Paris was supposed to be different this year and different it was. Not only was there rivalry for the highest trophies in new categories, but even the “La Marseillaise” was played live on distorted electric guitars, in Hendrix style.
The question which has been repeated for years: how can you compare a yearling to a three year old mare (sometimes already in foal) surely influenced the decision of the organizers to give the youngest horses an additional chance. The system tested by Christiane Chazel in Menton was efficiently adapted for the Parisian event in the Paris Nord Villepinte arena. So this year’s Paris welcomed two novelties. For the first time in history the yearlings had their own finals and the champion of champions, called the “Supreme Champion” received a platinum medal.
Day 1, Friday: two classes for Poland! Downcast be gone
I remember the disappointment after the Parisian performance of Polish horses a year ago, when their high quality did not translate to medals… As a sort of compensation some of them were awarded with Top Ten titles. Later, to my surprise, the disappointment was spoken of not only in private conversations, but sensible analyses of the reasons for the failure could also be read in professional publications. It was the more unique, as in coverages from Arabian events we have gotten used to a world that is nice, has round corners and a lot of icing. More of a PR’s dream than an attempt of a reliable, journalistic coverage. Meanwhile however in his coverage of Paris 2011 Jerzy “George” Zbyszewski wrote in „Araby” quarterly: “However it did not go unnoticed that the horses from the State Studs were not in top forms and their conditioning also left a lot to be desired. What’s astonishing is that this applied mainly to horses from Michałów Stud, who in the past years served as an example of proper conditioning and grooming. Furthermore the horses appeared to be downcast and tired.”
This year a complete surprise: clearly conclusions were drawn from those mistakes. Everything appeared to be much more thought out in terms of organization and selection, proof of which are the results. Perhaps it was not yet seen in the yearling fillies’ classes – Białka-bred Perfinka (Esparto – Perfirka/Gazal Al Shaqab) was fifth in class, while Janów Podlaski’s Euzona (Om El Bellissimo – Euzetia/Etogram) only ninth. The rules of the Parisian competition – stating that the first four horses from each series plus two with the best scores from the 5th and 6th spot qualify for the finals – meant that the decorative mare from Białka had still found herself in the finals!
The first yearling female series was won by Fai Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab – Victoria II/RSD Dark Victory) from Al Shaqab; behind her placed Aja Europa from the UK (Aja Justified – HB Marais/Marwan Al Shaqab), a Kuwaiti purchase from Jadem Arabians – Heila J (Shael Dream Desert – Fatiha/Ekstern), as well as the also Belgian-bred My Fair Rose-D (Marajj – WH Marissa Roze/Magnum Psyche). In the second series of the yearling fillies the top spot was secured by Ghanadir Al Zobair (MCA Magnum Gold – Thoraya Al Zobair/Ansata Selman), unexpectedly besting the favorite from Ajman – AJ Asyad (Marwan Al Shaqab – Aja Angelica/WH Justice). Third was the Qatari Gazal daughter Jenan Al Shaqab (out of Aliaa Al Shaqab/Besson Carol). Fourth placed Tahani Al Khaled (out of LC Tornita/Padrons Psyche), another daughter of MCA Magnum Gold, who for years appeared to be more of an equine celebrity than a genuine sire in his breed.
The 2-3 year old fillies’ classes were even better. In the A series Michałów-bred Emandilla (Om El Shahmaan – Espadrilla/Monogramm) was third, while Echo Aurora (Eternity Ibn Navarrone-P – Echo Afrodyta/Piaff) from Chrcynno-Palace Stud fifth (unfortunately, we wouldn’t be seeing her in the finals), behind Ghazalat Al Khalediah (PA Ghazsi – Argentinna SS/Arius SS) and Ul Sid Parma (El Sid – CA Kupona/Kupol). Flexing her powers in the B series was the beautifully reared, shapely Wieża Mocy (translating to “Tower of Power”), by QR Marc out of Wieża Marzeń by Ekstern, from Michałów State Stud, receiving one “20” for type and two for movement. The Janów Podlaski’s Primera (Eden C – Preria/Ararat) was fourth, AJ Siyadh (Vervaldee – Sweet Caroline II/Legacy of Fame) third and AV Dalia (Ajman Moniscione – AV Dolimha/Halim Raquim) second. Quite unexpectedly, Shirin By Aisha (WH Justice – Aisha by Missouri/Missour) was only fifth, but a high score earned her an entrance into the finals.
