When in 2020 covid-19 paralyzed the world, when countries closed their borders, quarantines were introduced and most mass events were canceled for fear of the virus, Arabian horse shows also suffered. Important shows had disappeared from the calendar, including the All Nations Cup in Aachen, and in Poland the Al Khalediah European Arabian Horse Festival in Nowe Wrońska and the All-Polish Arabian Horse Championship, organized at the Aeroclub airport in Radom. Each subsequent year we saw these shows included in the ECAHO calendar, but neither in 2020, nor in 2021, nor in 2022, none of our Polish shows took place. Therefore, this year, when Radom was again on the list, it was hard to believe that this show would return to the Polish scene after three years of absence. Yet it has returned. And with a bang!
And although Radom was moved to Tarnów, and the championship was held in Klikowska Ostoja Polskich Koni, I don’t think anyone was angry with the organizer, in fact most of the participants were very curious about the new place and how the new team would cope with the challenge of organizing a new-old show in Poland.
Under the patronage of Prince Roman Władysław Sanguszko’s grandson
Tarnów is not an accidental location, because in the 18th century the Tarnów estate became the property of the Sanguszko magnate family and remained in their hands until World War II, but the heirs are connected with the Tarnów land to this day. The honorary patronage over the show was taken by Prince Paweł Sanguszko, grandson of Prince Roman Władysław Sanguszko, for whom horses from the Arabian Peninsula were imported by Bogdan Ziętarski himself, and both gentlemen played a significant role in breeding the Arabian horse in Poland.
The baton from Mr. Stanisław Redestowicz, who was responsible for the show in Radom, was taken over by the Polish Arabian Horse Breeders Association, whose newly elected board seems to have big plans and is not afraid to implement them. Thanks to this, we have another fantastic show of Arabian horses on the map of Poland, and the bar has been set really high. The efficiency in attracting people for cooperation and sponsors, thanks to which the show gained prestige, arouses admiration. Nevertheless, the atmosphere was friendly, you could not feel the embouchure, often present at Arabian horse shows.
Also noteworthy is the rich program of the event, which included saddle classes, special shows, a gelding class, breeders’ evening and a charity auction. It was impossible to complain about boredom!
Even before the official start of the show, the guests, trainers and exhibitors could integrate on Friday evening over Klikowski dumplings and liqueurs, and despite the fact that the weather was not so good on Saturday morning, everyone was in a good mood. Although the weather “did not spoil” us, it’s an understatement when you remember the beginning of the show. In a penetrating downpour, the guests were greeted by highlanders and Cracovians in traditional costumes, driving teams of Małopolska and Silesian horses, who brought the judges to the arena.
The show was judged by: Gianmarco Aragno, Peter Birch, Bérengère Fayt, Robbie Den Hartog, Helen Hennekens Van Nes, Jonas Salzman and Michaela Weidner, the ringmaster was Bart Beckers, the Disciplinary Committee was composed of: Christine Keyser, Farhang Fazeli and Paulina Malinowska, and the announcer was Mirosław Kołodziej.
Over 100 horses in the catalogue
The catalogue included over 100 horses, which means that shows in Poland are needed and even desired by breeders and owners of Arabian horses. Despite the unfavorable weather, the show started with a slight delay, and the first to arrive were the yearling colts, divided into two series. And already here it was known that the show in Białka has its own rules, and Tarnów has its own. Series A was won by Michałów’s Zigi Zahn (AJ Azzam – Zigi Zana by QR Marc), scoring a solid 91.67 points. Right behind him, with a score of 90.58 points, placed the grey, delicate Gladius SA (Dominic M – Ginessa by Shanghai E.A.), bred and owned by Waldemar Bąk. Both colts were appreciated by the judges in Sunday’s championship and took analogous places, so that Zigi Zahn was almost unanimously chosen the Yearling Champion Colt (6 out of 7 judges nominated him for the gold medal), and Gladius SA left Tarnów with the silver medal. The bronze medal in the championships went to the winner of series B of the yearling colts, the eye-catcher, Portado (Haash OSB – Portia by Kahil Al Shaqab) from Janów Podlaski Stud, who scored 91.25 points in class.
The classes of two- and three-year-old colts were traditionally symbolic in terms of the number of horses, and there were six stallions in total.
And so, the winner of the two-year-old stallions class, the bronze medalist from this year’s Białka, the dark bay Janów-bred Al Narciso (Erantis – Amorena by Pogrom) this time went home with a gold medal and the title of Junior Champion Stallion. The silver medal remained in the Tarnów region and went to the bay stallion Will KL (Dominic M – WieżaCzarów by Vitorio TO) from Klikowa Stud, who was third in his class. Thus, he brought great joy, but also surprise to his breeder, Mr. Marek Rzepka, who was sure that nothing would happen due to the movement not in his 20s. And yet!
