Someone who has been following this year’ most important shows, shouldn’t be surprised by the Paris World Championship results. The Aachen Show was an initial test, the Verona Show was a prelude to the ultimate challenge, and Paris was a final in which the favorites were unbeaten, and there was no chance for a bit of luck. The Gold Medals were won in all categories by the Middle East, while the Silver Medals went to Europe, Australia and Dubai, the Bronze Medals – to Saudi Arabia and – thanks to Emandoria – to Poland. Emandoria is the only Polish horse who managed reaching the world top, awarded with medals. Of course, the highest – and unanimously granted – laurel for Kwestura, who is giving her new breeder a lot of joy, is also a huge success of the Polish breeding.
A new place, a new fashion
This year’s World Championship in Paris, transferred from the city centre to the suburbs, specifically to Parc des Expositions Paris Nord Villepinte, didn’t attract such a numerous audience. Last year the hall was packed with people; this time, finding a seat in the stand was possible, even during the finals. However, we shall admit that hall 5-B, in which the event took place, is well- suited for this purpose. Visibility was excellent and the ring wasn’t filled with decorations. An excellent musical setting of the show was also noticed. However, better conditions of the show were paid with its less popularity.
This year emotions didn’t reach the zenith, probably because the results were predictable. There was no fierce rivalry, like the last year’s between Marwan Al Shaqab and Imperial Baarez, and the loser’s tears didn’t appear. However, a new, very visible vogue appeared – analogically to football stadiums, some teams and supporters were wearing their ‘company’ scarves. If this idea, promoted mainly by Al Zobair Stud, is followed up by other studs, in the next season the rings will become similar to football stadiums!
The absence of horses from the United States puzzled us. Actually, the only representative of American owners was Stival; the other US-bred horses that arrived in Paris, have already different owners. Maybe Paris is too remote for Americans, and the show season that is about to begin in the US, doesn’t induce them to carry their horses across the Ocean. Only DA Vinci’s owners, Jim and Sally Bedeker, thought that advertising their horse in Paris was a good idea, and they invited guests to a special show, which was held on Saturday, when the class rivalry had ended.
It seems that the judging in Paris didn’t get so many unfavorable reviews as it happened in Aachen or Verona, however, it might’ve seemed strange that the most spectacular part of the horse’s performance – the movement – didn’t impress the judges that much. Those horses that moved in an excellent way, couldn’t often reach the top. This tendency harms Polish horses, which stand out due to their movement. But in each class an extra award for the most beautiful head was given. In case of mares and senior stallions this award coincided with the first place in the class. We shall wonder whether the laurel was supposed to win another sponsor’s support, or to emphasize the fact that nowadays the Arabian’s head is what counts most.
For Poland the moment of biggest triumph was the B-section rivalry in the 4 years old and senior mares (14 participants), in which first six places were won by Polish-bred horses. Three of them have Polish owners, while five are Monogramm daughters. All Polish mares were full of grace, charm, they were very feminine and their movement was exceptional. This kind of movement isn’t very common nowadays at the world rings. It seems that this way of promoting Polish breeding is the best one, even if only one medal goes to our country’s representative.
The three-day show in Paris had, without any doubt, a high level, however it wasn’t astonishing, like during the last years, when real stars, including Pianissima and Marwan Al Shaqab, used to perform. We were missing them this year, because, out of all horses that performed in Paris, Kwestura was the only one that was heartily applauded – not only among her owners and teams that accompanied. A compromising slip-up took place when the results of Senior Mares Championship were announced – it was said that the Silver Medal had been won by Emandoria, and after a while it came to light that she had won the Bronze Medal. An English commentary was missing, which wasn’t very convenient for those guests that didn’t speak French. However, all results were delivered very efficiently to VIP tables. Both the office’s work and service were irreproachable; however, numerous mistakes in the catalogue (like common confusing Janów Podlaski State Stud with Michałów State Stud) could be irritating.
Day one – mares
On Friday, when the grades were rather empty, the rivalry of junior and senior mares took place. There were four classes – 1-3-year-old ‘A’ and ‘B’ class, and four-year-old and senior mares ‘A’ and ‘B’. In the first one 12 fillies performed, including two Polish yearlings: Psyche Kreuza (Ekstern – Pallas Atena/Ecaho) from Chrcynno-Palace Stud and Wieża Róż (Ekstern – Wieża Babel/Laheeb) from Michałów State Stud. Both were moving nicely, but in the case of Wieża Róż there must have been a mistake in the record, or the ‘B-judge’ (Sylvia Garde-Ehlert from Germany) didn’t realize that the filly had a nice movement, because she gave her only a ‘16,5’ for this feature, while the ‘D-judge’ (Jaroslav Lacina from Czech Republic) thought she deserved a ‘19’. Anyway, the final grade (447 points) of Wieża Róż, the Polish National Junior Mares Champion, allowed her to win just seventh place in the class. Psyche Kreuza – the National Reserve Champion – did a better job; she went fourth with 454 points and she entered the championship, which gave her a Top Ten title. The class was won by a two-year-old FM Gloriaa (WH Justice – Psity of Angels/Psytadel) from Belgium; we cannot deny her type and appearance, but her movement is not so nice – even Frank Spoenle, who is really excellent, could not do anything about it (the final grade was 460
points). A petite, still very coltish, Italian Alma Al Tiglio (Ajman Moniscione – Amanda Al Tiglio/Shamilah Masai Mara), became second (458, 5 points), in front of Dubai representative, Swedish-bred Jumilla (Thee Apprentice – Artemis/Borneo) – 456,5 points, including a ‘20’ for movement.
