The immortal song “History of one acquaintance” (1967) by Krzysztof Klenczon (music) and Jerzy Kossel (words), performed by the Polish group Czerwone Gitary and awarded in Sopot, is one of the greatest Polish hits of all time. Certainly, it also perpetuates, deservedly, a kind of myth of the Sopot beach. “The roar of the sea” is also quite a convenient literary trick. Do we remember that the Baltic has been humming continuously for 20,000 years? In the summer, this hum is friendly and invigorating, hiding the magnetic, wild beauty of nature that is hard to resist. Just as it is difficult to resist the tempting prospect of participating in the next edition of the show in Sopot.
Sopot – the second edition
The organizational success of the first edition of the Sopot show certainly encouraged many breeders and owners to register their horses in this year’s show affiliated by ECAHO, just like last year, as a “breeders show”. Thanks to the international line-up, the show became even more attractive and allowed Polish horses to compete with foreign horses at a similar level. We did not have decorated favorites that dominated the classes and therefore the results were awaited with tension and emotions. The show benefited from it, although, as it sometimes happens, it was not without sensation.
There were 77 horses entered in the catalogue, entered into 6 classes, some of which were divided into series A and B, so 12 classes in 6 age groups were held. The organizer, as in the previous year, proposed a different than usual judging system. This time it was a very apt, non-controversial move. The assessment consisting of seven parts: type, head, neck with shoulder, body, front legs, hind legs and movement, allowed the judges to assess the presented horses much more precisely, which gave the correct order in the class and did not raise any doubts. This type of evaluation selects class winners who, apart from their beauty and movement, are thoroughly assessed in terms of their correctness of build. In turn, the championships, which are governed by a different logic, select the most typical and beautiful horses from among the class winners, and this seems right. The judges invited by the organizer: Paula Bohmer and Karin Zeevenhoven from the Netherlands, Maria Ferraroni from Italy, Hendrik Mens from Belgium and Jaroslav Lacina from the Czech Republic, fulfilled the task excellently, and Gerard Oben from Belgium made sure that everything in the ring was efficient and safe . Conducting the show, the musical setting and the quick transfer of the results completed the picture of the event as friendly and professional. As in the previous year, modesty and simplicity of the surroundings were an undoubted advantage here. Both the classes and the finals took place according to the planned hourly schedule, which additionally enhanced the impression of harmony and peace. This year, the organizer chose a shadowed corner of the Sopot track on the side of Władysław Łokietek Street for the show, which significantly improved communication with the stables, an extremely important aspect for the trainers and their teams. The VIP area was elegantly built and, importantly, well protected from the sun. All tables were full, gathering a large group of owners and breeders from Poland and abroad. For the audience, there was a stand and a dozen or so tables available for persistent viewers. All this together gave the impression of a family picnic full of children, young people on bicycles and owners of pets, which are, of course, an inseparable element of the show landscape. The breeders had at their disposal a bar connected to the VIP area and two food trucks, which made sure that no one was hungry or thirsty. The proverbial “fly in the ointment” is the intrusive scaring of horses with plastic bags on a stick, which among the gathered audience, who had contact with an Arabian horse show for the first time, aroused considerable surprise and questions why these people scare horses. Difficult questions to answer. It is true that the organizer admitted in an interview with me that he asked the trainers to limit these practices, but the trainers do their job and until ECAHO reacts in a systemic way, such practices will continue.
Classes and championships
The progeny of RFI Farid (RFI Maktub – RFI Fayara El Shiraz by Shiraz El Jamaal) stood out in the junior classes. In recent years, he has been used by many Polish breeders, and the success in Sopot was achieved by RFI Farid youngsters bred by Katarzyna Dolińska-Witkowska, Adam Ochman and Piotr Podgórny. Bronze medal of the yearling fillies for Ceyla AO (RFI Farid – Cetula by El Nabila B), bred and owned by Adam Ochman and gold medal of the junior mares for the two-year-old Evetta (RFI Farid – Evolett by Ajman Moniscione) bred and owned by Katarzyna Dolińska- Witkowska. Silver medal of yearling colts for Glorius M (RFI Farid – Ginga by Galba) bred and owned by Piotr Podgórny. He also won a second silver medal, this time in the yearling fillies category with Eselaja M (AJ Elaf – Espanera by Kabsztad). Another medal double went to Petroniusz Frejlich – the yearling fillies gold medal for De Queen Of Life (Pireno – Dekstera by Ensenator) and a bronze medal for El Wiktorio (Eternal – Elwiktoria by Ekstern). In the case of Petroniusz Frejlich’s horses, it should be emphasized that both medalists are by Polish private-bred stallions, and in addition, De Queen Of Life’s dam is also bred by Petroniusz Frejlich. Out of the progeny of the recently popular stallion Wadee Al Shaqab in Poland, the gold was won by the two-year-old Vinci (Wadee Al Shaqab – Valencia Al Shaqab by Marwan Al Shaqab), known for his good performances last year. This promising young stallion did not perform in Białka this year, so we did not have the opportunity to see his performance as compared to the rest of the crop. If Vinci performs in the National Show in Janów Podlaski, he will probably be a very strong competitor for his peers from state studs, especially since we saw his performance on the French Riviera, in Menton, where he was placed 4th, ahead of Ferrum.
