The Parc des Expositions Paris Nord Villepinte once again hosted the World Arabian Horse Championships. And once again this year, which according to the Chinese horoscope is the Year of the Horse, we witnessed the great triumph of Michałów State Stud. There was a reason why the stud managed by Director Jerzy Białobok was honored in Paris with the title of Best Breeder. Michałów’s team took home four medals – a gold for Pustynia Kahila, a silver for Morion and two bronze: for Emira and Equator, as well as two Top Tens (Zigi Zana, Wilda). This is tremendous news for Polish breeding, which regardless of current economic situations and trends keeps on remaining among the world elite.
Another event that was immediately noticed by the guests of the World Championships was the presence of Uruguay, absent during previous editions of the show, by means of the stallion Excalibur EA, owned by Las Rosas Arabians. The bred by Equus Arabians (Spain) three year old first took by storm the shows at Aachen and Lier, claiming the gold medals at the All Nations Cup and European Championships, and now reached for the Triplecrown at Paris. For his owner, Princess Laetitia d’Arenberg, Las Rosas’ manager Olivia Strauch and numerous spectators from
Uruguay, this was not only the greatest success on a European arena, but also a point of honor for their country. A multitude of flags with Uruguay’s national colors were raised each time when Excalibur EA appeared on the arena. It was a pleasure looking at the joy and enthusiasm of his followers – genuine emotions always cause sympathy among the spectators. Even those that had other favorites waved Uruguay’s flags in a gesture of solidarity.
Without all doubt this is also the era of Kahil Al Shaqab – who once again became World Champion – and his Polish get. When three years ago in Paris Kahil Al Shaqab and Shanghai EA clashed on the show arena, we wrote that their next face off will take place in the breeding barn. Today we can see the effects. Kahil Al Shaqab, used in Poland on a very wide scale, has two of his get on the Parisian podium (Pustynia Kahila, Morion) and three in the Top Ten (Janów’s Al Jazeera and Ceranova and the Qatari Shaikha Al Shaqab). Shanghai EA, used in
Poland on a much smaller scale but more widely in Europe, has lived to see his Polish daughter in the Top Ten (Orla Turnia) and a gold medalist from his first crop (the Spanish born Excalibur EA). Once again we can clearly see that the key to breeding are well selected matches and high quality broodmares. But in order to carry out this simple recipe you need a thorough knowledge and large funds.
In Paris we could also observe that Europe has a constantly growing rivals in the Middle East. New studs are being established, each with long-term plans to breed their own high quality horses. The dynamic Al Jassimya Farm from Qatar, for example, is not only a hugely wound up promotional machine, but also a serious breeding program. The success of Ghazwan Al Jassimya, in the hands of Giacomo Capacci, is a result of sensible choices, large funds and huge ambitions.
Friday for mares. Two victories in classes for Poland
According to the many year tradition Friday is the day of the mares. The yearlings were divided into two series. The B series seemed to have better horses, although the judges’ marks did not reflect this impression. Five contestants from each series qualified for the finals, including Polish ones or those of Polish breeding: Pustynia Kahila (Kahil Al Shaqab – Pustynna Malwa/Ekstern), Al Jazeera (Kahil Al Shaqab – Alhasa/Ganges), Orla Turnia (Shanghai EA – Orlanka/Aslan) and Ceranova (Kahil Al Shaqab – Cerinola/Ecaho). Parmania (Kahil Al Shaqab – Parmana/Al Maraam), sixth in class, had to sit this final out. The Sunday triumph of Pustynia Kahila, who on Friday won her class with a score of 91,83, was definitely not a given. Her greatest rival, the winner of the other yearling series, Victoria Al Shaqab (Farhoud Al Shaqab – Victoria II
HPS/RSD Dark Victory), received just a slightly lower score (91,75), meaning she was also to judges’ liking. Ceranova was fifth (90,42), Al Jazeera (the highest scored yearling for movement with two “20s” for this trait) was second. Orla Turnia, purchased by Al Thumama Stud from Qatar and bred by StanRed Arabians, placed fourth, securing a Top Ten title. She was bested by the later Reserve Champion AJ Sawari (Marwan Al Shaqab – Siberia SA/Nuzyr HCF) from Ajman Stud (a “20” for head and neck), who placed at third spot.
The junior mares category (two and three year olds), also divided into A and B series, definitely had its leaders in the shape of D Shahla (Marajj – FT Shaella/Shael Dream Desert) from Dubai (1st place), Esperanzza Al Ventur (FA El Shawan – Honey’s Delight RB/JJ Señor Magnum) from Athbah Stud (2nd place) and the expertly shown by David Boggs Donna Molta Bella SRA (DA Valentino – RD Fabreanna/Falcon BHF) from the US. Boggs came out with his bay charge oozing self-confidence, which made an impression not only on the public, but also on the judges. They awarded the filly with two “20s” for head and neck and a “20” for type. And though her movement was assessed at just 18,5 by all judges, her total score amounted to 92,08 and allowed her to win the class with a great advantage over the second placed filly, the Saudi Delight’s Divah RB (Ajman Moniscione – Honey’s Delight RB/JJ Señor Magnum, 91,67).
The European Silver Champion Mississipi J (QR Marc – Magnificent Lady J/Extreme), who placed fifth, did not qualify for the finals similarly to the sixth-placed Polish Enezja (Marajj – Espinezja/Psytadel) from Falborek Arabians. However Patria (Eden C – Palmeta/Ecaho), who also placed sixth in the other series, was shown in the finals. That’s because the Parisian system grants access to the finals to the top four horses of each class. The remaining two spots are given to the horses with the highest scores among the fifth and sixth places in each age category.
In the two senior mare classes (12 and 8 participants) we had as many as 6 contestants from Poland. The best performance among this group was delivered by Zigi Zana (QR Marc – Zagrobla/Monogramm), who placed third (91,83 with a “20” for movement), behind Najdah Al Zobair (Marwan Al Shaqab – JFN Bint Ludhan/AB Magnum, 93,58, including five “20s” for type and five more for head and neck) from the UAE and Klassical Dream MI (Klass – Mustang’s Magnum/Magnum Forty Four, 92,17, three “20s” for head and neck) from Al Khalediah Stables. Janów’s Pilarosa (Al Adeed Al Shaqab – Pilar/Fawor) came in eighth with a score of 90,33. Whereas the B series undoubtedly belonged to Poland. It was won in grand style by Janów’s Pepita (Ekstern – Pepesza/Eukaliptus) with the show’s highest score: 93,67, which was made up of as many as three “20s” for type, one for head and neck and four for movement. Second placed
Emira (Laheeb – Embra/Monogramm) from Michałów (93,5, including three “20s” for type, three for head and neck and two for movement). The next two Polish representatives, Michałów’s Wilda (Gazal Al Shaqb – Wilga/Ekstern, 92,75, four “20s” for movement) and Falborek’s Wasa (WH Justice – Waresa/Empres, 90,42) placed fourth and fifth, respectively, separated from their Polish colleagues by Badawieh AA (Laheeb – Bahiha/Baahir), who placed third with a score of 93,33 (five “20s” for type, three for head and neck). Wilda qualified for the finals, whereas Wasa unfortunately did not.
Saturday for stallions. Two second spots for Poland
The representation of yearling colts during this year’s Paris show proved to be astonishingly small. Although there were plenty of entries in the catalogue, there were only 4 colts in series A and six in series B on the show arena. Thanks to that all of the participants received the titles of Top Ten! They can all call themselves lucky. It appears that the world belongs to the brave. Those owners that dared to bring their charges to Paris left the city – if not with a medal – then with a prestigious title that brings pride to each breeder or training stable. Next year there will probably be twice as many horses in this age category. The A series was won by Ghazwan Al Jassimya (Marwan Al Shaqab – Athina El Jamaal/Maysoun, 92,33, two “20s” for head and neck) and right behind him, with a score of 92,17, Michałów’s Morion (Kahil Al Shaqab – Mesalina/Ekstern, one “20” for type). Calateon (Vitorio TO – Calatea/Ekstern), bred and owned by Marek Kondrasiuk (Mark Arabians), at fourth place, received 89,92 points. The B series was won by D Mshary (QR Marc – FT Shaella/Shael Dream Desert, 92,08).
In the 2 year olds class (11 participants) the only Polish representative was Agordat (Echo Ofira – Altara/Gazal Al Shaqab), bred and owned by Janusz Ryżkowski. With a score of 89,25 he placed 10th, whereas the class was won by Kanz Al Nasser (WH Justice – Ftoon Al Shaqab/Al Adeed Al Shaqab, 91,67, including a “20” for head and neck). Among the 3 year olds we also had one representative, Psyche Keret (Khidar – Psyche Victoria/Ekstern) from Chrcynno-Palace Stud, who placed sixth, but thanks to a high score (90,42) he qualified for the finals and claimed the title of Top Ten, proving that movement and correct conformation are his great assets. This class had two favorites and from the beginning it was known that the final battle would take place between them. The first was the aforementioned Excalibur EA (Shanghai EA – Essence of Marwan EA/Marwan Al Shaqab), who supported by his Uruguayan fans won the class with a score of 93,17 (three “20s” for type, and one for head and neck and movement). The second was the
highly promoted FA El Rasheem (FA El Shawan – Virtuosa MLR/Versace), owned by Dubai Stud, known for his beautiful front end. Excalibur’s followers held their breath when his rival received five “20s” for head and neck (and one more for type), because it seemed that such a high result would allow him to overtake the All Nations Cup and European Champion. However much lower scores for movement (110,5:116) determined the second place for Dubai’s charge. The hopes for Excalibur’s Triplecrown – which later came true – significantly grew.
And finally we were treated to the performances of the senior stallions, which always bring great emotions. This time we had two favorites (though not in the same class) – World Champion Kahil Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab – OFW Mishaahl/Mishaah) and Eden C (Enzo – Silken Sable/Genesis C). Polish fans kept their fingers crossed for Equator (QR Marc – Ekliptyka/Ekstern), as well as the Polish bred (Falborek Arabians) Altis (WH Justice – Albia/Pers),
owned by Ismer Stud. Equator did not disappoint and placed second (92,5, including a “20” for movement), behind Kahil Al Shaqab (93,42, including five “20s” for type, two more for head and neck). Altis unfortunately did not make it into the Top Ten (90,33 and tenth place). His class was won by Eden C (93,08, including one “20” for type, two for head and neck and one more for movement).
The finals. Four medals for Michałów! The Princess dreams about Emandoria
When during the first Sunday finals – of the yearling fillies – Pustynia Kahila was announced as the winner, it was quite a surprise. It seemed that Victoria Al Shaqab, as a representative of such a powerful stud from Qatar had greater chances at the gold. Meanwhile she had to settle for “only” a bronze. The silver went to AJ Sawari. The victory of Michałów’s charge gave plenty of optimism to Polish fans, which turned out to be justified in the later parts of the finals. Al Jazeera, Ceranova and Orla Turnia received the titles of Top Ten.
Among the junior mares, in the second row and with a Top Ten title, stood Patria. The gold was awarded to Donna Molta Bella SRA, before D Shahla and Esperanzza Al Ventur. The mare championship brought a disappointment to the Janów team, which after the fantastic result of Pepita in the class competition had every right to count on a medal. However only three judges pointed to Pepita as the bronze medalist and the Polish National Champion had to make do with a Top Ten title, which was also awarded to Michałów’s Zigi Zana and Wilda. A place on the podium (bronze) was given to Emira. The gold went to Najdah Al Zobair before Badawieh AA.
Morion’s silver medal is definitely a great success, though after the result of Pustynia Kahila the Polish team was silently hoping for another gold. Especially since Morion’s handler, Mariusz Liśkiewicz, did everything he could to show his charge at his best. It must be mentioned that despite numerous achievements the Michałów trainer and handler still insists that he is just “holding the other end of the rope”. Humbleness and humility don’t always translate to great results, but in the case of Mariusz Liśkiewicz that’s exactly what happens and his experience and intelligence often trump his rivals’ impudence.
