Few buyers, low prices, very slight enthusiasm from the public – one could only dream about a heated atmosphere which should accompany an event of this rank. Even the number of trade booths was considerably smaller than last year. That in short is the summary of this year’s Pride of Poland. The two stars offered at the auction – Etnologia and Ejrene – were sold for impressive sums, but sums which weren’t even close to the expected millions. Both mares, though of world-class quality, did not manage to give the entire auction the much needed “push”, which indicated that the crisis – so long avoided by the Arabian horse industry – finally found its way to Poland. The overall outcome of 1,325 million euro brought in by the main sale and a further 99,6 thousand from the Selection Sale is not a result which can be considered a great success, though two years ago the aggregate from both was even lower, barely surpassing one million euro with only one mare being sold for more than 100 thousand euro (Pilar). Of course things could always be worse. “I remember many auctions, also those with much lower prices”, comments Prof. Krystyna Chmiel from the Polish Arabian Horse Breeders Society board. “After the American financial crisis the 1995 sale’s highest price was 35 thousand dollars for the daughter of Pilarka – Pisanka by Pepton. But it is also true that this year’s offer was all over the place. There were three stars, then nothing for a long while and finally the rest of the offer. In my opinion there was too large of a disproportion in the quality of the offered horses.”
How the stars were sold
The highest price of the auction was achieved by Michałów’s Ejrene (Gazal Al Shaqab – Emocja/Monogramm), for whom the owner of Kwestura, Sheikh Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, the Crowned Prince of Ajman, offered 440 thousand euro by means of his agent, one of the most renowned trainers and handlers in the world – Frank Spönle. The price was not immediately accepted by the seller. The auctioneer announced that the expected priced is one million euro, but when the bidding came to a halt he was ready to seal the transaction at 450 thousand euro. The buyer however did not raise his offer and the mare returned to the stable. It was not until the end of the entire sale that Ejrene once again appeared on the arena. It was announced then that she was sold for the last offered bid. Therefore the Director of Michałów Stud, Jerzy Białobok, could enjoy the highest price of the auction. On a side note – demanding a million euro for Ejrene or Etnologia was a rather risky marketing gimmick. It doesn’t seem probable that either of them can compare to World Champion Kwestura.
In the case of Etnologia (Gazal Al Shaqab – Etalanta/Europejczyk) there was also just one determined buyer, namely Shirley Watts from Great Britain, known for her great weakness towards Janów-bred horses. Now her collection will be enlarged by Etnologia for the price of 370 thousand euro. It was as clear as day that the market again verified the initial, too daring estimation of a million euro. Besides Etnologia Halsdon Arabians will also welcome a mare which unexpectedly achieved the third highest price of the sale – Janów’s Biruta (Ekstern – Bajada/Pamir), for whom the new owner dished out a round 100 thousand euro. And so the purchases of Mrs. Watts turned out to constitute more than one third of the outcome from the main auction, similarly to the purchase of Sheikh Ammar. Less than one third of the aggregate came from the remaining 16 horses sold from among the 28 which qualified for the main list. “It seems that the offer was not attractive enough to draw numerous buyers to the Arabian Horse Days”, says Krzysztof Poszepczyński from Chrcynno-Palace Stud. “The breeding material should be of a higher quality. Two stars is not enough. It was actually the buyers themselves who evaluated the offer by not coming to Janów this year. And those who did come made no secret in their conversations that the offer leaves a lot to be desired. Of course we have a crisis, but regardless of the economic situation there will always be those willing to buy good horses.
Those responsible for compiling the offer, the Organizing Committee and the Qualifying Panel, have some food for thought. The auction’s well-being is definitely also in our best interest; we want it to be attractive, not plain.”
Very decent prices were offered for private owned horses. The young star from Bełżyce, Gataka (Ekstern – Gwarka/Monogramm), will find her way to Saudi Arabia for 55 thousand euro, which turned out to be the fourth price of the sale. Espinezja (Psytadel – Entaga/Ganges) from Falborek will also head for Saudi Arabia – the buyer paid 50 thousand euro for her. The owned by Przemysław Sawicki mare Piawea (Ekstern – Powiewna/Wachlarz) was sold for 30 thousand euro. Emmonida (Gazal Al Shaqab – Emmona/Monogramm), for whom bidding reached 63 thousand euro, did not meet her reserve price. Quite a large number of mares from the main list – as many as seven, not counting those which remained unsold – were outdone in terms of price by the Selection Sale-offered Echidna (Ararat – Elandra/Monogramm), for whom the buyer from Saudi Arabia paid 20 thousand euro. There’s a good chance that if the mare was presented on the main list, her price could’ve been even higher. It seems that different criteria apply during qualifications for the main sale depending whether the horse is state or private owned.