Another descendant of the stallion from Al Shaqab Stud who won the gold medal, this time of the senior stallions, was bred at Sweden Arabian Stud, owned by Arahman Saoud bin Khalid H. Alqasse – the bay Magic Algazal (Gazal Al Shaqab – Ale By Magnifique by Magic Magnifique), who at the same time scored the highest score at the Sopot show – 92.81 points. The stallion stood out against the competition with type and outstanding movement, which not only gave him a gold medal in his category, but also the Best in Show title.
And finally the sensation mentioned at the beginning of the report from Sopot – Janów’s dark bay Pila (Abyad AA – Piba by Gazal Al Shaqab). The young, still immature, debuting mare most deservedly won the gold medal in the senior mares category. Her extremely exotic type, correct build and excellent movement allow us to expect further successes in the future. Pila certainly has significant show potential. This mare is a perfect illustration for skeptics who have recently questioned the sense of subjecting Arabian horses to a stamina trial, because as a three-year-old she underwent training at the track, even achieving some success. Thus, she joins Michałów’s Wildona, who also started her show career only after the performance test on the track was completed, and as you can see, it turned out well for both mares. Pila, with five 20s for type, head and movement, 16 for legs and 18.5 for body is a type of horse that may appeal to various judges, especially as her sire’s Egyptian blood is very clearly visible in the exotic head and a slightly short neck. In this situation, one can only express surprise and regret that the president of Janów Podlaski was absent in Sopot, though his presence in a place where so many potential customers for Polish Arabian horses gather would be most desirable.
Undoubtedly, the charm of the Polish riviera influences the atmosphere of the Sopot Arabian Horse Show, so we can end the account of this event with the words of the title song:
From then on the days one after another
Were passing for us together.
In the morning the square, the beach or
The quay when the dusk was setting in.
Time was fleeting, the summertime,
Till the vacation came to an end.
The day had come on which
We already had to part.
Yearling Fillies Championship
Gold Medal Yearling Fillies – De Queen Of Life (Pireno – Dekstera), bred & owned by Petroniusz Frejlich (Poland)
Silver Medal Yearling Fillies – Eselaja M (AJ Elaf – Espanera), bred & owned by Piotr Podgórny (Poland)
Bronze Medal Yearling Fillies – Ceyla AO (RFI Farid – Cetula), bred & owned by Adam Ochman (Poland)
Yearling Colts Championship
Gold Medal Yearling Colt – Empiria Babel (Ghaith Al Zobair – Eden Beauty K.A), bred and owned by Hekmat Shareif (Poland)
Silver Medal Yearling Colt – Glorius M (RFI Farid – Ginga), bred and owned by Piotr Podgórny (Poland)
Bronze Medal Yearling Colt – Cameg Ecosse (E.S. Sarab – Cameg Parisa), bred by Cameg Arabian Stud (UK), owned by Aldeem Arabians (Kuwait)
Junior Mares Championship
Gold Medal Junior Mare – Evetta (RFI Farid – Evolett), bred and owned by Katarzyna Dolińska-Witkowska (Poland)
Silver Medal Junior Mare – IS Essencia (Poseidon OS – IS Ella Nora), bred and owned by Ismer Stud (Germany)
Bronze Medal Junior Mare – AJ Areej (AJ Kafu – Ania Moniscione), bred by Ajman Stud (UAE), owned by Tomasz Tarczyński (Poland)
Junior Colts Championship
Gold Medal Junior Colt – Vinci (Wadee Al Shaqab – Valencia Al Shaqab), bred and owned by Waldemar Bąk (Poland)
Silver Medal Junior Colt – DS Fedor (EKS Alihandro – Fedora RG), bred by Athba Stud (KSA), owned by Danisa Arabians (Belgium)
Bronze Medal Junior Colt – Almagram (Wadee Al Shaqab – AHB Aidha), bred and owned by Alicja Napióra (Poland)
Gold Medal Gelding – Muranas Messi (Invictus – Muranas Majesta), bred by Murana Stud (Germany), owned by Aleksandra Czarnul (Poland)
Silver Medal Gelding – Wilton (Lawrence El Gazal – Wołogda), bred by Stadnina Koni Janów Podlaski (Poland), owned by Magdalena Głód (Poland)
Bronze Medal gelding – Eunory (Ganges – Eunora), bred by Stadnina Koni Michałów (Poland), owned by Aneta Chrząstek-Szyc (Poland)
Senior Mares Championship
Gold Medal Senior Mare – Pila (Abyad AA – Piba), bred and owned by Stadnina Koni Janów Podlaski (Poland)
Silver Medal Senior Mares – Vision Of Justice (WH Justice – Equisite Dream), bred by J.L. & L. Havice (UK), owned by Aldeem Arabians (Kuwait)
Bronze Medal Senior Mares – Ebora (Ekstern – Eberia), bred by Stadnina Koni Michałów (Poland), owned by Suweco Stud (Czech Republik)
Senior Stallions Championship
Gold Medal Senior Stallion – Magic Algazal (Gazal Al Shaqab – Ale By Magnifique), bred by Sweden Arabian Stud (Sweden), owned by Arahman Saoud bin Khalid H. Alqasse
Silver Medal Senior Stallion – Atius O (Shahim Al Nakeeb – Atia Oone), bred by Oone Llc (USA), owned by Jas Stud
Bronze Medal Senior Stallion – El Wiktorio (Eternal – Elwiktoria), bred and owned by Petroniusz Frejlich (Poland)