The 4 year old and older mare classes were a successful presentation of the Arabian beauty of twenty participants. Dominating in the first series was FT Shaella (Shael Dream Desert – Soul Pretty TGS/Shallenger), besting Aja Aphrodite (WH Justice – Lovin Psyche SSA/Padrons Psyche), Michałów’s El Saghira (Galba – Emira/Laheeb) and Janów’s Altamira (Ekstern – Altona/Eukaliptus). Fifth and sixth were, respectively, Pilarosa (Al Adeed Al Shaqab – Pilar/Fawor) from Janów Podlaski State Stud and Psyche Kreuza (Ekstern – Pallas-Atena/Ecaho) from Chrcynno-Palace. The second series again saw a Polish mare prevailing over her rivals – Janów-bred Pinga (Gazal Al Shaqab – Pilar/Fawor), who proved that she is an improved version of Magora. At that she has more charm, whereas her distant relative often wins more by “force”. Additionally Pinga wowed the judges with her movement, receiving a full
set of top marks. Later she took home the award for the highest prized mare – 94,16 point! The leased by Athbah Stud (and bred by Michałów) El Dorada (Sanadik El Shaklan – Emigrantka/Eukaliptus) won the jury panel over with her type, also garnering a full set of top marks. She lost to Pinga by the proverbial hair’s breadth, which was one point (564:565). The other horses which we again saw on Sunday out of this “Polish” class were: Janów-bred and UK-owned Etnologia (Gazal Al Shaqab – Etalanta/Europejczyk) – remembering her auction price we now know the value of a World Top Ten – and Janów’s Palmeta (Ecaho – Pilica/Fawor), who placed fifth and sixth. Such luck omitted Pilarosa and Psyche Kreuza earlier in their classes.
It was a very successful day, in a still empty but modernized arena (with new LED advertisements). As George Z wrote: “To lose because of poor quality horses is one thing, but to lose because of reasons that could’ve been averted is a whole different story”.
Meanwhile the President of Ecaho, Jaroslav Lacina, in an interview for Arabian Essence revealed some secrets shrouding the near future of upcoming shows. Starting from next year there will be a broader scope of halter shows. Meaning – it will be possible to organize shows for horses of a specific origin – European-bred, Straight Egyptian or pure Polish. Previously ECAHO did not permit such shows.
Day 2, Saturday: stallions of the world and a Spanish paella
This year Al Shaqab Stud celebrated its 20 year anniversary. Judging by the quality of the horses and the scale of the promotional campaign it would happily celebrate by bringing home some spectacular titles. Twenty titles for a twentieth anniversary would be the best gift, but that was just not possible. However, as expected, the second day of the World Championships in Paris began in a very encouraging way for Al Shaqab Stud. In the A series of the yearling colts’ class victorious was Sultan Al Zobara (his marks included three “20s” for type), a horse bred by the Qatari stud of Al Zobara, and leased by Al Shaqab. The bay son of Gazal Al Shaqab, out of Inra Al Shaqab by Wahag Al Shaqab, easily outdid his namesake from the same stable. Sultan Al Shaqab (Amir Al Shaqab – Abha Al Shaqab/Abha Fadil) performed better in movement, but placed second before Gzavi (Aja Justified –
Gwandolyn/Ekstern), bred by the Belgian stud of DB Arabians and owned by the Czech Suweco Stud. In the second series of the yearlings the DD Arabians-bred and purchased this year by Athbah Stud Ascott DD (Glorius Apal – Lady Nina DD/Psytadel) elbowed himself to the first spot only due to higher points for type, as he had an identical final score as one of the favorites – AJ Mardan (Vervaldee – Felicia RLC/Shael Dream Desert) from Ajman Stud. This event clearly does not belong to this stud; following the expression of the Polish-American expert: the horses are downcast and their trainer and handler Frank Spoenle appeared to be greatly disappointed. The third spot was taken by the French Sharaam El Chique (Redwood Lodge Artique – LH Gina Lola Bridgeta/MPA Giovanni). Also Psyche Keret (Khidar – Psyche Victoria/Ekstern), from Chrcynno-Palace Stud, entered the finals, from his 5th place.