In the B-group of junior mares class 14 rivals showed up, including two Polish ones – both from Chrcynno-Palace Stud: Psyche Victoria, older, full sister of Psyche Kreuza and Chaos Persefona (Poganin – Ceres/Ganges). However, none of them entered the top, although Psyche Victoria was moving just as fine as the Ekstern daughters do. She went eighth with 451,5 points, while Chaos Persefona became eleventh (446,5 points). The winner was,
heartily applauded by her scarf- wearing fans, the class favorite, Najdah Al Zobair (Marwan Al Shaqab – JFN Bint Ludhan/AB Magnum), owned/bred by Al Zobair Stud (Sharjah), with the final grade of 464 points, including three ‘20s’ for head and neck. Behind her, with 460 points, went Baila de Djoon OS (Ajman Moniscione – Shak Shakira/ZT Shak Fantasy), German-bred, owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Saud Al Qasimi (UAE). Layan Al Khalediah (Dakharo – Padrons Amour/Padron) from Saudi Arabia, became third (459,5 points); an American-bred, bought by Dubai Stud Angeliccah (Marwan Al Shaqab – BHF Dark Angel/RSD Dark Victory) – fourth (455,5 points), and Fedora RG (WH Justice – Psyches Angel/Hadidi), Italian-bred, Saudi-owned became fifth (455,5 points). All of them entered the championship.
In the A-group of senior mares class (12 participants) there were four Poland representatives: a Michałów-bred Emandoria (Gazal Al Shaqab – Emanda/Ecaho), Janów Podlaski-bred Sefora (Ekstern – Sawantka/Pepton) and Etnologia (Gazal Al Shaqab – Etalanta/Europejczyk) as well as Marjjana VA (Marwan Al Shaqab – Mi Khismit/Khemosabi), who was imported from the US by Silvatica Black Arabians. The best job did – as expected – Emandoria, who scored 461 points and won the second place, behind the Menton Reserve Champion Ladi Veronica (Versace – Nirs Natevka/Ansata el Nisr), American-bred, owned by Dubai Stud, who was the last to perform. It’s a really ‘catching the eye’ mare who beat Emandoria scoring two ‘20s’ – for type and for head and neck (463 points). Third went Jamilla Al Zobair (Ashal Al Rayyan – My Silk Stocking/Thee Desperado) from Saudi Arabia (459,5 points), fourth – the United Arab Emirates representative, German-bred Khaleifa (Kubinec – Faridas Mandolin/Anaza El Farid) – 457,5 points. Fifth and sixth place were taken by Polish mares, Sefora (454 points) and Etnologia (453,5 points) – unfortunately, they
couldn’t enter the championship. Etnologia did an excellent performance while standing, however, while trotting, Gerard Paty, who was showing her, must have got lost and three judges gave her ‘18,5’ for this feature. Marjjana VA went ninth (447,5 points).
Finally, a moment that was long awaited by the Poles, came. In the B-group of senior mares class half the participants (seven) were the Polish breeding representatives. And six of them entered the class head! The undisputed winner was the Michałów-bred Kwestura (Monogramm – Kwesta/Pesennik), currently owned by Ajman Stud, with the highest note of the show – 470 points, including three ‘20s’ for type, double ‘20’ for head and neck and four ‘20s’ for movement. No wonder she was later awarded a special trophy for the best movement. We shall admit, that we have probably seen our auction record holder in the best possible form. She was perfectly prepared and shown by Frank Spoenle; while the audience was heartily applauding her, Kwestura showed that she was a real lady and the slogan ‘Queen of Poland’ isn’t just throwing words to the wind. She was trotting lightly, full of grace,
showing a proper movement of an Arabian horse. At the same time, she was also curiously looking around, as if the presentation and ovation that accompanied, gave her real pleasure. Although in the beginning we could’ve thought it won’t be her day, a couple of minutes later she proved that not only it was her day, but also her championship.
