is the role of the breeder, his intuition – to see and notice those mares that have potential – and then to give them a chance at breeding. Because everyone sees the beautiful ones – you don’t need a breeder for that”.
The “G” line and the peak of its success: 2006 and 2014
In 2006 the “G” line marked its presence very strongly during the Arabian Horse Days in Janów Podlaski. Gehenna, Georgia’s full sister, became an auction high-seller, achieving 180 thousand Euro and becoming the property of a breeder from Australia. Several hours earlier another of Gizela’s daughters, Gaskonia by Probat, became Polish National Champion and Best in Show. Her sons Gaspar and Grafik triumphed in the Senior Male Championships, claiming the gold and silver medals, respectively.
Whereas a year ago, when Georgia stood on the podium of the Senior Female Championships, her daughter Gemellia won the 7-10 year old mares class with a score of 94 pts (including a “20” for type and three “20s” for movement) and her son Gordion qualified for the finals and claimed the title of Senior Top Five Stallion. So again the G line had another five minutes of fame.
And so, the twice removed from breeding Gastronomia repaid breeders for reinstating her as a broodmare in state breeding – the only one in those times in Poland. Incidentally, Gastronomia’s dam Ofirka also had plenty of luck, because she survived the turmoil of war in a farmer’s shed; recognized by Director Adam Sosnowski as the daughter of Ofir (due to the fact that she resembled her father very much), returned under the care of the Janów breeders.
In order to complete the picture we must remind that Gizela by Palas belonged to the few horses that were not only bold and beautiful, but also passed these traits onto their produce. Gizela and her descendants won a total of 34 races! Geneza by Pepton is an Oaks winner, Giza (also by Pepton) is the dam of the Służewiec track record holder Gepard. “I like the “G” line very much”, admits Director Białobok. “Although it is very ungrateful, difficult to enlarge. It is much different with the Milordka, Rodania or Szweykowska families – these enlarge quicker and easier. Meanwhile the Gazella damline is not as lucky. Of course we have several outstanding mares from this family, including Galilea, Georgia’s best daughter. We must not forget that this family is also very successful in sports. In South Africa Georgetown wins not only in halter, but also under saddle classes. Gardeja show jumps. Gepard was a Derby winner”. This profile is further updated with a fresh racing success by a horse from the “G” line – a son of Georgia! The trained by Adam Wyrzyk colt Gerhard (by WH Kaneko MS) was the best in the exterior race (a special race for horses with show winners in their pedigrees) held on August 23rd, 2015 at the Służewiec Racetrack in Warsaw.
Georgia herself is known not only for being a fabulous broodmare, but also the establisher of her own subline. The achievements of her produce took up an entire page in the auction catalogue! The list begins with none other than the born in 2000 Galilea by Laheeb, Polish National and World Champion from Paris in 2005. Galilea in turn produced the awarded at German shows Gallia (by Galba), the promising Galacja (by WH Kaneko) and Galerida (by Shanghai EA), who already has success under her belt from Białka – a gold medal as a yearling in 2014 and a silver medal as a junior in 2015. Another of Georgia’s daughters, Ginerva (by Werbum, 2001), produced Ginga (by Galba) – the dam of the numerously awarded Gotico (by WH Justice), who claimed the bronze in Białka and placed in the top five of his classes in Poland and abroad – and Gizelda (by Ekstern), who can also boast a very decent show career. Ginerva’s sons Gardens and Gazir (both by Ekstern) are also doing quite well on the show arena. In 2003 Georgia was mated with multichampion sire Gazal Al Shaqab. This mating produced the afore mentioned Georgetown, who is a successful show horse and chief sire in South Africa. Another daughter of Georgia was born in 2005 – Gemellia (by Piber), who as we wrote previously is also a talented show horse. In turn the 2006 born Gordion (by Galba) not only proved his quality at shows (also abroad), but is also a horse that under the banner of Polska AKF fared well on the race track – he won 3 races over 2 seasons.
Meanwhile new stars are growing up at Michałów. “Our greatest hopes in the youngest generation of this subline are associated with the two year old Galerida, who with age will surely become more dry and even better”, reveals Director Białobok. The future produce of Georgia will be enjoyed by her new owner, who will probably give her (and himself) more than one breeding chance. Whereas in Poland Georgia leaves behind unforgettable memories and numerous enthusiasts saddened by her departure.