In the two year old colts’ class the Qatari full brother to Kahil Al Shaqab, the Junior World Champion from the last year, Wadee Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab – OFW Mishaahl/Mishaah) – whose broad promotional campaign seems to be thought out in every inch – easily did away with his rivals. A nice surprise was delivered by Michałów’s Equator (out of Ekliptyka by Ekstern), who turned out to be the best son of QR Marc at this event (at least point-wise), leaving behind in this class: Emerald J (whose photos in the promotional campaign are clearly from a better time in his life), Emanos K.A. and Pavorotto K.A. He also proved better (in terms of points) than the yearling Emerson K.A., his peer Espressivo and the three year old Panthos and Emarc. Having an identical final score as Barzan Al Shahania (Stival – NV Sienna Psyche/Padrons Psyche), the marks for type again determined the winner of this duel. The B series of the junior stallions (three year olds) saw Fakhr Al Khalediah (Marquis CAHR – Barah Al Khalediah/Abha Ifni) deliver many reasons to be proud for his Saudi breeders and owners from Al Khalediah Stables. Just as perfect as his sire, he bested the Belgian Espressivo (QR Marc – Emocja/Monogramm) from Knocke Arabians by almost two points. Behind them placed new Middle Eastern purchases: the Kuwaiti Cavalli (DA Valentino – Aspyn/Padrons Psyche) and the Saudi Mascot des Alpes (Marwan Al Shaqab – EAMT Marihuana/Thee Mustafa). Emarc (QR Marc – Eksterna/Ekstern) from Falborek fell just short of making it into the class “Top Four”. Shown very impressively in movement, he did not cause like-mindedness among the judges – Ann Norden gave him a “20”, while Nasr Marei an “18,5”. The same with marks for type – the Egyptian judge was the least generous for the Polish horse.
In the senior stallions’ classes the favorites won without greater problems, usually by one point. In series A QR Marc (Marwan Al Shaqab – Swete Dreams/Magic Dream) showed off like a true celebrity from the moment he entered the show arena, drawing the attention of the judges to himself and no one else. He also brought unanimity among the judges, because for type, as well as head and neck, he received a total of eight “20s” plus another two for movement. As a comparison the second stallion, the well known multi-champion Abha Qatar (Marwan Al Shaqab – ZT Ludjkalba/Ludjin El Jamaal) received only one top mark – for type. A pleasant surprise was delivered by Kabsztad (Poganin – Kwestura/Monogramm) from Michałów, who surpassed 92 points with a “20” for movement. He only just bested the Qatari Bashir Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab – SWF Valencia/Psytanium). As a true showman that he is, Janów’s Palatino (Pesal – Palmeta/Ecaho), refined and slightly Egyptian in style, again sparkled his best. He did very well in movement, later gaining a special award for this trait. He is a type of an adornment-stallion, who would definitely bring a lot of joy to many owners from Kuwait or Oman, especially with the approaching series of Middle Eastern championships. However, he is not the only one who will have to spend a severe winter in Poland.
The final class of the day reminded us of a long-forgotten profession – the clapper, a paid enthusiast. There was quite a lot of them. Another person who made a profit was the producer of white flags with the name “Dakharo” and the logo of Al Khalediah Stables, who received and realized a large order of the mentioned merchandise. The enthusiasm passed onto the judges, after all, some hadn’t seen Dakharo for several months. Doug Dahmen – co-owner of his sire, Dakar El Jamaal, even gave him two “20s” (for type and head and neck), similarly to Willy Poth and Marc Veray. This caused Dakharo to gain a large advantage over the Saudi stallion Al Khatab Al Thani (Al Batran – Hanan Al Thaniya/Crusader), bred and owned by Al Sawary Farm. Third was the Oman-representing IM Bayard Cathare (Padrons Immage – Shamilah Bagheera/Nadir I), whereas fourth – Michałów’s Esparto (Ekstern – Ekspozycja/Eukaliptus).
After a tiring show part of the day the majority of the VIPs went to see a special presentation of the dam of multi-champion Shanghai E.A. – Salymah E.A., combined with the serving of a paella for several hundred guests. Performing in special cook’s ensembles, with the embroidered name of the stallion, were: the stallion’s breeder, Albert Sorroca and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Saud Al Qasimi. Luckily a sense of humor is no stranger to this, let’s delicately say, dignified community.
Day 3, Sunday: the finals and a huge applause for Michałów and Janów!
