On the 4th and 5th of September the capital and at the same time largest city of the Czech Republic – Prague, justly spoken of as the most beautiful city in Europe – stood before quite a challenge. The organization of the B-ranked 1st International Arabian Horse Show combined with the Czech National Championships, however, turned out to be quite successful. The show took place nearly in the center of a life-throbbing city, but the organizers managed to find space for a pleasant and calm place where both horses and their teams could enjoy a peaceful rest. This place was none other than “Cisarsky Ostrov” (The Emperor’s Island upon Vltava), very easily accessible to all visitors, as it is located within a 10 minute drive by public transport from the historical city center. The show was held in an indoor arena, which is surrounded by the largest Prague park “Stromovka”, maintained in an English style and since 1988 under legal protection as a natural feature of historic importance.
Live music added variety to the show, with announcer Jaroslav Lacina oftentimes warming up the atmosphere. The audience, at first not very numerous, reacted impulsively and awarded each horse with thunderous applause. The spectators enjoyed themselves as much as the VIPs and in terms of organization the event must be considered a complete success. Everyone was treated with respect and the security and staff justly assumed that they’re job is to help people and not make life bothersome for them. The “icing on the cake” were the numerous colorful and beautiful special performances, beginning with the traditional Arabic dance performed solo and by dance groups, miniature horse presentations, swordsmanship and ending with an exciting falconry show and a stunning dressage performance atop an Arabian steed by a female rider.
The 1st International Show
On Saturday afternoon at 4:00 pm the Prague Intercup, being the first international show on the territory of the Czech Republic, began. The show’s entry list included 83 horses from 12 countries. In the end a total of 70 horses from 11 countries (the stallion Sandhiran, a representative of Morocco, could not arrive) were shown, representing 42 exhibitors, including as much as 17 from Poland. The Polish team brought with them the largest group – 27 horses! The most numerous groups of horses from individual studs were presented by Sax Arabians (8 horses), Falborek Arabians (6 horses), Janów Podlaski and Dubai Arabian Horse Stud (5 horses each). When going through the catalogue visible at once was a strong team from Italy with 8 horses and a representation of Arab countries, who showed a total of 7 horses (including 2 from Al Khalediah Stables).
The yearling fillies’ class was won by the bay D Deemah (Royal Colours – Muranas Je Taime/Psytadel), bred by Dubai Stud, who despite not showing her best in movement gathered high marks for type, as well as head and neck. A total score of 89,67 allowed her to best Janów’s Palatina (Enzo – Palmeta/Ecaho), who in turn demonstrated a beautiful trot. This filly lost by 0,33 points, but at that time it was clear that our horses were judged differently than those from the Arab countries. Because how can it be possible that this filly, flying through the air, received a “14” for the legs from one judge, while others gave her a “16”? It is common knowledge that if one wants to “torpedo” a horse then the way to do so is to lower the animal’s marks for the legs. Those two points ruined Palatina’s chances for victory in this class. Third placed a representative of Sax Arabians, the grey Esskhija Bint Essteema (Khidar – Essteema/Esteem), who earned a total score of 88,33 points. After her went the chestnut Muranas Nasheetah (WH Justice – AM Nioba/Alishaar El Bri), br/o. by Murana Stud (DE), who scored 88,33 points. A good performance was delivered by the bay Alshira (Arzgir – Altara/Gazal Al Shaqab), bred by Janusz Ryżkowski, who achieved a total of 88 points. At sixth spot we found the freshly crowned Czech National Junior Champion Mare, the chestnut Porena (Ostragon – Pogoria/Ekstern), with 82,67 points… This caused numerous outrage, because how can it be possible that a filly shown just 4 hours earlier managed to change so much as to receive almost 4 points less? We must however keep in mind that the judges adjust the point scale to the quality of the presented group, that’s why marks can differ between various shows, though one has to admit that during this event the judges were very reserved about awarding high marks.
