B is for Białka
Located among picturesque landscapes and on hilly terrain, surrounded by fields, meadows and forests, the Białka Stallion Depot also serves as a stud breeding pureblood Arabians since 1981. The buildings, constructed from local limestone in 1928-1930, are today a home to more than 150 Arabian horses.
C is for Championship
The first Junior Arabian Horse Show took place in 1983 at Łąck Stallion Depot, while the next in Białka, but not until 1988. After another five year break the show became a permanent feature in the Polish show calendar and its organization was handed over to Michałów Stud, who played host to the young horses during 1993-1996. From 1997 the show annually takes place at Białka Stallion Depot and is unquestionably a unique event on an international scale. Beginning from 2007 spectators can see not only yearlings and two year olds, but also horses three years of age.
D is for Dynasty
The 21st Junior Arabian Horse Show was undisputedly dominated by the dynasty of the Qatari-bred stallion Gazal Al Shaqab. Four out of six medals and six out of ten recognitions awarded within both male and female Championship Top Fives made their way to his get, grandsons and great-grandsons, which made for one fourth of his entire crop presented at this year’s show. The title of Junior Champion Stallion was awarded to his son, the Janów Podlaski-bred grey Pomian. This colt is the last Polish produce of one of the most meritorious mares of that stud, Pilar, sold to Qatar during last year’s Pride of Poland for 240 thousand Euro. Pomian was recognized with the highest score among the presented males, a total of 42,5 points which included a “10” for type from judge Holger Ismer. The stallion Gazal Al Shaqab, on lease to Poland in 2002-2003 (in later years frozen semen was used), has sired more than a dozen sons in Poland. During the Białka show we could take a look at the get of three of them: the grey Pegasus (out of Pepesza/Eukaliptus), the bay Drabant (out of Demona/Monogramm) – wice Polish National Reserve Champion Stallion – and Eryks (out of Emmona/Monogramm). The latter was represented at the show with six get, among which stood out two yearling fillies: Diara and El-Mediara. The first (out of Diaspora/Ganges), bay, with a small star on a very
refined and slender head, received the highest marks for type (10-10-9,5, ex aequo with Zigi Zana and Primera), and achieved a final score of 42,67. She entered the championships from second place in class and gained the title of Reserve Junior Champion. With that she became the second get of Eryks to win a medal (in 2009 the title of Junior Champion went to the dark bay Chimeryk out of Chimera/Emigrant). The second filly (out of El Emeera/Ekstern) was evaluated at 41,33 points, which enabled her to secure a second place in class.
For the first time in the show’s history we had a chance to see a daughter of Gazal’s most famous offspring, the double World Champion Stallion Marwan Al Shaqab. The bay Markiza of Marwan (out of Mina/Monogramm), bred by Małgorzata and Józef Pietrzak, as befits the progeny of her sire, characterized herself with a beautiful long neck. The filly took home the ribbon of fifth place in class.
The blood of Marwan Al Shaqab also flows in the get of his two sons which we had a chance to see at the show in Białka. The first of them, QR Marc, was represented by nine offspring. The best presentation among the QR Marc colts was given by the typey Equator, who threw in a nice trot. He won his class with a score of 41,67 points and on Sunday afternoon claimed the title of Junior Reserve Champion. His dam, the mare Ekliptyka (Ekstern – Ekspozycja/Eukaliptus), is a full sister to the highly decorated stallion Esparto. A superb pedigree combined with good conformation and charisma, which Equator unmistakably has, is something to definitely look forward to in the future. Standing out among the fillies was Piacenza
(out of Primawera/Emigrant) – which we will return to in a moment – and the beautifully moving, high-set tail carrying, bay Cheronea (out of Chimera/Emigrant), who won her class with a final score of 42,83 points. Extremely interesting was the competition in the two year old fillies’ class of series A, which consisted of true stars. It was unexpectedly won by Waranga (out of Wilga/Ekstern), besting by 0,34 points the reigning Reserve Champion from Wels, the awarded with two “10s” for type Zigi Zana (out of Zagrobla/Monogramm).
The second Marwan son, with offspring at the Białka show, was Marajj. The two year old bay colt Mirajj (out of Mina/Monogramm), bred and owned by Małgorzata and Józef Pietrzak, placed third in class, with a final total score of 40,33 points.
