The year of 1953 brought Poland two happy and far-reaching events, though each bearing different consequences: the death of Stalin and the establishment of an Arabian horse stud at Michałów. On September 5th, 2013 Michałów celebrated its 60th anniversary. Plenty of guests arrived to participate in the event. There was a breeding parade, medals were awarded and a commemorative plaque was unveiled, honoring Michałów’s charismatic former manager, Ignacy Jaworowski, thanks to whom Arabian horses from the vicinity of Pińczów took over international arenas and markets. Director Jerzy Białobok, who continues the work of his predecessor, emphasized that his former boss was one of few that was gifted with a vision: “He asked himself, what kind of horses he wanted to breed. He didn’t agree that the Arabian horse should be a utilitarian equine – beautiful, strong and one that could pull a plough. For him the Arabian was the personification of beauty. His strict selection of the Michałów herd created one of the most beautiful groups of mares in the world”.
Many of the outstanding representatives of this famous herd showed themselves before the public. The show began with the 28 year old Michałów doyen Eldon, who is currently enjoying a well deserved retirement. Also making an appearance was the well known, undefeated champion Ekstern, the highest decorated of all Michałów horses. Later we watched representatives of damlines present at Michałów Stud. Shining bright for the family of Sahara was, among others, Norma, the reigning Polish National Senior Champion. Her granddam, WN Nastasea, was gifted to Director Jaworowski by the American owner of Nabor, Mrs. Chauncey. Of course the parade wouldn’t be complete without the descendants of Michałów’s most numerous (42) family of Milordka, known worldwide as the “E” line, among them El Dorada, the pride of Michałów.
Director Białobok reminded everyone that since 1950 Michałów was already home to three Arabian mares: Miriam, Mufta and Amneris. In 1953, when the decision was made to transfer the stud from Klemensów (where the soils were considered too rich for Arabian horses), they were joined by another 22 mares. That was also the moment which began Director Jaworowski’s unbroken relationship (for 44 years) with Michałów. 20 years later the world heard about the horses bred there. “The concept of my predecessor was to show the products of our labor, take them “outside””, said Director Białobok. “We managed to do this for the first time in 1973, when we participated in the European Championships. That’s when Estebna was chosen champion”. Since then Michałów-bred horses have won the US Nationals ten times, the World Championships eleven times (last time just recently, when Wieża Mocy won in the juniors category) and as many as 20 times in the European Championships. 65 times the titles of Polish National Champion (mare or stallion) went to Michałów Stud. “All this is done in order to be
present on the sales market by means of promoting our horses through championships”, stressed Director Białobok. The effects are truly impressive. “There was a time (1983) when we were extremely moved after selling the stallion Deficyt for 609 thousand dollars at the Silent Sale in Janów Podlaski. The reporters commented on this that Michałów can turn even a deficit into a profit”. The jubilee parade ended with El Saghira, sold at the recent Janów Podlaski sale for half a million Euro! Michałów’s horses are doing well not only on the show arena and auctions, but also at the track – the stud won the Derby 10 times, the Oaks 15 times and the Criterium St. 16 times.
However the stud’s jubilee is first and foremost – as Director Białobok highlighted – the anniversary of its people: Urszula Białobok, whose tenure at Michałów matched that of Director Jaworowski (44 years!), grooms, stablemen, vet officers, trainers, presenters. Director Białobok dedicated several kind words to each of the employees, as well as breeding inspectors, that the stud was lucky to have encountered. Several of them received medals of “Meritorious in Agriculture”. Director Białobok himself received “The Gold Cross of Merit”.
There are few fields in life where, like in Michałów, the successor speaks about his predecessor with such great respect. In times of general egoism and taking credit for every success, it is rare that we can participate in an event which is a genuine praise of a common good. During the unveiling of a commemorative plaque honoring Director Jaworowski, Director Jerzy Białobok read a part of Professor Marian Tischner’s laudation, proclaimed during the awarding of Cracow’s University honoris causa degree to Ignacy Jaworowski, but as he summed up, “attesting to him best are the horses which we saw today”. We also heard a touching
recollection from Maria Jaworowska, who told us about her first encounter with her future husband. “One day, when I was collecting flowers in my aunt’s garden, a young handsome man appeared on the path leading to the stable. Seeing me he stopped and we began talking. The result of this encounter and conversation was a mutual life in Michałów”.
Later everyone headed toward the catering tent for an anniversary meal. Emulating our national bard – “and I was there, and drank mead and wine”.