A very strong group of two year old fillies was dominated by Polish breeders, who presented 5 out of the class’ 9 contestants. Nevertheless victorious proved the Italian-bred grey filly with a large black eye and beautiful head – Abbiatt El Shams (Ajman Moniscione – Naima El Shams/Nava Ibn El Azz), bred by Andrioli Giorgio and owned by Luciano Curi (IT), who received a total score of 89,67 points. Second placed our Polish representative, the beautifully moving El Piatzolla (WH Justice – Enya/Ekstern), bred and owned by Z.P.H. Strusinianka, who bested Dubai Stud’s bay Hudha (Gazal Al Shaqab – Calla Lilli/Versace). At fourth spot placed the grey, bearing a beautiful, literally carved-like head Khidar daughter Amyra Bint Khidar (out of Al Amrya/BJ Mustafa), bred by Sax Arabians, who was awarded with one “20” for the head, but low marks for movement resulted in the final score of just 87,67. The subsequent spots were secured by Polish representatives: the grey Emlahaba (Al Lahab – Emanta/Pamir), bred and owned by Falborek Arabians, Epasjonata (Psytadel – Entaga/Ganges), bred by Leszek Jarmuż and owned by Nazaret Arabians, Entia (Psytadel – Enona/Fawor), bred and owned by Zalia
Arabians and Pertisa (WH Justice – Pernacja/Ekstern), bred and owned by Falborek Arabians, who received 85,33 points, including a set of “18”-“18″-“17” for movement. Just a reminder that at Janów Podlaski during the National Show this filly was third in class with a total score of 90,67, receiving two “20” for her remarkable movement. The divergences between these results show how unjust were the marks given to our horses during this championship. Personally I think that the majority of Polish horses presented in the Czech Republic were in their life form, some of them I have never seen in such a good condition. It was clear that the teams put a lot of effort into preparing their horses for this event and the horses were ready to reach for the highest laurels. The only thing that prevented them from doing so were the incomprehensible and often controversial marks of the judges, namely: Ann Nordén (SE), Francesco Santoro (IT), Christianne Chazel (FR) and Peter Gamlin (GB).
For example, the next class of 3 year old fillies was won by the black Princess S-Black (Dubai Pascha – Pasch Pionka/Vulkse), bred and owned by Schaeffer Juergen (DE), who bested by 0,67 points the charming Moja Miła (Złocień – Malowana Lala/Empres) bred by Agricola Farm and owned by Krzysztof Falba. In my opinion the winner did not deserve a triple “18” mark for the body, which was long and poorly coupled, which the judges did not notice, but Moja Miła’s good body was assessed at two “17s”. Third in class came the dark bay Nasira (Al Maraam – Nana/Fawor), bred and owned by Alicja Najmowicz and ending the show at fourth spot was the grey Lady Amarisa (Poganin – Lady Aphrodite/Padrons Psyche), bred and owned by M. & J. Pietrzak.
The yearling colts’ class was conclusively won by the milky-white Shamal Al Khalediah (Padrons Immage – Faaina AT/ZT Faaiq), bred and owned by Al Khalediah Stables, who outclassed his other rivals with a high total of 91 points. The second place fell to Emarc (QR Marc – Eksterna/Ekstern), bred and owned by Falborek Arabians, who reached a final result of 88,67. Right behind him was the German Osterhof Stud-bred chestnut, with a white face and light forelock, Atlantis OS (Ajman Moniscione – La Primavera/Al Lahab), who was assessed at 88 points. Another Polish horse, the bay Zimarc (QR Marc – Zeksterna/Ekstern), bred and owned by Czeple Arabians, who presented himself very nicely in movement with a highly set tail, received only 87,33 and fourth place.
