Brazilian Arabian Horse Breeders Association

Dear Sirs,

ABCCA – Brazilian Arabian Horse Breeders Association – as the official Arabian Horse Breeders’ entity within the Brazilian territory, would like hereby to express its full support to dedicated horse people in Poland of invaluable importance to the Arabian horse breeding, namely Mr. Marek Trela from Janow Podlaski, Mr. Jerzy Bialobok from Michalow, and Mrs. Anna Stojanowska from the Agricultural Property Agency.

In this regard we would like to point out our concern over the dismissal of those professionals who devoted their talent and their professional and personal lives to these jobs, becoming internationally respected experts, serving the Arabian horse community worldwide with significant contributions to some of the most highly esteemed breeding programs.

Therefore we are kindly asking this honorable Authority/entity… to reconsider such decisions, which may cause irreparable harm not only to the greatest value of the Polish Arabian breeding program, but to the breed everywhere around the world.

In the meantime let us once more express our full respect for your entity… as well the thanks in advance in the name of the Brazilian Arabian horse breeders.

Sincerely

Brazilian Arabian Horse Breeders Association

Ann Norden, International Judge & Breeder, Sweden

Due to the very disturbing situation in Poland and the world famous State studs concerning the ill-advised removal of lifelong knowledge and leadership, I would humbly call on you to reinstate Ms. Anna Stojanowska, Mr. Jerzy Bialobok and Dr. Marek Trela to their positions of authority.

These three have never in their duty as either representing their forefathers or the country of Poland abroad, in the State Studs or while judging the most prestigious shows in the world, done anything to bring harm to Poland, but have acted always in the best interest of Poland and ECAHO.

I hereby state that I will not accept to judge in Poland and one of the greatest shows in the world – the Polish National Championships, until these three eminent guardians of the Arabian Horse are reinstated in their rightful positions.

With the highest respect for these three horse experts,

Mrs Ann Nordén, Sweden

ECAHO – A judge
Member of the Swedish Trust of Arab Horse Registry

Vice president of Spargodt AB, Sweden – Agricultural Company
Vice President of Inka AB,Sweden – Constuction Company

Claudia Darius, International Judge & Breeder – Darius Arabians, Germany

As a breeder, international judge and a professional in the Arabian horse world, I am deeply concerned by the recent actions in Poland regarding the dismissals of Anna Stojanowska, Jerzy Bialobok and Marek Trela. Specifically, in the last twenty years, Poland has become a leading country for producing World and European Champions. In addition, and equal in importance, it has made significant contributions to some of the most highly esteemed breeding programs in the world. Due to generations of intensely selective breeding methods by dedicated and knowledgeable experts, Poland is a major treasure source for world class Arabian horses.

The directors of Janów Podlaski and Michałów Stud, as well as Anna Stojanowska, are internationally respected experts serving as judges, instructors and officials in WAHO and ECAHO. Experience and knowledge should not be lost, but rather, cherished and passed on to future generations, as has been the Polish tradition. I urge the consideration for the reinstatement of Anna Stojanowska, Jerzy Bialobok and Marek Trela. All three individuals have given so much of their lives to the advancement of one of the most influential and important breeding programs in the world.

Claudia Darius

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.

Sincerely,

Anette Mattsson

Betty Finke, Journalist & Arabian Breed Historian, Germany

Why the chain of Poland’s Arabian Heritage Should Remain Unbroken

By Betty Finke

Poland is very fortunate to have the two most successful and universally respected state stud farms in the entire world.

State studs are the backbone of any breed, ensuring a continuity of breeding far beyond what any private stud farm can achieve. There are not many state farms for Arabian horses, and among them, Janow Podlaski is the oldest. For two centuries, it has protected the legacy of the Arabian Horse of Poland, whose roots extend back even further. It has survived the devastation of two world wars, has suffered several evacuations, massive loss of horses, and changing political systems. It has survived because, through all these upheavals, its fate was in the hands of men who knew what was at stake and who knew what they were doing. Each one of its directors learned from his predecessor as he grew into his role. This does not happen suddenly. It is a slow process, a process of learning — learning about the horses, their history, their characteristics, learning what is best for the breed, for the present as well as for the future. It takes years.

