The new Polish Arabian horse show made its debut on the outskirts of Radom, on the premises of the Radom Aeroclub (Piastów sport airport) on the 9-10th of July. A total of 71 horses were entered, with 65 making their way to the show ground. It was not a small number, considering that the entries were limited to horses registered in the Polish Arabian Stud Book. International B-ranked European shows can often count on no more than some fifty plus entries. In Poland there is a sufficient number of horses and interested owners to have fully entered classes.
In Radom there were money prizes for breeders, to at least in some way compensate the huge effort put into getting the horses ready for the show. The main prize – Best in Show – despite being prestigious as the Trophy of the President of Radom, Mr. Radosław Witkowski, under whose patronage the show took place, was also pleasant financially: 15 thousand PLN. The gold medallists won 5 thousand PLN each, the silver – 3 thousand and the bronze – 1 thousand. A class win resulted in 1,200 PLN, second place meant a cheque for 800 PLN and third to fifth earned a reimbursement of the entry fee – 400 PLN. Slightly higher prizes were allotted for a new age category, so far not held in Poland – for foals. The victory in class was at the same time the gold medal: 2,000 PLN (1,000 PLN for second place and 500 from third to fifth place in class). The laureates did not have to wait long to cash in their symbolic cheques – they were realised straight away in the show’s office.
Despite some rather serious adversities (a „stormy” weather on Saturday, downpour, winds and thunder) all classes managed to be held without greater delays. The weather eventually „let go” and on Sunday the finals took place in almost ideal conditions: it was warm, but not hot, the sun peeked through the clouds and the Radom public came in large numbers to cheer on the contestants.
The main initiator and organizer of the show was Radom businessman Stanisław Redestowicz, founder of Windoor company and Arabian horse breeder for more than 20 years. Polish breeders remember very well that it was him that introduced the blood of Padrons Psyche into Polish breeding. The bred by him son of Padrons Psyche, born in 2003 Etnodrons Psyche (out of Etnografia by Aloes) sired many daughters which today are broodmares in their maternal stud.
„I thought that we could combine the promotion of Arabian horses with the promotion of the city of Radom”, told us Stanisław Redestowicz in April. „I met with the president of the city to find out whether he would support this idea. He was enthusiastic about it. Our goals are local patriotism and defending breeding and its image.”
Radom definitely turned out to be one of the winners of the show. The championships enjoyed support from the media and popularity among the spectators, who readily took advantage of the opportunity to admire Arabian horses battling it out among a picnic atmosphere.
However this was not without some difficulty. Several weeks before the show the company that was to lease the portable stalls suddenly called off the agreement. The show was jeopardized. Stanisław Redestowicz decided to design and produce the necessary number of stalls himself. Soon a new product under a new brand – Windoor Boksy – was to pass a hard exam. The storm that took place on the show’s first day could have easily blown away every less solid construction. The stalls of Stanisław Redestowicz turned out to be resistant to stormy winds and the businessman entered the market with a new offer. There is always a silver lining to every situation – in the case of the Radom show this folk saying confirmed itself more than once.
The horses are most important
Because the idea of the show was spontaneous, the organizer did not apply for an affiliation. However he still organized the championships in accordance with ECAHO rules. He invited experienced breeders to judge, well known in the community – manager (for 11 years) of the Kuwaiti state stud Bait Al Arab and once a many year organizer of the All Nations Cup in Aachen, as well as an owner of a stud in Germany – Klaus Beste; Spanish breeder Albert Sorroca (Equus Arabians), who has become famous as the breeder of World Reserve Champion Shanghai EA (currently at Ajman Stud) and World Champion Excalibur EA (currently at Las Rosas Arabians in Uruguay); as well as the Belgian breeder James Swaenepoel, owner of Psytadel, who was very successful with Polish mares in private breeding and the breeder of Glorius Apal (currently in Saudi Arabia) among other outstanding horses.
