There was a lot of talk before this year’s World Championships that the titles were already given away and that in Paris we will only have a repeat from Aachen. Luckily these predictions were a complete miss and in the stallions’ categories sensations happened one after another. It turned out that the Poles have reason to be satisfied: not only the mares, but also all Polish stallions placed in the Top Fives’ of their classes.
Yesterday’s first contestant – Roe Lateef, a son of Gazal Al Shaqab, British bred and owned, performed in front of a full set of audience. The final score of 452,5 was just enough to place 3rd in the A series of the 1-3 year old colts, which there were 7 (out of 11 entered). However everyone waited for the appearance of the Italian yearling Ali Moniscione, who made a havoc this season at the most significant shows. The marked chestnut turned out to be too well-behaved today – and so the first surprise of the show took place: he had to give
way before the extremely showy, high-tempered, milky-white (with a golden mane) Shannan El Madan by Shael Dream Desert out of Perla K, Brazilian bred and owned by Al Mohammadia Stud. Shannan El Madan, elegant and full of fire, showed better movement (with Tom Schoukens) and received as much as 457 points, one and a half more that Ali Moniscione. This mark allowed him to win the class. Fourth place went to the British owned MVA Colour Me Cool by True Colors (452), fifth – also to a British owned horse, Orion OS by Om El Bahreyn (448,5).
In the next class (11 entries, 9 contestants) we had two representatives: Lord Bey Shah (Psytadel – Lady Aphrodite/Padrons Psyche), bred and owned by Minnesota Arabians and Kabsztad (Poganin – Kwestura/Monogramm), bred and owned by Michałów Stud. Lord Bey Shah commenced the competition, showing what he had best, for which he received a
score of 448,5 points. This gave him 5th place in class (behind the British Don Giovanni J by MPA Giovanni). Kabsztad, in the reliable hands of Mariusz Liśkiewicz, moved great (4 x 19, 1 x 19,5), garnering 456 points and 3rd place in class. It was hard to expect him to “jump” the two largest stars of this competition: QR Marc and Baanderos, so his result must be treated as a highly satisfactory result.
And the stars were shown at the very end. Baanderos (Marwan Al Shaqab – HB Bessolea/Besson Carol), bred by Taylor Arabians, USA and owned by Al Khalediah Stables, the winner from Aachen, strongly cheered by the Middle Eastern viewers, looked extremely well. Already during the initial round it could be noticed that though he has to give way to QR Marc in terms of head and neck, he has a better body, legs and movement. This was soon confirmed by the marks of the judges: Baanderos received high marks for the body and legs, 3 x 19 for movement, 3 x 20 for type and one 20 for head and neck. The result of 468 points was the second highest score of the show (behind Pianissima) and was surely hard to be
beaten. And it wasn’t. QR Marc (Marwan Al Shaqab – Swete Dreams by Magic Dream CAHR), bred by Vicki and Louis Doyle of Quail Ridge Arabians, California and owned by Paul Gheysens, Belgium, though scoring two “20s” for type and three for head and neck, clearly lost in terms of legs and movement, gaining 464 points, 4 less than Baanderos. The loud cheering did not help, neither did a whole team of people conditioning the horse, or the “last but not least” presenting hand of Michael Byatt. Of course among such competition second place in class and a high score is a large success, but in this case rather not for the owners and the trainer of QR Marc, who probably were prepared to secure a World Champion title for their graduate.
After this extremely thrilling competition it seemed that there would be no more surprises for today, though definitely not the end of emotions – the senior stallions always cause a large excitement among the public. It was no different in Paris, especially since the A series was leveled in terms of quality and truly impressive: we saw a group of excellent, showy horses, among which it was hard to point a favorite at first – beside Nijem Ibn Eternity (Eternity Ibn Navarrone-D – Naravna/Narav Ibn Aswan), bred by M. Smits, Belgium, owned by
Prince Khaled Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia of Saudi Arabia, distinguishing himself with his bearing among such finely selected horses. And it was him who won first place in this class (with one “20” for type and one for movement), receiving 465,5 points. For the Poles it was unquestionably a success to have taken the next two spots behind the leader, namely – Janów’s Poganin (Laheeb – Pohulanka/Pepton) and Michałów’s Esparto (Ekstern – Ekspozycja/Eukaliptus). The first one, in the hands of Piotr Dwojak, presented splendid movement (1 x 20) and was also highly marked for the body and legs.
