The 35th World Championships in Paris (27-29th of November) took place among not an ordinary situation – just two weeks after the terrorist attacks that took many lives in the capital of France. However the earlier announced special security measures were limited to not carrying larger pieces of luggage on the show grounds. The spectators at the VIP section were numerous, although many people from the industry decided not to travel; the tribunes witnessed less public than usually. The victims of the attacks were honored on Sunday, during the finals, with the French national anthem sang by the young Frankee, a revelation of “The Voice Kids France” program from a year ago. The participants of the event, beside the always dominating selfies, readily took photos with fingers spread in a “V” sign symbolizing the victory of peace.
The Poles this year had moments of great joy and great disappointment. The emotions exploded especially thanks to the performances of Michałów’s Equator (QR Marc – Ekliptyka/Ekstern). His fantastic result during the Saturday class competition (his score soared close to 95 pts!) gave hope for the gold in the finals. Meanwhile he managed to claim “just” the silver, which is also a great achievement, however the appetites were larger. But those are the rules of open championships, where “the fun begins all over again”. We can fume over the fact that the judges were not consistent, but they had the right to correct their verdict.
We are definitely happy for the gold medal awarded to Morion (Kahil Al Shaqab – Mesalina/Ekstern), claimed under the banner of Al Thumama Stud (Qatar). The stud announced prophetically in their ads, using a quote from “The Lord of the Rings”, that “renewed shall be blade that was broken/the crownless again shall be king”. And indeed, painfully omitted in Verona, this time Morion was victorious. In turn Pinga, leased by Aljawza Stud (Saudi Arabai) was decorated with the Platinum Champion garland.
Polish contestants returning home with Top Ten titles are: Janów’s Adelita (Kahil Al Shaqab – Altamira/Ekstern), Bambina (Kahil Al Shaqab – Bellisa/Poganin), Potentilla (Ekstern – Panonia/Eukaliptus), Euzona (Om El Bellissimo – Euzetia/Etogram) and Michałów’s Pustynia Kahila (Kahil Al Shaqab – Pustynna Malwa/Ekstern), Wilda (Gazal Al Shaqab – Wilga/Ekstern) and Wieża Mocy (QR Marc – Wieża Marzeń/Ekstern), entered by Oak Ridge Arabians, USA, where she spent the last seasons and where this year three fillies out of her were born: Wieza Bella (by Pogrom) owned by Cedar Ridge Arabians, Wieza Noor ORA (by Hariry Al Shaqab) owned by Janey Morse (Oak Ridge Arabians) and Wieza Ariha (by A Jericho) owned by the Abel family (Canada). America’s sweetheart, about who they misquote the lyrics and sing “There is Magic in the Mare”, slightly disappointed the expectations of her fans regarding her result in Paris.
What’s interesting is that although usually it is the Polish mares that triumph in Paris, this year belonged to the stallions in our team. Morion and Equator are already today the embodiment of all dreams for many enthusiasts of the Polish Arabians in regard to the perfect stallion. As we know, both stallions will be representing Middle Eastern banners in the upcoming show seasons. Morion will head to Qatar and Equator to the US, to Al Jassimya Stud.
Friday mare performances
Guests arriving at the 5B arena at Parc d’Expositions Paris Nord Villepinte were welcomed by Mireille Mathieu singing about Paris on a LED screen and soon afterwards the yearling fillies of the A series (8) entered the show ring, among them Janów’s Adelita. Already after the first performance it turned out that the organizers resigned from a public announcing of marks. Only the final result of each contestant was announced. The advantage of this was that the speaker’s voice did not overshadow the music during the presentation of the next horse, but downside was the lack of emotions accompanying extremely high marks. Usually when “20s” are awarded the public reacts lively – this time they didn’t. Therefore the show lacked a coverage and sports rivalry.
