Since our March edition, when we announced that Marek Trela, Director of Janów Podlaski State Stud, Jerzy Białobok, Director of Michalów State Stud, and Anna Stojanowska, Chief Arabian Horse Specialist from the Agricultural Property Agency, were fired from their jobs on 19 February. The Arabian horse industry as a whole was swift to react to the news, with petitions, Facebook pages and websites being set up.
Since our last edition, news has happen swiftly, including the death of two mares belonging to Shirley Watts of Halsdon Arabians, UK, who had been leased to Janów Podlaski. Gudrun Waiditschka from In the Focus/Arabian Horses Arabische Pferde Online has kindly allowed me to share the below, originally posted on 9 April:
Poland Update – Events come thick and fast
Things in and around the Polish State Studs are moving so fast, it is difficult to keep track of all the scenarios unfolding:
- After the death of her two mares Preria (Ararat x Pipi) and Amra (Eukaliptus x Albigowa), Shirley Watts has taken her remaining mares, Augusta (Piaff x Albigowa) and Pieta (Gazal Al Shaqab x Pilar) back to Halsdon Arabians in UK. The mares were leased to Janów Podlaski to be bred and the foals to help strengthen the valuable bloodlines of their dams at the stud. Shirley told The Guardian: “I am going to sue them because of the way they treated my mares. They also kept me in the dark.” While the death of Preria on 16 March is considered as unfortunate as the death of Pianissima in October 2015, the death of Amra on 2 April appears to be mismanagement, as she was unnecessarily transported to Warsaw and back just before and after delivery, which even compromises EU transportation law.
There is now also an issue about the ownership of the foals, who originally were supposed to be gifted to Janów Podlaski by Shirley but, under the circumstances, this is now unlikely. Shirley, wife of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, was one of the best customers at the Pride of Poland Auctions, and has bought numerous horses over the years. These four mares alone had cost almost one million euro.
Raymond and Sally Tromp have taken back their stallion Pesal (Partner x Perforacja) from Białka, as well as ECAHO President Jaroslav Lacina removing his three-year-old colt from Janów Podlaski.
- The new leadership of Janów Podlaski ordered criminal investigations and the analysis of the horse feed, as they were convinced that the two mares have been poisoned. Apparently, there were antibiotics which are lethal to horses, usually used in industrial poultry breeding, found in the fodder. However, looking closer at the findings, Marek Szewczyk reports that the concentration of monenzyme found in Janów’s fodder was 0.43 mg/ kg. And according to Professsor Marcin Świtała from the Chair of Biochemistry, Pharmacology, and Toxicology at the Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, a horse would need to eat at least a ton of oats to make the antibiotics lethal. Further, several vets have confirmed to Marek Szewczyk that monenzyme can cause symptoms of myocarditis, circulatory problems, ataxia, diarrhoea but not colic in the case of horses. Finally, the public attorney’s office in Lublin announced that in the fodder fed to Janów’s horses an antibiotic harmful to horses has been identified but in a permitted amount.
- Allegations were directed against the former director Marek Trela because 52 horses died in the past five years (2010-2015). This includes the deaths due to old age of 32-year old Emerycha, 31-year-old Balon, 30-year old Ararat, 28-year old Albigowa and 27-year-old Sarmacja. It also includes 19 foals – approximately four a year – who died, from approximately 400 foals born (80 per year), as well as 12 youngsters, aged one to three years, and approximately a loss of 2.5 youngsters per year. The rest, 14 horses, plus two working horses of unknown age, died between four to 25 years old. In a stud with roughly 470 horses and 400 foals born within five years, this can be considered normal proportions.
- On 9 April at the General Meeting of the Polish Arabian Horse Breeders Association (PZHKA), Andrzej Wójtowicz, a member of the Board, was asked whether he could have had an impact on the dismissal of the three specialists. He answered that yes, it could be that information passed on by him to ANR or the Ministry of Agriculture could have led to the dismissal of the directors Marek Trela and Jerzy Białobok, as well as Anna Stojanowska from ANR. Wojtowicz resigned from the Board and left the meeting, in a hurry, as some said. Wojtowicz is said to be a friend of PiS (the new government) Senator Jan Dobrzynski, who in turn is a close associate of Minister of Agriculture Krzysztof Jurgiel.
- Janów Podlaski’s chief trainer Pawel Kozikowski and partner Joanna Wojtecka have quit their jobs. Pawel prepared and showed Pinga at the World Championships in 2012.
- Whether or not the Pride of Poland Auction will take place as scheduled is not sure. Until now, the list of horses for sale has not yet been released, which is necessary to prepare photo-shoots, catalogue, videos and so on in time. In previous years, this list was available in March.
At the time of The Arabian Magazine going to print, 23 April, there is still no list of horses for the Pride of Poland Auction. Indeed, many people from the world over, including the big Middle Eastern farms and breeders in the United States, are saying that they will boycott the auction in August, should it go ahead.
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