With the beginning of June the breeding season draws to an end and we are already after the first evaluations of the foals born in the given year. Unfortunately very often – having eyes fixed on the horses that we have bred ourselves – we have trouble with objective judgment, especially if we can’t compare our horses with others of the same age. That’s why 27 years ago a concept of organizing a show where breeders would be able to compare yearling and two year old horses was born. The first Junior Arabian Horse Show took place in 1983 at Łąck Stallion Depot, with the next one not until 1988 at Białka. After yet another five year gap the show permanently made its way into the Polish show calendar and its organization was undertaken by Michałów Stud, which hosted the show during 1993-1996. From 1997 the show takes place at Białka Stallion Depot and this year we celebrated the jubilee 20th Junior Spring Arabian Horse Show, which is without a doubt a one of a kind event on an international scale. Since 2007 we can observe not only yearlings and two year olds at Białka, but also three year old horses. This idea was to be an alternative for horses which were not entered into racing training and whose owners wanted to continue the show career of their pupils. Was this a right concept? Judging by the interest, probably yes. Though I still can’t help but get the impression that it’s hard to compare a 10 month old weanling to a 3 year old filly who is currently being bred for the first time…
Entered into this year’s show were 123 horses, out of which we got to see 110. That’s significantly less than last year, when 147 horses were registered, out of which 137 horses were shown. There was also a change in the number of get by specific sires. The previous year undoubtedly belonged to Ekstern, who was represented by as much as 19 offspring, which received an average score of 38,85 points. This year the largest group of offspring was also by Ekstern, though we only saw 12 individuals with a higher score average per horse as compared to last year (40,08 points). In total we saw 39 colts by 21 sires with an average score of 38,39 and 71 fillies by 34 sires with an average of 39,28 points. As compared to last year’s show there was decisively less get by sires such as Al Maraam, WH Justice, Psytadel or Galba. This year the progeny of 40 sires was shown and the show’s average score resulted in 38,96 points, which clearly shows the exceptional high quality of this year’s group.
The Białka show serves as a kind of inspection of offspring by sires used in the previous three seasons and basing on the show’s results we can assess the direction in which Polish breeding is heading. That’s why it’s worth to analyze the show starting from the list of entered horses. For the last two seasons the chief sire at Janów Podlaski Stud was the stallion Ganges, who last year left “merely” 20 foals and in the 2008 season as much as 15. Unfortunately, out of these 35 descendants we were able to see only 4 – two yearlings and two 2-year-olds. The best performance was given by the 2-year-old, grey, large-framed colt Sabedo (out of Sabina/Pamir), who though seems more like a racing prospect in terms of pedigree, without a doubt shows a lot of Arabian type. What’s worrying is that out of such a large crop of foals born by this stallion so few have been presented at shows. This year another 14 foals were born by him, some very promising, so we can just hope that they won’t change their proportions for the worse (as it unfortunately happens with Ganges’ get) and they will prove what they’re worth at the upcoming shows… Not one out of the 9 foals by Porto was brought, as well as none out of the same number of foals by Perseusz. Does this mean that they did not meet the expectations of the breeders? A similar situation happened with last year’s crop of 14 foals by Laheeb born at Michałów Stud. At the same stud 14 foals by Ekstern were born and 2 by Sanadik El Shaklan; none of them were presented at the show…
However already in the previous season we were very much enthralled with the foals by QR Marc and Eden C who, it seems, crosses even better with Polish mares than his sire Enzo. Janów Podlaski Stud brought as much as 3 out of 5 foals born by him in the previous season. From the very beginning the favorite of the show was the colt Pogrom (QR Marc – Pętla/Visbaden), the later (unanimous) Junior Champion Colt and Best in Show. This bay yearling draws attention with a highly set neck, perfectly connected to a beautiful, carved head with a large black eye. Looking at this horse the blood of such sires as Gazal and Marwan Al Shaqab, whose characteristic beauty is stamped very strongly onto their get, is noticeable at once. The colt received a score of 41,33 points, including one “10” for type from Christine Jamar (the agent for the semen of QR Marc and the lessee of Ekstern), winning the 1A class of yearling colts. Also from Janów Podlaski comes the charming Palatina (QR Marc – Palmeta/Ecaho), who achieved the highest score of the entire show, 44 points. This petite chestnut filly with a dish-profiled head, gracefully connected to a long, swan-like neck, literally dazzled the judges and delighted the public. The third yearling by QR Marc, presented by the Janów Stud, was Eferada (out of Efuzja/Emigrant), who received 40,50 points, which allowed her to enter the top five of the 4B yearling fillies’ class at a fourth position. Without a doubt her successes will increase the interest of purchasing her dam, who is offered as Lot 7 at this year’s Pride of Poland Sale.