Sunday’s first competition was the 2 year old colts’ class, won by the chestnut Lance Lord OS (WH Justice – Swana/Kubinec), bred by Osterhof (DE) and owned by Fontanella Magic Arabians (IT), who gathered 90,33 points and thanks to higher marks for movement bested his rival who boasted the same score – the grey colt D Maraksh (Royal Colours – Kar Ofelia/L.M. Perlamor), bred and owned by Dubai Stud (UAE). Third, with a final score of 89,33, came the movement-gifted bay Marshan (Meshan Ibn Kubinec – Marni/Windsprees Mirage), bred and owned by Sax Arabians (DE), who cast his luxuriant tail over his back as though he was dancing for the thrilled audience. This colt only lacked a more refined head, the kind which is currently so sought after by most breeders and which is favored by the judges at the cost of other traits. The fourth spot was taken by the only representative of Great Britain, the colt FS Alabaster (Al Lahab – Kubinaia/Kubinec), bred by Andrea L. Taylor and owned by Lynn Dobson, who gained 88,67 points, defeating the only Polish horse in this class, the grey Gerard (Pegasus – Gwarka/Monogramm), bred and owned by Agnieszka Wójtowicz, who received a final score of 87,33.
The final colts’ class, which included 3 year olds, was immediately conquered by another Osterhof Stud graduate resold to the Italian stud of Fontanella Magic Arabians – the chestnut Jumanci OS (Ajman Moniscione – Praetoria/Kubinec). He presented beautiful movement, evaluated at two “19s” and one “20”, and enriched his performance with flirtatious snorting, which was further awarded with thunderous applause. This is yet another horse which attests to the rightness of crossing the blood of Khidar with Ajman Moniscione and his sire WH Justice. The colt was awarded a high score of 90,6 and bested two other well-known colts bred in Germany – in Egyptian type, the grey, delicately dappled Muranas Jassehr (Major – Jana El Bri/CH El Brillo), bred and owned by Murana Arabians, who achieved 90 points and Europe Al Khidar (Khidar – Essteema/Esteem), bred and owned by Sax Arabians, who ended the show with a final result of 89 points.
Around 11:00 am the arena welcomed 4-6 year old mares, which competed in a hard group affectionately nicknamed as “the class of death”. Competing in this class were 12 mares, out of which two third of them belonged to Polish breeders. Victorious proved the superbly moving Janów-bred Cenoza (Ekstern – Celna/Alegro), who thanks to one “17” for the legs defeated by 0,33 points Al Waleska El Shael (Shael Dream Desert – Farina Van Ryad/Ryad El Jamaal), bred by Arisoli Fagundes (BR) and owned by Suweco (CZ). This widely promoted and in excellent form mare trailed her long, luxuriant tail on the ground and thanks to high marks for type gained a total of 89,67. Third placed Magic Mon Amour (Windsprees Mirage – Al Amrya/BJ Thee Mustafa), bred and owned by Fontanella Magic Arabians (IT), whose tiny head with a dished profile drew the attention of all spectators. If not for the fact that this mare had a poorer body and lacked remarkable movement, she would’ve probably been able to reach for the top laurel. Whereas splendid movement was delivered by the fourth finalist in this class, Kashira (Magnum Psyche – Kahila IV/Ibn Bint Inas), bred by Stanisław Redestowicz and owned by Andrzej Wójtowicz, who was awarded with the highest marks for the trot of the entire show (“20”-“19”-“20”), achieving a total score of 89,33. The class’ Top Five was closed off with Janów’s Alabama (Gazal Al Shaqab – Altona/Eukaliptus), also with 89,33. In this very even in terms of quality group we also saw Marjjana VA (Marwan Al Shaqab – Mi Khismit/Khemosabi), bred by Karen Anderson (US) and owned by Silvatica Black Arabians and 3 mares from Falborek: two WH Justice daughters – Wasa and Sotika, as well as Gemellia (Piber – Georgia/Monogramm) and the only representative of Białka Stud – Perolia (Gazal Al Shaqab – Pereira/Eldon), who gave a nice presentation and received a final score of 89 points.