Victorious in the first face off was Rewayah Athbah (EKS Alihandro – Fedora RG/WH Justice, 92,3), before Kahil Al Shaqab full sister Sultanat Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab – OFW Mishaahl/Mishaah, 92,3) and Mimi NK (Nofal NK – Cinnamon N Spice VLA/First Cyte, 92,0) from Jordan, awarded also for best head. Adelita was fourth (92, incl. a „20” for movement). The top two of this class also turned out to be the top two on the podium. The bronze went to the ethereal Mozn Albidayer (S.M.A. Magic One – Mattaharii/Magnum Chall HVP), who qualified for the finals from fourth spot in the B series of the yearling fillies class (8 participants), where she also took the prize for best head (final score of 92,2). During the class competition she was bested by Jayda Al Rabi (Majd Al Rabi – Shatha Al Rabi/Marwan Al Shaqab, 92,8) from Al Thumama Stud, D Shireen (Kahil Al Shaqab – Magic Mon Amour/Windsprees Mirage, 92,8, 92,3) from Dubai Stud and Bohour Al Shaqab (Kahil Al Shaqab – Wind Kamelia/WH Justice). The B series also included three participants from Janów: Petula (Kahil Al Shaqab – Pinga/Gazal Al Shaqab), Prunella (Abyadd AA – Pradera/Hlayyil Ramadan) and Bambina. Only the latter qualified for the finals.
Both junior mare classes had 10 participants each. Poland was represented by Pustynia Kahila and Al Jazeera (Kahil Al Shaqab – Alhasa/Ganges) in the A series. Only the Michałów charge qualified for the finals (4th place, 92,0 pts). Before her placed Bint Hazy Al Khalediah (El Palacio VO – Hazy Al Khalediah/F Shamaal, 93,1), Om El Aisha Aljassimya (WH Justice – Om El Aliha/Om Al Azeem, 92,3, also best head) and Elle Flamenca (Ajman Moniscione – Allamara MA/Marwan Al Shaqab, 92,2) from Dubai. And again the top scorers in class made it onto the podium (with the silver and bronze). The gold went to the winner of the B series in this age category, D Shahla (Marajj – FT Shaella/Shael Dream Desert, 93,2) from Dubai. The performing in this series Michałów-bred Piacolla (Enzo – Polonica/Ekstern), owned by Athbah Stud, placed at fifth spot (92,3). The award for best head was claimed by Delight’s Diva RB (Ajman Moniscione – Honey’s Delight RB/JJ Señor Magnum, 2nd place, 92,8) from Al Sayed Stud.
Senior mares (10 and 8 contestants, respectively) ended the first day of the show. Our representatives Wieża Mocy (in the hands of Mariusz Liśkiewicz), Potentilla and Euzona qualified for the finals from 3rd, 4th and 5th spots. Victorious was the excellent mover Orfa D’Arab KA (QR Marc – OSO Axotica/Monogramm, 93,2), before Klassical Dream MI (Klass – Mustang’s Magnum/Magnum Forty Four, 92,3), awarded for best head. The first places on the podium were taken by the finalists of the B series: the being in life form Salwa Al Zobair (Marajj – Esklawa/Eukaliptus, 94,4) and the US Champion, bred by Ganaderia Ses Planes in Spain Abha Qalams (Alfabia Damascus – Abha Mudira/Marwan Al Shaqab, 94,4), owned by Al Shahania Stud, in the hands of the always reliable Michael Byatt. Both were going head to head, but Salwa Al Zobair bested her rival due to type. The aspiring for the top title Belgian FM Gloriaa (WH Justice – Psity of Angels/Psytadel, 93,5), winner from Aachen and Verona, placed third in class and such was her place on the podium. Wilda entered the finals from fourth place. The last class of the Friday saw marks soar sky high and plenty of “20s”: Salwa received a full set of top marks for type – 10 in total, FM Gloriaa six “20s” (also best head award), Abha Qalams five “20s”.
Before the rivalry for that day came to an end, special awards were handed out: for best movement (Orfa d’Arab) and for the best Straight Egyptian mare (Salma Al Bawady by Hilal al Nakeeb, 6th place in the B series of the junior mares class).
