This past weekend Topolcianky (Slovakia) hosted the finals of the Central European Endurance Cup (CEEC). The competition saw 35 horse-rider pairs from 8 countries at the start line, including representatives of Poland – Kamilia and Marcin Tobiasz.
The organizer of the event was the National Topolcianky Stud (Narodny Źrebcin Topolcianky). The stud breeds the following horses: Arabian (shagya and pure bred), Lipizzaner, Hucul (Carpathian) ponies and Slovak Warmbloods. The facilities of the stud include, beside the head office in Topolcianky, the farms: Rybnik (Arabians), Breziny (Huculs) and Hostie (Lipizzaners). Every year more than 80 foals are born here – mostly of the shagya and Lipazzaner breeds (about 25 each), a bit less pure-bred Arabians and Huculs (some n-teen foals each). The stud organized the CEI competition for the first time.
The pair Marcin Tobiasz – Ester 1994 (Wermut – Eskadra by Algomej), bred by Kurozwęki Stud, covered 160 km with an average speed of 15,49 km/h, which gave them second place.
„Our start was burdened with a need of completing an international event this season in good pace. For Ester it was to be yet another 160 km and a qualifier for the World Championships, which will be held in Malaysia next year”, says Marcin Tobiasz, the only Polish contestant who finished the classic endurance distance of 160 km. “The course was designed fair, not very hard. A bit of a grassy going, a few forest ducts, some hard-surfaced dirt paths, not many asphalt roads with an alternative on the fields. It was divided into three loops: 40, 30 and 20 km, alternatively, very well marked. The only thing missing was an even shorter loop for the final kilometers.”
Kamilia Tobiasz atop the mare Mu-Zahrat 1999 (Dobryń – Mu-Gaza by Gazon), bred by Zygmunt Tobiasz, placed 4th over a distance of 80 km with a good average tempo of 17,22 km/h, additionally grabbing the prestigious title of Best Condition. The mare’s breeder comments their start:
„With Mu-Zahrat we wanted to cover up the bad impression from Compiegne. We wanted to complete the race at a good speed and make an attempt at Best Condition, which we fully succeeded. For this pair it was also a presentation before the international judges and veterinarians, having in mind the start at the European Championships in the Czech Republic in 2009.”
„We settled on participating in Topolcianky after a few events in Poland were cancelled and due to the lack of consent from PZJ (Polish Equestrian Federation) for Mu-Zahrat’s start at the Polish Championships in Warka”, he adds. “We definitely do not regret this decision. The Central European Endurance Cup drew contestants from 8 countries, mainly those that still had a chance for improving their position in the general classification. An excellent performance in the CEEC was displayed by riders from Slovakia: Feiruz Boulbolova and Feras Boulbol, who received the awards for best horse and best rider. An interesting fact: they ride atop Arabian horses from Syria, which are not registered in the WAHO.”
Our contestants praised the organization, as well as the preparation and infrastructure of the stud in Topolcianky very high. According to them, everywhere you looked you could see the traditions of the Austrio-Hungarian Empire:
„Beautiful, historic stables, a hunting palace with a hotel in the park. And in the center of the Topolcianky village – a huge dressage arena. Additionally a race track for flat racing and steeplechases with tribunes and a sound system, a place for the start line, the finish and vet checks. In other words, an ideal place for competitions of any equine discipline. An event superbly organized and run by a team of cooperating international judges and veterinarians. Supported by a computer program, supplied by Harald Grinschgl (known from judging in Warka), they worked very efficiently. Outstanding information from the route and vet checks are the contribution of Harald and his team”.
Topolcianky are yet another equine facility, after the Hungarian Babolna Stud, which organized an international endurance event. A question which immediately comes to mind is: when will we see a CEI Janów Podlaski or CEI Białka?