of Poland by JEFF WALLACE
On a beautiful February night in 1985, Lasma hosted the Polish Ovation Sale, a unique offering of 17 of the most revered mares in the world, for the Polish government. No one who was at the Lasma Sale Center in Scottsdale, Ariz., that night will ever forget it. When the curtains opened, the mares stood shoulder to shoulder across the stage, each with her tuxedoed handler, against a backdrop that recreated the famous clock tower barn at Janów Podlaski. At 106 | A R A BI A N HOR SE T I MES
one point, “snow” even fell to simulate the winter atmosphere of their home country. A few hours later, when the hammer fell for the final lot, millions of dollars had been spent by the appreciative crowd, and vans were being booked to some of the top breeding programs in the country. I’d venture to say that what some people remember best about that time was how much money was spent, or maybe the elegance of Michalów’s Director Ignacy Jaworowski as he offered
“Everyone who buys one of our horses ... tell them please to take care of them, as next to our freedom, they are the most important thing in our lives.” - Jan Rudasz
a vodka toast to open the sale. What I remember best, though, was far more profound. I was working for Lasma in those days, and one of my jobs was to go every morning to a hotel in Old Scottsdale to pick up a stud groom who had been sent from Janów Podlaski with the horses. He was a workroughened old man named Jan Rudasz, and he had been at Janów all his life, caring for the horses as his
father and grandfather had before him. He barely spoke English, but day after day, as we fought the traffic all the way to Bell Road, we worked out our own language. I’ll never forget what he told me one morning—nearly 30 years later, I still can get choked up when I think about it. “Everyone who buys one of our horses,” he said, his voice thick with passion. “Tell them please to take care of them, as next to our freedom, they are the most important thing in our lives.” Volume 45, No. 6 | 107
Gold Champion Junior Stallion Morion.
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No truer words have ever been spoken. Those same words still stand today when it comes to how the Poles feel about their version of living art, the Polish Arabian horse. Silvery bays, glistening greys, with locks of silk—these are the horses of dreams and these are the horses of Poland. In August every year, history culminates into one of the finest events the world over, as hundreds of years of selective breeding that has withstood the test of time, wars and invasions, is presented in one of the best collections of Arabian horses on the planet. This year, as always, they were everywhere: at the Pride of Poland Sale, where we watched the hammer fall on the gorgeous young beauty Piacolla, and in the individual farm breeding parades, where we saw the matriarch of Michalów, *El Dorada; Janów’s stunning bay bookends *Pianissima and *Pinga; and Bialka’s ‘P’ family treasure, Perfirka and her daughters. And at the Polish National Show, where we watched one gorgeous entry after another, such as the white swans Georgia, *Zagrobla, Espadrilla and Embra, all daughters of the *Bask grandson, Monogramm.
HK Krystall (LD Pistal x Lisa Mine) bred and owned by Joanna Kale, USA, and currently on lease to Bialka Stud.
My first trip to Poland was in 1984, a few months prior to the Polish Ovation Sale. From the moment I drove through the front gates of Janów Podlaski and laid eyes on the clock barn, I knew I felt something magical, something almost unreal. The tour that Director Krzysztalowicz gave me that year introduced me to the beautiful and regal spirit the horses all seem to have—and their gorgeous and confident carriage as well. I was instantly mesmerized and left in somewhat of a trance for the balance of my trip. I saw World Champion Mares *Pilarka and Etruria; Polish National Champion Mares Arra and Europa, both gorgeous; and grey daughters of *Bandos, as well as a future Polish National Champion Mare and legendary producer, Pipi, the oldest daughter of *Pilarka, sired by the Bandola son, *Banat. Euspira (Gazal Al Shaqab x Euskara) and her Vitorio TO colt presented during the Bialka Stud breeding parade.
