What seemed impossible just ten years ago – namely the organizing of a show at a pretty good European standard in Poland without the participation of State Stud horses – has become a fact at the Royal Baths Park in Warsaw.
If anyone questioned whether an Arabian horse show in Warsaw’s city center is needed, then today after the “Arabia – Polska” [“Arabia – Poland”] event the answer is known. The 1st Arabian Horse Festival in Warsaw (June 18-19th), under the patronage of the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Waleed Taher Rawan, turned out to be successful in many aspects. First of all, the organizers were able to gather many horses, because as much as 65 (out of 73 of those entered), despite the fact that the State Studs did not participate in this venue. Secondly, the quality of the exhibited horses was surprisingly high and among the competitors were several “stars”. And thirdly, during the championships on Sunday the audience and media turned up in great numbers. The Royal Baths Park, where the event was held, is an ideal place for the promotion of Arabian horses. The beautiful surroundings, easy access and the proximity of other attractions which Warsaw’s city center has plenty of, are all additionally enticing features.
Even though the show took place for the first time, its organization was faultless. The classes were conducted efficiently, according to the program, without greater delays and in an amicable atmosphere created by the organizers: the association of Hipika Polska and Polish Prestige. Acting as announcer was the initiator of the event, Marek Grzybowski. Whereas the director of the show, Paweł Olbrych, did his best to make the guests feel at home. Even the weather was favorable.
Almost all of the most active Polish private breeders turned up with their graduates at the Royal Baths. The most numerous representation was put forth by Chrcynno-Palace Stud – a total of ten horses, including two stallions in the costume classes. Second in terms of quantity was Falborek Arabians with six horses. But the most equines arrived with Gerard Kurtz, who has gathered the best private bred horses in his new training center situated in Konik Stary. He prepared as much as 13 horses for this show. This “aggressive” entrance of the experienced Austrian trainer and handler onto the Polish scene clearly shook the hitherto “balance of forces”. It appears that there was still room on the domestic market for one more training stable and the Polish breeders were waiting for someone to cause a stir in the current arrangement. Horse owners readily handed their graduates over to the new player and the Royal Baths, for the lack of State Stud of foreign horses, became an arena for a match between Polish trainers versus their new rival.
Both the halter and costume classes were evaluated by: Cedes Bakker (Holland), Richard Pihlström (France), Irina Stigler (Russia) and Anna Stojanowska (Poland). The first day of the show – Saturday – brought significant success for the much observed by the competition Gerard Kurtz and his charges, although it surprisingly began with a victory of the colt Bir Ali Es (Porto – Bircza/Aslan), bred and owned by Daniel Kwiatkowski and Bartłomiej Jankowski. The bay yearling won with a score of 41,17, besting the favorite and recent Junior Spring Show Top Five from Białka Simon Bey (Psytadel – Sarahbi Bay JC/Kubinec), bred and owned by Wojciech Parczewski (40,17) and seven other rivals. However the class of 2-3 year old colts belonged to Kurtz and the shown by him Maran (FS Bengali – Missouri/Wachlarz), bred and owned by Kielnarowa Stud. The triple Bronze Medalist (from Białka and the Tulip Cup) outdistanced six rivals, winning before Emarc (QR Marc – Eksterna/Ekstern) from Falborek Arabians.
The yearling fillies’ class was of an extremely high quality. It was here that the spectators saw the first “10” of the show, which was awarded for type to Gataka (Ekstern – Gwarka/Monogramm), bred and owned by Bełżyce Stud, a class winner from Białka. Her final score of 42,33 points allowed her to also win the class at the Royal Baths. Presented by Piotr Żuber, the filly left behind a dozen competitors behind her, including Echo Aurora (Eternity Ibn Navarrone-D – Echo Afrodyta/Piaff), bred and owned by Chrcynno-Palace Stud (2nd place, 41,5 points). Among the 2 year old fillies as many as three achieved an identical score of 40,83 points. Their final classification was determined by marks for type and movement. Victorious was Lady Serenada (Ekstern – Lady Aphrodite DD/Padrons Psyche), bred and owned by Małgorzata and Józef Pietrzak, trained at Gerald Kurtz’s facility, for whom it was the second class win that day. Second placed Fortycja (Pegasus – Florencja/Oset) from Bełżyce, who had to yield to the grey-coated winner. The class amounted to ten horses in all. Half less were entered into the 3 year old fillies’ class. Victorious, again in the hands of Kurtz, was the favorite, the experienced and frequent Polish and foreign show attendee, multiple medalist El Piatzolla
(WH Justice – Enya/Ekstern), bred and owned by Podlesie Arabians. She was recognized with a total score of 42,5, including two “10s” for type. Behind her placed Calatea (Ekstern – Calineczka/Metropolis NA), bred by Białka and owned by Marek Kondrasiuk, who gave the impression of being slightly lame. Despite that, after a consultation with vet Piotr Szczepański, she was evaluated and pretty high at that (40,5). However she did not compete in the finals the next day.
