The weekend of the 17th-20th of July was a busy date for the Kuźnia Nowowiejska Equestrian Center (near Żyrardów), as the club held competitions in endurance racing: the Polish National Championships for Young Riders and Juniors, an international competition and an All-Polish competition in this discipline. Altogether nearly 40 pairs from Poland, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Sweden competed in 7 contests.
On Friday the domestic contests were held. Victorious over the shortest distance – 30 km (L rank) – was a competitor from the Champion Łódź Equestrian Club, Katarzyna Nykielewicz atop the stallion Elpas 2002 (Arzgir – Elema by Wermut), bred by Tarus Arabians. In the P ranked event (50 km) triumphed Olga Ciesielska with Peoria 2002 (Balon – Peseta by Eldon), bred by Janów Podlaski Stud., also under the flag of the Champion Equestrian Club. Apart from the distances where style mattered, also held that day was a racing contest ranked 1* over 70 km. Unfortunately, none of the five pairs who competed managed to finish this distance – all horses were eliminated due to lameness. In part this could’ve been a result of the going of the course, which (as far as Polish conditions go) was hard and required particular attention from the riders.
Saturday saw the international contests over 120 and 80 km. The 120 km event also served as the Polish National Championships for Young Riders and Juniors (competitors up to 21 years of age). In the CEI 3* 120 km contest triumphed Ryszard Zieliński atop the pure bred Arabian gelding Gent 2000 (Samsheik – Gryzetka by Wojsław), bred by Michałów Stud, with an average speed of 14,77 km/h. It’s the second competitive season for this horse, who in his 4 seasons at the racetrack won as much as 43 races. So far everything seems to show that his stamina and sound health will also be proven in endurance. Second came the author of this article (Maciej Kacprzyk) atop the experienced Małpolska breed mare Sahiba (by the Arabian Grandorr), who the next day received the award of Best Condition. These two pairs held a short, dynamic fight to the finish, with Gent coming out winner. Five pairs competed in this contest, with four completing the course.
A finish in full gallop finish was also present in the case of the Young Riders and Juniors Championship. First to cross the wire was Milena Kalata atop Euroland 1997 (Ecaho – Eunona by Eukaliptus), bred by Michałów Stud, before Anna Tarnowska atop Bader 1998 (Ararat – Barkarola by Alegro), bred by Janów Podlaski – both pairs represented Jasiorówka Equestrian Club. Unfortunately Euroland did not pass the final vet check and was eliminated due to lameness. And so the Championship was awarded to Anna Tarnowska and Bader, who finished the course with an average speed of 14,5 km/h. Bader also received a trophy from the Polish Arabian Horse Breeders Society – whose originator was Mateusz Jaworski – for the best horse of the Championships. However the victorious pair was not classified in the international contest, because they did not have a valid passport required by the FEI. For that reason in the CEIJY 3* 120 km contest first place went to Maria Hagman-Eriksson from Sweden atop Wigor 2001 (Egmont – Wenezia by Emblemat), bred by Agneta Alfredsson of Sweden, with an average speed of 13,78 km/h, who was the only one to have completed the course out of five pairs.
In the senior CEI 2* 80 km contest the winner was Beata Dzikowska atop Ferid 2002 (Borysław – Formuła by Pesal), bred by M. Nowakowska, with an average speed of 17,13 km/h. In the junior-youth classification over this distance triumphed Katarina Kysela of Czech Republic, atop the mare Poesia (an average speed of 15,99 km/h).
All in all, despite the humble line-up, the competitions can be considered successful. It was an endurance debut for the organizers, which they handled very well. After cancelling the event in Ciosny they had not much time to prepare for the organization of an international event in the new to them equestrian discipline. And it is the “discovery” of Kuźnia for endurance that is perhaps the largest success of this event.