The 2nd Winter Arabian Horse Sale at Michałów (09.12.2017) ended in a result of half a million Euro. 36 horses were sold (out of 40 lots) for prices ranging from 80 thousand Euro for Laranda (Ekstern – Larissa/Eukaliptus), offered by a buyer from Egypt, to 320 Euro for the pony Lucky, who found a new house in Saudi Arabia. As many as 50 people paid the bidding deposit (30 made actual purchases) from countries such as Israel, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Ukraine and of course Poland.
However before the bidding started, the invited guests watched a parade of stallions that will be offered by the European Horse Breeding and Reproduction Centre in Michałów in 2018. The phrase “invited guests” is an important detail, as this year only those with a personal invitation could enter the event. Thanks to this the hosts were able to provide everyone with seats and catering. Invitations were sent to breeders, but others could get on the list by a phone reservation. Those that made use of the invitation were not disappointed – the setting of the show and auction could easily compete with these kind of events organized in Europe. A tent was set up inside the huge indoor arena with a separate entrance, which provided much more comfort than in previous years – comfortable chairs, elegantly set tables and… warmth. This year jackets, hats and scarves were not necessary to make it to the end of the sale. Apart from umbrella heaters there were also screens that aired videos accompanying the stallion parade and a promotional video of the stud.
The stallion presentation was carried out in accordance with true American standards, accompanied by laser lights and to music with a strong beat. The show opened with Michałów’s doyen Ekstern, welcomed with huge applause. The elder (23 year old) stallion, though clearly not a youngster, appears to be in good form. In stellar condition was definitely the most awaited stallion of the parade – Equator, who closed the show. Even on such a small arena that the horses and handlers had at their disposal Equator proved that he does not lack charisma and that the title of World Senior Silver Champion Stallion that he brought from Paris was well deserved. The two year lease did not take a toll on his form – on the contrary, the lessee (Aljassimya Farm) took excellent care of the stallion, who was full of energy as a young stallion should be.
In total there were 18 chief sires presented during the Stallion Parade: apart from Ekstern and Equator the audience also saw: Ganges, El Omari, Empire, Forman, Złoty Medal, Medalion, Eryks, the imported by Al Khalediah Stud Poland for the 2018 season son of El Dorada, El Palacio VO, the leased for a second season Sahm El Arab, the homozygous black Nadi Al Khalediah (owned by Black Beauty Partnership), the owned by Al Baydaa Stud Aja Angelo, Muranas Jassehr from the German Murana Stud, Eternal from Głowacki Arabians, Shams Sharav AA (owned by Ariela Arabians) and finally Kabsztad and Morion, who similarly to Equator returned from a 2 year lease to Qatar. As we can see, the clients of the European Horse Breeding and Reproduction Center will have a wide range of sires to choose from. Only some of them will also be used in Michałów.
The guests barely had time to exhale after the emotions of the Stallion Parade, when the bidding started without further ado. The auction was conducted with zest by the President of Michałów Stud, Maciej Paweł Grzechnik, who is doing a great job in this role and providing an amicable atmosphere. He had two young spotters to help and the bidding was very smooth, without any prolonged pauses and full of thrills. The lot 1 mare, Wiwera (Empire – Waranga/QR Marc), was purchased for 21 thousand Euro by a buyer with bidding number 21. Wiwera will go to Israel, though the auctioneer encouraged Polish breeders to participate more actively: “Don’t let this horse leave our country!”. Next up was Expressja TV (El Omari – El Medina/Gazal Al Shaqab), who also won’t stay in Poland, because she was secured by a client from the United Arab Emirates. The mare cost 26 thousand Euro. A new house in Poland was found by Wieża Czarów (Vitorio TO – Wieża Marzeń/Ekstern), whose price achieved 40 thousand Euro. The first three very well sold horses set the tone for the rest of the auction. The beginning is always important, because it shows whether the offer is met with interest. The highest price of the sale came with lot 5 – Laranda. There were several buyers bidding for her and this time the price was right to let her go. As we remember during the 2017 Pride of Poland Sale there was an offer for 50 thousand Euro and the mare returned to the stable.
From the moment of announcing the sale offer there was a lot of commotion about the selling of Emmona (Monogramm – Emilda/Pamir), the World Junior Champion from 2000. She produced her last foal in 2008, so her chances for a further breeding career are slight. However there are owners that happily add older, famous mares to their collection. Such a collector is Shirley Watts, and it was her – through her representative in Michałów – who purchased Emmona for 45 thousand Euro. Just before the bidding guests joked that if Emmona finds a buyer there will be talk known from last year about “saving horses”. This prognosis was quickly confirmed. Let’s add that Emmona presented herself wonderfully, just like other Michałów matrons, who recently received a separate stable and own paddock. Ernestyna, Zagrobla, Gaskonia and Palmira, undisturbed by their younger, more energetic stablemates, spend their time surrounded by great care. Zagrobla paid thanks this year with a Polish National Senior Reserve Champion Mare title.