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When I arrived at Michalów and walked through the old breeding barn, I was stopped dead in my tracks by one of the most beautiful sights: a gorgeous old painting of a dappled grey Arabian horse that hung above a red door that led from the breeding room into the stallion’s stall area. It reeked of importance and had a timeless beauty, just as the horses they breed there do. Beauty like that is seductive and emotional, and once you feel it deep in your soul, you carry it with you for the rest of your life. It broadens your insights and creates an awareness of
beauty that you didn’t know was possible. The first stallion I encountered that day after passing through the red door was the borrowed Russian stallion Pesennik, who would go on to sire Polish National Champion Filly Kwesta—who, in turn, was the dam of the incomparable twice World Champion and just recently named All Nations Cup Gold Champion Mare, *Kwestura, by Monogramm. And that brings us back to this year. In August, I felt a lump in my throat as I passed through the gates of Janów Podlaski one more time. I now knew what lay ahead: a certain type of beauty, grace and spirit that I know I will only see in Poland.
*Emandoria (Gazal Al Shaqab x Emanda), a World, Aachen, Dubai, European, and U.S. National Champion Mare. 110 | A R A BI A N HOR SE T I MES
2014 Polish National Top Five Senior Mare Zigi Zana (QR Marc x *Zagrobla), owned by Michalów Stud.
Now I’m familiar with all of the mares’ families of the state studs, from the famous ‘P’ families of Janów and Bialka to the renowned ‘E’ and ‘Z’ families of Michalów. What I find most interesting now is the growing list of “guest sires” that the Poles invite on a very consistent basis either to come to Poland to cover their mares or to send in frozen semen. Among them are some of the world’s most celebrated breeding and show stallions. That helps make the show very exciting, as you get to see the results of blending in the blood of these stallions with the world’s best known and multigenerational mare band. This was certainly the year of the stallion Kahil Al Shaqab, who was leased by the Poles from Al Shaqab, Member Qatar Foundation. He is a World Champion Junior Stallion and hails from a double *Bask-bred dam line that also features a single cross to the *Naborr/ Amurath Sahib-bred stallion *Gwalior, who was bred in Poland and sold to Lasma Arabians many years back. This means that Kahil Al Shaqab carries three crosses to Amurath Sahib and two to Witraz, two of the greatest breeding horses in the history of Polish breeding. The yearling Kahil Al Shaqab foals in the Polish National Show from both Janów and Michalów were nothing less than spectacular. The four standouts on that particular day, all bay with little to no white, were Al Jazeera and Burza from Janów, and Morion and
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Pustynna Kahila from Michalów. The Kahil Al Shaqab foals from Ekstern daughters were consistently stunning as well. Ekstern’s grey beauty, style and charisma, coupled with the smooth bay body and front end assembly of Kahil Al Shaqab, seems to have created a new golden cross in Polish breeding—just like the *Eukaliptus on Palas and *Naborr on Amurath Sahib of the past. Both the Junior Champion Colt and Filly, Morion and Al Jazeera respectively, were sired by Kahil Al Shaqab. In fact, the yearling classes were completely dominated by the get of this hot young son of World Champion Marwan Al Shaqab. The Four to Six Year Old Mares class was simply superb, as the young mares fresh from the track are now on parade. Cheronea, Zigi Zana, Diara and the winner, Pilarosa, were all breathtaking to behold. The older mares seemed to be a collection in white, from several Monogramm daughters to those of his son Ekstern. Janów’s fiery and correct Pepita won the Gold, while the glorious and gorgeous Georgia took home the Silver, and the young Pilarosa, a maternal half-sister to World Champion Mare Pinga, the Bronze.
Elwina (Enzo x Elmina) and her Vitorio TO filly presented during the Bialka Stud breeding parade. 112 | A R A BI A N HOR SE T I MES
The stallion Ekstern (Monogramm x Ernestyna), a sire and grandsire to many winners at Polish Nationals as well as International shows around the world.