Benita and Benita
The happiest people during the entire sale were those buyers, who on Sunday purchased their first horse ever. Benita Zuzek, known to the guests of the Pride of Poland as the owner of the bed and breakfast inn “Dworek nad Bugiem” near Janów together with her husband Zbigniew, had long dreamed of buying the Janów-bred mare bearing the same name: Benita (Enzo – Bogini/Arbil). And that dream came true! For the sum of 30 thousand euro the mare became her property and Benita and Zbigniew Zuzek became the only buyers from Poland this year. Their joy was the most touching moment of the Sunday afternoon. “I rode horses when I was young”, said the excited Benita Zuzek. “But I never suspected I would have my own! We have observed Benita for years, because Director Trela was inspired with my name when naming her. We felt a great sentiment towards this horse and decided that it cannot go anywhere else than to us. And now my husband has to deal with two Benitas – one with four legs and one with two. I will take care of the four-legged one and my husband will have to deal with the other.” And so Benita not only stays in Poland, but will remain very close to her home stud!
On the fingers of one hand
The award for the buyer of the greatest number of horses went to the client from Saudi Arabia. Let’s hope that he will turn out more trustworthy than last year’s record buyer from Australia, who did not collect about a dozen of his purchases. Apart from Saudi Arabia (which was represented by two buyers), the United Arab Emirates and Great Britain, the only other buying countries included Germany and Poland. France, the USA, Ireland and Belgium “joined in” during the Selection Sale. This means that the number of buyers could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Perhaps the event should get a new wind, some new energy, which would bring back the excitement and make buyers from all over the world reach into their pockets to purchase our wonderful Polish horses?
A lasting legend
However before the thrills of the auction ceased to excite both buyers and public alike, we witnessed the competition which took place at the Polish National Show. The Sunday finals as always drew many politicians seeking plaudits to the VIP box and a large public onto the stands. The only moment when all the spectators spontaneously got to their feet took place when the idol of all Arabian horse lovers – Pianissima – was led onto the arena. Awarded this year with the WAHO Trophy she made her final – as it was announced – presentation in the show ring. The breeders from Janów Podlaski decided that the mare will end her show career and from now on will remain at the stud leading a normal, equine life. One thing is certain – Pianissima’s legend will not falter, even if crowds of fans will not see her during shows anymore.
How the juniors coped in the Nationals
The Friday colts’ competition was a whole lot different than in Białka. As expected, this time the state studs did not leave much room for others – out of the private owned horses only the 3 year olds (with three contestants in class) qualified for the finals. Among those defeated were both the Silver Medalist from Białka, Psyche Keret (Kihidar – Psyche Victoria/Ekstern) from Chrcynno (3rd place in class), El Piatzolla’s Strusinianka-bred full brother – El Fado (WH Justice – Enya/Ekstern), also 3rd in class, as well as this year’s Bronze Medalist from the Junior Spring Show – Gotico (WH Justice – Ginga/Galba) owned by Piotr Podgórny, who placed only 5th in his class. Victorious among the yearlings was Janów’s Barok (Om El Bellissimo – Baida/Balon), among the 2 year olds – Michałów’s Equator (QR Marc – Ekliptyka/Ekstern) and among the 3 year olds – Emarc (QR Marc – Eksterna/Ekstern) from Falborek. In the end the Junior Champion Stallion title was awarded, as expected, to the winner from Białka, Equator, behind him placed Emarc followed by Barok. Closing off the Top Five were Emirzo (Enzo – Emira/Laheeb) and Pomian (Gazal Al Shaqab – Pilar/Fawor).
The private bred fillies had more to say in the fight for the medals. Although the A series of the yearling fillies’ class was won by Potentilla (Ekstern – Panonia/Eukaliptus) from Janów, El Siena (HDB Sihr Ibn Massai – El Aria/Ararat) from Strusinianka was right on her heels. The score difference was just 0,16 points (with the final results 90,83 and 90,67 respectively). The B series of the yearling fillies’ belonged to Białka’s Perfinka (Esparto – Perfirka/Gazal Al Shaqab) with 91 points. Behind her placed Janów’s Anima (Ekstern – Anilla/Pesal) with 90,17. The C series brought a victory to Euzona (Om El Bellissimo – Euzetia/Etogram) from Janów, whose score sky rocketed to as high as 92,17. Second came Noumea (Ekstern – Noc/Pesal), owned by Marek Kondrasiuk with 90,17 points.
