Already much advertised is an Arabian event, which won’t take place until October. The Arabian Passion Damascus International Horse & Equestrian Fair will take place in Damascus, Syria between the 7th and 10th of October. The organizers of the event are Profair (a company managing international fairs, exhibitions and mass events) and the Syrian Arab Horse Association. It’s worth mentioning that last year Syria hosted the WAHO Congress, whose coverage was presented at the Polish Arabian Horse Breeders Society meeting in Janów Podlaski.
The extremely rich program of this international event includes: Arabian horse auctions, clinics on veterinary care and horse transportation, lectures on the history of Syria and origin of the Arabian horse, equestrian performances, conferences (“Judging the Arabian horse between originality and beauty”, “Arabian Horse in Syria – then and now”, “Embryotransfer”). This will be accompanied by an equine fair, whose offer will consist of stable equipment, accessories for both horse and breeder, smithery, stud booths, equine schools, international and domestic organizations connected with Arabian horses and sport, companies producing animal feed, horse trailers and walkers, insurance companies. The event will surely not lack artistic experiences – equine painting, sculpture, photography, as well as magazines, books and traditional Syrian craftsmanship are on the roster, too. The program also contains trips to Arabian studs in Syria and sightseeing. Damascus – a place referred to by Mark Twain as “the heaven of hidden treasures” – can undoubtedly offer foreign (e.g. European) visitors many unforgettable moments.
The event is held on slightly elevated terrain, between the city and an international airport. The scale of the event can be seen in the number of VIP invitations sent by the organizers to officials, politicians and fames from all over the world – 10,000. Tickets for the public will be available in box-offices at the entrance. Admission (in Syrian currency) is: adults: 300 SYP, students: 200 SYP, children under 14 (under parental care): free. 1 USD = 48 SYP.
A detailed program will be available in a few months’ time. Poles who would like to travel to Syria may reserve hotels, transport or tickets with the help of the organizer’s agent: Alaa Hallak, email: [email protected] .
Damascus has already been the destination of excursions for Polish and European breeders. Famous is the expedition of 1930, organized by Prince Roman Sanguszko, owner of an Arabian stud in Gumniska. The participants were: Bogdan Ziętarski (Prince Sanguszko’s employee, breeder and huge equine expert) and Carl Raswan, who, as Professor Witold Pruski writes, “often travelled to Arabic countries, resided there for a long time and brought back stallions and mares for enthusiasts of these horses in Europe and America”. They met in Babolna and headed together for Arabia. It was not the first excursion organized by the owner of Gumniska, but most likely the last.
Damascus, due to a great location, was often a place of prearranged meetings, from where, as Roman Pankiewicz writes, one would “hit the field” in search of horses. During one visit Ziętarski inspected even a couple thousand horses – one day at the racetrack in Cairo he looked at 800! He usually chose chestnuts, which were the Gumniska owner’s favorite.