Everything was at such pace and so on time that for the first time many guests did not have to head for the airport at literally the last minute.
Victorious among the yearling fillies was decisively the daughter of MCA Magnum Gold – Ghanadir Al Zobair from Al Zobair Stud. And so the first gold went to Sharjah. The silver found its way to Fai Al Shaqab, though the filly received less points in the qualifying classes than the bronze-awarded AJ Asyad. The Top Ten also included a mare from Białka – Perfinka, something unthinkable until recently.
Among the junior mares the most coveted medal was secured by, for many unexpectedly, Michałów’s Wieża Mocy. A real athlete among this crowd, perfectly selected, being in the best moment of her maturation. She didn’t stand a chance at such an accolade as a yearling and one can suspect that she stands little chance at repeating this success as a senior. Therefore we should be the more glad that she used her five minutes to the maximum!
The title of reserve went to the also European, still owned by Judith Ohlenschlager from Denamrk, Ul Sid Parma, whereas the bronze was hung on the neck of Ghazalat Al Khalediah from Saudi Arabia (Al Khalediah Stables). We must also make a note of the presence of Michałów’s Emandilla and Janów’s Primera in the Top Ten.
After such a grand and beautiful surprise delivered by Wieża Mocy, many suspected that something or someone would stand in Pinga’s way when her time came – even if she justly deserved the award from the very beginning. Theoretically the point advantage and successful performance in class should keep everyone at ease, but Paris has seen plenty of weird situations. The more so, as the mare looked slightly tired during the Sunday presentation, contrary to the always ready to show off FT Shaella. The majestic, timeless beauty of El Dorada also hinted that not everything was yet a foregone conclusion. Luckily for the Polish fans FT Shaella got votes only from the gentlemen – Nasr Marei, Willy Poth and Marc Veray. Thanks to that we were able to listen to the Polish national anthem for the second time that day and observe the emotions of the Janów team. El Dorada had to satisfy her
lessee – Athbah Stud and breeder – Michałów Stud, with a third spot and a bronze. The Top Ten also included the loudly applauded El Saghira, Altamira, Palmeta and the already English-owned Etnologia. Out of the ten mares in the senior finals as many as six were from Poland! Apart from them were two Brazilian, one American and one Australian. We can only hope that after such a splendid success the marketing and promotional departments of Polish State Studs are already hard at work on planning an advertising campaign for next year, because counting on human memory alone may not suffice. Especially today, when even the best news live only a couple of hours in the media.
A similar task lies before the only Polish private stud that managed to get a horse in the Top Ten – Chrcynno-Palace in the yearling colts’ finals. Gaining such an honor by a colt – Psyche Keret (mares from Chrcynno have already reached for Top Tens in Paris), shows the advantage that this stud has over other Polish private breeders, even if this season did not fulfill all of their expectations. So far no rivals can be seen on the horizon.
The title of World Yearling Champion Stallion was handed to Sultan Al Zobara. His Qatari lessee – Al Shaqab Stud, was able to hear their national anthem for the first time during these championships. The silver and bronze also went to the Middle East. Ascott DD gave Athbah Stud the reserve championship, while AJ Mardan claimed the bronze for Ajman.
The Qatari anthem was heard for the second time when Wadee Al Shaqab, by many considered the favorite, won with other junior stallions. A pleasant surprise was Michałów’s Equator defeating Fakhr Al Khalediah from Al Khalediah Stables. In the qualifying classes the latter decisively gained more points than the gold and silver medalists. Equator ends the seasons with superb achievements to his credit and a set of the most prestigious medals: a gold from Moorsele, a silver from Paris and a bronze from Aachen. It has been long since we had a Polish stallion with such credentials!
With such a fierce competition the senior stallions’ championship seemed a mere formality. The title was unanimously awarded to QR Marc, whose owners could earlier be proud of the successes of his Polish get. It was a long and winding road for the highest trophy for this stallion: there had been tears of disappointment, sudden parting of ways and searches for new allies. Posing during the decoration ceremony were not just the Gheysens family, but also the entire management of Dubai Arabian Horse Stud where the horse is leased to. The second, silver spot was secured by Abha Qatar, whereas the bronze was claimed by the also Saudi-owned Al Khatab Al Thani. It is noteworthy to mention the presence in the finals of the Polish Palatino, Esparto and Kabsztad, who even got a vote from one of the judges for the bronze medal.