There was some humour during the bidding of lot 10 – Czarna Perła (Vitorio TO – Chimera/Emigrant). “This is the best mare of her crop, at least according to the specialists at Świat Koni magazine”, announced president Grzechnik. “That’s why we are selling her for a suitable price, 5 thousand Euro”. That’s exactly how much a buyer from Poland offered and the mare was sold. Until lot 13 all horses found buyers. It was not until lot 14, Emmbla (Al Maraam – Embra/Monogramm), that no one matched the auctioneer’s call for 35 thousand and the mare returned to the stable.
Out of five breedings to Ekstern (starting price 5 thousand Euro) four were sold. Stallions achieved prices from 1500 to 3300 Euro, geldings – from 1200 to 1300 Euro.
Just before the sale there was an attempt at “trolling” the event by unfavourable media, which mirroring RMF station cried that the offer “includes mares in foal to superb stallions, such as Ekstern or Equator, who had just been named World Reserve Champion” and that “experts claim that the selling of such genetic material may be bad for breeding”. And even that “the sale of pregnant mares is a risk that the get of famous stallions will fall into foreign hands, which means the selling out of genetic material from Poland”. The person who wrote that obviously thinks that clients stand in line for mares in foal to weak stallions. Such things about an industry where dreams are fundamental can only be written by people knowing nothing and basing their opinions on unnamed “experts” or purposely guided by ill will. Were the prices really that low? Is 80 thousand Euro for Laranda a loss for breeding?
It’s true that the prices are different than the ones at former monthly tenders. Ekstern daughters during the tenure of director Jerzy Białobok were sold for… 18 thousand PLN (see: monthly tender October 29th, 2011). However selling via envelopes (by throwing propositions into the box and later accepted or not by the director) is a thing of the past, just like those prices. The result of the 2nd Winter Sale shows that breeders have come to terms with this and are ready to pay more. Are the mysterious “experts” right that we shouldn’t sell mares in foal? “Mares are always sold in foal to superb stallions, because this increases their value. If a mare is not in foal, she is withdrawn or referred to as selling open, but such situations are rare”, explained Professor Krystyna Chmiel on Facebook to people who repeat the above accusations. “The get of Ekstern sells for very varied prices”, comments President Grzechnik. “When it comes to record prices we are not here for that, breeding is not a sport. A specific buyer decided that 80 thousand is adequate for the quality of the mare that he wanted to buy and what we offered. This is more than we could have gotten at the Pride of Poland and it confirms that our mare is good and that the price was estimated well”.
“The Pride of Poland Sale is an auction with mainly foreign buyers in mind. Our auction is different. We grouped together the monthly tenders into one. On the sale list we placed mares that we estimated at about 50 thousand Euro. Plus geldings and ponies. Some of the mares from our list would not fit not only on the Pride of Poland list, but also the Summer Sale”, adds Hanna Sztuka, director of animal and plant production at Michałów. “We are selling mares that are a sort of breeding surplus, as well as stallions and geldings that are not needed in our breeding”, confirms President Grzechnik. “We don’t call regular selling of horses, without the special setting, an auction, though these also take place by means of open bidding. We only call the Winter Sale a true auction, which is accompanied by a breeding event – the stallion parade”.
As for the allegations of the media regarding the “controversies” quoted above regarding the selling of mares in foal, President Grzechnik answers: “The functioning of Arabian studs causes controversy only in those people that know nothing about it. First of all, we cannot offer mares in foal to weak stallions, because we don’t have weak stallions. Yes, they are in foal to Ekstern or Equator, because that’s what those stallions were bred for, to cover mares. Second, with few exceptions, we try to sell only mares that are in foal. If somebody accuses us of this it means he doesn’t know anything. Why else would we have a Reproduction Centre in Michałów? We won’t find that out from the experts. And since there was a question whether the buyers will be able to pay as much money as these horses are worth, then we can honestly answer “yes!”, they paid half a million Euro. Show me a tender with such a result! Not so long ago mares by Ekstern were sold for lower prices than the ones that we are selling his breedings for. It’s surprising that in recent crops in Michałów there were just two, three of his offspring. Today, valuing him as a sire, we are awaiting more than a dozen of his get. We changed his feeding, way of life, he can walk freely now instead of in a walker. I must say he looks revived”.
Let’s recall that last year’s Winter Sale in Michałów brought the stud an income of 404 thousand Euro, so it appears that the event is gaining supporters and renown, though it was just the second time.
It is not a surprise that we heard nothing about the success of the second edition of the sale from those media that worried about “controversies”. But as they say – success is the best revenge.