The record score and the record price - 2008 Polish Nationals and Pride of Poland Sale
by Urszula Leczycka
Small town on Eastern border of Poland, hidden away from the world amongst the big forrests of National Park once a year is a viewer of an incredible event being the centrer of Arabian horse world for two days of Arabian Horse Days Poland.
Quoting many Arabian horse authorities: if one wants to start the breeding with quality - should visit Poland. The best proofs of this argument were the jubilee XXXth Polish National Show that gathered the truly jubilee group of contenders with the champion scored with the highest score ever, and XXXIXth sale that brought over 3 millions Euro of total income to Poland and the crowds of international spectators and sale participants who booked all the VIP and entry tickets weeks before the event. They came here not only for having a closer review of current Polish breeding stock but to get the once of the life time occassion to see the several World, European and National champions competing in the showring again or being offered as exceptional sale opportunity of greatest value - the trade of Arabian horse sale with worlds longest tradition.
The one who came this year in the mid August to Poland might have seen such stars as 2000 World Junior Champion Mare Emmona (Monogramm - Emilda/Pamir) and her full sister Embra, 2004 World Junior Champion Mare and Triplecrowned (including All Nations Cup and European Champion titles) - Pianissima (Gazal Al Shaqab - Pianosa/Eukaliptus) and her full sister Passionaria that were to compete again for the trophies as well as 2007 World Champion Mare Kwestura (Monogramm - Kwesta/Pesennik) being in foal to the stallion most talked about last season - QR Marc (by Marwan Al Shaqab) - this time as an incredible sale offer.
Before being sold to the Middle East for a historical amount of money Kwestura made one more tribute to Polish breeding. In the junior stallion championships that started on Friday evening her two years old get - Kabsztad, sired by 2007 World Top Ten Stallion Poganin (by Laheeb) repeated his success from the hard competition of Białka Junior Spring Show in Poland earlier this year and scored as high as 92 points he has proven himself being the best Polish young stallion currently.
Both junior male and female championships were the chance to see how the worlds top leading sires as well as well proven Polish-bred ones did with genetic power of Polish broodmares - in consequence the very first Polish-bred Enzo and Al Maraam progeny, large group of the ones sired by Triplecrowned champion stallion - Ekstern (by Monogramm), World Champion Gazal Al Shaqab and some successfull contenders sired by Galba, WH Justice or Padrons Psyche' son widely used in Polish private breeding - Psytadel were entered.
Polish National Reserve Champion colt placed second after Kabsztad in the class and in the championships is the best Polish-bred male get of Psytadel so far - strongly inbred to Padrons Psyche, big framed Lord Bey Shah out of Padrons Psyche mare - Lady Aphrodite (BE) bred and owned by Polish private studfarm Minnesota Arabians while the one sired by Mike Nichols-bred Metropolis NA - Boreas, again a product of US-bred sire and Belgian-bred dam - Bombina (BE) took place in Championship's Top Five next to the yearlings - Albano by Enzo bred in Janów Podlaski and Willars by Al Maraam bred by Michałów State Stud.
Saturday, the second day of the show definitely belonged to the most beautiful mares Poland has bred in the past several years. Yearling classes with two sections 13 entries each with hard favourite - the most exotic and beautiful Enzo daughter born in Poland so far, already named 2008 Białka Junior Spring Show Champion - grey Palabra out of European Junior Champion Mare - Palmeta was only a warming up... . She took her class in front of private bred (by Mr Lech Błaszczyk) bay Pasterna by Psytadel. Polish private breeders from Minnesota Stud were succesfull gaining the second place in the B section of yearlings with of one of most exotic heads in Poland - of Melody by Psytadel (out of Monogramm daughter Mina) who went as Top Five at Junior Championships as well. Placed third was Passionaria - the full sister to most entitled Janów Podlaski mare ever - Pianissima. This darkbay filly with even longer neck and better movements than her famous Triplecrowned sister is also very nice product of Gazal Al Shaqab and Eukaliptus daughter Pianosa (who unfortunately passed away at the beginning of the year after giving birth to Al Adeed Al Shaqab colt) though she is also a proof that there can not be a second Pianissima born!
Polish National Reserve Champion filly was elected from two years old group - bred by Falborek Arabians and sired by Michałów-bred Triplecrowned champion Ekstern - exotic and wonderfully moving Eksterna is certainly one of the best daughters of her sire.