A surprise in the A series of the two year old fillies’ class was only a fourth place for last year’s Polish National Reserve Champion Echo Aurora (Eternity Ibn Navarrone-D – Echo Afrodyta/Piaff) from Chrcynno (90,17). The class was won by Michałów’s Emandilla (Om El Shahmaan – Espadrilla/Monogramm) with 91,17 before Esima (Altis – Emanta/Pamir) from Falborek with 90,67. However the latter stud literally owned the next series of 2 year olds – victorious was Perlahaba (Al Lahab – Pernacja/Ekstern) with 90,33 including a “20” for type and right behind her stablemate Wabia (Al Lahab – Wasa/WH Justice) with 89,83. A huge surprise was a poorer performance (compared to previous showings) of Bełżyce’s Gataka with 89,67 and a third spot in class.
If there was a surprise in the three year old fillies’ class then it were the extremely high marks for movement (20-19-19,5) for Paema (Ekstern – Pasyma/Piaff), owned by Lech Błaszczyk, who ultimately wound up at fourth place. The first and second spots were taken respectively by: Janów’s Primera (Eden C – Preria/Ararat) with the highest score to date of 92,17, including a “20” for type and Białka’s Camilia (Piaff – Calineczka/Metropolis NA) with 90,83, who has lately been doing very well on the domestic arenas.
The order in the finals was as follows: Primera took the gold, Perfinka the silver and Emandilla accepted the bronze. Potentilla and Perlahaba finished off the Top Five.
The seniors showed class
The senior mares’ classes are often called the classes of death, as it is here that the public can witness the greatest and most decorated stars of the show arena. And so was the case in the A series of the 4-6 year old mares’, where we had a chance to see Wagira, El Piatzolla, Parmana, Wieża Róż and Pilarosa (Al Adeed Al Shaqab – Pilar/Fawor), among others. And it was the latter who outdid her rivals, winning with a score of 92,17. El Piatzolla was second. In the B series the heads-on favorite seemed to be Psyche Kreuza (Ekstern – Pallas-Atena/Ecaho), who with her score of 90,83 however took only third place. The breeders from Chrcynno expressed their doubts towards the judges’ evaluation by not coming out for the decorating ceremony. The class was won by El Saghira (Galba – Emira/Laheeb) with 92,67, including two “20s” for movement before Alabama (Gazal Al Shaqab – Altona/Eukaliptus) with 90,83.
Another chance to see a parade of stars took place in the 7-10 year old mares’ class. The arena welcomed Sefora, Cenoza, Altamira, Pepita, Kashira, Pistoria, Norma, Wilda, El Medina, Perfirka, Belgica, Laranda and Palanga. It was almost a shame that they had to compete against each other! Victorious out of this lot was Sefora (Ekstern – Sawantka/Pepton) with 92 points before Wilda (Gazal Al Shaqab – Wilga/Ekstern) with 91,83 and a “20” for movement. The top marks for this trait were also awarded to Norma (as many as two) and Belgica. It would seem that with contestants like these the top marks should be given out by the handful. However we must keep in mind that this year’s judges never concealed the fact that they are not huge fans of the pure Polish horse. No wonder they evaluated them strictly – definitely more strictly than the Polish public would want to see.
The class of mares 11 years old and up consisted of Palmeta, Espadrilla, Emanda, Emocja, Ernera and Eutona, which had also already written themselves down in the history of the breed. Triumphant were the first two – Palmeta (Ecaho – Pilica/Fawor) with a score of 92,67, including a “20” for type and movement and Espadrilla (Monogramm – Emanacja/Eukaliptus) with 92 points. And it was Palmeta who later took home the title of Polish National Senior Champion Mare. El Saghira and Sefora were respectively awarded the silver and bronze, while Pilarosa and El Piatzolla left the show with Top Five honors.
Closing it off, as always, were the senior stallions. The son of Pesal and Palmeta, Palatino (92,17, including a “20” for movement), and Elmaran (Al Maraam – Ekstera/Ekstern) with 90,5 were the most successful in the 4-6 year old stallions’ class. Whereas the highest scored males in the 7 years old and above category were Pegasus (Gazal Al Shaqab – Pepesza/Eukaliptus) with 92 and Salar (Ecaho – Saba/Etat) with 91,17. The order on the final podium was as follows: Palatino, Pegasus, Elmaran and Salar (as a Top Five). And so competing against each other for Best in Show was mother and son – Palmeta and Palatino. One can only hope that it was not the recent arrival of Pesal to Białka that prompted such a line up. Victorious in the end was the mother, gaining yet another trophy for the hosts of the show. A moment later Janów Podlaski also received the award for Best Breeder. Selected as the best
trainer and handler was Janów’s Paweł Kozikowski. Here it should be noted that the trainer and handler from across the pond, Gerard Paty, bid farewell to his adventure at Janów Podlaski. On his Facebook profile he thanked for several years of fruitful cooperation, which brought much satisfaction to both sides – 9 class wins, 4 second places, three gold medals, one silver, two bronzes and a title of Best in Show.