The bronze medal of the junior stallions was won by the bay stallion Książę (RFI Farid – California by Ekstern), known from this year’s show in Białka, bred by Krzysztof Falby and owned by Ewelina Kania-Boć.
Three series of yearling fillies and a total of 24 horses is the number we are used to at the shows in Białka and Janów. It can be concluded from this that the Tarnów show aspires to be one of the most important for breeders in Poland. Series A was won by another horse omitted from Białka, bred and owned by Petroniusz Frejlich, daughter of Diodora (by Zeus E.A.) well known from the show rings and D Zeidan – the grey De Zeidana. By winning the class with a total score of 91.42 points, she secured her participation in Sunday’s championships, eventually finishing second on the podium with the yearling fillies silver medal.
Series B was the only one that did not “contain” any Sunday medalist, despite a good performance by the filly Eforina KL (EKS Farajj – Efora KL by QR Marc), whose dam we could admire a few hours later. Eforina won her class with a score of 91.08, but was not recognized by the judges in Sunday’s finals.
Series C, on the other hand, revealed the future golden champion of the yearling fillies of the Tarnów show, as it was won by the Michałów-bred Livorna (AJ Azzam – Liguria by El Omari) who was completely omitted from Białka, with a total of 91.83 points, including 1×20 for the head with neck and 1×20 for movement. Right behind her in class at the Tarnów show, but in third place in the championship was Janów’s chestnut Eleganza (Haash OSB – Eduarda by Pogrom), who had another successful performance and took another solid bronze medal to her home stud.
The classes of two- and three-year-old fillies are always pleasing to the eye, because the horses are already after their first or second show season, they are a bit more familiar with the show ring than the yearlings, which usually has a positive effect on their presentation. In two series of two-year-old fillies and one of three-year-old fillies we saw a total of 24 horses, which is also a very decent number.
The series A of the two year old fillies class had already selected two future medalists of the junior mares championship. The class, with a score of 91.83 points, including 1×20 for type, was won by Janów’s grey Abellia (Magic Magnifique – Axara by Kahil Al Shaqab), known from Białka. The second, but bronze medalist in this class, was bred at Equus Arabians, and owned by the stud in Klikowa, another grey filly Calgary E.A. (Shanghai E.A. – Cleopatra E.A. by Excalibur E.A.), who also received a 20 for type. Both the owner and the breeder of this filly, Albert Sorroca, who was present at the show, were proud and happy about the result. I think that the current owner of Calgary E.A., Marek Rzepka, could count on more medals in this championship, because the chestnut Pianissa KL (Ajman Moniscione – Pianova by Eden C), bred in Klikowa, won the three-year-old fillies class with a score of 91.67 and entered the championship. This filly is gaining confidence from show to show, which resulted in 2×20 for movement! Unfortunately, it was not enough to charm the judges in Sunday’s championships and she returned to the stud without a medal. But medals are yet to come for her!
The bay filly Wieża Uczuć (Medalion – Wieża Bajek by Abha Qatar), bred at Michałów Stud, found itself in a similar situation, which, winning the series B of the two-year-old fillies class with a score of 91.33 with 4×20 for movement, certainly aroused Michałów’s hopes for a medal in championship. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for the Chrcynno-Palace Stud, the third silver medal of this championship went to their filly Psyche Apsara (Ghaith Al Zobair – Psyche Victoria by Ekstern), who needs no introduction, because she is known from show rings from past seasons. Psyche Apsara took second place in her class, but with 2x20s and 4×19.5 for head and neck and 1×20 for type, and a total score of 91.50 points. She only proved her worth in the championship.
Saturday afternoon, accompanied by increasingly beautiful weather, provided even more excitement thanks to three classes of senior mares. And already the first of them, series A of the 4-6 year old mares, won the audience, among others due to the victory of the Chrcynno-Palace Stud bred, grey Anastazja (Psyche Keret – Echo Aurora by Eternity Ibn Navarrone-D), who won 93.08 points, which is the highest score of the show so far, delighted the judges and received 3×20 for type, 1×20 for head and neck and 3×20 for movement. On Sunday, however, it turned out that even 93 points are not always enough to win a medal. It fell in the championships to the winner of the series B of the 4-6 year old mares class, well known to all of us, the chestnut mare El Belissima (Ascot DD – Ekliptyka by Ekstern) from Michałów, well known and awarded many times. She delighted the judges and, receiving, among others, 3×20 for type, 3×20 for head and neck and 3×20 for movement, she collected 93.58 points. Finally, she won the silver medal of the senior mares championship for her home stud in Michałów.
