Despite an extremely strong competition in the shape of WH Justice, who was awarded with the show’s highest score, the Janów Podlaski-bred Pogrom [a Polish term for “rout”] defeated his rivals in the finals and claimed the title of Gold Senior Champion Stallion.
From the Polish point of view the most interesting of the first three days of the 7th Arabian Breeders World Cup in Las Vegas (US) was Saturday, April 20th. That was the day of the stallions’ performances, among which was Pogrom (QR Marc – Pętla/Visbaden), bred and owned by Janów Podlaski, leased by Midwest Arabian. The Senior Champion Stallion and Supreme Champion from Scottsdale caused quite a stir not only among Polish spectators, but among the entire public gathered at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa, where the show took place. Without a doubt he was one of the biggest stars of this event from the very beginning. When he appeared on the arena in the 4 year old stallions’ class, a thunder of applause filled the building. His handler, Paweł Kozikowski, led him calmly and with a poker face. It was clear that the handler – who also has a large group of devoted fans – was very focused. “Love the handler from Poland!” was one of the comments beside the online broadcast chat. “They belong together!”. “Maybe they speak the same language”. „Pogrom has the whole package!” It has to be said that Paweł Kozikowski endured the tension and did not allow the restless stallion to break free from under his control. During the initial walk-around they looked fantastic together and there were no doubts as to who would win this class. Unfortunately during the individual presentation the horse was too excited and did not want to display his movement, which soon resulted in his marks – just 4 x 18,5 and one 19 for this trait. He made up for it thanks to his perfect presentation in halt and as many as four top marks for type and head, which gave him a total of 336,5 points. This once again proved that it’s not easy to reconcile a show career with that of a breeding sire.
Earlier, in the 2 year old stallions’ class, we had a chance to observe the performance of another star – the already highly decorated (2013 Scottsdale Reserve Champion and 2012 US National Yearling Champion Stallion) despite a young age son of Shanghai E.A., Excalibur E.A. (out of Essence of Marwan by Marwan Al Shaqab). Bred by Equus Arabians (Spain), he is currently owned by Estancia Las Rosas from Uruguay. Princess Laetitia d’Arenberg could be proud of her new pupil, who presented himself wonderfully, both in halt and in movement, with a clear suspension phase. With two “20s” he gained 335 points and easily won his class. This pleased those Polish breeders, who bought breedings to him for the next season.
Deserving a separate mention is the performance of the „king of the ring” WH Justice (Magnum Psyche – Vona-Sher-Renea/El Sher-Mann). Everyone awaited his appearance, which – according to the catalogue – was to take place in the 9 year old and older stallions’ class, made up of two horses. But instead of the expected grey, a bay horse entered the arena! After a temporary consternation it turned out that a separate category was created for WH Justice – stallions aged 12 and above, in which he competed all by himself. In such a way a tribute was paid to the trendiest and most influential stallion of recent years. Thanks to as many as ten “20s” (for type, head and movement) he gained a whopping final score of 340,5 points! WH Justice was shown by a relaxed Michael Byatt, who did not spare the public contact with their favorite. The viewers could touch him and even serve him treats, which the stallion took advantage of, nibbling on flowers from the tables. Byatt himself lured him with a carrot, as though it was a training day, not a prestigious, public presentation.
During the Sunday finals the duo of Pogrom-Paweł Kozikowski faced a hard task. But they did it! Pogrom ultimately defeated WH Justice, who had to settle for the silver. This is a great achievement for both the stallion and his handler, as well as Janów Podlaski Stud. Paweł Kozikowski broke into the world of world-class presenters with a bang. We must also add that he won the gold in the yearling fillies’ category. It was him that presented winner AJ Manayer (Vitorio TO – Anna Marie BHF/Marwan Al Shaqab) – previously named Bella Vitorio ORA (by her breeder, Oak Ridge Arabians), whose name was changed by her new owner, Ajman Stud. This is perhaps the most spectacular handling career of recent years! Paweł Kozikowski, asked by polskiearaby.pl what this success meant for him, told us: “I think it hasn’t quite sunk in. Of course I am extremely happy and grateful for the chance to show Pogrom.” Previously, during the flags’ parade, the Polish colors were carried by Kozikowski’s mentor, Gerard Paty.
Excalibur E.A. was chosen as Junior Silver Champion Colt, behind Om El Sanadeed (Om El Shahmaan – Om El Jinaah/Al Lahab), bred by Om El Arab International, owned by Al Shahania Stud (Qatar).
Beside horses there were also people that were awarded in Las Vegas. First Egyptian Nasr Marei (Albadeia Stud), a many time judge in Poland, received the Lifetime Achievement Award and later the honorary president of the Polish Arabian Horse Breeders Society (PZHKA), Izabella Pawelec-Zawadzka, received the title of Arabian Breeders World Cup Ambassador.
And Om El Arab International stud won The Breeder’s Cup for the third time in seven years.
The full results of the Las Vegas show can be found on the ArabianHorseResults website: