“Wels – a small village in the foothills of the Alps, near Linz in Austria. During the third weekend of May this charming place transforms into an equine capital”, wrote in 2006 on polskiearaby.pl the late Izabella Pawelec-Zawadzka, Honorary President of PAHBS. “82 horses from 17 countries participated in the show, including a first time representation from Poland with 11 horses”. Since that time a lot of things have changed in Wels, mainly the organizer and ECAHO category: from A to B. Today the main organizer is Anne Heiloo, the president of the Austrian Arab Horse Society, (VVÖ), who has dealt with this task very well. In terms of organization the show was perfect. The date remained almost the same: the 16th-17th of May and Polish representatives showed up in respectable numbers.
However behind the scenes there was talk about this being “the final Wels”… Previously, when in 2011 Ferdinand Huemer resigned from his role as organizer, it really did seem as though that was the end of the Arabian event accompanying the Pferd Wels fair. But in 2013 the show returned. And today its future is once again uncertain! Let’s hope that this usually amicable for us show will not become a thing of the past. This year there was even a special award for the best horse from Poland, emphasizing the significant participation of Polish breeders.
A moderate turnout
90 horses were entered (together with the entries for the Austrian National Show), 65 actually arrived, including 18 from Poland. The absence of Reinhardt Sax’s (Germany) horses was evident, as he usually sent a strong representation from his stud. However this year after the tragic road accident that his horse trailer suffered upon returning from the Berlin event, this breeder did not show up in Austria.
Ten Polish horses found themselves in the finals – two from first place in their classes and eight from second spots. The Polish team returned home with six medals in the silver and bronze colors. But the greatest successes befell the contestants of Dubai Stud. Three horses with names beginning with “D”, present in Wels, placed high on the podium, taking advantage of the absence of their rivals from Al Shaqab, who in turn triumphed in
Berlin. What springs to mind is whether the trainers – or owners – arrange where each of them takes their horses to divide the medals between them… Of course such a situation is not probable, but that was the impression that some could have. And the title of Best in Show went to Ajman Stud.
The Austrian National Show was held simultaneously with the international one. The Austrian horses simply competed in classes together with the foreign ones, after which they qualified for one of two finals: the international or only the Austrian one. The championships were held separately. Thanks to that instead of drawing the event out to three days, all the classes (except two) were held on Saturday, while the finals took place on Sunday.
The classes consisted of 2 to 9 participants. The most horses were presented in the 3 year old fillies class (9), the least in the 11 year old and older mares, 4-6 year old stallions and 11 year old stallions (2 each). The show was judged by Gianmarco Aragno (Italy), Koenraad Detailleur (Belgium), Manfred Hain (Germany), Bruce McCrea (Saudi Arabia), Renata Schibler (Switzerland) and Marc Veray (France).
The youngsters move shyly indoors
The show began with the yearling fillies of series A (6 participants) on a loud note, because the first to enter the arena was the daughter of Emandoria, AJ Emana (by AJ Mardan) from Ajman Stud. Immediately the first “20” was awarded – for head and neck. However the petit, foaled late in the year (July) filly, with a score of 90 pts, placed third. We will definitely applaud her at other shows when she matures some more. And she is very promising! The second spot belonged to the Polish
Westura (Eden C – Wieżyca/Ekstern), bred and owned by Waldemar Bąk (91,13). The class was won by D Safana (Marajj – FT Shaella/Shael Dream Desert) from Dubai Stud (91,16). Both of those fillies received 18,5 for movement from all the judges and this turned out to be a very good mark. Unfortunately in the rather small indoor arena at Wels the horses, especially the young ones, had difficulty in showing their movement. In that area the audience was definitely left wanting more. In the B series of the yearling fillies (7 participants)
victorious again was a representative of Dubai – D Heba (SG Labib – Hudha/Gazal Al Shaqab, 90,0) before the Polish Ginessa (Shanghai EA – Ginerva/Werbum), also bred and owned by Waldemar Bąk (89,5). So we had a sort of repeat from series A. The top five also consisted of the Polish Windorka (Shanghai EA – Wonder Girl/Etnodrons Psyche, 89,25), bred and owned by StanRed Arabians, who placed third.
Next to enter the arena were the yearling colts. Both series saw 3 contestants each. The A series was won in great style by the Ajman Stud representative AJ Azzam (AJ Mardan –Ysadora/Marean Al Shaqab), with an impressive result of 92,63, including three “20s” for type and two “20s” for head and neck. He also received extremely high marks for movement: four “19s”. The second series belonged to a colt from Dubai, D Karrar (Gazal Al Shaqab – D Noor/DA Valentino) – 91,63.