Zigi Zana the highest scored horse of the show
Michałów did not stick to the competition in Tarnów, all the medals of this championship
belonged to this farm. However, there is not even a gram of surprise in this, because the quality of the senior mares from Michałów Stud brought everyone to their knees. According to the order of the classes, the next, although bronze medal went to the equally popular Parantella (Kahil Al Shaqab – Palanga by Ekstern), who won her class with a modest 93.92 points, receiving 3×20 for type, 4×20 for head and neck and 5×20 for movement. Parantella was also awarded on Sunday afternoon with the award for the best head of the show.
The last class of senior mares, held on Sunday morning, selected the gold medalist of the senior mares championship, as well as Best in Show Female and the highest rated horse of the show, as well as the most exciting class of the entire show. This class, as well as the championship and Best in Show, was won by Michałów’s (obviously) Zigi Zana (QR Marc – Zagrobla by Monogramm), who scored 94.25 points, including 5×20 for type, 2×20 for head and neck and 6×20 for movement, she was second to none, though the competition in her class was hot on her heels. The entire class of 10-year-old and older mares was showered with generous 20s by the judges. And yes, each mare received her pack of 20s and scores over 92 points! Ah, what a feast for the eyes! Second in class, with a score of 93.17, her set of 20 and 17 for legs (!) was bred in Białka and owned by Anna Janas-Naze’s Black Lady Arabians Stud. However, in the case of Echo Anastazja, even 93 points in class did not guarantee a medal place in the championship. However, as Hulina’s breeder, Renata Kurzyńska, said, it was the biggest surprise for them in years. The team from Łódź went home with smiles on their lips despite the lack of a medal.
Dedicated to Shirley Watts
The classes and the senior stallion championship did not bring so many impressions, but a pleasant surprise was the “dusting” of several horses and bringing them to Tarnów. Senior Champion Stallion and Best in Show Male was chosen, the grey Alfabia Aragon (ZT Magnanimus – ZT Shakbey by El Shaklan), who has not been seen in Poland for a long time, but is stationed here permanently in the stables of Joanna Wojtecka and Paweł Kozikowski. Joanna dedicated the success of this horse and the titles he won in Tarnów to Shirley Watts and Halsdon Arabians, from which this horse was imported to Poland after the owner’s death. Needless to say, it was a touching moment.
The silver medal of the championship went to the well-known and likable, once regular participant of the shows, the chestnut stallion Eternal (FS Bengali – Ewitacja by Ganges), bred and owned by Jan Głowacki. The last place on the podium was taken by the well-known, with many fans, slightly crazy in the way of being, chestnut Belmari (El Omari – Bint Ermina by Kabsztad), coming from Białka Stud.
And that’s it for the championships. It is worth mentioning that between the in hand classes there were also two classes under saddle for Arabian horses, judged by Helen Hennekens Van Nes. The Classic Pleasure class was won by Agnieszka Romszycka with the stallion Edinet (Włodarz – Ellila by Wachlarz), and the Traditional Arabian Riding Classic by Oliwia Kowal with the stallion Elgoriusz (Medalion – Elgora by Poganin), who also entertained the breaks between classes and the breeders’ evening with her shows.
Charity auction success
Another important, although perhaps not the most exciting point of the program, which I mentioned at the beginning, was the gelding class, in which we saw three horses, and the winner was the grey Korab (Pegasus – Karbala by Emigrant), bred at Michałów Stud, owned by Magdalena Helak -Kulczyńska. The remaining two places were taken by horses bred at the Stud in Kilkowa and owned by Dominika Zaucha. Wonder KL (Aja Angelo – Wieża Nimf by Kahil Al Shaqab) was second, and Ginter KL (Medalion – Gracja GI by WH Justice) was third.
It is necessary to mention the great idea of the new board of PAHBA to organize a charity auction during the Tarnów show, from which all proceeds were donated to the “Friendly House” Care and Educational Institution in Tarnów. It is worth warmly congratulating the winners of the auction and thanking the founders of the three breedings intended for the auction, because the subject of the auction were the breedings of fantastic stallions: D Nayel, Emerald J and D Mezyan. It turned out that the breeding auction of the latter, the Gold Medalist of the World Championships, the stallion D Mezyan, aroused the most excitement. The auction stopped at EUR 10,000, proposed by Lubochnia Arabians stud! The breeding of D Nayel was auctioned by Michałów Stud, and Emerald J – by Teymour Razavifarahmand from Iran, and the total amount of proceeds from the auction was over 17,000 EUR! Something beautiful! What a great initiative!
This year’s new-old show in Tarnów brought a lot of emotions. The guests noted the very good organization of the event, but also the great atmosphere. Some were tempted to say that it was one of the best shows in Europe. And this is just the beginning! Because, as the organizers say: Next year will be even better! So we look forward to seeing you next year!