While Saturday morning and junior classes shown the interesting results of Polish broodmares cross with various world leading sires, senior female classes were the best proof of certain "eras" of some sires used in Polish breeding program and wisdom of Polish breeders in their past choices. The first to appear was the class of mares 4-6 years old, divided into two groups with 19 entries and 12 daughters of World Champion Gazal Al Shaqab in the ring! Only two mares qualified to top fives of both divisions were sired by other stallions... In the first one the jury was to make the difficult choice between the excellent Gazal daughters bred by Michałów State Stud - grey, exotic and flying in movements Norma, European Champion Filly - Pistoria, World Top Ten - Ejrene (all out of Monogramm mares) and El Medina out of World Res. Champion and US National Champion - El Dorada by Sanadik El Shaklan. All four well known shows contenders they used to share the first places between each other depending only on mood on the particular day. This time they were beaten by even more beautiful one - elegant, dishy headed, awarded with the best score of the show for movements and still improving one - their paternal halfsister from Janów Podlaski - 2005 Polish National Jr Champion Mare Pinga who gained the ovations and score of 93 in total.
Was there anything more exciting to see at this show? Indeed, it certainly was - the next class! The only invincible horse of the event entering the arena with Greg Gallun on the lead gave everybody a goosebumps. Pianissima - Triplecrowned All Nations Cup, European and World Junior Champion, Polish and US National and Al Kalediah International champion mare who won every show she competed at appears at the stage again to repeat the achievements as senior starting one more time with Polish Nationals. And as history repeats itself often - the highest score of the show appeared at the judges cards again. Scored with six times "20" for type and head with neck Pianissima collected the total of 95 points, which is the second such high in the history of Polish horses competition at the modern shows (the first one belonged to the Triplecrowned Ekstern). Top Five All Nations Cup mare - Etnologia and scored with 92,50 points Belgica - both stablemates and paternal halfsisters to Pianissima had to share further places. The results of excellent decisions made by Michałów State Stud directors - Mr Ignacy Jaworowski and Jerzy Białobok who decided on using Monogramm and then Laheeb at Michałów were seen in the elders classes with the winner of 7-10 section - Emesa by Laheeb placed in front of 2000 World Junior Champion - Emmona by Monogramm. Veteran mares 11 years old and above were the parade of the past multichampions sired mostly by Monogramm, used in Michałów as the only stud in Poland in late '90 - producing probably the best in hand show progeny in the world here. This time the winner in the group of 8 mares out of which 5 were Monogramm daughters was Espadrilla (out of Emanacja) - 2005 Polish National Reserve Champion, scored with highest marks for type and head and neck in front of her paternal halfsisters and close relatives on dams side - Pacific Slope Champion and Region II as well as Scottsdale Reserve - Egzonera who has beaten Embra, Top Ten World and Top Five at European and All Nations Cup shows, full sister to Emmona mentioned above. Despite such noble and experienced show contenders, senior mare championships were a kind of formality this year. Again unanimously Pianissima became 2008 Polish National Champion Mare in front of Espadrilla who went Reserve. Pianissima was also awarded with the Best in Show and the Best Mare of the Show trophies. It seems there will be no mare to beat Pianissima again, not it Poland - and how about abroad...?
As stallion has much more influence to the breeding the eyes of spectators are usually turned on these classes carefully - morevoer while Polish stallions are well known for their performance abilities. Again the oustanding cross of Gazal Al Shaqab and Polish mares resulted with such impressive contenders as classwinner and Reserve Champion of the show Drabant - big, excellently conformed bay stallion who already became Top Five at prestigious Wels International Show in Austria this spring. This time scored with two "twenties" for movement and nineties for type and body (which is extremely high) won the class in front of his stable mate and paternal halfbsibling - darkbay Eryks (out of Emmona). The trophy for the best senior male of Poland this time went deservedly to the past Polish National and European Reserve Champion, Top Five at All Nations Cup and Top Ten of World Championships - Grafik, one of the latest and best sons of incomparable Eukaliptus and Polish National Champion Mare, beautiful dapple grey Gaskonia.
There was one more important horse to be awarded at the end of 2008 Polish Nationals. Since 2005 World Arabian Horse Organization (WAHO) founds the perpetual WAHO Trophy - for the pure bred horse of outstanding value and influence to the breed in each country recognized by the Organization. The one awarded in Poland this year was Ekstern - Triplecrowned All Nations Cup, European and World Championship winner at the same year (2000) as well as 2000 Polish National Champion Stallion, 2003 Mercedes Diamond Cup Champion, International Champion Stallion in Towerlands (UK) and Babolna (Hungary) and sire of champions - including 2008 Polish National Reserve Champion and Top Five fillies that is still, being 14 years old, is the most popular Polish-bred sire currently.