Her ex stable mates also showed the power of Polish breeding. Emmona (Monogramm – Emilda/Pamir), who is still in Poland, was classified on the second place with 461 points, third place went to a Great Britain representative, more specifically, Halsdon Arabians, owned by Mrs. Shirley Watts, Elandra (Monogramm – Erlanda/Eukaliptus) – 460 points, including a ‘20’ for movement, fourth came the eldest participant (born in 1994), still Polish-owned Georgia (Monogramm – Gizela/Palas) – 459 points, Fallada (Monogramm – Fanaberia/Probat) with 458 points, was classified on the fifth place, while a Janów
Podlaski-bred Palmeta (Ecaho – Pilica/Fawor) was sixth with 455,5 points. As we can see, Polish horses didn’t give a chance to their rivals, and the differences between Monogramm daughters – except Kwestura, who scored a great amount of points – were small. In this class we have also seen a French-owned, Janów Podlaski-bred Piasta (Ecaho – Pilotka/Pamir), however, with the final grade of 439,5 points she took the 13th, penultimate position.
Day two – stallions
While we could witness a feminine parade on Friday, Saturday was the male’s day. The stallions, just like mares, were divided into two age groups, and then into two sections: A and B. The Junior Stallions groups were less numerous: just 6 and 7 rivals, respectively. In both cases an award for the most beautiful head was given to the second place winner. The ‘A’ section was won by Maharaja HDM (Marajj – Miss Yahsminah Elamal/Antar Elamal WN), Spanish-bred (Haras del Mar), owned by Australians (Mystica Arabians); he was very well shown by Michael Byatt and he scored 460 points. However, it was a Spanish Shanghai EA (WH Justice – Salymah/Khidar) who was announced the owner of the most beautiful head (although he scored the same amount of points for this feature as Maharaja did), and then he also became a winner of the so-called ‘Hope trophy’; he scored 456 points. Fahim Ishane OS
(Ajman Moniscione – Praetoria/Kubinec), German-bred, French-owned (451,5 points), went third, while Swedish Habibi (WH Justice – Feemi/Ibn Halim) – fourth (448,5 points). A French-owned and bred Nadjyk des Aubus (Mystic Immage – Nirvana des Aubes/Hamourabi), with 444,5 points won the fifth position, without entering the finals (and without the Top Ten Title). But he won the title of Best French Horse.
The B-section of junior stallions was more difficult for sure, and more interesting for Polish supporters due to Kabsztad’s (Poganin – Kwestura/Monogramm) performance – it was his last show as a Saudi Arabia representative – as well as the presence of El Palacio VO, son of another Polish mare, El Dorada by Sanadik El Shaklan (and Al Lahab). In this group performed the favorite of colts rivalry Abha Qatar (Marwan Al Shaqab – ZT Ludjkalba/Ludjin El Jamaal), Spanish-bred, Saudi property, and the American Stival (Gazal Al Shaqab – Paloma de Jamaal/Soho Carol), who has many supporters due to his beautiful swan neck. The Abha Qatar’s victory (he scored 462,5 points) wasn’t surprising. Stival’s fans must’ve been disappointed as their favorite went third with 457 points, however this result allowed him enter the championship. El Palacio VO won the second position, scoring 457,5 points – he was also given the award for best head. Kabsztad, very well shown by Raphael Curti, became fourth, just behind the favorites (454,5 points). A better result was impossible to achieve this time. Two more horses entered the final: from the fifth position –
American-bred and British-owned Don Giovanni J (MPA Giovanni – Jer-Angel/Psymadre) – 452 points, and from the sixth place a British Orion OS (Om El Bahreyn – Vetla/Aromat) – 447,5 points.
Then came time for senior stallions. Just like in case of the mares, the ‘Best Head’ awards were won by class winners. In the ‘A’ section (12 rivals) the following Polish stallions took part: Pegasus (Gazal Al Shaqab – Pepesza/Eukaliptus) and Poganin (Laheeb – Pohulanka/Pepton), both Janów Podlaski-bred, as well as Esparto (Ekstern – Ekspozycja/Eukaliptus) and Drabant (Gazal Al Shaqab – Demona/Monogramm), both Michałów-bred. All of them did well, however they had no chance against the favorites. The fight for victory took place between Royal Colours (True Colours – Xtreme Wonder/The Elixir), bred in the US, owned by Dubai Stud, and Marquis CAHR (Marwan Al Shaqab – Rohara/Echo Magnifficoo), also American-bred, being a Middle Eastern property (Saudi Arabia). Marquis, led to the ring by Philippe Hosay, performed at the end, being in Michael Byatt’s hands. The reason of a delay and handler’s change was an injury, suffered by Phillipe Hosay, just before entering the ring. Marquis, who is known as a calm horse, is said to be a difficult one to getting under control during shows, which in his case cause many nervousness. And so, due to Marquis’s absence, it seemed, until the last moment, that no horse would be able to
threaten Royal Colours, who scored 467,5 points, including three ‘20s’ for type and one ‘20’ for movement. The result was applauded heartily. However, Marquis won him by the hair – with the same final grade, but with four ‘20s’ for type. But it was Royal Colours who, a couple of minutes later, received an extra award for the best Straight Egyptian horse. Third place was taken by Eden C (Enzo – Silken Sable/Genesis C), currently a Saudi Arabia representative (460,5). And next went Polish horses: Pegasus (458,5 points) – the Paris performance was a life achievement for him and, although he is said to be a horse that
doesn’t move nicely, this time he scored five ‘19s’ for this feature – an effectively looking Poganin (458 points), Esparto (456,5 points) and Drabant (455 points), who was awarded by the judges for his beautiful, smooth movement, with phase of suspension, with the following grades: one ‘20’ and four ‘19,5s’. Drabant was the only horse from this stake that didn’t enter the championship.