E is for Esparto
We also had the first time chance to see the progeny of the 9 year old Esparto – son of the unbeaten Ekstern. This is the Esparto’s first crop foaled in Poland. Earlier, in the 2007/2008 season, he was on lease at Ajman Stud, under whose banners he gained many trophies by winning international shows, including those in Doha, Dubai and Sharjah, as well as the National Show of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi. Last year at Białka Stud 19 foals by him were born. He crossed very well with mares out of Gazal Al Shaqab, giving charming colts out of Perfirka (out of Perforacja/Ernal) and Perolia (out of Pereira/Eldon). The latter foaled the bay colt Peron, whose carved, dished head and very good body and topline allowed him to secure a second place in class, with a high final score of 41 points. Some time earlier this Białka-bred yearling won his class at the Tulip Cup B-ranked show in Deurne (Holland). In turn
very pleasant fillies were born out of Emigrant daughters: Pelgrima (out of Perfazja/Batyskaf) and Egira (out of Emkira/Batyskaf). The delicate chestnut Pelmira gained 40 points and the grey Egema, blessed with a dished profile, a full point more. Both placed fourth in their classes. As we can see, Esparto has mixed very well with the Białka herd. Another group of fifteen foals by him was born this year. After a long break, the sun has finally come out (both literally and in metaphor) for Białka Stud, which has scored success at a show it has acted as host to for years.
I is for Inbreeding
The B series of the yearling fillies was won by dark bay Gataka (Ekstern – Gwarka/Monogramm), bred and owned by Bełżyce Stud. Beside a wide forehead and large black eyes, the filly exhibited flying movement and gained a total of 42,33 points, including a triple “9,5” for type. After analyzing her pedigree we find a high inbred to Monogramm, which amounts to 12,5%. An interesting and bold breeding concept resulted in the birth of an exceptional foal. Inbreeding is becoming more and more common in the world, especially among fashionable show horses descending from the Saklavi I sire line. Horses which are eagerly linebred to are, among others, Padrons Psyche and Gazal Al Shaqab. Whereas Polish breeding has benefitted from the American stallion Monogramm, whose influence on today’s national herd is nothing short of spectacular.
Attesting to this are for instance the numbers from this year’s show, during which we saw: sixteen get of Ekstern, seven of Ganges, and eight of Esparto – main sires from the line of Kuhailan Haifi d.b., which Monogramm originates from. So it is not surprising that our breeders are readily mating his descendants with each other. An example of crossing a Monogramm granddaughter to his son is the filly Gizelda (Ekstern – Ginerva/Werbum), bred and owned by Czeple Arabians, who placed fourth in the A series of the yearling fillies’ class, with a good final score of 40,8 points. The inbred in this case is moderate and amounts to 6,25%. A lower inbred factor (3,125%) can be found in a horse resulting from the mating of two grandchildren of a given specimen, in this case Monogramm. Examples of such are, among others, the mentioned earlier daughters of Eryks (Gazal Al Shaqab – Emmona/Monogramm): El Mediara and Diara, whose dams are Monogramm granddaughters. Another example of the same amount of inbred used at Białka is the crossing of a Monogramm son (Ekstern) with his great-granddaughters, the result of which are fillies Calatea (out of Calineczka/Metropolis NA), owned by Marek Kondrasiuk and Cella (out of Celina/Metropolis NA). The latter, flying across the arena with a highly set tail, bewitched the judges, who awarded her with high marks, thanks to which her final score of 41,83 points earned her a third spot in the three year old fillies’ class.
N is for Number (of entries)
Clearly visible is a decrease in the number of horses shown. The reason for that are the increasing costs of breeding, as well as training of show horses. A stronger and stronger competition and high quality each year resulted in only truly outstanding youngsters being brought to the Białka show. In 2007 there were 126 horses competing in ten classes out of the 150 yearlings, two and three year olds entered. The large number of horses was associated with the introduction of three year old classes in that year. Moreover at that time the Polish National Junior Stallion Championship was transferred to August and the National Show in Janów Podlaski. And so for the first time fillies and colts competed in Białka on the same terms of a regular C national show. A year later 149 horses were entered, out of which 133 were evaluated. In 2009 a number of 147 horses were entered and 131 were presented. Last year only 123 horses were entered, out of which spectators saw 110. This year their number fell below the magical hundred and we saw only 94 horses (including 47 privately owned) out of 108 entered.
