Anette Mattsson, breeder, advisor and photographer, Sweden

Letter of concern regarding the dismissal of Anna Stojanowska, Marek Trela and Jerzy Bialobok

I have been involved with the Polish Arabian horse since 1982 when the breed and the horses swept me away and I knew that my life would wander along the same path as the Polish Arabian horse. The news of the dismissal of Marek Trela, Jerzy Bialobok and Anna Stojanowska are of deepest concern as their knowledge and experience are invaluable for the Polish Arabian State Studs but also for the Arabian Horse breeding world wide.

To be a real breeder is nothing you can throw yourself into without any knowledge and a great proof of that is Poland – here the great horsemen of the State Studs works with a goal and a vision and the knowledge that breeding takes time and with time comes more knowledge. Breeding at the State Studs is about preserving the Sire lines and Dam families and to improve the coming generations of the horses, to know which horses to hold on to and which combinations to make. And this knowledge comes from knowing the horses for generations – the experience about strengths and weakness with different lines and how to utilize them in the breeding program.

It is a work that can not be done without a wholehearted commitment, with a love and pride combined with the dedication to the horse and to the great history, and this is something that you can see in Marek Trela, Jerzy Bialobok and Anna Stojanowska. They live FOR the horses and the legacy of their predecessors and to dismiss them from their dedicated work and passion is not only a disaster for them but for the hundreds of years of Polish tradition of horse breeding and for the Arabian Horse world-wide.

The Arabian Horse is the National Treasure of Poland and I never forget when I in 1989 set foot in Poland for the first time. When I for the first time made the epic drive towards Zegarowa – The Clock stable – at Janów Podlaski I was overwhelmed and I could feel and breath the history not only of the farm itself but of the Polish Arabian horse and the Polish people that as for me, both are evidence of the strength and determination to never give in and never give up.

Swedish breeders have since the 1960´s had a great relation with the Polish State Studs and most of Swedens foundation of Arabian horses comes from Poland. And with the Polish-bred horses I have had the fortune to work with I also inherited the pride and joy that I knew that the Polish people have towards the horses. During my first visit I noticed that this pride and joy could be seen in everyone involved with the horses, from the Directors to the grooms and in their eyes you could tell how humble and proud they were to be the caretakers of these great horses.

The history of the Polish Arabian horse teaches us all how something can be larger than life and how the Polish people have been fighting for their horses through World Wars and occupations. And even though history tells us that they lost their horses the people would never give up, they fought for the horses, rebuilt the breeding programs and continued to perserve the Arabian Horse and to cherish their National Treasure.

Janów Podlaski and Michalów were led by two great and knowledgable Directors after World War II – Andrzej Krzysztalowicz at Janów Podlaski and Ignacy Jawarowski at Michalów. Krzysztalowicz had the huge task of rebuilding the breeding program after World War II and Jawarowski was the first Director at the newly built Michalów where the Klemensów horses were moved to. Both of these men were great horsemen, they had been working with breeding for a long time prior to being Directors and they knew that breeding is not a short-term operation. If we look back today on the mares that they were given, It is impressive to see how they skillfully used the mares to create a new foundation on which today’s Polish Arabian horse is built upon.

In the 1970´s Marek Trela and Jerzy Bialobok started to work at Janów Podlaski and Michalów respectively and as in Polish tradition they worked next to the Directors – Marek Trela as the Veterinarian at the farm and Jerzy Bialobok started out as a groom. More than 20 years later both of them were to step into the shoes of their mentors but they still had Krzysztalowicz and Jawarowski living at the farms with the opportunity to discuss and explore different situations or thoughts.

Trela and Bialobok had not only the task of continuing the breeding program, but also the task of getting the stud farms to be self-supporting. Looking back at their time as Directors they have not only succeeded with that, they have also positioned Janów Podlaski and Michalów as the best and most successful Arabian horse stud farms in the world. They have earned, together with Anna Stojanowska, a respect and trust from breeders all over the world and they are well respected judges and representatives of Poland.

I plea to you, with my greatest respect, to reinstate these three experts to maintain the continuity and effectiveness of the Polish breeding programs. The Polish Arabian Horse is Your National Treasure and it is of outmost importance to secure the future and to preserve the Polish Arabian State Studs Janów Podlaski, Michalów and Bialka.


Anette Mattsson

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