The title of Platinum Champion went to Dakharo, although the rules of this competition were not clear for everyone. Therefore let’s just remind that this title can be awarded only to a horse who has received the highest score of the show in the past and was once a World Champion. Only such, and not a champion debutante, can become a Platinum Champion. The broadening of the number of awards definitely allowed to release some of the tension (and pressure) while selecting the winners. In other words it served a diplomatic purpose. And probably that’s what the organizers had in mind.
It had been long since we had such a joyful, world-class event with the participation of horses from Poland. At that both gold medals were fought out independently, without the breeders having to share their success with a lessee or new owner. Once again – a huge applause for Michałów and Janów!
These successes are not to be repeated by private breeders. The probability of that happening is comparable to getting ready for a journey into space (and requires similar expenses). However the “privates” can be inspired by the Danish Ulrichsdal Arabians and Ul Sid Parma (descending from the difficult dam line of Selma, from Michałów’s Zbroja), which show that a small stud can – with persistence, knowledge and luck – claim many honors, including the title of World Reserve Champion. But that’s a completely different story.
Yearling Fillies Championship
Ghanadir Al Zobair (MCA Magnum Gold – Thoraya Al Zobair/Ansata Selman), br/o. Al Zobair Stud (ZEA)
Fai Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab – Victoria II/RSD Dark Victory), br/o. Al Shaqab Stud (Qatar)
AJ Asyad (Marwan Al Shaqab – Aja Angelica/WH Justice), br/o. Ajman Stud (UAE)
Junior Fillies Championships
Wieża Mocy (QR Marc – Wieża Marzeń/Ekstern), br/o. Michałów State Stud (Poland)
Ul Sid Parma (El Sid – CA Kupona/Kupol), br/o. Ulrichsdal Arabians (Denmark)
Ghazalat Al Khalediah (PA Ghazsi – Argentinna SS/Arius SS), br. Davina Arabians & Pannonia Arabians (USA), o. Al Khalediah Stables (Saudi Arabia)
Senior Mares Championships
Pinga (Gazal Al Shaqab – Pilar/Fawor), br/o. Janów Podlaski State Stud (Poland)
FT Shaella (Shael Dream Desert – Soul Pretty TGS/Shahllenger), br. Rancho Quatro Estacoes (Brazil), o. Dubai Arabian Horse Stud (UAE)
El Dorada (Sanadik El Shaklan – Emigrantka/Eukaliptus), br. Michałów State Stud (Poland), leased to Athbah Stud (Saudi Arabia)
Yearling Colts Championship
Sultan Al Zobara (Gazal Al Shaqab – Inra Al Shaqab/Wahag Al Shaqab), br. Al Zobara Stud (Qatar), leased to Al Shaqab Stud (Qatar)
Ascot DD (Glorius Apal – Lady Ammona DD/Psytadel), br. DD Arabians (Belgium), o. Athbah Stud (Saudi Arabia)
AJ Mardan (Vervaldee – Felicia RLC/Shael Dream Desert), br/o. Ajman Stud (UAE)
Junior Colts Championships
Wadee Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab – OFW Mishaahl/Mishaah), br/o. Al Shaqab Stud (Qatar)
Equator (QR Marc – Ekliptyka/Ekstern), br/o. Michałów State Stud (Poland)
Fakhr Al Khalediah (Marquis CAHR – Barah Al Khalidiah/Abha Ifni), br/o. Al Khalediah Stables (Saudi Arabia)
Senior Stallions Championships
QR Marc (Marwan Al Shaqab – Swete Dreams/Magic Dream), br. Vicki & Louis Doyle, Quail Ridge Arabians (USA), o. Knocke Arabians (Belgium), leased to Dubai Arabian Stud (UAE)
Abha Qatar (Marwan Al Shaqab – ZT Ludjkalba/Ludjin El Jamaal), br. Yeguada Ses Planes (Spain), o. Al Mohamadia Stud (Saudi Arabia)
Al Khatab Al Thani (Al Batran – Hanan Al Thaniya/Crusader), br/o. Al Sawary Farm (Saudi Arabia)
Dakharo (Dakar El Jamaal – FOF Kharolina/Padrons Psyche), br. Joy C. Gildersleeve (USA), o. Al Khalediah Stables (Saudi Arabia)