In the senior stallions’ category (consisting of one combined class) was one decisive favorite and it was him that won this competition: the exhibited by Gerald Kurtz, highly decorated Elmaran (Al Maraam – Ekstera/Ekstern), bred and owned by Wojciech Parczewski (with a final score of 41,33). Second, from the same training stable, was the US-bred offspring of Gazal Al Shaqab, imported to Poland by Czesław Witko – Ali Gazal LA (out of Yermeh Sangayla/Gayladdin), who also has starts in racing and endurance to his credit. His total score amounted to 40,33. Third place (equivalent to a bronze medal) was secured by the popular in Poland chief sire Etnodrons Psyche (Padrons Psyche – Etnografia/Aloes), bred by Stanisław Redestowicz and owned by Paweł Redestowicz.
The senior mares were divided into two groups: mares aged 4-6 years and 7 year olds & up. The first class showcased six competitors, among which victorious was the American-bred and Bełżyce-trained Daisy FF (Da Vinci FM – AP Shezz Sassy/Bey Shah), owned by Tomasz Tarczyński, with a score of 42,33, before Wasa (WH Justice – Waresa/Empres) from Falborek (41,67). The situation was especially interesting in the oldest mares’ class, which featured the offered at the nearest Pride of Poland Sale and boasting more than one show success Bełżyce-owned Kashira (Magnum Psyche – Kahila IV/Ibn Bint Inas), bred by Stanisław Redestowicz, as well as the Autumn Show Champion Valeriana (Werter – Vachta/Aspekt), bred and owned by Agricola Farm and the Michałów-bred Egzyna (Eldon – Elganda/Monogramm), owned by Janusz Ryżkowski. Although Valeriana received a “10” for type and a high final score of 41,83, she still had to give precedence to the 10 year old charge of Gerald Kutz, Egzyna, who was recognized with as much as 42,33 points.
Prior to the Sunday championships all signs showed that the training stable of Gerald Kurtz could “grab a hold” of four gold medals, considering that the senior stallion championship was already resolved during the class competition, as there was just one. The position of El Piatzolla as candidate for the title seemed unthreatened, as did Maran’s, while the victory of Egzyna also seemed very probable.
But shows can be unpredictable and Sunday brought surprising results, though only in the mares’ classes. The colts’ championship, as expected, was won by Maran before Emarc and Bir Ali Es. The order of stallions in the championship was already determined, with Elmaran as the winner, after which came time for the choosing of the junior champion mare. The bronze medal went to Echo Aurora, while El Piatzolla went home with the silver… The sure favorite lost to the delicate, proudly carrying her beautiful head Gataka! Whereas triumphing among the senior mares was Daisy FF before Egzyna and Wasa.
And so the „trainer’s match” for gold medals ended with a result of 2:2. Gerald Kurtz’s stable additionally won 3 silvers (for Ali Gazal, El Piatzolla and Egzyna), but the last word belonged to Bełżyce Stud, as it was Gataka who was awarded with the Best in Show trophy. Once again life showed that there are no “sure bets” and that until the competition is over, nothing is ever certain.
In Warsaw, besides the in-hand classes, two costume classes have been held. The victory belonged to the Chrcynno-Palace Stud in both cases. In “Polish National Costume” Echo Apollo (Piaff – Echo Kallisto/Pamir) under Sławomir Przybysz was the winner, and in „Native Costume” Galahad (Werbum – Granada/Monogramm) under Kamila Tul.
From here on things will only get more interesting. Ten years ago the organizing of a show with European standards without the participation of State Stud horses would’ve been impossible. Now I would be greatly surprised if such an absence would take place next year.