Altogether he gathered 461 points. Esparto lost to him by half a point. The judges marked him lower for movement, but the scores for type and legs were sufficiently high to beat the other rivals. Fourth placed MCA Magnum Gold by Magnum Psyche (455,5), owned by Al Khaled Farm, fifth – Imperial Baareg by Imperial Baarez, owned by El Farida Stud (455). Another Eternity Ibn Navarrone-D son, Valerio Ibn Eternity VI (Belgium) is clearly of lesser quality than his cousin Nijem, which resulted in poorer marks for type, head and neck and body (453) and put him at just 7th place.
The B series of the senior stallions was to be settled between Marwan Al Shaqab (Gazal Al Shaqab – Little Liza Fame/Fame VF), bred and owned by Al Shaqab Stud from Qatar and Imperial Baarez (PVA Kariim – BB Ora Kalilah/Orashan), bred by Imperial Egyptian Stud, USA and owned by El Farida Stud, Egypt, in favor of the Gazal son. First to enter the ring was Michałów’s Edin by Laheeb (under French banners), but with a score of 448,5 failed to exist in the final. The loudly cheered Marwan appeared third and gathered three “20s” and two more
for head and neck. These were followed by high marks for the body (even 19,5!), but lesser for movement (2 x 18,5) – together 466,5 points. It seemed that Marwan, despite posing like a statue, with his eyes nearly hypnotically fixed on Michael Byatt, moved not as well as in Aachen, where he was without equals. Suddenly it became clear that the final result is not at all foregone, especially since his rival Imperial Baarez clearly had his day, which was evident in the initial round. And indeed – the biggest star of this competition turned
out to be the grey stallion, welcomed with even louder applause than the bay Gazal son – which was hard to imagine earlier. The public, as always eager to crush the champion, had already chosen their favorite – after a moment it was obvious that also the judges were on his side. Imperial Baarez gained as much as four “20s” for type (plus 1 x 19,5) and another four for head and neck. 467,5 points gave him the victory, which just a couple of minutes earlier seemed unthinkable! The overjoyed owner of the stallion performed a little
triumph dance in front of the delighted public and all who had their part in this success began embracing each other. Among this battle of the titans third place for Michałów’s Grafik (Eukaliptus – Gaskonia/Probat) is a great success. Grafik received very high marks for movement (unfortunately lower ones for head and neck) and a final total score of 455,5. Fourth placed the French Emin Pacha de Lam by Ekla de Gargassan (455) and fifth – Khidar by Ansata Sinan (Belgium) with 454 points.
Surely the championship in Paris has already shown a greater diversity of pedigrees among the world’s top horses. The decisive domination of Gazal and Marwan Al Shaqab and WH Justice as the most trendy sires, so evident in Aachen and Moorsele, this time was not so obvious (though still the top three of the classes are the progeny of Marwan: Baanderos, QR Marc and Abha Palma). A greater diversity makes for a more interesting competition and less obvious results, which is without a doubt good for the show and the competition itself. We must also praise the organizers of the show for the logistics and perfect timing – everything here in Paris begins and ends on time. However there is silence about just one horse. All the ads promoting Marajj have disappeared (his genetic condition has been fairly stated on the website of Al Bidayer Stud), so visible in Aachen. Regardless of the final results the end of the year has turned out rather unlucky for the “Marwan” dynasty. For the first time the marketing baloon, blown to its limits with the promotion of Marwan, and even more with QR Marc, has been punctured. Though it is hard to expect that this should automatically affect the stud fees.
Today, on Sunday, the championships – and all shows that the Poles will be able to be proud of their breeding. We not only have a chance at the Champion Mare title, but also quite a number of Top Ten titles…
The coverige from the first day of the World Championship: Paris: Pianissima wins under the bay