Without all doubt the biggest winner of the National Show was the host – Janów Podlaski: with 3 golds (Primera, Palmeta, Palatino), one silver (Pegasus), 2 bronzes (Barok and Sefora) and four Top Fives (Potentilla, Pomian, Pilarosa, Salar). Michałów gained one medal in each color (gold
for Equator, silver for El Saghira, bronze for Emandilla) and one Top Five title for Emirzo. Białka made its mark in the finals thanks to the silver medal won by Perfinka.
The greatest success among the private breeders belonged to Falborek Arabians, who gained the Junior Reserve Championship with Emarc (this being already the third silver medal for the stud) and a title of Top Five with Perlahaba. Wojciech Parczewski can boast a bronze medal by means of Elmaran, while Strusinianka a Top Five through El Piatzolla.
It would be wonderful to be able to say that another edition of the great gala of the Arabian horse in Poland has come to an end. However, when speaking of such a festive occasion, there are too many “buts”, the most visible of which is the decreasing presence of breeders from both Poland and abroad. Even those that make their living in euros are shocked by the high price of the VIP cards. And the Poles? Among those visiting the stud on Saturday where several who decided to not stay until Sunday for the finals and auction, though it was initially in their plans. Instead they made their way towards the Bread Festival.
National Show results
Gold & Best in Show & Best Mare of the Show
Palmeta (Ecaho – Pilica/Fawor), br/o. Janów Podlaski State Stud
El Saghira (Galba – Emira/Laheeb), br/o. Michałów State Stud
Sefora (Ekstern – Sawantka/Pepton), br/o. Janów Podlaski State Stud
Pilarosa (Al Adeed Al Shaqab – Pilar/Fawor), br/o. Janów Podlaski State Stud
El Piatzolla (WH Justice – Enya/Ekstern), br/o. ZPH Strusinianka
Gold & Best Head
Primera (Eden C – Preria/Ararat), br/o. Janów Podlaski State Stud
Perfinka (Esparto – Perfirka/Gazal Al Shaqab), br/o. Białka State Stud
Emandilla (Om El Shahmaan – Espadrilla/Monogramm), br/o. Michałów State Stud
Potentilla (Ekstern – Panonia/Eukaliptus), br/o. Janów Podlaski State Stud
Perlahaba (Al Lahab – Pernacja/Ekstern), br/o. Falborek Arabians
Palatino (Pesal – Palmeta/Ecaho), br/o. Janów Podlaski State Stud
Pegasus (Gazal Al Shaqab – Pepesza/Eukaliptus), br/o. Janów Podlaski State Stud
Elmaran (Al Maraam – Ekstera/Ekstern), br/o. Wojciech Parczewski
Salar (Ecaho – Saba/Etat), br/o. Janów Podlaski State Stud
Gold & Best Mover & Izabella Pawelec-Zawadzka Challenge Trophy
Equator (QR Marc – Ekliptyka/Ekstern), br/o. Michałów State Stud
Emarc (QR Marc – Eksterna/Ekstern), br/o. Falborek Arabians
Barok (Om El Bellissimo – Baida/Balon), br/o. Janów Podlaski State Stud
Emirzo (Enzo – Emira/Laheeb), br/o. Michałów State Stud
Pomian (Gazal Al Shaqab – Pilar/Fawor), br/o. Janów Podlaski State Stud
Best Racehorse of the National Show
Wadi Nur (Gazal Al Shaqab – Wenessa/Egon), br/o. Michałów State Stud
Annual WAHO Challenge Trophy
Pianissima (Gazal Al Shaqab – Pianosa/Eukaliptus), br/o. Janów Podlaski State Stud
Best Trainer & Handler
Paweł Kozikowski, Janów Podlaski State Stud
Janów Podlaski State Stud
Christiane Chazel (France)
Ferdinand Huemer (Austria)
Jaroslav Lacina (Czech Republic)
Peter J. Pond (Australia)
A Photo gallery by Wiesława Bałut
The Gossip column by Marta Baranowska and Krzysztof Dużyński