Białka Stud was founded by the Polish State in 1930 and initially served as a Stallion Depot, when finally in 1981, next to Janów Podlaski, Michałów and Kurozwęki, it joined the group of Polish state studs breeding Arabian horses. Already 10 years later, Białka became the first show step for all Polish Arabian youngsters by organizing the Junior Arabian Spring Show, which this year was held on June 3rd-4th for the 33rd time. For two years, the manager and breeder at Białka Stud is the extremely experienced in this field Hanna Sztuka. She has consistently been making Białka a place where breeding and equestrian traditions meet modernity.
The 33rd Junior Arabian Spring Show gathered a large group of participants, which together with the participants of the 1st Pure Polish Classic Arabian Horse how reached 120. Such a number at European shows is a rarity and proves the growing potential of Polish breeding, especially the private one. However, it should be remembered that we owe this stability in organizing shows both at Białka and the Polish National Show to the care and support of the state, which ensures their predictability and high level.
This year’s show in Białka gained a beautiful setting, starting from the main promotional theme, which was an oriental horse in stylized hussar’s tack, to live hussar shows during Saturday’s classes. The leitmotif of the shows was the cultivation of Polish tradition and showing the relationship between Arabian horse breeding and the history of the country.
The classes of the 1st Pure Polish Classic Arabian Horse Show, held on Friday afternoon, gathered an unexpectedly large audience, and thanks to the support of the sponsors, the competition was broadcast by Arabian Essence. The award ceremony took place on Sunday morning.
In the junior show, which started on Saturday, the exceptionally numerous yearling fillies category was divided into four classes, while the yearling colts classes were traditionally less numerous. It is noteworthy that the number of young colts decreases year by year. Both quantity and quality are not very high. The Junior Spring Show in Białka each year is the first show for young horses born in Poland and abroad – which are entered into the Polish Arabian Stud Book (PASB) – and the latter have been dominant among the winners of this competition for the last two years.
This year’s Białka show was particularly successful from the organizational point of view as well as the weather, which was perfect. The atmosphere of a summer picnic accompanying the event was felt everywhere. Some reservations were raised by the verdicts of the judging panel, as there were considerable discrepancies in the assessment of individual horses, but ultimately the titles awarded in the championship and Best in Show were completely correct, i.e. the most important point was preserved – the ranking matched. Both the winner of the title of Best in Show Female, Bianca of Sinus bred by Sinus Arabian Stud, owned by Adam Ochman, and Nisser Babel, Best in Show Male, bred and owned by Hekmat Al Shareif, are horses of excellent quality, in a perfect modern type, which will successfully win more laurels in show rings.
A large number of offspring from various well-known stallions from show lines was noticeable in the junior show, and the only novelty was the yearling offspring of Haash OSB. It is difficult to unequivocally assess the first appearance of these horses in Polish shows. Haash OSB, used on an unprecedented scale in Janów, aroused a lot of interest. On one hand, his progeny won most of the titles in the yearling categories: the Janów-bred fillies Ebonita, Wincedora and Eleganza took the entire filly podium, and Etyl bred by Białka Stud won the silver medal in the finals of the yearling colts, but on the other – the progeny of Haash OSB did not exist in the Best in Show competition. The unsatisfactory quality of Michałów’s horses was also noticeable, as in the yearlings category they fell below expectations and finally the only silver medal for this stud was won by El Medar, Morion’s son, whose progeny was hardly visible at this year’s show.
After the first successes of such horses as Ferrum, El Madera or El Medida, this year’s results of Morion’s breeding are disappointing. Undoubtedly, the use of the stallion Prometeusz, son of the Janów-bred Pianissima, at Klikowa Arabians was a great success. Their pupil Pravo KL won the yearling colts gold medal. Private breeders have once again shown that the quality of their breeding is constantly growing. They do not hesitate to buy good horses from other breedings, just like it happens in the world.
The organizers of this year’s show in Białka literally showered the participants with prizes, both in the 1st Pure Polish Classic Arabian Horse Show and in the junior show. The prizes were carefully prepared and thought out as a beautiful souvenir for the participants, and the in-kind prizes funded by the sponsors in the form of horse feed will surely please their owners.
Visible promotional activities around the show in Białka resulted in the presence of the team of TVP (Polish Television), which followed the event for three days and prepared several educational reports and broadcasts in the agricultural programs of TVP 1, TVP 2 and TVP 3. The organizational efficiency and tradition of the place was the reason that it was in Białka that the Polish Arabian Horse Breeding Society organized the first Pure Polish Classic Arabian Show in the ECAHO “specific origin” format. The activity of PAHBS and the Pure Polish Classic Arabian Horse Show organized in Białka refer to the idea of combining beauty with bravery, where each horse taking part in the competition and who has been subjected to a racing training receives 1 point more to the phenotype score. This should be treated as an equal opportunity, as well as an incentive for breeders to send horses to the race track during the transitional period. Horses during racing training were also allowed to compete, for which a special class of 3-4 year old horses was organized (the age at which Arabians race on tracks in Poland), which was also possible due to the convenient date of the championship in Białka, at the beginning of the racing season.
The competition met with extraordinary interest and wishes of success, especially those who remember the successes of Arabian horses with Polish pedigrees. It was often cited as proof of the quality of Polish breeding that the sale price records of such mares as Kwestura, Pepita or Perfinka concerned mares of pure Polish pedigree, subjected to racing training.
The problems faced by the Arabian horse population in Europe are the globalization of breeding this breed, which has led to the tightening of pedigrees and the shrinking pool of stallions that give hope for breeding success. Many years of selection in the direction of a specific type and appearance of the head, with less emphasis on the features of build, including legs and movement, as well as health, led to problems with obtaining a good stallion.
Today’s Polish Arabian horses, undoubtedly deviating from the world’s contemporary type, preferred at Arabian horse shows, even presenting good movement combined with a harmonious conformation, cannot compete with show “products” from the Middle East. However, they can still delight, just like Janów’s Biruta by Ekstern, who – in the hands of Adam Ochman – deservedly won the senior mares championship and the title of Best in Show Mare in the 1st Pure Polish Classic Arabian Horse Show. In the same competition, Białka’s Palert (Alert – Pericola) won the Senior Stallions Championship and Best in Show Stallions. Palert is a good example of combining tradition with modernity. He has a very interesting bilateral Polish pedigree, but also full of Straight Egyptian genes, which results in interesting offspring – usually better than Alert’s. Among the junior stallions the winner was Ganges’ son, the chestnut Egizon out of Egiza, bred and owned by Białka Stud, who was not hindered by his intensive racing training. The Junior Mares Championship was won by Białka’s Chillia by Alert, who, like Egizon, will be seen racing this season.
In the junior fillies championship (1-2 years old), the winner was the beautiful daughter of El Jaheez WH, El Jazza KL, bred and owned by Klikowa Arabians Stud.
The 1st Pure Polish Classic Arabian Horse Show in Białka, although it showed a certain distance between horses with Polish pedigrees and horses with pedigrees saturated with foreign, often very valuable stallions, also made people aware of the need to protect the genetic resource displaced by global breeding. Therefore, protecting the Polish Arabian horse by using stallions and mares from old sire and dam lines considered to be Polish, as well as subjecting them to a test of stamina, is not only about maintaining the breeding tradition. This is primarily to protect the characteristics of Polish horses, including, above all, beauty, taking into account their bravery and health, and the necessary preservation of biodiversity in the globalized breeding world of Arabian horses.
The show in Białka was once again a very successful show, see you in the Zamość region next year!