We have been informed that the National Center for Agricultural Support (KOWR) opened an audit procedure at the Michałów Stud on the past Wednesday. On behalf of RMF radio station, Paweł Balinowski reported that ‘the audit should concern the stud management system and the organization of Pride of Poland auction’, and ‘auditors might also be digging for some dirt against Grzechnik. There could be two reasons for that: possible opening of a mismanagement procedure against him, or an attempt at excluding him from participation in the contest for the position of stud director again.’ This reference is to Maciej Paweł Grzechnik, the Board President who has been dismissed. However, as reported by Radio Kielce (reporter: Kamil Włosowicz), ‘the audit may be the consequence of a letter sent in mid-August by Maciej Grzechnik, then acting as Board President, to the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Center for Agricultural Support (KOWR). In the letter, he informed his superiors that price fixing had been occurring at Pride of Poland auctions until 2015. The Michałów Stud was then managed by Jerzy Białobok, while the consecutive auctions were supervised by Anna Stojanowska on behalf of the Agricultural Property Agency. They were both appointed in August to a new horse breeding council by the Ministry of Agriculture.’ RMF does claim that ‘the audit will probably be launched in a few weeks’ time’; nevertheless, according to our information, the KOWR officers appeared at the stud on Wednesday.
‘Maciej Grzechnik emphasizes that the spectacular prices accomplished at the famous Janów Podlaski auctions were the effect of prior secret arrangements and they in fact concerned other performances than the actual purchases of horses. Maciej Grzechnik emphasizes that there are documents available in Michałów to evidence the process’, Radio Kielce reports. We wrote about the mid-August report that was leaked from KOWR to the media, based on the news feed from the News Agency, in a piece entitled ‘Were the formerly record-breaking auction prices indeed such record breakers? Ejrene-gate, or new shocking information.’ A few days after the report reached KOWR, Board President Maciej Grzechnik was dismissed (August 23rd). An audit at the stud was announced when the Agriculture Commission became interested in the report. ‘At the earlier auctions, by 2015, not only horses were offered. In breach of the regulations, some buyers would get extra benefits with the offered price, typically embryos out of some mares. There’s evidence to prove it’, Maciej Grzechnik told Radio Kielce. ‘As a result of such practice, embryos from mares bred in Polish studs were supposedly transferred abroad for a symbolic price only, which Maciej Grzechnik believes to have been a waste of the most precious genetic material of the Polish breeder. For the same reason, according to the former Board President of the stud, today’s auctions, selling horses only, are no longer so interesting for buyers’, the article further claims.
We were able to view certain fragments of the above mentioned report, where we found outrageous reports not only concerning the background of the sale of Ejrene mare and the associated lease of Emandoria during 2012-2014 to a Middle East lessee, but also concerning Wieża Mocy, leased to the United States during 2013-2015 in exchange for the presence in Poland of stallion Vitorio TO. The agreement permitted acquisition of 8 embryos out of Wieża Mocy. It turned out that the mare returned from the lease empty, with crushed spinous processes. ‘Despite that the mare was covered by insurance against such incidents, there were no financial consequences for the lessee’, the report claims. ‘Information about health problems in horses returning from leases, particularly in Wieża Mocy case, would not be communicated to the new management board by the veterinarians who were working with the stud at that time’, Maciej Grzechnik tells us.
According to our source from KOWR, at the time of alleged audit at the Michałów Stud, Urszula Białobok – former chief breeder at the Michałów Stud, who had retired at the end of January of 2017 – was witnessed on the stud site, accompanied by the auditor involved.