During the Open Day at Al Shaqab Stud in Qatar (on the 20th of February), which took place right after the international show in a newly opened, impressive and truly fairy tale-like facility owned by the Qatar Foundation, the visitors were treated to a special presentation of horses, being the pride of the Qatari stud. Among them – the Janów bred Pilar (Fawor – Pipi/Banat), the highest selling (240 thousand euro) horse from last year’s auction and a distinguished broodmare in Poland. Her ten notable produce include Polish National Champion Mare Pinga (by Gazal Al Shaqab), the sold to the UK Pieta (by Gazal Al Shaqab) for 300 thousand euro and Pinta (by Ekstern) – for 500 thousand euro, both to the stud of Mrs. Shirley Watts, as well as Pilarosa (by Al Adeed Al Shaqab), class winner and Top Five finalist from the Junior Spring Show in Białka in 2010. The Open Day, as an event closing off an international venue, gathered guests from all over the world, from the Middle East, through Europe to both of the America. Pilar displayed a superb type and excellent movement, which all Polish horses are famed for, though she was clearly tired by the journey from Europe (she had just recently returned from Italy) and did not yet adapt to her new home.
This is how Anna Stojanowska, who participated in the Qatari show as a judge, recalls that day: „Pilar was presented as the queen of the herd. Her owners literally love her and have lots of respect for her. They say that she is their star. She received a truly royal suite! I must admit that the stables in the current seat of Al Shaqab resemble a five star hotel. Air conditioned stalls 5 by 5 meters, they are very impressive. It is almost hard to see the horse, that’s how spacious they are!”
After the presentation an auction took place, which included an offer made up of 25 horses. Only one of them did not achieve its reserve price. The highest price was paid for a daughter of Polish-bred stallion Dębowiec (Monogramm – Dębówka/Eternit) – Jassyra De Wiec 2002 (out of Jyselle El Jamaal/Ali Jamaal), bred by Lenita Perroy from Brazil. She was sold with a foal, a filly by Gazal Al Shaqab, for 300 thousand Qatari riyals (about 59 thousand euro). The second price of the auction, 280 thousand riyals (about 55.5 thousand euro) was paid for the mare Enshoda by Gazal Al Shaqab. The horses were sold for a total of 1,657,000 Qatari riyals (about 328 thousand euro), mainly young stallions. The buyers were mostly Qataris and their neighbors from the United Arab Emirates, looking for endurance horses or under saddle recreational mounts.
The Qatar Foundation is the owner of not just Al Shaqab Stud, but also, among others, room on the shirts of the football team from Barcelona. The contract with Barcelona amounts to 30 million euro per year. Located within the boundaries of an enormous complex, where the seat of the Qatar Foundation is situated and which is still expanding (it will ultimately cover an area of 98 hectares), is an Education City – a small town which encompasses various education centers (located here are branches of universities from all across the world, for instance Northwestern University, Georgetown University, Cornell Medical College and Virginia Commonwealth University) or the Riding Academy, where young Qataris learn all aspects of horse riding and caring for the horse. The city’s pride and joy is an oval, indoor arena bearing a unique on a world scale architecture. Situated around it are the stables, a breeding facility, a show and training facility, a veterinary clinic, a riding club, a library and a studio for artists.