The pleasant sound of the sea and the summer breeze on the back of our neck. Sopot is a holiday resort also obviously associated with the pier, promenade, amber booths, beaches and the ubiquitous crowd of people. And for four years now to us Arabian horse enthusiasts, Sopot has been associated additionally, and perhaps most pleasantly, with the Arabian horse championship. And so, on July 22nd-23rd, we had the opportunity and pleasure to meet at the Sopot Hippodrome for the fourth time at the Sopot Arabian Horse Show.
This show filled the gap, or even emptiness, after the Al Khalediah European Arabian Horse Festival in Nowe Wrońska, which last took place in 2019. Although the assumptions of both shows are fundamentally different, and the championship in Sopot from the very beginning adopted the Breeders Show formula (“Breeders Show” – a category in the pyramid of shows affiliated by ECAHO), once again we had the opportunity to see top-shelf horses, also from outside of Poland. And in fact, this is the only opportunity in our Polish backyard to admire Arabians known to us from films, commercials and foreign shows and to look at them, thanks to which we have the opportunity to form an opinion about them. It is well known that when we have a specific horse in front of us, we see more than we often see on the Internet or in the press, and in my opinion it is very pleasant to be able to confront your imagination with reality. That is why the information about the withdrawal of the stallion El Rey Magnum RCF (Basilio CS – Cirque Du Soleil BF by Apalo) from the show was a huge disappointment for me. Nevertheless, even despite the withdrawal of this horse, a whole galaxy of stars (current and future) presented themselves to us, so there can be no reasons to complain!
53 horses were entered for the show, 4 were withdrawn and finally in the mares and stallions classes there were 32 horses from Poland (bred in Poland or belonging to Polish breeders/owners) and 17 horses from abroad, and additionally 4 geldings in the gelding championship (3 from Poland and one foreign).
This is not a large number of horses, and it can even be said that it is small compared to previous years, but let’s hope that it is a temporary incident and next year it will only get better. The more so that the organization of this event is at a high level, and the Sopot show attracts not only with the location and quality of the horses, but also the pleasant, friendly, holiday atmosphere, even though the weather once again did not spoil the participants of the event. The show was judged by Marianne Tengstedt (Denmark), Janice McCrea (USA), Mohamed Omar Zagloul (Egypt), Chris Lowe (UK) and Elisa Grassi (Germany), and the ringmaster was none other than Gerard Oben.
The Yearling Fillies Championship was unanimously won by the winner of series B of the yearling fillies class, bred and owned by Dubai Stud (UAE), the bay D Ghamrah (D Shakhat – D Ghaliah by FA El Rasheem), who received the second highest score of the show, i.e. 92.15 points. D Ghamrah already has, among others, the Bronze Medal of this year’s show in Menton. The battle for the silver and bronze medals was fought by the grey CBA Isaura (CBA Illias – CBA Ilonah El Haleem by Haleem Al Safi) from Bouche Arabians (Netherlands) and Magical Duchess AF (S.M.A. Magic One – Duchess Amaiyya DMC by Aja Angelo) from Afifi Arabians (Israel). The winner of this match was the former, the runner-up in class 1B – CBA Isaura, and Magical Duchess AF, despite winning the series A of the yearling fillies class, had to please her owners with a bronze medal.
The Yearling Colts Championship belonged to the winner of class 4A, once again unanimously, the gold medal went to the charge of Qatar’s Al Jood Stud, the chestnut, eye-catching Majd Al Jood (AJ Mardan – Elle Marin by Ajman Moniscione), who scored a solid 91 in the class. The silver medal, as the first of seven that day, went to a Polish breeder. Known to us from Białka and Tarnów, the grey Gladius SA (Dominic M – Ginessa by Shanghai E.A.) added another trophy to his collection, bringing a lot of joy to the later Best Presenter of the Show – Marek Demczuk, but also of course to the owner Waldemar Bąk. The third place on the podium went to Janów’s bay Tebiano (Haash OSB – Tacjana by Ascott DD), known from previous championships this year.