Seven 2 year old fillies entered the arena without lingering – it has to be said that we could not complain about the rhythm and pace of the show. This group had two clear favorites, known not only from last year’s shows but also this year’s April’s Tulip Cup. AJ Barari (Vervaldee – La Bella Versa FR/Versace), a champion from Holland, this time yielded to the Tulip Cup’s Reserve Champion, Sylvatica K.A. (QR Marc – Sharm DS/Royal Colours) from
Knocke Arabians. The judges evaluated the latter at 91,38 pts, whereas AJ Barari received 91,0. Placing at fourth spot was the Polish Brida of Shanghai (Shanghai EA – Bajaderka/Złocień), bred and owned by Monika Luft.
The 2 year old colts class had 5 contestants. Among them was the Polish Cetulion (Kahil Al Shaqab – Cetula/El Nabila B), bred and owned by Waldemar Bąk, for whom (and his handler,
Marek Demczuk) it was a very successful show – they had as many as three horses in the finals, including the afore mentioned Cetulion (second in class with 89,13). Among the awarded top five (in this case all the contestants) we had one more representative, Echo Achilles (Shanghai EA – Echo Afrodyta/Piaff) from Chrcynno, at third spot. The class was won by the Austrian Al Nadir (Ajman Moniscione – Al Dafina/Mahadin) with 90,5.
The most numerous class of the 3 year old fillies was won by a Polish participant. This feat was accomplished by Wersa (Ekstern – Wasa/WH Justice), bred and owned by Falborek Arabians, presented by Gerald Kurtz. With a score of 91 pts (including a very rare in Wels “20” for movement!) she bested the Austrian DA Jakarta (Lawrence El Gazal – DA Juss Diva/WH Justice, 90,88), bred and owned by Cornelia Kolnberger. Third (90,75), with two
“20s” for movement, was El-Schanel (Ekstern – Entorja/Gazal Al Shaqab), bred and owned by Wojciech Parczewski. Right after Poland greeted another class winner from our country. It was the 3 year old Fair (AB Jamil La Piana – Fila/Oset), bred by ZPH Parys and owned by Idris Hassan. In a group of 4 contestants with a score of 90,5 he bested Eternis (Bint Matis – Eksterna/Ekstern, 89,63), bred by Falborek Arabians and owned by Mohammed Rouimi.
Senior horses. The award for Best Horse from Poland goes to Chrcynno
We only saw three 4-6 year old mares on the arena in Wels, but the winner, the Austrian Wadad Zamani (Laheeb – Zena Al Buraq/Al Manar), collected as many as 92 pts. Second came Espina (Ekstern – Estrala/Werbum), bred by Kurozwęki Stud (J.M. Popiel) and owned by Idris Hassan (90,5). But the 7-10 year old class consisted of as many as 8 mares
and clearly standing out among them was Chaos Persefona (Poganin – Ceres/Ganges) from Chrcynno, later awarded as the Best Horse from Poland thanks to the highest score among our representatives: 91,75. Yet in class she had to yield to Bint Tahanie (Suhal Al Nasser – Tahanie/Ibn Morafic, 91,88). Out of the two 11 year old and older mares the better (90,75) proved to be NA Liliara (Nagadir – Lilia/Narav Ibn Aswan).
Competing in the 4-6 year old stallions class were the Belgian Espressivo (QR Marc – Emocja/Monogramm) with the Polish Echo Mars (Ajman Moniscione – Echo Kirke/Ecaho) from Chrcynno. Victorious was the first one with a score of 91,75. A Chrcynno graduate took second place also in the next class of 7-10 year old stallions (4 participants). Echo Adonis (Al
Maraam – Echo Kallisto/Pamir), as that’s who were talking about, received 90,5 pts, while his rival Marjan Albidayer (Marajj – Pustynna Droga/Laheeb) gained 91,25. And so in both of these classes foreign horses out of Polish dams bested their cousins registered in the PASB. The last class of 11 year old stallions was won by the Austrian Al Espri (Mahadin – Al Aliha/DWD Tabasco), who needed just 88,5 to accomplish this feat.