After the first day it was clear that the judges would not always agree. The differences in marks were as big as even 3 pts! For example Abha Qalams received from 16 to 19 pts for legs and from 18,5 to 20 for body. The show was judged by: Urs Aeschbacher (Switzerland), Claudia Darius (Germany), Koenraad Detailleur (Belgium), Manfred Hain (Germany), Murilo Kammer (Brasil), Nasr Marei (Egypt), Ann Norden (Sweden) and – for the first time in Paris – Colleen Rutherford (Australia).
Saturday stallion face offs
Five and six yearling colts performed in two series in this age category, therefore all colts qualified for the finals. Similarly to last year, all it took was to gain a qualification and later bring your yearling to Paris in order to obtain the prestigious Top Ten title. So where are the outstanding yearling colts, since during the last and most important show it is possible to gather only nine?
Triumphant in the A series was the marching for the Triple Crown – efficiently! – AJ Azzam (AJ Mardan – Ysadora/Marwan Al Shaqab, 93,83 pts, also best head) from Ajman, before his rival Luigi (Kanz Albidayer – Lolita/Om El Bahreyn) from Al Shahania, who received the same amount of points, but lost due to type. The best in the B series was Alexxanderr (Excalibur EA – AR Most Irresistible/ML Mostly Padron, 93,5) from Al Sayed Stud, also this year’s revelation, before Jalal Aljassimya (WH Justice – Annaiss/Ansata Nile Echo, 92,67 pts and best head). On Sunday it was him that “deprived” Luigi, always a step behind AJ Azzam through the entire season, of the silver. The charge of Al Shahana Stud had to settle for the bronze.
The Polish fans were counting on the victory of Morion in the A series of the junior colts (8 participants) and their hopes were not ungrounded. In the hands of Tom Oben, to the joy of his lessee – Al Thumama Stud from Qatar, Morion won with a score of 93,17 pts, including three “20s”, besting Gallardo J (Emerald J – Gomera/Ekstern, 92,75) from Ajman, who got the award for best head. In the B series (9 participants) triumphed Equiborn KA (QR Marc – Espadrilla/Monogramm, 93,0), also awarded for best head. And it was him that took the silver, behind Morion and before Gallardo J.
The senior stallions class, specifically the A series (8 rivals), there was a strong Polish accent in the shape of Equator. Michałów’s chief sire literally brought the judges to their knees (and the vivaciously applauding public), receiving the show’s highest score: 94,92, made up of as many as thirteen “20s”! Equator boasted excellent movement, free and unrestricted (thanks to which he was later named best moving stallion), while his rival from Qatar, triumpher from Menton (and Menton is often a first trial prior to Paris) Hariry Al Shaqab (Marwan Al Shaqab – White Silkk/Dakar El Jamaal), who placed second with 93,92, presented in turn an incredibly long neck. Third came E.S. Harir (AJ Dinar – TF Magnums Magic/Magnum Psyche, 93,83), bred by Sheikh Abdulla bin Majid al Qassemi (UAE) and owned by Al Saqran Stud (Kuwait). The justly awarded for best head Van Gogh AM (Magnum Psyche – Ynazia HCF/AF Don Giovanni, 92,25) from Asayel Stud took fifth spot. Considering that the entire future podium hailed from the A series, the B was less interesting, though it did not lack stars. The returning to the show arena Aja Justified (WH Justice – Aja Beneja/FS Bengali, 92,58), bred by Aja Arabians (GB) and owned by Ronen Braver (Israel), placed second and received the best head award, behind the winner of this class, Mountassar Al Zobair (Khidar – Falha Al Shaqab/Gazal Al Shaqab, 93,33). The award for best Straight Egyptian stallion soon went to Adham Saqr (Imperial Madori – Ameera Saqr/Shaheen, 3rd spot in the B series of the senior stallions class, 91,58 pts) from El Farida Stud.