In the Junior Mares Championship the judges were not so unanimous, but the line-up of fillies presented for the selection of the champion was also larger and of very high quality. The Gold Medalist of the Junior Mares was the phenomenal D Leen (D Seraj – D Maha by Eden C), bred in Dubai Stud and owned by the Polish stud Lubochnia Arabians, which decided to show its horses in Poland for the first time, achieving significant success. Second was the grey and also bred in Dubai D Henneyyah (D Shagran – D Haneen by FA El Rasheem), belonging to Al Jood Stud, who was also tipped for the gold medal, but lacked a bit of luck. The bronze medal was won by the winner of the A series of the junior fillies class, the grey Espajlita M (AJ Elaf – Espaja by Aja Justified) bred and owned by Piotr Podgórny’s M Arabians. In addition, this filly was chosen the Best Polish Horse, and her owners received not just any prize on this account, because VIP invitations to the December World Championships in Qatar, along with air tickets and accommodation for its duration.
The Junior Colts Championship ended with the triumph of a horse with phenomenal movement, the winner of the B series of the junior colts class and the winner of the show’s highest score, the striking chestnut Hafeet (Ajman Moniscione – El Omarissa by El Omari), bred and owned by the Slovak TM Arabians stud, whose owners are Kuwaiti. On his heels, but in the end winning the silver medal, was the grey Fajer AA (Shanghai E.A. – Fadwa AA by Fadi Al Shaqab) bred by Ariela Arabians (Israel), the winner of the series A of the junior colt class. Apart from the silver medal of this championship, Ariela Arabians stud will be fondly remembered as a sponsor of special cash prizes for the best European horses in each of the classes held. The third place on the podium went to another pupil of Dubai Stud, and another horse owned by Al Jood Stud, the bay D Wannas (FA El Rasheem – D Sayedah by Marajj), known from European show rings.
After the yearling and junior horse championships, it was time for the gelding championship and the class of amateur handlers, once again organized under the patronage of Bogdan Maślanka. The Geldings Championship was won by the well-known bay son of Morion, bred and owned by Al Thumama Stud – Wahaj AT (Morion – Wieża Róż by Ekstern). The Amateur Handlers class was won by Noah Ismer from Germany, presenting the chestnut mare IS Pialuna (Ascott DD – IS Piniata by Pallaton K). Cash prizes for participants in both classes were a nice touch, and it is certainly a great incentive for participants to sign up horses for these competitions.
The Senior Mares Championship emerged the last golden champion of the day and of this show, the bred in Dubai Stud, bay D Dawaly (FA El Rasheem – D Danat by SG Labib) owned by Lubochnia Arabians. The verdict of the judges was almost unanimous and as you can see, the quality of the horses owned by the stud near Gniezno is not just urban legends, as evidenced by two gold medals won by this stud in Sopot. The Silver Medal was awarded to the phenomenal, well-known from the show rings from a few years ago, the winner of the B series of the senior mares class, the chestnut Venice MI (Allegiance MI – Valentine MI by DA Valentino), bred by Mulawa Arabian Stud from Australia, and property of Albakhet Stud. The bronze medal was won by the grey Enara Babel (Fuerte – Eden Beauty K.A. by QR Marc), bred and owned by Babel Stud (Poland).
The Senior Stallion Championship was won once again unanimously, by the winner of series A senior stallion class, later Best in Show, the grey, expressive Rajeh Al Adwan (Asfoor Al Adwan – Wadha Al Adwan by Fayad Alfayyad), bred and owned by Al Adwan Stud from Kuwait. The second in the championship was the chestnut Erantis (Acott DD – Eugara by Om El Beellissimo), from Janów Podlaski Stud, which gains with age. The third place in the championship and the last bronze medal during the show at the Sopot Hippodrome went to the grey bred by Ismer Stud (Germany), the winner of the series B senior stallion class – IS Exxpu (QR Marc – IS Exelsia by Madkours Impuls).
And so another Sopot Arabian Horse Show came to an end. Once again, the organization and atmosphere of this event made me want to come back to Sopot. You want to feel the summer breeze on your face, listen to the sound of the sea, squeeze through the crowds of people on the promenade and see more beautiful horses at the Hippodrome that capture the eyes and hearts. So let’s hope to see you next year!