La Movida Open House more splendid with each time
Saturday evening was spent by most of the show’s participants and guests at Ferdinand Huemer’s La Movida Arabians. Ever since the stud’s owner stopped organizing the Wels show, he was able to focus more on his own presentation. Today it is a broadcasted online event, enjoying great popularity, during which the guests witness the results of the breeder’s work and passion. Ferdinand Huemer admitted that his breeding program wouldn’t exist without three people: Lenita Perroy from Brazil, Sigi Siller from Om El Arab (California) and Michael Byatt (Texas). The majority of horses from Huemer’s stud carry within them the bloodlines of horses born at these gifted breeders’ barns. The show began with the greatest and most anticipated star – ZT Marwteyn (Marwan Al Shaqab – ZT Ludjteyna/Ludun El
Jamaal), a sire owned by Michael Byatt, bred in Argentina by the late Zichy Tissen. The stallion entered the arena accompanied by the music of Metallica and made quite an impression, presenting a fiery temperament and handsome head on a beautiful neck. The host also left something special for the end of the presentation. He showed the 30 year old son of El Shaklan, CH El Brillo, whom he owes many breeding successes. The public also appreciated the mares, among them the grey, fantastically moving Rihanna El Hadiyah (Al Hadiyah AA – Reza El Bri/El Brillo) and the black Dominga El Justice (WH Justice – Pandora/El Jamaal/Ali Jamaal).
The Austrian Nationals. Hanaya Arabians takes (almost) all
The Sunday finals, as we mentioned, had an international and local version. The Austrian Nationals were dominated by the horses from the collection of Nayla Hayek of Hanaya Arabians. It has to be said that thanks to the purchases of the owner, associated with such brands as Swatch and Longines, the quality of the Austrian finals visibly increased. The Junior Champion Mare title went to Hanaya Farfoura (Kenz Albaydaa – Bint Fariha Magidaa/Thee Desperado), before her stablemate Hanaya Jaseebah by the same sire, but out of Imhajaa/Immel. The bronze was awarded to the 3 year old DA Jakarta, also recognized with awards for best movement and best Austrian-bred mare. She claimed this title thanks to the highest total score.
Another graduate of Nayla Hayek, the colt Hanaya Labid (Laheeb Al Nasser – ZT Assfasikha/Assad) received the junior silver medal. He was bested by Al Nadir, honored also with the award for best Austrian-bred stallion. The third on the podium was Scahrteyn Ara (ZT Marwteyn – AV Scahrlett/Om El Bahreyn), who evidently continues the tradition of naming horses in a manner that is impossible to pronounce and remember. In the senior mare category all the winners came from Hanaya Stud, the Israeli and American bred: Wadad Zamani (also the best Egyptian horse of the show), before Bint Tahanie and Alia Lahab RSA (Al Lahab – Alia Valentino/Thee Desperado). The Senior Champion Stallion was awarded to Marjan Albidayer before Al Hambra’s Royal (WH Justice – Al Dafina/Mahadin) and Al Espri.
Poland on the podium, though with no gold
For the supporters from Poland the most important were of course the results from the international finals. We were hoping for medals, though the gold seemed out of reach. This was later confirmed to be true. Polish horses claimed two silvers – for Wersa and Fair, and four bronzes – for Westura, Eternis, Chaos Persefona and Echo Mars. Additionally El-Schanel was awarded for best movement.
There was an interesting situation in the yearling fillies championship. Of the four that qualified for the finals two belonged to Dubai Stud and two to Waldemar Bąk. Therefore the Polish breeder already had at least one medal in his pocket. In the end two of Dubai’s representatives stood on the podium – D Safana and D Heba, with Westura taking the bronze. Among the yearling colts AJ Azzam was unconditionally the best, chosen later as Best in Show. The silver went to D Karrar from Dubai, the bronze to the Belgian (Dion Arabians)
Iconycc-D (Ajman Moniscione – Khabala/Nagadir). Honored as Junior Champion Mare was, as expected, Sylvatika K.A. (also the winner of Most Classic Head Mare). But a really pleasant surprise was delivered by Wersa, who bested the favorite AJ Barari! In the junior stallions category two medals went to Poland due to Fair and Eternis. The gold was taken by Al Nadir. Among the senior mares, behind the Hanaya Stud mares – Wadad Zamani and Bint Tahani, placed Chaos Persefona with a bronze medal. Her stablemate Echo Mars
repeated this success in the senior stallions category, yielding to Espressivo (gold) and Marjan Albidayer (silver).
Polish horses, which first gathered in quite large numbers in Berlin and later in Wels, will soon disperse all across Europe to fight for subsequent trophies. “The event in Wels is definitely the most significant show in this part of Europe, beginning the season of European shows of the highest rank”, wrote Izabella Pawelec-Zawadzka 9 years ago. Let’s hope that we can repeat those words again next year.