„I really wanted to have excellent hands-on experts to evaluate the work of other breeders”, explains Stanisław Redestowicz. „The breeder knows how much effort has to be put in to later enjoy good results; how many sacrifices and nerves it costs. Breeders, especially private ones, who invest their own money can not only evaluate, but also appreciate the efforts of people for whom breeding is first and foremost a passion. Owners pursuing success in breeding and the dream of an ideal horse are prepared for costs, because they know that the satisfaction out of successful matings will be their great prize.”
The duties of ringmaster were carried out by Luis Miguel Rodriguez Barreda from Spain, whereas Dr. Karolina Falkowska (Poland) and Christine Keyser (Norway) were invited to the DC. The show’s music leading theme was composed by the young Polish musician Artur Telakowiec.
According to an amicable opinion of the judges, there were plenty of horses at the show that decisively stood out above average. There were several „20s” and the Best in Show was given to the Janów Podlaski year old Atakama (Empire – Atma/Ekstern). And so once again the produce of an Ekstern daughter was victorious. Dams by Ekstern have dominated the Polish show breeding scene in the last years (which we have written about previously) and have become a poster child of our breeding all over the world.
The foreign guests were impressed by the numerous presence of the media and crowds of public. „The show had a „family atmosphere” and it reminded me of the „old days” when shows were not glitter and glamour but real horse events where the Arabian horse was in the focus and not the people and VIP sector”, emphasized Klaus Beste.
33 owners and their charges
In Radom we saw horses belonging to 33 owners, mostly from Poland, but also from abroad that have horses registered in our country, including Polska AKF (the Polish branch of the Saudi Al Khalediah Stud), Sami Ben Saad, Idris Hassan and Gunnar Kristoffersen, owner of the Polish multichampion Girlan-Bey, the only gold medallist chosen unanimously by all judges in the finals. One state stud took part in the show – Janów Podlaski – and returned home with the Best in Show title. However there were so many awards that other participants could also feel satisfied.
The foal classes were not numerous, but it is a new category in Poland. The best filly was Ascotia (Ascot DD – Emancja/WH Justice), bred and owned by Czeple Arabians. The colts’ gold medal went to the offspring of Emerald J, Al Batran (out of Al Shaklana/Sanadik El Shaklan), bred and owned by Sami Ben Saad. Both victorious foals received scores above 90 pts from the judges, which bodes well for their future careers.
The yearling fillies category enjoyed great popularity during entry time (16 entries), so it was divided into two groups. In the end 7 and 6 fillies were presented in the show arena. Both series were won by the charges of Janów – the later gold medallist and Best in Show Atakama (91,67) and Alodia (Pogrom – Alhasa/Ganges), who won her class with 91,5 pts. They were bested in terms of score by the winner of the 2 year old fillies class (also very numerous – 12 entries) – Wasalia (EKS Alihandro – Wasa/WH Justice) from Falborek, who „earned” as many as two „20s” for movement and ended her class performance with 92,5 (the show’s highest score).
Behind her placed Janów’s Prunella (Abyad AA – Pradea/Hlayyil Ramadan), with a „20” for type and final score of 92,33. Others to receive top marks were also fillies from further spots in this class – the third placed El-Princessa (Om El Shahmaan – Europesa/Psytadel, 91,83, including a „20” for movement), bred and owned by Wojciech Parczewski and Falborek’s Estama (EKS Alihandro – Estaka/Gazal Al Shaqab) – 91,5, including a „20” for movement. This is proof of the high quality that could be observed in this age category. The three year old fillies class was won by Fahila (Kahil Al Shaqab – Figracja/Psytadel), bred and owned by Teresa and Jacek Ślebocki (91,5).