The stallions and colts paid tribute one after another to the influence of the World Champion Stallion Gazal Al Shaqab and his sons and grandsons. In Poland today, his influence in both stallions and mares is no less than staggering, but it is especially apparent in the stallion and colt categories. The get of Gazal grandson Kahil Al Shaqab, mentioned above, flooded the yearling colt classes, while the sons of QR Marc were very significant as the classes got older, as were Gazal Al Shaqab direct sons. The battle for the gold in stallions came down to two sons of QR Marc, Pawel Kozikowski awarded Best Handler of the 2014 Polish National Show. Volume 45, No. 6 | 113
Pinga (Gazal Al Shaqab x Pilar) World Champion Mare and Polish National Champion Mare.
Equator, representing the ‘E’ family of Michalów, and the already-most-decorated *Pogrom, representing the famed ‘P’ family of Janów Podlaski. They are two beautiful, yet very differently made, stallions, and the outcome could have gone either way, but on this day of off and on rain, it was Michalów’s entry of Equator who won the Gold. Silver went to *Pogrom and the Bronze award to Eryks, a son of Gazal Al Shaqab from Michalów. A highlight in the Pride of Poland Sale, as well as being the high selling lot, was the purchase of the gorgeous 2-year-old filly Piacolla, sired by U.S. National Champion Stallion Enzo and out of an Ekstern daughter. She is already a Polish National Champion Junior Filly, with the ability to win on any continent, and she brought €305,000 from Athbah Stud in Saudi Arabia. States Athbah manager Ward Presentation of the Echo Apollo 2014 WAHO Award. An award won prior to this by his sire, Piaff. 114 | A R A BI A N HOR SE T I MES
Gold Champion Stallion Equator.
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Janów’s stunning bay *Pianissima (Gazal Al Shaqab x Pianosa), a highlight in the Breeding Parade. One of the winningest mares in breed history. She will foal to *Pogrom in 2015.
Bemong about his top lot, “Piacolla had already caught my eye last year when she won the Polish National Championships. For me, she is a very nice example of how an American-bred stallion crosses with the Polish dam lines. When she enters the arena, she is like a Polish diva! Her dam is a great producing Ekstern daughter whose dam (Panika) we bought three years ago, and who has been an essential broodmare for the Athbah program. Piacolla was mainly bought as a future broodmare for the collection of top mares at Athbah.”
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Passionaria, a full sister to *Pianissima and one of Janów’s treasures in the Breeding Parade.
Jeff Wallace, Lara Ames and David Boggs.
Another memorable purchase at the Pride of Poland Sale came from a woman who has devoted her entire life to the Arabian horse, our publisher, Lara Ames. Representing her family’s longtime show and breeding operation, Cedar Ridge Arabians, she found something she could not leave Poland without—and at €220,000, this was no ordinary souvenir. It was the rare offering of a once-in-a-lifetime mare, a fleabitten grey by the name of Perfirka. Perfirka, a daughter of Gazal Al Shaqab and Perforacja, by Ernal, has been the pride of Bialka Stud for several years now, and had she not gifted them with three glorious fillies already, she probably would not have been available. But when a mare produces something as great as Perfirka’s Esparto daughter, Perfinka (who was a European sensation, and named Aachen Gold Champion Filly), she practically sets herself up to be offered for sale. And Perfirka had done even more than that; she left Bialka with two other fine daughters, one by Enzo and another by Vitorio TO. As I mentioned, the Polish horsemen have always kept an open mind as they have structured their program. For years, they have Perfinka (Esparto x Perfirka), 2013 All Nations Cup Gold Champion Filly. Volume 45, No. 6 | 117
leased stallions from other breeders, and since the introduction of transported semen, they also have patronized whatever stallion, anywhere in the world, that they felt suited their program. Vitorio TO, who is owned by Janey Morse of Oak Ridge Arabians and represents the sire line of *Mirage, is only the second American stallion ever leased to stand in Poland, following the highly successful Monogramm. In a further example of Polish-American collaboration, Janey Morse leased the standout filly *Wieza Mocy, a great-granddaughter of the legendary Oak Ridge Arabiansâ€™ Vitorio TO (DA Valentino x Sol Natique) is on lease to Michalow Stud for two breeding seasons. Mares like *Emandoria and *El Dorada will foal to this gorgeous stallion in 2015. Vitorio TO brings the sire line of *Image to the State Studs for the very first time.
