The year 2008 (the Chinese Year of the Rat), includes the number eight which in Chinese numerology is the number of success and wealth. Though Pianissima has little to do with China, the horoscope proved to be extremely accurate for her. In Paris to her already numerous titles she added the title of Champion Mare, claiming for the second time in her career the coveted Triple Crown and some special awards for her home stud of Janów Podlaski.
I would be lying if I’d say that it was a huge surprise, as everyone was expecting such a result. However there were other surprises in Paris – and they did not concern Polish horses, who all (apart from Emika, who did not make it into the finals and Pianissima, who grabbed the highest trophy) received the titles of Top Ten.
The public in Paris was ready for anything – we witnessed not only the struggles of the horses and their presenters, but also between groups of the audience, who would cheer their favorite more loudly. The followers of Marwan Al Shaqab, staff and friends of the Qatar stud tried to dominate the just as numerous – and perhaps even more! – group behind Imperial Baarez. Whistles, a rhythmical chanting of both horses’ names, stamping of feet and applause drowned out the very loud music native to the Maghreb region. The supremacy in the decibel fight belonged to the Imperial Baarez team, but it was not him who received the coveted title. Less happy than Al Shaqab Stud were surely the owners of QR Marc, who despite having organized cheering for their horse which was just as strong, had to accept defeat.
But before this happened, the female Arabians took the stage. Among ten of the best junior fillies in the world were two Polish ones – both the daughters of Ekstern. Psyche Victoria gained the title of Top Ten already for the second time, which is a great success of Alicja, Krzysztof and Ewa Poszepczyński from Chrcynno-Palace Stud. Leaving Paris with a Top Ten title is also Janów’s Altamira – as a close analysis of results shows, currently Europe’s best three year old filly. Both fillies presented a movement worthy of their sire and their performance on the arena was a true sight to behold. The victory went to the favorite, the Spanish-bred but Saudi-owned daughter of Marwan Al Shaqab, the filly Abha Palma. As we remember, her breeder, Mrs. Marieta Salas of Ganaderia Ses Planes was the first person in Europe who used the young at that time sire. The lot of foals which were produced as a result gave Marwan fame to such degree, that Mrs. Salas is considered his “discoverer”.
Quite an astonishment was the title of Reserve for the US-bred and Australian-owned filly Princess of Marwan (another Marwan daughter!), as most of the spectators betted on the perfectly shown by Michael Byatt black FS Magnum’s Madonna, bred in the Republic of South Africa and property of Belgium owners. Proof of this was the strong cheering and enthusiasm of the public, which erupted every time she appeared. However
Michael Byatt’s graduate showed poorer movement than her rivals and did not make it into the most desirable spots. Third place and the bronze went rather unexpectedly to the grey FT Shaella (Shael Dream Desert – Soul Pretty Tos/Shallenger), who placed fifth in her class. This extremely showy, bred in Brazil but owned by Dubai filly gained a lot of fans – not only among the judges.
Among the senior mares there was just one favorite – the doubts concerned only the next two spots. A place in the Top Ten was taken by Michałów’s meritorious Pistoria (Gazal Al Shaqab – Palmira/Monogramm). Emika was “pushed out” of the ten by Mahala (Al Lahab – Mahesen/Al Kidir), German-bred and Egyptian-owned, who despite placing sixth in class, bested Białka’s Eldon daughter in points (450,5 against Emika’s 449). Mahala also
received the award for Best Straight Egyptian horse of the show. While the title of Reserve went to Venetzia by Versace, owned by Al Shaqab Stud (bred in the US). The bronze was awarded to a representative of Dubai – Martinique by Ansata Sinan (bred in Germany, trained at the Italian center Ca’di Gianni and loudly cheered by the Italian public).
