A passion that gives life
KRYSTYNA ROMSZYCKA was and lived lowly. If some of the world endurance leaders accidentally came to small town called Józefów (near Warsaw) he wouldn’t trust that the old brickwork house is the home of one of the endurance precursors in Poland and that in the small, adapted stable stands one of the bravest Arabian horses…
Krystyna Romszycka – the distinguished equestrian rider and trainer, the highest placed Polish competitor at the World Endurance Championships, multiple winner of the Most Popular Rider plebiscites, dressage trainer and judge, the long-time activist and Executive Secretary of Mazowieckie County Regional Equestrian Association, AGA Józefów Riding Club founder and President. On 21 October she finished the hardest and longest distance – the distance of life and battle with serious illness. And she won it again, as she mentioned, thanks to the horses.
Her life was slaved to the horses totally though she didn’t start riding as a child – as many good horse riders do. There were many horses in her stable during her life – the own ones and leased, beginning with ponies and beloved mare Aga (the name of the Riding Club comes from this mare’s name) through the outstanding dressage horses. For us, the Arabian horse lovers, Mrs. Romszycka was known as an owner of Janów-bred gelding Elekt (Palas – Elektra by Bandos), 21 currently, probably the best riding Arabian in Poland and one of the best in the world still. To have an idea how great this horse is just have a look at the list of his most important successes, most of them won with Mrs. Romszycka as a trainer and rider herself.
- 2nd CEI Hungary (120 km),
- 2 times bronze medal winner at Polish Nationals, Miłki (162 i 164 km),
- 1st in Polish endurance horses rank 1997,
- 5th CEI-B Belgium (120 km),
- 5th CEN-A, Zastawno, Poland (160 km),
- 52th (best in Polish team) in the World Championships,
- 1st in Polish endurance horses rank 1998
- 12th in the World Endurance Rank (ELDRIC Arab Trophy) 1998,
and in dressage (with the daughter Agnieszka Romszycka):
- silver medal Warsaw Junior Championships,
- golden Mazursko-Warszawski County Regional Junior Championships,
- silver medal Warsaw Junior Championships
- 7th in Polish Equestrian Association Junior Riders rank 1998,
- 9th Polish National Junior Championships,
- gold medal Warsaw Junior Championships,
- 3rd Mazowsze County Cup CC,
- 6th Polish National Cup – Junior Riders Round,
- 1st in regional dressage competition CC-4,
- 6th All-Polish Official Indoor Dressage Competition C-5,
- 7th All-Polish Official Indoor Dressage Competition C-4,
- bronze medal Polish Nationals Amateur,
- Polish Nationals Senior competitor (CC-4, CC-7 i CC-8).
One more competition that Elekt should get the gold medal for is an excellent condition and competing in shows at the age of 20 and 21. All this he owes to the great care of his owner. Mrs. Romszycka’s friends say that no one could do for the horse as much as she did. For the hours spent in the stable on grating the carrot, feeding, massages and taking care of the condition Elekt got back at his trust, devotion and bravery. And he is not an easy horse! When Mrs. Romszycka bought him from Mr. Marian Baniewicz – the race trainer, and the vet Mr. Janusz Okoński in 1994 Elekt was already the medal winner of Polish Nationals in endurance riding, however he used to get the physical and psychical injuries very easily. Nowadays, having „the thousands of kilometers in his legs” he used to come from the far corners of the paddocks on Mrs. Romszycka’s exclaiming. He was also a patient teacher for young adepts of horse riding – the people and the horses. Mrs. Romszycka used to say that all Elekt’s achievements is just the Arabian horse distillation – of the horse not only beautiful but also brave, intelligent and devoted to his owner when the owner gave his time and heart to the horse. Besides Elekt there were many horses standing at the stable in Józefów but Elekt was always the first in Mrs. Romszycka’s heart. The endurance riders used to tell the stories about Mrs. Romszycka competing the rides – she was always “talking” with Elekt and once a time, if anything happened, Elekt must have a break to eat something nutritious. The honorable place in her living room took the collection of Elekt’s trophies – Mrs. Romszycka could always talk about them and she was proud of every trophy or flot.
But Elekt was not the youngest horse, must take things easy, and Mrs. Romszycka was very ambitious and had lots of plans, despite the illness. When she suddenly lost her two dressage horses in 2005 she saved the money for the new one for a long time. At the end, few months before the death she managed to buy a new half-bred gelding, having a lot of plans about his starts with Agnieszka. She even bought and renewed the trailer herself the way to put inside one half-bred with one Arabian or two Arabian horses inside. She had to have everything planned. The day before the last Elekt’s show – during the I Autumn Show in Janów Podlaski in September Mrs. Romszycka sewed and overcast the suits of the riders herself though she was feeling bad. She also sewed most of the suits that Agnieszka wore during many Elekt’s shows. She even made the famous blue oriental halter for Elekt – with “cock-tail” made of her own blond hairs cut when she was young!
Despite tiredness and pain she always wanted to be with Agnieszka and the horses during the important competitions. And so she wanted to be in Janów, in September. Even her closest friends had no idea that she will go such a long way but in the day of Elekt’s competition Mrs. Romszycka proudly got off the car saying: “I always feel good at Janów and this is Elekt’s last show!”. She was so happy to be with her beloved horse to the place where he was born. For preparing 3 Arabian horses to the riding classes but first of all for all the years spent on training and starting with Elekt she got the standing ovation and congratulations from stud Director – Mr. Marek Trela.
Krystyna Romszycka was famous for her abilities of „talking” to horses. If a horse was flappable the last chance was calling Mrs. Romszycka for help. She fed the horses, gave lessons and even rode a horse sometimes, despite protests of the doctors. She always reached a special agreement with Arabian horses. When, a year before her death the new Arabian gelding Gobelin (Ganges – Grenada by Set) came to her stable she was very excited. Despite Gobelin was very unruly horse and especially didn’t like her beloved Elekt, Mrs. Romszycka wanted to train Gobelin for dressage and afterwards – for endurance competitions. She was the only one the most respected by Gobelin. When the horse started to compete dressage with Agnieszka very successfully, Mrs. Romszycka used to say: „My last big dream is to ride the endurance on Gobelin myself”. Unfortunately this dream didn’t came truth. However, thanks to Mrs. Romszycka and Elekt the endurance riding on Arabian horses started to develop in Poland. Many Arabian horse breeders and owners looking at Elekt’s successes in dressage wanted to have a good ridden Arabian mount that they could be proud of.
The story of Mrs. Romszycka and her horses shows how one man can influence the others by his passion. On the other hand it shows how important and life-giving may be the passion, the love for horses for one man.
“When one man dies it’s like the whole world is dying” – the proverb says. But, the worlds created by big time people may rest thanks to our memory and continuation. So, dear horse-lovers, let’s make it like Krystyna Romszycka.
Rest in Peace.