Everything can happen on Sunday
Not everyone is fond of open championships. For the public it means greater emotions, for horses that qualified from further spots – hope, but for class winners – nervousness. This time such a disappointment awaited the enthusiasts of Equator. The greater, as he presented himself in the finals just as well as he did in class the day before. Top form, fantastic movement, excellent preparation, superb build and a deafening cheering from the public were not enough to reach for the gold, though the silver in this extremely difficult competition was not a defeat at all. Perhaps the victorious Hariry Al Shaqab, whose career is accompanied by a very strong promotion, was better remembered by the judges, because only two of them pointed to Equator as the winner. Equator may have lost, but Michałów was victorious in the “group” competition for best breeder and best owner/breeder. Meanwhile the 35th anniversary award for a stud that won the most gold medals in the history of the World Championships, went to Al Khalediah Stables (Saudi Arabia), who won 16 of them.
The last day of the show began with the Republican Guard marching band and the French flag appeared on the LED railings surrounding the arena. After a short, solemn performance came time for the finals. It was impossible not to notice that the yearling fillies championships were dominated by the blood of Kahil Al Shaqab. The silver went to his full sister, Sultanat Al Shaqab. The Top Ten consisted of as many as four daughters of this stallion. However it was EKS Alihandro that proved the better, as it was his daughter from Athbah Stud that won. The podium was divided between Middle Eastern studs: Athbah Stud (Saudi Arabia), Al Shaqab (Qatar) and Albidayer Stud (UAE).
If in the yearling fillies finals it was possible to place blind bets on the top three, then the result of the junior mares was a total guess. Here really everything could happen! Nobody could be sure of the victory. Perhaps that’s what brought on tears of joy later from Paolo Capecci, the handler of the victorious D Shahla from Dubai.
Also presented during the finals was Janów’s Pinga (Gazal Al Shaqab – Pilar/Fawor), in the hands of Paweł Kozikowski, leased by the Saudi Aljawza Stud. Showed to the rhythm of Vladimir Cosma’s czardas by DJ Jacob, she came for the Platinum, awarded to horses that had previously won the World Championships in their age category. Among the stallions this award went to the 18 year old Eternity Ibn Navarrone-D (Ansata Sinan – Navarrone P/El Khadir P) from Dion Arabians (Belgium). Chosen as World Champion Mare was Salwa Al Zobair.
The course of this final was rather sad for the owners of FM Gloriaa – she was announced the silver champion, after which the verdict was corrected, moving her to third place. The silver, as it turned out, went to Abha Qalams. Because of this unfortunate mistake, instead of being happy for the first 2015 World Championship medal for a horse from Europe, Mieke Sans and her team could not contain their disappointment.
More tears came when the freshly Triple Crowned AJ Azzam came out for his ceremony. This time it was Elisa Grassi that cried, wife of Frank Spoenle. Then when it turned out that in the junior stallion finals Morion won, tears came from the manager of Al Thumama, Hilke de Bruycker and handler Tom Oben. It must be noted that the influence of Michałów on the victorious threesome in the junior stallion category is huge. The stud managed by Director Białobok is the breeder of the gold medalist Morion, breeder of the dam of the silver medalist Equiborn KA (Espadrilla) and the breeder of two grandparents of the bronze medalist Gallardo J (Emandoria and Ekstern). The sire of Equiborn KA and grandsire of Gallardo J, QR Marc, was awarded as best sire of the show. For the first time in years this title did not go to Marwan Al Shaqab, awarded eight times in a row! It doesn’t have to be said that the joy of the stallion’s owners, the Gheysens (Belgium), was huge. Chosen as best dam was Esklawa by Eukaliptus, dam of Salwa Al Zobair. The award was collected by Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohammed Al Thani. The Espoir (Hope) Trophy went to the 3 year old Magic El Shawan (FA El Shawan – WA Priscilla/Providence) from Al Sayed Stud (4th spot in the B series of the junior stallions, 91,75 pts).
For Morion and Equator a new chapter begins and they will definitely claim more than one medal in their careers. We can only hope that soon we will be cheering on the get of Equator on the Paris show arena. And in later years – of Morion. Today’s defeat of Michałów’s charge will then no longer matter.