During when the eyes of most Arabian enthusiasts were turned to the Autumn Show in Janów Podlaski, Warka hosted the most important event in the endurance calendar in Poland: the Polish Senior Championships conducted as part of an international competition.
On Friday, September 5th, the Sielanka equestrian centre held the domestic competitions. Victorious in the 1* contest was Alicja Sobieska atop Empir (2000, Harbin – Embola by Balon, bred by Stanisław Redestowicz), who tackled the 65 km course with an average speed of 17,41 km/h. Second was Piotr Komosa atop Gaj (Malopolska breed) by the pure bred stallion Borek. Both pairs fought for the victory in an effective finish at full gallop. Unfortunately, this contest was not an example of cautious and sensible riding. Four horses completed the first lap at a speed of 25 km/h! Three of them needed almost 20 minutes to walk into the vet box (during that time their speed decreased to 18,5 km/h), after which two were eliminated due to metabolism. It was an excellent display of how not to ride endurance contests.
Triumphant in the style classes with a speed limit were, respectively: in the P class – 55 km Katarzyna Nyklewicz atop the pure bred Elpas (2002, Arzgir – Elema by Wermut, bred by Tarus Arabians) with a score of 34,71 points, and in the L class – 30 km Iwona Mikulska atop Diana (“Noble” Warmblood breed) with a result of 15,87 points.
Saturday was a day of the international competitions. Triumphant over the longest CEI distance of 160 km was the pair Kamila Kart – Cert (1997, Balon – Certoza by Set, bred by Robert Talarek) from the Champion Equestrian Club, gaining at the same time the title of Polish Champion. Additionally Cert received the Best Condition award. The next two spots were occupied by competitors from the Czech Republic. Overall the contest was completed by only three pairs out of the ten gathered at the start line, including seven Polish ones.
For Kamila Kart it is already a fourth medal from the Polish Championships, including second gold. She triumphed for the first time as a 17 year old in 2002 atop Cert’s half-brother – Elban (1995, Balon – Elekta by Palas, bred by Janów Podlaski). She tackled the then unusual course of 2 x 100 km (200 km in two days) at a speed of 20,36 km/h! She celebrated the next successes with Cert – “Ginger”: a bronze in 2002 at the Polish Junior and Young Riders Championships (120 km) and a silver in 2006 at the Polish Senior Championships (160 km).
Competing in the CEI contest over 120 km were 6 pairs, including 3 Polish – unfortunately none of them completed the course. The CEIJYR contest over 120 km for juniors and young riders saw 5 pairs at the start line, including 2 Polish ones. The course was completed by 3 pairs, unfortunately both Polish horses were eliminated. The winner was Sophie Mauritsch from Austria atop the Anglo-Arabian Aledano at a speed of 15,99 km/h. The Best Condition award was handed to Arista, who was third at the finish line under Katerina Hemzalowa from the Czech Republic (with a speed of 14 km/h).
Competing in the CEI 80 km contest were 3 pairs, all whom completed the course. Victorious was Jakub Kysely from the Czech Republic atop the gelding Woody at a speed of 18,87 km/h. Third at the finish line was Wojciech Kot atop Efezeusz (1997, Ecaho – Efezja by Falsyfikat, bred by Michałów Stud), who after a fast ride on the first lap (19,46 km/h) resigned from racing and decidedly slowed down, which resulted in a mediocre average of 15,11 km/h.
The CEIJYR 80 km contest had just two horses, with both of them completing the course. The winner was Petra Trojakova from the Czech Republic atop Eman 1 (an average speed of 14,16 km/h). Second was Milena Kalata atop Nokturn (2002, Emigrant – Nowalia by Pasat, bred by Janów Podlaski) – 13,69 km/h.
Recapping this event we must first of all mention the very hard weather conditions: horses and contestants had to fight the kilometers that lay ahead in a nearly 30˚C heat. Without a doubt it was the main reason for such a large number of eliminations due to metabolism. The Polish horses could not have been prepared for a fast ride in such weather, as they did not have a chance at training in such high temperature. August was rather chilly and rainy. Those who risked a fast ride did not come out very well… In these circumstances Kamila Kart’s and Cert’s win gains even more value. In the history of the Polish Championships the distance of 160 km was conquered faster only by Kajusz Krzemieniecki atop Nenufar (1991, Palas – Nejtyczanka by Banat, bred by Kurozwęki Stud) in 1999 with a speed of 15,47 km/h and Lesław Gałka atop Bajus (1989, Partner – Bajeczka by Bandos, bred by Janów Podlaski Stud) in 2001 – with 16,92 km/h. On a European scale we can regard the results of our champions as proper (considering the weather, not terrain) However on a Polish scale, especially compared to the last couple of years, it is a really good result. What’s sad is that the podium was not fully occupied, but currently only a couple of Polish pairs are able to complete 160 km. On the 6th of September this feat was managed by one, but in great style.