Morion did not claim the gold (though three of the judges chose him as the winner), but it has to be said that he met a fine rival. Ghazwan Al Jassimya is a perfectly conformed colt with a Qatari “sign of quality”. A successful promotional campaign definitely didn’t hurt either. The bronze medal went to Dubai for D Mshary and the Polish Calateon returned home with a Top Ten title.
The junior stallions championship was awaited eagerly by the entire breeding world and Arabian horse owners gathered in the 5B arena of Parc des Expositions. Waiting with them were tens of
Uruguayan citizens, together with Princess Laetitia d’Arenberg. Also waiting was a Spanish group supporting Excalibur’s breeder, Albert Sorroca (Equus Arabians). Then there was Dubai, who waited with hopes that as once Excalibur’s sire Shanghai EA won with Kahil Al Shaqab in class, but lost in the finals, now Excalibur wouldn’t beat FA El Rasheem in the final showdown. The guests were also waiting, knowing that they would witness a fascinating battle and tons of thrills.
However this was the year of Excalibur, who did not let the gold medal get away from him. Seven out of eight judges chose him as the winner. Uruguay celebrated. Even the country’s newspaper wrote about the event, calling Sunday, November 30th “a historic moment for Uruguay” (“El Pais”). Indeed, Uruguay, which considers horse breeding to be of great importance and has a long tradition in this field and is known for Arabians used in endurance races, won the World Arabian Championships for the first time. “It was my deepest wish, ever since I saw my first Arabian at the age of 15”, Princess Laetitia d’Arenberg wrote on Twitter and Facebook. “Today, on November 30th, 2014, at the age of 73, I get to see my wish come true!!!”. Earlier she told “Arabian Horse World” (October 2014): “The good news is that we still haven’t bred a horse that has come close to our ideal. I say „good news” because this elusive goal is what keeps us dreaming every day. The dream is to breed a Najdah Al Zobair, an AJ Sawahi, or an Emandoria one day. (…) For me, breeding Arabians is creating art, the process is just the same. With the difference being that you are creating living creatures that move and express themselves in a unique way.” Excalibur’s achievements also bring pride to his breeder, Albert Sorroca, who bred not only both of his parents,
but – on the distaff side of the pedigree – three generations of his female ancestors. The merits of the Spanish breeder, who in just several years gained the World Reserve Champion title twice and can now enjoy the title of Champion for his charge, require a separate mention, because it is hard to find another European private stud with similar achievements. Excalibur is now joining the group of young, fashionable sires. His first get, born in the US and those soon to be born in Uruguay, are already stirring great emotions.
The battle between Excalibur and FA El Rasheem dominated this final, but we must mention the fantastic result of Kanz Al Nasser, who rather surprisingly claimed the bronze, besting string rivals such as Sultan Al Shaqab or Prussia MI. Whereas the Polish Psyche Keret claimed a third Top Ten title in his three year old life. It is the 9th sash of the World Championships for Chrcynno-Palace Stud.
The senior stallion championship once again raised adrenaline in the Poles who supported Equator. Kahil Al Shaqab and Eden C seemed rather out of reach, but the bronze seemed probable. Mariusz Liśkiewicz did not lose his chance and thus another medal went to Michałów. Two judges pointed to Equator as a silver medalist, however this color went to Eden C, while Kahil Al Shaqab, similarly to Excalibur before, gained seven votes from among eight judges.
The Polish fans had one more reason to celebrate when Kwestura (Monogramm – Kwesta/Pesennik) entered the arena to claim the Platinium Cup in the mare category. She competed for this title against Loubna (Imperial Imdal – Imperial Kalatifa/Imperial Al Kamal) from the same stable – Ajman Stud. However no one had any doubts that it would be the Polish-bred chestnut that would add one more title to her collection. In the stallion category there was just one contestant – Marquis CAHR (Marwan Al Shaqab – Rohara Magnifica/Echo Magnificoo), who took the platinum for Al Khalediah Stables.
We must also say some superlatives about the show’s announcer, Guy de la Fontaine. He jumps from one language to the next with great ease, gracefully commenting every one of the performances. He is definitely a world class professional and the right person at the right place. But of course the most important in Paris were the horses – and here all expectations, even the highest, were fulfilled. A wonderful community which – luckily – we are certain to be able to see again next year.