The second day of the Scandinavian Open Championships, which ended on Sunday in Blommeröd (Sweden), was definitely more favorable for the Poles than day one: a reserve championship (silver), a bronze and before that a class win, as well as a second, third and fourth (the last one for a Polish owned horse, leased by the show’s hosts) place in class.
The weather turned out to be variable and after the Saturday heat this time the competition, horses and handlers were accompanied by pouring rain – especially during the finals. Despite that the horses clearly moved better than on the first day – with two of them receiving even as much as three “20s” for this element of the evaluation. Both came from Poland: Emberk (Gazal Al Shaqab – Emantka/Eukaliptus), bred by Michałów Stud and owned by Agnieszka Kozłowska, to compete in the show, while Metropolis NA (Consensus – NDL Martinique/Muscat), bred by Mike Nichols and owned by Janów Podlaski Stud, not only for the
event, but also for lease to Blommeröd. These two stallions showed how Arabian horses can move, igniting the enthusiasm of the public, as well as – as we could soon see for ourselves – the judges. It’s a pity that we don’t get to see such impressive performances too often. This is probably due to the fact that Arabian breeders more often “look for a head” in a horse, drawing less attention to the movement.
The second day of the show was commenced with the yearling fillies (15 contestants, among them one Polish representative). This competition was accompanied by a sleepy atmosphere for quite a long time – the participants did not impress with anything special and the scores did not exceed 87 points, which did little to move the public. It was not until El Piatzolla (WH Justice – Enya/Ekstern), bred and owned by ZPH Strusinianka of Mr. and Mrs. Błaszkiewicz, entered the arena that the spectators showed some liveliness. The filly presented herself very well, both in movement and in halt. Without a doubt she possesses
great charm, which was also noticed by the judges who awarded her with high marks (19-19-19 for type, 18-19-19 for head and neck, 19-19-19 for movement, with a total score of 90,33). None of the other yearlings even came close to that result, though two other WH Justice daughters in this class also made a good impression and placed second and third, respectively: L Farahdiba (out of Feemi/Ibn Halim), bred and owned by Lönhult Arabstuteri, Sweden, with a score of 89 and Kaliskaya OS (out of Khaleifa/Kubinec), bred and owned by Gestüt Osterhof, Germany, with a score of 87,67. It was the only case during the entire show when the first three places went to the progeny of the same stallion.
The two year old fillies’ class consisted of 14 entries. Here the scores were higher – similar to the overall quality of the horses. Victorious was the Swedish Niimah (Mambo – Nilimaa/L.M. Limaal), bred by Wilza Arabstuteri and owned by Jannica Löfström of Onyx Araber, with a score of 91,33 and very leveled partial marks (sole “19s” for type, head and neck and movement, sole “18s” for body). Second place went to the German daughter of Psytadel, Maharani CF (out of Mara III/Marsin), bred and owned by Cafra Arabians, who received one “20” for head and neck and a final score of 90,67. The third filly in this group, Ajmana (Ajman Monisicone – Yazmin YO/Nemes), bred and owned by Voran Arabians of Norway, also boasted the highest mark for this element (final score: 89,33).
There was one Polish representative among the three year old fillies – Ermina (Galba – Echidna/Ararat), bred by Samko P.U.H. and owned by Monika Luft. She placed third, besting such well-known rivals as Mandalai Blu (Marwan Al Shaqab – Al Barbary Fame/Fame VF) or JB Veronicaa (El Amin – Waliza/Fax), but she could not equal the class winner, already known form various arenas, GM Marwan Al Shakira (out of Octavia of Rohan/AA Manhattan), bred by Michael Wilson from the US and owned by Naples Arabians from Sweden, who outclassed her rivals, receiving two “20s” for type and one for head and neck (her final score: 92). The second place went to the Psytadel daughter WW Gazella (out of the Michałów mare Grenlandia/Eukaliptus), bred and owned by W-Arabians from the UK (90).
The 4-6 year old stallions’ class (10 entries) was interesting as it was here that Emberk showed off his exquisite movement, led with confidence by Piotr Żuber (from Bełżyce training center), who did not let go of the leading rope even during a dangerously-appearing fall. Piotr Żuber’s cooperation with Emberk stirred many favorable comments, as it was clear that he put his heart into the presentation and the horse was phenomenally prepared. And so Emberk, though he does not impress with his head (3×18), still received 3×19 for type and the already mentioned 3×20 for movement – very much deservedly! Presumably had the judges not been unanimous in this case, there would have been booing – but this way we heard thunderous applause. Emberk placed second in class (91,33) behind the extremely showy El Sid (Al Lahab – Swana/Kubinec), bred by Gestüt Osterhof, Germany and leased by Husted Arabians, Denmark. The grey six year old was awarded with two “20s” for type and his final score amounted to 92,67.