The next class, which consisted of 7-9 year old mares, promised an interesting showdown of two sheikhs with their two renowned mares. Victorious was the milky-white Col Cora (Wagner – Catika/Mentik) by a pure Polish sire, who was awarded with a final score of 91,67 besting by 0,33 points the Al Khalediah Stables bred mare Lana Al Khalidiah (Aja Sangali – Thee Evening Star/Thee Desperado), bearing a coat color of a remarkable shade of bay. The latter displayed beautiful movement and delighted the Polish team, who unanimously pronounced that she should’ve been the winner. The third spot fell to the also milky-white Espanna Estopa (Espano Estopa – Dazions Tifla/Kruschan Ibn Kantar), bred by Nadine Ronge (DE) and owned by Sax Arabians (DE), who received very high marks for type, as well as head and neck, but exhibited much weaker movement.
The class of mares aged 10 years old and above included only 3 mares, out of which the best turned out to be Tamara (Ibn Narav – Takema/Kumir), bred and owned by Sax Arabians (DE), before CN Place (Juliano – AF Guizarro/Negorni), bred by C. Nascimeto (BR) and owned by Magic Arabians (AT), who achieved 0,67 points less (88,33).
The stallions’ class, as expected, was won by MA Shadow El Sher (El Shermann – Calyenna El Jamaal/Ali Jamaal), bred by Allevamento Mystic Arabians and owned by Dubai Stud, who was brought to the event for one reason only and that was to bring home the top title. As befitted a true showman, he presented himself superbly, for which he received two “20s” and the show’s highest score of 92 points. Second placed the just as renowned 6 year old Al Milan (Al Lahab – Milena/Ibn Naras), bred and owned by Sax Arabians (DE), who gave a good presentation resulting in a “19” for type and movement, which gave him a final total of 90,67. This stallion, despite a rather short neck, draws attention with a good body, which is so rare in stallions of the modern show type. The subsequent four spots fell to Polish stallions. The best of these was Janów’s Palatino (Pesal – Palmeta/Ecaho) who placed third with a total score of
90,33. Further spots were secured by: Pegasus (Gazal Al Shaqab – Pepesza/Eukaliptus), Celsjusz (Ekstern – Carina/Pesal) from Białka Stud and Emberk (Gazal Al Shaqab – Emantka/Eukaliptus) of Agnieszka Kozłowska.
The final class where spectators could enjoy stallions aged 10 years old and above was not so strong. It featured only 5 average quality stallions and was won by the Italian bred OR Ibn Halim (Halim Requim – Bint Masuya/Al Kadir), bred and owned by All.to Ol Ri, who thanks to high marks for movement achieved a decent final score of 88 points. It’s a pity that our state studs did not enter their representatives in this class, as it could’ve been good promotion for such stallions as for example Aslan.
The championship finals
The finals which took place on Sunday morning did not bring any surprises. The Junior Mare Championship was won by the Dubai Stud graduate D Deemah (Royal Colours – Muranas Je Taime/Psytadel), who previously bested in the yearling fillies’ class Janów’s Palatina (Enzo – Palmeta/Ecaho). The representative of Janów Podlaski was awarded with the title of Junior Reserve Champion Mare, becoming the most successful of the Polish horses which came to Prague for the event. The bronze medal went to the 2 year old Abbiatt El Shams (Ajman Moniscione – Naima El Shams/Nava Ibn El Azz), bred by Andriolo Giorgio and owned by Luciano Curi (IT), who charmed everyone with a beautiful head and large black eye. It seems that after the era of WH Justice the upcoming years will belong to the progeny of his son, the stallion Ajman Moniscione.
Also the title of Junior Champion Stallion went to the Arab countries, this time to Al Khalediah for
the colt Shamal Al Khalediah (Padrons Immage – Faaina AT/ZT Faaiq). The subsequent two medals were awarded to the German Osterhof Stud-bred and Italian Fontanella Magic Arabians-owned colts: the chestnut Lance Lord OS (WH Justice – Swana/Kubinec) who received the silver and the chestnut Jumanci OS (Ajman Moniscione – Praetoria/Kubinec) who took the bronze.