Michalow may not be as old as Janow Podlaski, but the heritage of its horses is equally as venerable and the same conditions apply. Here, too, the knowledge has been passed on from one director to the next, a natural progression that guaranteed nothing was lost.

Under Andrzej Krzysztalowicz and Ignacy Jaworowski, respectively, Janow Podlaski and Michalow rose to greatness during the 20th century. They bred horses that influenced Arabian breeding across the world, they created broodmare bands second to none.

Their successors Marek Trela and Jerzy Bialobok carried the heritage forwards into the 21th century. Under their stewardship, Janow Podlaski and Michalow have become top players in the global Arabian industry. This century has seen the renaissance of Arabian breeding in the Middle East and the consequent rise of the Arab countries to dominance in the Arabian show scene and industry. In all of Europe, only the Arabians from Michalow and Janow Podlaski have been able to stand successfully against their Middle Eastern competitors. They have been able to do so because their directors knew what they had to do and how to do it. By judiciously admitting new bloodlines, they made their horses competitive in the modern world, yet never losing touch with their ancient heritage. No matter what was added to the mix, the horses have always remained distinctly Polish Arabians, their roots tracing back to the old, consolidated families these stud farms have preserved for centuries.

It is a delicate balance to maintain. It is a task impossible to comprehend for anyone not familiar with the subject, much less to continue.
State studs depend on the goodwill of their governments as well as the capability of their directors. The former Russian State Stud Tersk, for many years itself a global leader, has sunk into insignificance, lacking leadership with enough vision to carry it into the future. Bábolna in Hungary once gave the world its own unique brand of Arabian, the Shagya. Ever since the Hungarian government replaced its director, it has gone through a series of directors and is barely heard of anymore. Back in the 1950s, the Egyptian state stud El Zahraa only escaped dissolution because one man stood up and pleaded for its preservation as a national heritage, on a par with the Pyramids. It survived, but has been struggling ever since, passing from one director to the next.

It is not one man standing up pleading for Poland’s heritage. It is the world.

Poland’s state studs have succeeded in maintaining unbroken continuity in Arabian horse breeding, which is reflected in their achievements today. Poland’s Arabian horses are admired, respected, and sought-after the world over, they fetch huge prices, they win championships wherever they are shown. Poland has won the All Nations Cup, the most prestigious prize in the Arabian show scene, so often now that it might as well stay there.
None of this would have been possible without the vision, the knowledge of the people who made the decisions. Janow Podlaski and Michalow are the only Arabian state studs in the world whose continuity has never been compromised. Until now.

By removing those who have made all this possible, Polish Arabian breeding has suffered the greatest disruption in its entire history. It is a threat every bit as serious as the last war. And why? Yes, there may have been mistakes. Nobody is infallible. There may have been too many embryos. But in view of the big picture, these things pale into insignificance.

If an important historical building had a slight crack in the wall – would the solution be to demolish the entire building? Placing the fate of a 200-year-old heritage in the hands of people who have no knowledge of it, would be courting disaster. Breeding Arabian horses is not a matter of bookkeeping, least of all at this level, when a national heritage is at stake. It takes commitment, knowledge, and vision. It takes directors teaching their successors, so that they may grow into their responsibility, just as they did themselves. To preserve the continuity and integrity of Poland’s national treasure, the Arabian horse.

With this in mind, I respectfully urge the Polish government to rethink its decision.

It is not yet too late.

Gudrun Waiditschka, Editor & Journalist, Germany

Gudrun Waiditschka, Editor in Chief of Arabian Horses In The Focus, is a respected journalist and horsewoman who has been actively involved with the Arabian horse her entire life.