The last class, stallions 7 year old and above, included seven contestants and was once again remembered mostly as an overview of well moving horses, led by Metropolis NA, who although did not qualify for the finals (he placed fourth with a score of 89,67), made a name for himself with three “20s” for movement. Similar to Emberk and to the joy of the public he presented high leg action and a dynamic trot. The class was won by the Dutch Azraff El Karmdal (Wisdoms Promis – Wanannah/Sharkassow), bred and owned by Karmdal Arabians (90,67) before Adawy (Borneo – Ashiqa/Crusader), bred by Emma Maxwell, UK and leased by Oppreva Araber from Sweden, who although having the same score as the winner lost due to the marks for movement (3×18). Very good movement was performed by the Swedish Partisan (Charkow – Praktika/Phe) – 19-19-20 – but with “18s” for type and one “17” for head and neck placed only sixth.
There was no surprise in the Junior Mares’ Championship: the winner was of course GM Marwan Al Shakira. But the reserve championship for the Polish El Piatzolla wasn’t all that sure – it rather seemed that this title would go to the higher-scored Niimah. But she received the bronze, while the yearling daughter of WH Justice left Blommeröd with her very first laurel.
The champion and reserve champion titles of the Junior Stallions’ Championship also went to WH Justice progeny: Lance Lord OS and Habibi, confirming yet again the incredible trend towards this sire. The bronze remained at home, as it was awarded to the host’s representative, Malagant.
The Qatari stud of Al Naif, the Middle Eastern “raid” on this year’s Blommeröd, as expected grabbed two titles for their mares Johara Al Naif and Ansata Mouna, who returned home with the gold and bronze. The Qatari contestants were separated by Nag Olla Bez, who added the reserve championship from Blommeröd to her other achievements – Wels Top Five in Austria 2009 and Reserve Champion in Halden, Norway, 2008.
The title of Champion Stallion – once again without much surprise – went to El Sid, who bested Adawy. While the bronze was awarded to Emberk! Out of the four stallion which qualified for the finals, Azraff El Karmdal remained without a trophy.
And so in the final re-cap the Poles could not complain, taking home from Blommeröd one silver, one bronze and a couple of high class places. Whether the good run of Polish bred horses in Sweden will last (let us recall the success of Premier, Champion of 2005, Fernando, Reserve Champion of 2005, Beduin, Champion Stallion of 2008 or Elmaran, Reserve Champion Colt of 2008) is hard to say, because the European shows, including the B-class Scandinavian Open Championships in Blommeröd, once ignored by Middle Eastern or American owners, are now becoming – due to the growing number of studs and horses – attractive also for them. I wonder if there will come a time when we will see horses from the Middle East and from training stables known from A-class events at regional C shows…
GM Marwan Al Shakira (Marwan Al Shaqab – Octavia of Rohan/AA Manhattan) – br. Michael Wilson (USA), o. Naples Arabians (Sweden)
El Piatzolla (WH Justice – Enya/Ekstern), br/o. ZPH Strusinianka (Poland)
Niimah (Mambo – Nilimaa/L.M. Limaal), br. Wilza Arabstuteri (Szwecja), o. Jannica Löfström, Onyx Araber (Sweden)
Lance Lord OS (WH Justice – Swana/Kubinec), br/o. Gestüt Osterhof (Germany)
Habibi (WH Justice – Feemi/Ibn Halim), br/o. Lönhult Arabstuteri (Sweden)
Malagant (Turki Al Rayyan – Migracja/Gazal Al Shaqab), br/o. Blommeröd Arabian Stud (Sweden)
Johara Al Naif (Ansata Shalim – Al Johara/Prince FA Moniet), br/o. Al Naif Stud (Qatar)
Nag Olla Bez (SW Bezatiw – Sweet Saff/Gai Chagall), br. R. Guerra (Brazil), o. W-Arabians (Great Britain)
Ansata Mouna (Farres – Talmona/Talmaal), br. Montebello Equine Investments A&Co Ltd Partnership (USA), o. Al Naif Stud (Qatar)
El Sid (Al Lahab – Swana/Kubinec), br. Gestüt Osterhof (Niemcy), leased by Husted Arabians (Denmark)
Adawy (Borneo – Ashiqa/Crusader), br. Emma Maxwell (Great Britain), leased by Oppreva Araber (Sweden)
Emberk (Gazal Al Shaqab – Emantka/Eukaliptus), br. SK Michałów (Poland), o. Agnieszka Kozłowska (Poland)
Read more: Swedish struggles in the heat – day one