Whereas Michałów Stud, out of the 11 foals born the previous year by QR Marc, brought a strong group of 5 individuals out of Zagrobla, Primawera, Wilga, Euscera and Wieża Marzeń. The best performance was given by the daughter of the first of them, the grey Zigi Zana, who presented herself in great style, receiving 3×9,5 for movement and scoring a total of 43 points, which allowed her to secure 2nd place, right behind Palatina. As it later turned out, class 4B was the best and at the same time the hardest class of this show, as the first three fillies from this group gained the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals in the championship. The latter medal went to the bay daughter of Eden C, whose first foals in Poland were born last year. Primera (out of Preria/Ararat) had definitely one of the most beautiful heads of the entire show. A short muzzle, passing into a wide forehead, large black eyes and a dished profile made it hard to walk by the filly unmoved. She was awarded with a high score of 42,5 points and though she
placed 3rd, in accordance with the new championship rules (where now the top fives of each class enter the championship finals and not just the first two, as it used to be until now) gained the Bronze Medal on Sunday. This example best illustrates the rightness of the new rule, because sometimes in a strong group of horses the contestant placing at the 3rd spot is decisively better than the first in a weaker class. However the championship finals are a huge challenge for the organizers and judges. During the Female Championships there were 30 horses in the ring all at the same time! When speaking of the progeny of Eden C we cannot forget about the colt Amanito (out of Altamira/Ekstern), who enraptured not only with his beautiful brown coat color, but most of all with a harmonious conformation. Similar to Primera, he entered the finals from a 3rd spot in class and gained the Championship Top Five title at a 4th spot.
Slightly less successful was the progeny of Enzo with an average score of 38,67 points (Eden C’s progeny – 40 points). But also here appeared an indisputable favorite, the grey colt Empire (out of Emira/Laheeb), whose interesting pedigree resulted in an exotic, almost carved-like head. He’s one of the 10 offspring by this sire foaled last year at Michałów Stud (2 were brought to the show). Though the colt has a weaker body, he received a high score of 41 points and qualified for the championship finals from 2nd place in class. On Sunday afternoon he bested 18 rivals and gained the well-deserved title of Junior Spring Show Reserve Champion Colt.
The Bronze Medal went to the bay, robust colt Maran (out of Missouri/Wachlarz), who with a score of 41,33 points won the 1B class of yearling colts. This refined son of FS Bengali, bred by Kielnarowa Stud was the only private bred and owned horse to gain a title in the championship. This imported in April of 2007 by Czesław Witko sire was represented by 7 descendants with an average score of 38,17 points. Might I just add that this perhaps most famous stallion imported by a private breeder has also left a mark last year in the Białka championships through his other son, the chestnut colt Eternal (out of Ewitacja/Ganges), bred and owned by Jan Głowacki, who gained the title of Reserve Champion both at Białka and later at the National Show in Janów Podlaski. As you can see, this stallion has probably not said his final word and who knows, maybe next year his progeny will reach for the highest trophy?
A certain surprise was the appearance of last year’s Junior Champion Colt, Chimeryk (Eryks – Chimera/Emigrant). This brown, oriental in type stallion with a beautiful luxuriant mane showed his best, seeming to fly through the air, presenting a sweeping trot with a long suspension phase, for which he achieved the highest marks for movement (3×10) of the entire show. He also gained the highest final score of all the presented colts, 42,67 points. Unfortunately in the finals, when the judges often don’t remember the movement of the previously assessed horses and make their choice based on the “halt” position, where the head and neck are what draw the most attention – he suffered a resounding defeat, placing only 5th in the Championship Top Five.
When speaking of colts, we cannot omit Almanzor (Alantina/Emigrant), the grey son of El Nabila B, who enraptured all with sweeping, subtle movement. The colt achieved a high final score of 41 points (including 9,5, 10 and 9,5 for movement), at the same time holding a promise for a continuer of the currently regressive sire line of Bairactar d.b. As we can see, the blood of Kubinec crosses very well with our Polish mares, proof of which are successful progeny by FS Bengali and E Nabila B. Though perhaps they are horses in an older type, with a less refined head which is so highly preferred today, they are definitely horses of a splendid conformation and most of all with good movement, which is so often disregarded in today’s breeding.
