A parking lot on a highway somewhere in Germany on a February night. The weather – awful. It’s cold and wet snow is falling upon us. From all around we can hear the roar of trucks driving by. I open the door of the lorry. Two-year-old Ganga (Emigrant – Granada) looks at me with her large eyes, which show fright… She had already traveled to shows before, but this journey was perhaps the hardest. She dipped her mouth in a bucket of water, rinsed her teeth, but did not drink.
The next stops were not much better. It took great effort to find vacant places in the parking lots full of trucks and none of them were peaceful or quiet. The mandatory 1-hour stops during transport were definitely not a pleasant duty for Ganga.
We arrived at the destined spot before noon. Ganga, who was tired by the trip, must have been relieved when she was finally led into a cozy, large stall. The farm, which was going to be her home for the next couple of months, very much resembled the stud where she was born. Both facilities boast similar unique composition, charming architecture and lush vegetation.
When later that same day the filly was led out onto the paddock by the stable, everyone was astonished that she needed just a couple of hours of rest to be able to present what was best of her. She raised her tail and justified the decision of picking her to represent Chrcynno Stud in 2006 in Western Europe. She proved us right again two and a half months later, winning her class.
Ganga’s first performance at a foreign show was a pleasant surprise. It was an international B-class show – the Tulip Cup in Deurne. The 2 Year Old Fillies class had 11 entries, including the daughters of such famous sires as WH Justice, Ekstern, Gazal Al Shaqab and Khidar. Last year Ganga competed against the daughters of Ekstern and Gazal Al Shaqab at Polish shows, placing 4th in class at the Spring Show in Białka and 5th at the International Arabian Show at Falborek, so I expected her to make the top five at this show as well. But I absolutely did not predict a victory! What’s more – Ganga did not even try to show herself, she was naughty and did not want to stand. Behind her placed NA Liliara (DE) by Nagadir, Redwood Lodge Saffron (BE) by WH Justice, Bess-Faith (NL) by Shakaar Ibn Sanadiva and Farhanah Bint Navarrone-D (BE) by Ansata Selman. My parents, who represented our stud at this show, were the only Poles and brought only one horse, who easily won her class. They became a social sensation!
Unfortunately the next day during the championships Ganga was tired and did not win a title. As it later turned out, her fast “burn out” was the reason for the lack of any titles in her career. As a consolation a couple of weeks later her younger sister Gaja Selene won the Yearling Fillies class at the Białka Spring Show and received two special awards for private-bred horses: for the highest scored yearling filly and highest scored filly of the show.
For the next show, this time in Northern Europe – the B-class Scandinavian Open Championships – apart from Ganga we took our yearling fillies as well: Gaja Selene and Echo Afrodyta. Ganga took the trip well, as opposed to the yearlings, who made quite a mess during the journey. The show was organized at Blommeröd Stud. It is a beautiful farm, with an idyllic atmosphere, which besides a couple of stables, buildings and large pastures also has forests and lakes. We were surprised at the sight of crowds of spectators with portable coolers, chairs, blankets, dog bowls… They all made themselves comfortable on the side of the hill, which acted as a tribune, while the show was conducted below. After a glimpse at the catalogue it was clear that choosing yearlings to represent our stud was not a good move, as the Yearling Fillies class had the most entries and the highest quality. The class consisted of 19 fillies! The Yearling Colts class had 11 horses, while the other classes from 5 to 9 entries. Just as we presumed, Ganga won her class with a total of 90,67 points and her fiercest rival was the muscular Rohara Bask Melody (US) by Baske Afire. Gaja Selene seemed a bit tired – she received 89,33 points, which gave her 5th place, whereas Echo Afrodyta, with a mark of 88,67, reduced due to a slight lameness (which probably had a lot to do with her previous passionate kicking at the wall) finished the class with 7th place.