For 39th time the clients from around 20 different countries arrived to Janów Podlaski sale, the oldest still succesfully existing event of this kind for Arabian horses in the world. They could have chosen from 37 mares placed on so called main list and next 34 mares and stallions placed on the selection sale. Untoward price of US dollar against the price of Euro - the official currency of Janów sale caused that the average income per horse and number of horses sold was lower than in the past though it was proven again that no matter what currency is used and what is happening on foreign exchange market - Polish horse is still desirable good for both beginners and well known long time breeders and sale agents.
Out of 37 best selected mares 25 went sold to the new owners during the auction and few more sold just after in consequence of individual negotiations. Most of them went to the US and Saudi Arabia but Ajman Stud from UAE spent deffinitely the biggest amount of 1,125 000 Euro purchasing the one of the most beautiful mares born in this world so far - Monogramm daughter Kwestura, title holder of: Polish National Champion Filly, All Nations Cup Champion Mare, European Champion Mare, Polish National Reserve Champion Mare, US National Champion Mare, World Top Ten Champion Mare and finally - 2007 World Champion Mare. The offer was even more tempting that the mare was in foal to the most talked about stallion of the year - Marwan Al Shaqab son - QR Marc.
The question was even not WHO will buy the mare but HOW huge will be the amount? - The answer came quite quickly. Kwestura entered the arena as the second horse to be bid on, greeted with unbelievable applause. Just after one minute of bidding the price was 350 000 Euro, and went to 600 000 in the second one! Finally two Middle Eastern buyers left participating in this battle both represented by their agents. After several minutes the winner - offering the unbelievable price of 1,125 000 Euro became Ajman Stud from UAE though it seems the price could have raised even higher - Mrs Christine Jamar, representative of the second competitor was highly upset with such an early end of this bidding!
Kwestura, the 13 years old golden chestnut mare with one of the most beautiful heads in the world, the creature with wonderful huge eyes and performing her spectacular movements on the smallest sign of her handler was a pride of Polish Arabian horse enthusiasts since her first appearance, cheered every time she competed in Poland or abroad. This time I saw some people crying when the auctioner's hammer knocked... During the open day at Michałów Stud two days later Kwestura's box was the mostly visited place of the farm - not everyone has ever had a chance to touch and photograph himself with over a million Euro!
It was a second record beaten during the event - Kwestura became the highest sold Polish bred Arabian horse ever - beating price of 1985 Polish Ovation sale in the US where Janów Podlaski bred Penicylina was sold for 1 500 000 US dollars.
The total income of the sale achieved 3,175 000 Euro with the average of 74 000 Euro per horse (excluding Kwestura) and 5 mares achieving the price of over 100 000. Two of them - spending over 600 000 Eur purchased Chirley Watts - wife of Rolling Stones band member Charlie, running her Halsdon Arabians farm in the UK. She has chosen 2002 Polish National Jr Champion Mare and Best in Show - Amra (by Eukaliptus) and Andromeda - paternal halfsister to Polish National Champion Stallion - Piaff, sired by Polish National & European Champion - Eldon. Very tempting, beautiful offer were Polish bred daughters of Laheeb - two of them - Egea (priced 160 000 Eur) and Ellisara (240 000 Eur) went to Saudi owners.
Very successful at this years sale were Polish private breeders and owners who offered an interesting group of mares including 2008 International Champion of St.Petersburg Open - two years old Garuna sired by the current Polish National Champion Stallion - Grafik and out of Monogramm daughter, that went for 47 000 to the UK, and the first and only Magnum Psyche mare offered in the history of this sale - Emegna being in foal to Ekstern, offered by Mr Tomasz Tarczynski and sold to Saudi Arabia for 60 000 Eur. The highest sold private bred and owned mare this time was Ekstern daughter Bellissima, bred and owned by Mr Pawel Redestowicz. She will join Emegna in Saudi Arabia for 80 000 Eur.
In 1864 sultan Abdul Aziz establishing his studfarm imported 90 mares and two stallions from Branickis studs in Poland. The first, historical sale from Poland across the Ocean to the USA took place in 1937, when general Dickinson purchased 6 mares. The interest in Polish breeding all over the world, proven by the great number of visitors present during the celebration of the 150-year anniversary of Janów Podlaski Stud in 1967 caused the decision of selling the horses from Polish state studs starting from 1970. That year Mr. Denis Sculli from the USA paid 30.000 dollars for the future Canadian and US Top Ten stallion Bajdak. Since that time many Arabian horse sales come and go unsuccessfull but the Polish one still takes place each August in small town of Janów Podlaski, raising the higher incomes every year. The secret of this success is an outstanding quality of Polish horse as a breedeing and as a show contender but also smart selection of breeding stock offered yearly including horses of various pedigrees and value - and their further successes in the world for their new owners.
A Special Thank you to Urszula Leczycka for the text and to Katarzyna Dolinska for the photos from the Polish Sale and Show.