Out of privately bred colts very note-worthy are undoubtedly the dark bay Zimarc (out of Zeksterna/Ekstern), bred and owned by Czeple Arabians, the only private bred horse by QR Marc; the grey Gerard (out of Gwarka/Monogramm), bred and owned by Agnieszka Wójtowicz, the highest-scored get of the Polish Pegasus (the average score of his progeny was 38,00 points); and the charming El Dino (out of Eutina/Eutin), the only son of the now 25 year old Ararat.
The three year old colts’ class (with three contestants) was won by Echo Adonis (out of Echo Kallisto/Pamir), bred and owned by Chrcynno-Palace Stud, the highest-scored progeny of Al Maraam. What’s concerning is that with today’s overproduction of horses and the crisis on the racetrack that we have been observing for a couple of years, so few breeders decide to show their pupils. Especially since with each year the number of breeding licenses given out to stallions, who have not passed any trials, is increasing and the Białka show could become a great evaluation of the quality of these horses and a great promotion of the winners.
A small, but noticeable accent was the produce of Qatari stallions out of Pilar (by Fawor), who can surely now be called the reigning Queen of Janów Podlaski. The yearling Piba (by Gazal Al Shaqab), a full sister to Pinga and the highest-seller of the 2007 Pride of Poland Sale, the bay Pieta, achieved a score of 41 points and second place in class. Another Pilar daughter was the two-year-old Pilarosa (by Al Adeed Al Shaqab), who had perhaps the most carved-like head of the show, with a wide forehead, an extremely short muzzle and above all a very refined, dished profile. Another one of her assets was expressive movement and a final score of 43 points allowed her to win class 5A of the two year old fillies and later gain a Top Five in the championship finals.
Competing in the same class was last year’s Polish National Champion Filly Wieża Róż (Ekstern – Wieża Babel/Laheeb), who was in very good form, though it was not enough to win with Pilarosa. Ektern’s progeny however achieved a spectacular success in the next class of two year old fillies, class 5B. The entire Top Five of this class consisted of his daughters, beginning with the Michałów fillies Lawinia (out of Luanda/Emigrant), Mesalina (Mata Hari/Werbum), Pustynna Malwa (Pustynna Róża/Emigrant), ending with Białka’s Cella (Celina/Meropolis NA) and Calatea (Calineczka/Metropolis NA). The latter went out to be decorated already under the banner of a new owner, Mr. Marek Kondrasiuk.
The private breeders also made their mark in the battle for the top honors, for instance with the yearling Polish-bred daughter of Etnodrons Psyche, the bay Znaczna (out of Zacharia/Eurol), who won the 4B class with a score of 42 points, which included very high marks for movement (10-9,5-10). We have been observing the performances of Etnodrons’ get for several seasons now and this year we could witness yet another group of 5 of his descendants with a slightly lower average score of 37,86 points.
Whereas in the yearling fillies’ class 4C, where three daughters of QR Marc were presented and one of them – Piacenza (out of Primawera/Emigrant) – turning out the winner, the second place was battled out in great style by Alshira (out of Altara/Gazal Al Shaqab), a daughter of the Russian stallion Arzgir, one of the few representatives of the practically inactive in Polish breeding sire line of Koheilan Adjuze d.b.
The fillies’ competition was closed off with the three year old fillies class, won by last year’s Autumn Show Reserve Champion Filly, the beautiful milky-white Bajaderka (out of Bagatela/Pesal), bred by Agricola Farm, owned by Monika Luft. This only daughter of the stallion Złocień bested the flying through the air, charming Padova (out of Palanga/Ekstern), the only Galba daughter who we could observe during the show at Białka (and who came here with a freshly won Reserve Champion title from Wels).
The Junior Arabian Show, organized already for the 20th time, is a small holiday for Polish breeders. The show is held without unnecessary pomp in front of a small audience. I was a bit worried whether the fact of introducing a “higher standard” tent with a floor and full service would cause an artificial division of breeders into two groups, as happens during the National Show at Janów Podlaski. Białka’s security did an excellent job and the breeders could migrate between sectors without any problems. The weather was also in the show’s favor, which was postulated by Director Jerzy Białbok at the Polish Arabian Horse Breeders’ Society general meeting and all the classes were held on time, according to schedule which is a rarity at Polish shows. As predicted, this year belongs to the progeny of foreign sires, especially QR Marc, whose get was very balanced and uniformed, achieving a high average score of 41,37. Though this year we saw 21 horses less than in the previous one, it must be said that this year’s group was very strong and the score differences between the top horses were slight, which forecasts future reshuffles in the battle for the highest trophies.
The photo gallery from Białka by Sylwia Iłenda