The national anthem for Janów’s star sounded at around 1:00 pm. Pianissima beside the unanimously awarded title of Champion also gained a number of other prizes for the Janów Stud, among them for the highest score of the show. Director Marek Trela, accompanied by Anna Stefaniuk was honored together with his staff with a prize endowed by Al Shaqab Stud for the owner of the highest score horse and with a prize from Al Aryam Stud for the best breeder (also for the results of Poganin and Altamira).
And after that the excitement at the Paris Expo sky-rocketed. The followers of QR Marc mustered all forces, but had to settle for the title of Reserve Champion Colt for their favorite, who was bested by the extremely well-looking and superbly conditioned Baanderos. His incredibly long neck makes a large impression and though many believe that QR Marc has a better head, this time Baanderos’ bearing and presence tipped the scales. Probably QR Marc’s condition was not left unaffected by the fact that he was bred to some hundreds of
mares this season. In the case of stallions of such quality the differences are quite subjective and one could argue about who deserved to win. But it was Baanderos who had his day – six out of seven judges voted him as Champion. The bronze went to the grey half-brother on the spear side of an also bronze medalist FT Shaella – the colt Shannan El Madan (out of Perla K/GG Balih El Jamaal). Placing in the Top Ten we find both Polish stallions: Lord Bey Shah from Minnesota Arabians and Michałów’s Kabsztad, as well as the very popular Italian Ali Moniscione.
The public in Paris had to wait rather a long time for the choosing of the Champion Stallion. The tension thickened during the awarding of the special prizes, including the trophy of “Hope” for the filly Djoonam OS by Ajman Moniscione, owned by Al Bidayer Stud and bred in Germany. The award for best sire, sponsored by Dubai Stud, was given to Marwan Al Shaqab, father of the Champion Abha Palma, Reserve Champion Princess of Marwan and Reserve Champion QR Marc. And ultimately it was Marwan who triumphed in Paris! His
owners and breeders retrieved their Saturday’s class loss and torn nerves. Marwan was voted winner by four judges, Imperial by two, while one judge considered Nijem as worthy of the coveted title. Marwan’s win was the more visible, as Imperial Baarez’s followers really did all they could to make their horse the most celebrated equine of the show. Imperial Baarez, statuesque-like, proud and in his life form became Reserve Champion, while the bronze went to Nijem Ibn Eternity, who displayed great movement. The Top Ten also consisted of three Polish horses: Esparto, Poganin and Grafik.
And so in the end we had a repeat from Aachen – at least in the senior horse competitions. Pianissima and Marwan brought glory to their sire, Gazal Al Shaqab and his breeder, Al Shaqab Stud of Qatar, once more. Poland presented its best assets in Paris, as all the horses bravely (and efficiently) stood up to and competed against the world’s finest horses.
What should be noted is that three of the four most coveted titles went to the Middle Eastern
countries (Qatar and Saudi Arabia), but only one of the awarded horses (Marwan) was also bred in that region. The Reserve Championships went to Australia, Belgium, Egypt and Qatar (none of the silver medalists is no longer the property of the breeder). The third spots were divided between Dubai and Saudi Arabia, but again no one of them performed under the banner of its owner. There is just one conclusion that comes to mind – the best horses very quickly change owners and usually go to the Middle East. So we should be happy that Pianissima remains at home for now…