Three weeks later the orange tourist chairs bought in Sweden came in handy – it is wise to have such a device with you for the B-class shows in Western Europe, unless you intend to purchase a VIP card of course. At the Internationale Tage des Arabischen Pferdes in Ströhen, which takes place at the Ismer’s stud, Ganga presented herself in a more numerous, and thus tougher, class. Unfortunately, she was clearly in poor condition, as she probably did not fully regenerate after the last trip. Still she had a good chance of winning. However her terrible behavior and lack of luck led to 2nd place in class with a mark of 89,67. Only a slightly higher score was awarded to FS Cayenne (DE) by AS Natsir Apal, who did not particularly stand out in the first round. A very typey filly, L.A. Nairobi (CH) by Shaklan Ibn Bengali, who in my opinion could have been the most dangerous rival for Ganga, had terrible legs, which considerably lowered her score. Right behind Ganga came the bay Avalons Lagacy (F) by WN Ultimate Star, then Khabala (DE) by Nagadir and JCJ Tiara (DE) by Ekstern. Two tamed cheetahs, led on a leash, were an unusual attraction during breaks between classes. Anyone who was willing to do so could give them a pat. Elephant rides were also available, as well as viewing other animals at the Ismer’s mini-zoo. Their farm (a stud, cattle barns, a zoo, a circus) is something like a child’s dream come true: the huddled buildings, enormous pastures and a variety of cute animals.
Destination: Great Britain
Ganga’s successes at the B-ranked shows, as well as a huge interest in our filly, led to the prolonging of her foreign show career, but it also pushed her into deeper waters, which were the A-shows and two legs of the Triple Crown. In August she was shown at the UK International Arabian Horse Show at the Towerlands Equestrian Centre in Essex. The Centre is famous for organizing many events, mainly show jumping. This international A-class show is part of the Dubai Gold Cup, together with the Championship de la Mediterannee in France, El-Ran Cup in Belgium, All Nations Cup in Germany and the Dubai International Arabian Horse Championships in the United Arab Emirates.
The 2 Year Old Fillies class had 21 entries, including the unchallenged favorite, placed first in the ECAHO rankings, Bess Fa’izah (UAE) by WH Justice. We were well aware that Ganga did not stand a chance of beating her, but we had hopes for a second place, because our filly clearly stood out in a very positive way in the first round during the walk. Unfortunately Ganga had other plans and decided not to stand even for a moment during the individual presentation, which resulted in a distant 4th place. She was bested by fillies bred in the UK: Aazurra by Aazari and Imeleena by Jazzmeen. The top five of the class was topped off by CR Jasmeenah by WH Justice, also a representative of the English.
Ganga’s next performance was at the 24th All Nations Cup in Aachen, which is one of the most important shows in the world. It is without a doubt a super-league among shows. Scheduled to appear in the 2 Year Old Fillies class were 18 horses, including such fames as Bess Fa’Izah and Emandoria (PL) by Gazal Al Shaqab. They were the ones who took 1st and 2nd place, 3rd belonged to Lamana (DE) by Laman HVP, 4th to Maya Des Alpes (UK) by Simeon Sadik and 5th to Ekina (PL) by Ekstern. Ganga presented herself well, this time paying attention to her presenter. She finished the show at 11th place, with the lowest score of her entire career: 87,9 points, however it was still the highest mark out of the Polish private-bred horses. We were pleasantly surprised that she beat her stablemates – fillies trained at the same Centre: Fer Fiera Blanca by WH Justice and Fer Agua Magica by Abbas El Dine, from the well-known Spanish stud Yeguada Ferrero. In the Lady Harmsworth Blunt Memorial Trophy classification of the 24th All Nations Cup Poland came in first.
Ganga’s show training finale in 2006 was at the European Championships in Moorsele. Class 3B, which she was assigned to, consisted of 12 horses. The competition was strong and even, the consistent quality reflected in very slight score differences: all fillies, except for one, were marked 89 points or above and the highest score was 91,6 points. With a total of 89,2 points Ganga placed 8/9th. The same score was awarded to L.A. Nairobi – funny that this time the judges did not see her horrid front legs (at the B-class show in Ströhen L.A. Nairobi received 86,3 points, including a 13, 15 and 14 for legs!). The class was won by Ejrene (PL) by Gazal Al Shaqab, followed by the show’s hidden treasure – Mysterious Lady J (BE) by Ekstern, a filly with unpigmented skin around her eyes – Fer Agua Magica (ES) by Abbas El Dine, RL Masala Estopa (GB) by WH Justice and Mirage (FR) by Premier. The A series of this class was easier than series B: a horse with 89,2 points gained 6th place.
Most of the horses presented at the All Nations Cup and European Championships can be considered as very good and their final scores depended on their beauty nuances and sometimes the amount of promotion. Ganga’s results were probably affected by her small height, which gave her less chance to be seen in the first round during the walk.
Ganga remained in Belgium after the European Championships for a well deserved holiday. She will probably resume her show training in late February. We plan to show her at 1-2 foreign shows in the spring and summer. At the B-shows the 3 Year Old Fillies classes are usually less numerous, so the petite Ganga will not to be lost among the crowd. Her beauty should be noticed.