The Senior Mare Championships were also divided between the sheikhs’ horses. Victorious was the milky-white Col Cora (Wagner – Catika/Mentik), owned by Dubai Stud, besting the Al Khalediah Stables graduate Lana Al Khalidiah (Aja Sangali – Thee Evening Star/Thee Desperado), a mare of a beautiful shade of bay. The bronze medal fell to Cenoza (Ekstern –
Celna/Alegro) of Janów Podlaski, who instead of trotting literally flew across the arena.
Similar to earlier competitions, the title of Senior Champion Stallion went to Dubai Stud for MA Shadow El Sher (El Shermann – Calyenna El Jamaal/Ali Jamaal), the Reserve – to the German-bred Al Milan (Al Lahab – Milena/Ibn Naras) and the bronze medal to Italy for OR Ibn Halim (Halim Requim – Bint Masuya/Al Kadir).
Czech National Championships
Held earlier on Saturday was the 9th Czech National Show with a scarce number of entries – just 35 – out of which 9 were not presented and one had to leave the arena due to lameness. Out of the group of 27 evaluated horses 17 were bred in the Czech Republic and the remaining one third were imports, mainly from Germany and Poland. And it was these horses that most often received the highest marks. The eight small classes were judged by Jerzy Białobok (PL), Claudia Darius (DE) and Princess Alia Al Hussein Al Saleh (JOR), a team whose marks were very consistent with each other and the majority of the guests participating in the following international show regretted that this harmonious team did not also judge that second event.
Already in the first class, the yearling fillies, the Polish guests and perhaps also the judges were stunned by what they saw. We have gotten used to a totally different sight, that’s why what we saw was utterly shocking. I don’t mean the quality of the presented horses, but the way that it was done and the condition of the animals. Most of the horses had rubbed off tails and gnawed off manes, which at times resembled the manes of Fjord horses. The horses were either too thin or too obese. They were presented in a chaotic manner, didn’t listen to their handlers (most of them were women), struggled and didn’t want to stand still which made it a hard task for the
judges. This could be explained by the fact that breeding in the Czech Republic is still budding, but on the other hand the National Show took place already for the ninth time… We can only hope that the local breeders and handlers observed their foreign colleagues during the International Show and will try to pursue their standards of conditioning and showing.
The yearling fillies’ class was undisputedly won by the Polish-bred (Zalia Arabians) and Czech-owned (J. Rusnáková) chestnut Porena (Ostragon – Pogoria/Ekstern), who gained the highest score for type among the entire group of junior females, ending the class with a total of 86 points. This filly at once stood out with her Arabian appeal and for that reason won the Czech National Junior Championship later that afternoon. This success is even more pleasing, as it is a promotion of Polish breeding. Maybe a larger interest in our horses will follow, because so far Czech breeders preferred to purchase breeding material in Germany. Second in class was the bay Farida AQ (Ghazal Imdal – Ciera Duchess/Moniet El Nafis), bred by M. Novotná and owned by T. Hrubá, who achieved a total score of 84,33 points and later won the title of Czech National Junior Reserve Champion Mare.
In the 2 and 3 year old fillies’ class we saw only 2 out of the 4 previously entered horses. The class was won by the bay Dahab (Ali – Dayfania/Fason), bred by R. Vobruba and owned by V. Krušinová, who earned a total of 84,33 points, which allowed her to later grab the bronze medal. She is a full sister to the yearling Darja, bred and owned by R. Voruba, who in turn was the lowest scored horse of the previous class. This filly received two “17s” and one “16” for type, as well as thrice a “16” for head and neck, ending her presentation at 81,67 points, which as it turned out was not the lowest score of the show. The filly was nervous and did not want to present herself, had a heavy, straight-profiled head and significant lack of hairs in her mane and tail. This shows the amount of breeding work still ahead for the Czechs to reach the stock quality of this breed present in other European countries.