Junior Champion Filly
Abha Palma (Marwan Al Shaqab – Abha Gazali/El Perfecto), br. Ganaderia Ses Planes, Spain, o. Al Mohamadiah Stud, Saudi Arabia
Reserve Junior Champion Filly
Princess of Marwan (Marwan Al Shaqab – Amety B/Eternity), br. Roger & Stephenie McMahon (USA), o. Mystica Arabians (Australia)
Bronze Medal Junior Female
FT Shaella (Shael Dream Desert – Soul Pretty Tos/Shallenger), br. Flavia Maria Ramalho Torres (Brazil), o. Dubai Arabian Horse Stud (AE)
Junior Champion Colt
Baanderos (Marwan Al Shaqab – HB Bessolea/Besson Carol), br. Taylor Hickman Arabians (USA), o. HRH Prince Khaled Bin Sułtan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Al Khalediah Farm (Saudi Arabia)
Reserve Junior Champion Colt
QR Marc (Marwan Al Shaqab – Swete Dreams/Magic Dream CAHR), br. Vicki & Louis Doyle, Quail Ridge Arabians (USA), o. Paul Gheysens (Belgium)
Bronze Medal Junior Male
Shannan El Madan (Shael Dream Desert – Perla K/GG Balih El Jamaal), br. Francisco Do Amaral (Brazil), o. Al Mohamadiah Stud, Saudi Arabia
Senior Champion Mare
Pianissima (Gazal Al Shaqab – Pianosa/Eukaliptus), br/o. Janów Podlaski Stud, Poland
Reserve Senior Champion Mare
Venetzia (Versace – Giavanna/NV Beau Bey), br. Rojo Arabians, USA, o. Al Shaqab Stud (Qatar)
Bronze Medal Senior Female
Martinique (Ansata Sinan – Marratxi/Gual Moghar), br. Susanne Reiter, Germany, o. Dubai Arabian Horse Stud
Senior Champion Stallion
Marwan Al Shaqab (Gazal Al Shaqab – Little Liza Fame/Fame VF), br/o. Al Shaqab Stud, Qatar
Reserve Senior Champion Stallion
Imperial Baarez (PVA Kariim – BB Ora Kalilah/Orashan), br. Imperial Egyptian Stud (USA), o. El Farida Stud (Egypt)
Bronze Medal Senior Male
Nijem Ibn Eternity (Eternity Ibn Navarrone-D – Naravna/Narav Ibn Aswan), br. M. Smits, Belgium, o. Prince Khaled Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabia
The judges voted as follows:
A. Gianmarco Aragno: FT Magnum’s Madonna / Abha Palma
B. Deirdre Hyde: Princess of Marwan / Pandoraah
C. Nasr Marei: Baila De Djoon OS / Om El Bernadette
D. Richard Pihlström: Princess of Marwan / Om El Bernadette
E. Willi Poth: Abha Palma / FT Shaella
F. Renata Schibler: FT Shaella / Baila De Djoon OS
G. Marianne Tengstedt: Abha Palma / Om El Bernadette
A. Gianmarco Aragno: Baanderos / QR Marc
B. Deirdre Hyde: QR Marc / Baanderos
C. Nasr Marei: Baanderos / QR Marc
D. Richard Pihlström: Baanderos / QR Marc
E. Willi Poth: Baanderos / QR Marc
F. Renata Schibler: Baanderos / QR Marc
G. Marianne Tengstedt : Baanderos / QR Marc
Senior Champion Mare:
A. Gianmarco Aragno: Pianissima / Martinique
B. Deirdre Hyde: Pianissima / Abha Myra
C. Nasr Marei: Pianissima / Venetzia
D. Richard Pihlström: Pianissima / Venetzia
E. Willi Poth: Pianissima / Martinique
F. Renata Schibler: Pianissima / Abha Myra
G. Marianne Tengstedt: Pianissima / Venetzia
Senior Champion Stallion:
A. Gianmarco Aragno: Marwan Al Shaqab / Imperial Baarez
B. Deirdre Hyde: Marwan Al Shaqab / Imperial Baarez
C. Nasr Marei: Imperial Baarez / Marwan Al Shaqab
D. Richard Pihlström: Imperial Baarez / Marwan Al Shaqab
E. Willi Poth: Nijem Ibn Eternity VI / Imperial Baarez
F. Renata Schibler: Marwan Al Shaqab / Imperial Baarez
G. Marianne Tengstedt: Marwan Al Shaqab / Imperial Baarez
Coverage from the first day of the World Championships: Paris (mares): Pianissima wins under the bay
Coverage from the second day of the World Championships (stallions): Sensation in Paris: Imperial Baarez ahead of Marwan Al Shaqab
Photo galleries by Erwin Escher: Polish horses in Paris