The preparations for the prestigious “Pride of Poland” Auction, to be held in August, are in full swing. The organisers expect 2.5 Mio Euro sales revenue – the question is how they are going to achieve this?
The Polish State Studs do not come to a rest. During the last three months, several incidents – big and small – happened. For example, two mares of Shirley Watts, which were on lease to Janow Podlaski, died of twisted colon, one of them was transported to Warszaw and back for foaling just days before / after delivery, which is regarded by many as a wrong decision by the management; suspected poisoning of the fodder proved to be a contamination with antibiotics in a very small amount, so that horses would have to eat more than one ton of oats, to be affected; Mateusz Leniewicz-Jaworski joined the board of directors in Janow Podlaski as “horse breeding expert”, but his vita raised some questions as it appears to be “improved” and several of the former employers distanced themselves from what it said; chief-trainer of Janow Podlaski, Pawel Kozikowski and his partner Joanna Wojtecka quit their jobs; and finally, the new director of Janow Podlaski, Marek Skomorowski has been replaced by Sławomir Pietrzak, professor at Lublin´s Agricultural University, international equine judge and trainer and associated with horses for 45 years, which seems to be the only bright spot in this matter.
The Pride of Poland Auction
But of course, the main focus and concern lies on the “Pride of Poland” auction on 14 August.
On 28th April, Barbara Mazur (Polturf), who had been organizing the prestigious “Pride of Poland” Auction at Janow Podlaski for more than a decade, has terminated the contract with Janow Podlaski and Michalow, due to a lack of co-operation with the existing boards of both studs. It is quite understandable, that she had to take this step, considering her options: How can the auction, under these circumstances, be of equal revenue with former years? And any less, they would blame on her.
Already one day later the ANR (Agricultural State Property Agency) announced, that the auction will be organized by Janow Podlaski stud in co-operation with the Poznan International Fair (MTP), the date as planned on 14th August. It is interesting, how fast a successor was found after the contract with Polturf was cancelled. Obviously there was no public tender.
On 6th May, the sales list for this year’s “Pride of Poland” Auction has been released. It includes 30 horses – 29 mares and the stallion Alert – from both, state studs and private owners. Vice President of the ANR, Karol Tylenda, announced during a press conference, that they hope to reach the proceeds of last year, or about 2,5 Million Euros. This is now the margin against which they will be measured. Whether they will succeed is doubtful, as Shirley Watts is rather considering to sue Janow Podlaski over the loss of her mares, than attending the auction. Also Frank Hennessy, American businessman, who so far bought 6 horses bred by Janow Podlaski and Michalow stud, won’t come. Neither will Hennessy Arabians sponsor the Polish National Championships. It appears, that two other big Saudi Arabian stud farms as well as Al Thumama Stud from Qatar have withdrawn.
Will there be a “Lot 0”
For quite some time, fears were rising that Wieza Mocy would be added to the auction list as a “surprise horse” or “Lot 0”, to increase the sales results and meet their own target. Jerzy Białobok commented: “My plan with Wieźa Mocy was completely different. After she achieved good results at shows here, she was leased to the United States. I always thought that breeders in US like this type of mare. In my opinion, her lease has been a very good promotional deal. The lessees have spared no expense or effort to promote her. And so it happened: The mare within two years won the Triple Crown in America. What happens in the US market is closely watched by the Arabian horse community. I thought that Wieźa Mocy after Paris, starts her breeding career in Poland and would be shown in Europe. Because, with the exception of Paris, which was a kind of “on the road”, she was never presented in Europe as a senior mare. I was hoping to show her at the big European shows, the European Championships, Nations Cup and Paris. Depending on the situation one could have considered to show her also at one of the large and very well-sponsored shows in Arab countries, such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai. This was my plan for her for the next 3 to 4 years. A plan to raise her market value. I wanted her to leave 3 to 4 foals for Michalow, and if we were lucky there would be one filly among them. To sell her at this moment would be, in my opinion, definitely premature. This would be against the interests of the company (ANR). In a few years, her value will have increased significantly, and the stud would be able to retain her offspring.”
Fortunately, the rumours were not confirmed – was it indeed planned, and were the plans abandoned because they were too much under observation of the Arab horse community? Or did the arguments by Jerzy Bialobok (secretly) convince them? We don’t know, “Lot 0”, however, was announced a couple of days ago as the 16-year-old mare Emira (Laheeb / Embra) – and no, of course, the ANR confirmed that there was never a plan to sell Wieza Mocy…
Addendum 3.6. 21:30h MESZ – just now we received the link of the Pride of Poland-Website, where Wieza Mocy was offered as “Lot 0” of the auction: www.prideofpoland.com/en/wieza-mocy-at-the-pride-of-poland-auction/. Obviously, there are real “experts” at work, who think, if you don’t link the site with the auction site, nobody will find it! Thanks to Lidia Pawlowski it was found – the site was only “switched off”. Following, just in case it will disappear, a screenshot (click on the image to enlarge):