The yearling and 2 year old colts’ classes were combined in one due to very few entries. Here we saw horses in better condition and of conformation more resembling our own Arabians. This happened in large part due to two colts who divided between them the top two spots in class and later the gold and silver medals, respectively. Victorious was the two year old Uranos (Al Lahab – Usurei/The Verdict HG), bred by F. Čižek and owned by Z. Marek, who was awarded with a triple “19” for head and neck. His final score of 87 points was welcomed by the audience with great enthusiasm and thunderous applause. Second place fell to the chestnut Milano (Al Milan – Espanna Estopa/Espano Estopa), bred by Sax Arabians (DE) and owned by Š. Němečková, who ended the show with a score of 85,33. What’s interesting, this colt bred by Reinhard Sax was partially related to the previous one, as one was by Al Lahab and the second
by his son, Al Milan. The bronze medal in the Junior Stallion Championship went to the winner of the very small 3 year olds class, the chestnut Sharm El Shaklan (Sanadik El Shaklan – Umbertina/Al Sachra Kaythoom), bred and owned by Suweco (CZ), who achieved a score of 83,33 points. All the medalists of the Junior Stallion Championships were by renowned foreign sires, which will probably encourage the Czechs to search for stallions and breedings abroad.
The Senior Female Championship went to the winner of the 4-8 year old mares’ class, the bay Pamina S (Jazzmeen – Partersha/Naftalin), bred by J. Schaefer (DE) and owned by L. Stach, who gained 85,33 points and bested in that class the later silver medalist, the grey Setan Abu Hamadan (Hamadan – Seila/Al Sachra Kaythoom), bred by B. Šablatúra (SK) and owned by K. Králová, whose score amounted to one point less. The bronze medal was awarded to the winner of the 9 years and above class, the grey flea-bitten Sabra El Shahd (Bayed – Slovenka/Al Sachra Kaythoom). Although she had a straight-profiled head, sunken topline and poor legs, overall she maintained a good type and her final low score of 81,33 allowed her to best just one rival who competed with her in that class.
The stallion classes were divided untypically, into a group of 4-5 year olds and 6 year olds and above. The first of these was won by the grey S Maran (Black Shetan – Marouba Bint Assuan/Assuan El Ifrith), bred by Sonja Schindler and owned by J. Rusnáková, who achieved 85 points, including a triple “18” for type, which allowed him collect the bronze medal in the finals. The titles of Champion and Reserve Champion fell to the 1st and 2nd place holders from the older stallions’ class. Victorious in great style, presented by Polish handler Robert Witkowski, was the grey Nadzih (Normativ – Anatevka S/Nikel), bred by V. Šagát and owned by L. Řačáková, who as the only Czech horse showed his movement to the full of his abilities, awarded with two “19s” and the highest score of the National Show – 87,33 points. The silver medal went to the grey flea-bitten Mistral (El Thay Said Pasha – Autum Mistry/The Ministril), bred by O. Schmidt (DE) and owned by F. Duda, who was one of the few Czech horses to sport a long, beautiful mane.
Summing up, the Prague show caused mixed feelings. On one hand we must remember that it was held for the first time and at once gathered such a numerous and good group of horses, close to the borders of our country. On the other hand it was clearly visible that the expansion of breeders from the Arab countries has spread not only to the A-ranked shows, but also to the smaller, B-ranked ones. The show could’ve been a chance for good horses, but not good enough to leave a mark in the “title shows” (the World Championships, European Championships and All Nations Cup in Aachen). Meanwhile many of the presented horses belonged to the elite, already with meaningful achievements from significant shows under their belt. An unfavorable impression was also left by the fact that the horses of the main sponsors, without whom the show would have probably never taken place, were evaluated with more forgiveness. We can only hope that the magic of the beautiful city of Prague will erase the bad memories and a different judge panel next year will draw even more horses to Czech’s capital, including horses from Poland.