Mesalina (Ekstern x Mata Hari), from Michalow Stud, dam to Gold Champion Junior Stallion Morion. 118 | A R A BI A N HOR SE T I MES
Michalów mare *Wizja, and has campaigned the filly to gold championships at the AHBA World Cup and the Arabian Breeder Finals. When she arrived in America, she had already won Polish, World and European Championship Junior titles. Studying the list of such great stallions is an education in itself. Just in my time I can see the ongoing progression, from Palas to Probat to Tallin and Pesennik, from Monogramm to Laheeb to Gazal Al Shaqab to Enzo, to Eden C, Galba and QR Marc, to Kahil Al Shaqab and Shanghai EA. That’s roughly chronological and there are others—all of proven quality and having made real contributions to the program. Deep into your trip to Poland—whether it is your first or your fifth—you realize something very important. You realize that you are watching a gorgeous parade of horses who represent the studs’ finest old bloodlines, layered with the greatest contemporary stallions in the breed. And that has gone on for years. That is how Poland, with all its storied heritage, remains as relevant and important today as it ever has been in the world of the Arabian horse. n
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Polish National Senior Stallions
Gold Champion Senior Stallion Equator (QR Marc x Ekliptyka), owned by Michal贸w Stud.
Silver Champion Senior Stallion *Pogrom (QR Marc x Petla), owned by Jan贸w Podlaski Stud.
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Gold Champion Junior Stallion Morion (Kahil Al Shaqab x Mesalina), owned by Michalów Stud.
Champion 3-Year-Old and Top Five Junior Stallion Cefir (Eryks x Celina), owned by Małopolska Hodowla Roślin Ltd.
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Best In Show and Gold Champion Senior Mare Pepita (Ekstern x Pepesza), owned by Jan贸w Podlaski Stud.
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Silver Champion Senior Mare Georgia (Monogramm x Gizela), owned by Michal贸w Stud.
Bronze Champion Senior Mare Pilarosa (Al Adeed Al Shaqab x Pilar), owned by Jan贸w Podlaski Stud.
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Junior Mares Gold Champion Junior Mare Al Jazeera (Kahil Al Shaqab x Alhasa), owned by Janów Podlaski Stud.
Al Jazeera and Silver Champion Junior Mare Paterna (Eden C x Pinga), both owned by Janów Podlaski Stud.
Bronze Champion Junior Mare Pustynia Kahila (Kahil Al Shaqab x Pustynna Malwa), owned by Michałów Stud.
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Pride of 2014 Poland
The Champion producing mare Perfirka (Gazal Al Shaqab x Perforacja), sold to Cedar Ridge Arabians, USA.
Norma, 2013 Polish National Champion Mare, is the gorgeous grey daughter of World Champion Stallion Gazal Al Shaqab and Nina, whose dam was a gift to the late Director Jaworowski from Deedie Wrigley of the USA. Norma was sold to Al Muawd Stud, Saudi Arabia.
Wieza Marcâ€™a (QR Marc x Wieza Marzen), full sister to multiNational Champion *Wieza Mocy, sold to Sweden.
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Pride of 2014 Poland
Shirley Watts greeting her newest purchase, the mare Alhambra (*Ecaho x Albigowa), who is the maternal grandam of Gold Champion Filly, Al Jazeera.
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The mare Alabama (Gazal Al Shaqab x Altona), sold to Qatar.
The mare Czarnota (Gazal Al Shaqab x Czartawa), also sold to Qatar.
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