One top mark was awarded to the winner of the yearling colts class (6 participants). Empiro (Amir Ashiraf – Empidia/Ekstern), bred and owned by Piotr Hełka, bewitched the judges, especially with his movement. His final score was 91,33. But the unquestioned leader among the junior colts was the already experienced competitor from the two year old colts class. Fuerte (Shanghai EA – Frymuszka/Ekstern), bred by Jan Dobrzyński and owned by Sami Ben Saad, is known not only to Polish spectators, but also foreign ones, including those from the Middle East. The judges awarded him two „20s” for type and one more for movement (92,33). Among the three year old colts the best was the rather short, but with an exceptionally beautiful head, chestnut Nayef Al Khalediah (WH Justice – Athenaa/Ashhal Al Rayyan), bred at Al Khalediah Stables in Saudi Arabia and imported to Poland by Polska AKF (91,33).
Less numerous than the juniors were the senior classes, which is understandable – the mares are usually still nursing their foals and are not in training and there are less stallions as a rule. The 4-6 year old mares class was won by Janów’s Panetta (Ekstern – Papua/HS Etiquette, 92,33), whereas the 7 years and above class – by the charming daughter of Marwan Al Shaqab, EKS Star of Africa (out of Bint Starbright Bey/Besson Carol), imported to Poland by Wojciech Parczewski (91 pts).
Triumphant among the 4-6 year old stallions was Espimar (Marajj – Espinezja/Psytadel, 91 pts), bred at Falborek and owned by Idris Hassan. In the oldest stallions class the victory went to Girlan-Bey (Pesal – Gracja Bis/Monogramm), bred by Michał Bogajewicz, owned by Gunnar Kristoffersen from Sweden. As usual, he did not disappoint spectators, showing expressive movement, for which he was awarded not only with applause, but also one “20” (final score: 91,17).
The finals – a spectacle and sheer pleasure
The Sunday championships, held in beautiful weather with picturesque airplanes from the Radom Aeroclub in the background, were sheer pleasure for the gathered public, who loudly applauded the contestants. It was fantastic to see people and equines bonding. When the Disciplinary Committee was checking the results, the horses awaited the verdict, the spectators – often viewing an Arabian horse show for the first time – touched them, stroked them, and the horses returned the kindness with interest.
Meanwhile the judges made their decisions. As a result the podium of the junior mare championships was taken by: Atakama, Wasalia and Prunella; in the junior stallions championships – Fuerte, Empiro and Nayef Al Khalediah, in the senior mare championships – Panetta, EKS Star of Africa and Walida (Etnodrons Psyche – Wiaźmianka/Angor), bred and owned by StanRed Arabians; in the senior stallions championships – Girlan-Bey (unanimously), Eternal (FS Bengali – Ewitacja/Ganges), bred and owned by Jan Głowacki and Espimar. Atakama cast a spell on the judging committee with her charm during the Best in Show ceremony and it was with her that the Trophy of the President of Radom went to Janów Podlaski.
For the first time in Poland, during the Radom show, an electronic system of counting points and publishing the results was used. This application, named „Bask”, was created in Poland. The judges awarded points on their tablets and the results were published on the board immediately after the judges gave their last mark. Also the order of the horses in class was published immediately, which not only facilitated the running of the show, but also eliminated any errors during counting or checking the judges’ cards. In difficult weather conditions counting the marks manually could even make it impossible to finish the classes on the first day. Because of this, as well as the comfort of the judges fighting against the rain and wind, Bask turned out to hit the jackpot.
The show took place with the participation of the newly formed Polish Arabian Horse Owners Society (PAHOS). The association gave out their awards to trainers who entered the most horses to the show. The trophies were awarded to Szymon Głowacki and Marek Demczuk, who each entered 13 horses. The award for both training centers is a promotional campaign on the polskiearaby.pl portal, which was the media patron of the show.
An additional attraction were the performances of the Knight Banner of the Radom Lands, which presented an amazing equestrian, archery and cold steel performance in historic costumes, mainly from the 17th century.
Many participants upon departure expressed their hope that the show would be continued. Definitely its location is very favorable and the organizer’s involvement gives reason to believe that we met in Radom not for the last time.