There were also 12 participants in the last class. Al Lahab (Laheeb – The Vision HG/Thee Desperado), Israeli-bred, German-owned, was a definite favorite and he also became winner, with the final grade of 462,5 points, including three ‘20s’ for type and one ‘20’ for head
and neck. Despite of fact that this stallion is rather bent, all judges gave him an ‘18’ for body. Second place went to a Saudi (American-bred) Magnum Gold (Magnum Psyche – Litique/Litigator) – 461 points, third – to a British Sandhiran (Sanadik El Shaklan – China Moon/El Hilal), bred by one of judges (the American Doug Dahmen), who wasn’t judging this particular class (459,5 points, including a ‘20’ for movement). The only Polish representative, a Janów Podlaski-bred Salar (Ecaho – Saba/Etat), was fourth with 453 points and entered the finals.
Day three – finals
10 horses from each age category took part in Sunday finals. First, they were entering the ring all together, then they were performing one by one, and finally, there was a comparison again. The Junior Mares Champion, or the gold medalist, became unanimously Najdah Al Zobair. Did the scarf-wearing fans influence on the result? It’s difficult to admit, however it seems an effective and memorable way of promoting. Silver Medal was given to FM Gloriaa, while Layan Al Khalediah received Bronze Medal. Psyche Kreuza, as the only Polish representative in the Junior Mares final, left Paris with the Top Ten title, just like the other fillies that were qualified to the championship.
In the Senior Mares final as much as seven Polish breeding representatives performed. Nobody had any doubt who would win the highest laurel. The champion title was given – unanimously again – to Kwestura, of course. Ladi Veronika received the Silver Medal (Emandoria, Emmona and Georgia received one vote each), and Emandoria – the Bronze Medal. The rest of mares received the Top Ten titles.
Electing the Junior Colts Champion was not that unambiguous, however Abha Qatar, the Aachen and Verona shows winner, was chosen with a large majority (5:2) and so he obtained the status of ‘triple crown holder’. Silver Medal was given to Maharaja HDM, El Palacio VO received the Bronze Medal. Kabsztad (one indication to the Bronze) scored the Top Ten title.
There was a rematch Royal Colours – Marquis CAHR in the Senior Stallions final. This time the winner was Royal Colours, with the voting majority 5:2, however those two votes were for Al Lahab. So he became a silver medalist, while Marquis CAHR received the Bronze Medal.
A pleasant note of the Sunday finals was an award for the best breeder, given to Michałów State Stud. It was picked up by the director, Jerzy Białobok from the hands of Ms. Judith Forbis, founder of a legendary Ansata stud. The award for the best sire was given once more – just like last year – to Marwan Al Shaqab, who, this time, was absent in Paris. However, he was worthily represented by his offspring: medal winners Abha Qatar, Najdah Al Zobair and Marquis CAHR, as well as Angeliccah (Top Ten).
The Polish balance of the World Championship looks like following: one Bronze Medal (Emandoria) and eight Top Ten titles: Psyche Kreuza, Palmeta, Emmona, Georgia, Pegasus, Esparto, Poganin and Salar. Moreover the Top Ten titles were given to Kabsztad (his lease is coming to an end) and to two Polish-bred mares – Fallada and Elandra. And the great triumpher of the Paris show is, of course, the Polish-bred Kwestura. So Poles cannot complain as it seems that we achieved everything that we could’ve achieved. Maybe the moments of great glory and pride will return, however the current domination of the Middle East is a fact which cannot be missed. We can witness a change in the balance of power. It’s possible that Europe and the US will become just a material provider, and racing at the shows will be only the Middle Eastern owners domain. The Europeans will have to settle for rivalry at national rings – and the result will be other transfers of best horses to the Middle East.