P is for Private
The year 2000 marks the first time that a private-bred horse qualified for the finals – that horse was Mango (bred by K. and M. Bogajewicz). In 2003 the number of private horses competing in the show exceeded the number of horses from the State Studs and for the first time the championship (including the title of Best in Show) was won a private bred and owned horse Girlan-Bey. Since that time the number of successful private bred horses has been growing. This year the “privates” reached for two medals (bronze). The first went to the Gold Medalist from the May Tulip Cup in Holland, El Piatzolla (WH Justice – Enya/Ekstern), bred and owned by Podlesie Arabians. The filly exhibited a sweeping trot, awarded by the judges with two “10s”, which enabled her to win the class with a high score of 43 points. This time however she had to settle for the bronze. As history shows, it is often harder to win in one’s own backyard than abroad. The owner of a beautiful, thick mane, Maran (FS Bengali – Missouri/Wachlarz), bred and owned by Kielnarowa Stud, has become fond of collecting medals resembling his coat color, because he repeated his feat from last year and gained a bronze, similar to his performance at the Tulip Cup three weeks earlier. A successful debut was made by Simon Bey (Psytadel – Sarahbi Bay JC/Kubinec), bred and owned by Wojciech Parczewski. The bay colt began the competition as Lot. 1 and immediately raised the standard with three “9,5” marks for movement, which translated to a final score of 41 points and second place in class. In the end he left Białka with the title of Junior Spring Show Top Five (4th spot). We had a chance to see a total of seven horses by Psytadel, most of them in the three year old colts’ class, which with a score of 41,33 points was won by his son Epifan (out of Epimeria/Pesal), bred and owned by Piotr Hełka.
We also had the pleasure of viewing the first Polish-born daughter of World Champion Stallion Eternity Ibn Navarrone-D. The very feminine and exotic Echo Aurora (out of Echo Afrodyta/Piaff), bred and owned by Chrcynno-Palace Stud, placed third with a score of 41,17 points in a strong class of the yearling fillies (series A). And there is clearly a lot more potential to her.
V is for Va banque
The entering into the Białka show two of the youngest fillies of this year’s Pride of Poland offer was a bold and risky move. Michałów Stud decided to play for the highest stakes and presented the auction’s star – the grey Piacenza (QR Marc – Primawera/Emigrant), who last year placed near the top at the most prestigious shows, becoming a European Top Five Filly and World Top Ten Filly, among others. But lacking among her numerous titles was at least one gold. Piacenza won her class at Białka in great style with a score of 43,67 points, after which she took home the championship title and Best in Show award. Her class did not include her main rivals, to whom she lost in the championships last year (Zigi Zana, Primera). In turn she competed with her auction mate, the typey, long swan-necked Camilia (Piaff – Calineczka/Metropolis NA), who in accordance with her Lot number gave 100% and ended the event with a high score of 42,83 points, including one “10” for movement.
W is for Winners
This year’s show was extremely successful for Michałów Stud. Horses bred by director Jerzy Białobok gained three out of four main championship titles, while Piacenza was additionally chosen as Best in Show. This result should not be surprising to anyone, as over the last ten years this stud has secured 19 out of 40 of the most significant titles. The second place in the winners’ classification belonged to Janów Podlaski Stud with 16 titles to its credit and the remaining 5 have been won by private breeders. In 2003 it was the Niewierz-bred Girlan-Bey (Pesal – Gracja-Bis/Monogramm). Four years later, in 2007, the Reserve Championship was awarded to Falborek Arabians thanks to the exotic filly Wasa (WH Justice – Waresa/Empres). In the following year another Reserve Championship went to the bay Boreas (Metropolis NA – Bombina/Bomarc), bred by the late Wojciech Kowalik. Definitely the most fortunate year for private breeders was the 2009 season, in which Psyche Kreuza (Ekstern – Pallas-Atena/Ecaho) from Chrcynno-Palace Stud claimed the title of Junior Champion and Best in Show, while the delicate colt Eternal (FS Bengali – Ewitacja/Ganges), bred by Jan Głowacki, became Reserve Champion. This year private breeding can be proud of adding two bronze medals to this collection.