At the age of just 12 years old, the mare Pianissima (Gazal Al Shaqab – Pianosa/Eukaliptus), bred by Janów Podlaski, a symbol of Poland and Polish breeding among Arabian horse lovers all over the world, passed away unexpectedly over this weekend.
She stood out already as a foal. “I’ll never forget the day when I first saw Pianissima”, American trainer and presenter Greg Gallun told polskiearaby.pl in 2008 when Pianissima was chosen Best in Show at the Polish Nationals. “It was here, in Janów. We were walking through the stables with Director Trela and George Z and I was looking at the pedigrees. I first saw the name Pianissima. Then she turned and looked at me – I froze. I knew something extraordinary is taking place. I thought: Oh my God, could this be true? I looked at her again and then at George Z. I saw the same awe in his eyes. And Director Trela was just smiling, he already knew what treasure he had. We spoke no words, only exchanged glances. Words were unnecessary.”
“To me she’s unique, the one and only” continued Greg Gallun. “During the National Championships in the US in Kentucky I observed the reaction of the public. A lot of horses are shown there and Pianissima was not that well known then. And it happened! She received a standing ovation. It couldn’t have been otherwise.”
Her show career was an incredible stream of successes. She won everywhere she appeared. She was showered with “20s” and the public reacted to this with unmet admiration. “Like the Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo exhibited in Cracow – she is an ambassador of Polish culture,” we wrote about her. She was peerless, claiming the World Championships twice, in 2004 as a junior and in 2008 as a senior. She was also a double Triple Crown holder (All Nations Cup – European Championships – World Championships).
When in 2012 she was awarded at Janów with the WAHO Trophy, she made her final – as it was then announced – round in the arena. “The breeders from Janów Podlaski decided that the mare will end her show career and from now on will remain at the stud leading a normal, equine life”, we informed. And yet she performed once more, in 2013 in Paris, when she was crowned World Platinum Champion Mare.
She left nine foals. Pia, 2009, by Ganges, is her first daughter foaled naturally, in the US (breeder: Janów Podlaski Stud). This year Pianissima foaled her first produce on home soil – Pamina by Pogrom. She was also mated with Pershahn El Jamaal (EVG Piassondra, 2007, Evergreen Arabians), with Ames Charisma (Nismat Albidayer, 2007, Albidayer Stud), El Nabila B (AJ Penelope, 2008, Pride of Poland USA LLC), Enzo (PA Encore, 2008, Ponderosa Arabians), Eden C (Pianova, 2011 and Royal T Phorte, 2011, both bred by Janów Podlaski Stud) and FA El Shawan, 2012 (Prometeusz, Janów Podlaski).
Let’s recall that in 2008, also much too soon at the age of 10, her dam Pianosa passed away. Now the Janów Stud, as well as the entire Polish breeding, has suffered another major loss.
One thing is sure – Pianissima, who was a legend already during her life, will remain in the hearts and minds of all those that ever met her.