Walking down the tree-lined avenue towards the iconic Clock-tower stable in Janow Podlaski, you breathe history. I’ve always loved to be here as I love both Arabian horses and history, and especially the history of Arabian horse breeding. Right now, we are witnessing another chapter in Arabian horse history unfolding – but I would rather prefer not to…

As a teenager, I had a favourite book: Erika Schiele’s “The Arab Horse in Europe” in which she described the history of Arabian horse breeding in each European country. Great emphasis was put on the state studs and one could locate them on a map. “If only I could go there once in my life”, I was thinking as a twelve-year-old kid.

Since then, I have visited most of them, including the Polish State Studs Janow Podlaski, Michalow and Bialka. Not just once, but many times. At the same time many of the State Studs in other countries have been closed down (Yeguada Militar / Spain), have been privatized (Chreneovoje and Tersk in Russia) or fallen into oblivion over time (Bábolna / Hungary), mainly because they were not competitive enough in the ever changing world of Arabian horse breeding. The Polish State Studs – up to now – are different. Not only are they profitable, their breeding products have defined the standard, have gained the highest merits possible in the show rings worldwide while at the same time preserving a 200 year old legacy.

Now, all of a sudden, the world famous studs Janow Podlaski and Michalow have been “decapitated”, they have been deprived of their “brains”, of their leaders. I have seen this type of change in leadership in other state studs before (e.g. Hungary). As we all know, changes may be for better or worse. However, if a stud is at its climax of success – can it get any better with new leadership? I am afraid not. It would be difficult enough to maintain it at previous heights.

Don’t worry. The decline will not come overnight, as there are skilled people in the studs, who will take care of the horses on a daily basis. The breeding plans for this year are made. As for the auction – just put the best horses for sale, and you will have a satisfying result. To select which horse shall go to which show, will be the first challenge, but here you can rely on the “old champions” and the public will be happy to see them again. Even international co-operation will still be an option, as there will be plenty of breeders offering their second-class stallions for free – I’ve seen all this happening before… The real problems will start with the breeding plans for next year… and in four or five years you can see yourself according to the economic figures, whether to sack the most brilliant minds and skillful breeders we have in Arabian horse breeding was a good idea. Unfortunately, it will be too late…

But there is one more aspect, that moves me even more than the predictable demise of the State Studs. It is the personal tragedy, imposed on Marek Trela, Jerzy Bialobok and Anna Stojanowska. I know all three for 15-20 years, and I can truly say that I have never met any more dedicated people, their jobs were their lives – or vice versa. To accompany Marek Trela on his morning round through the stables at 5.30h, when he recalled the story of each horse, explaining why this foal came up to his expectations, another not quite, are amongst my most treasured memories. Together with the late Izabella Zawazdka, these people have shaped my image of Poland, as I am sure is true for many others. They do not deserve to be sacked in such a manner.

Of course, with their expertise and reputation, they will find new employment, if they wish so, but their rightful place is in Poland, in Janow Podlaski and Michalow, to continue their work which inspired so many other breeders worldwide.

Yours sincerely,

Gudrun Waiditschka

Nina Suskevicova, Suweco Arabians, Czech Republic

Just ten days past, it is still hard to accept that the Polish government can act in such an irrational manner as to remove Marek Trela, Jerzy Bialobok and Anna Stojanowska from their positions of authority at the State Studs with no professional grounds. The government must recognise the value of three persons as the most valuable experts on the Polish National Treasure – the world-famous Polish Arabian State Studs and their breeding programs. Their names – Trela, Bialobok & Stojanowska – are the guarantee of quality within the State Studs to all partners and clients around the world. This faith and trust in the Polish Arabian horse has been built over decades through the efforts of these three – and their predecessors before them. Through these ill-advised actions of the government, this trust can easily be lost, running the risk that it can never be regained.

All breeders of Arabian horses worldwide must see the dismissal of these three people as the huge mistake. Playing politics with the Arabian horse – Poland’s National Treasure – is a dangerous game that can only end badly for everyone – people and horses alike. The greatest value of the Polish Arabian breeding program is the continuity of generations of knowledge and centuries of tradition. Marek Trela and Jerzy Bialobok are not only top experts of the Arabian horse in Poland, but the most successful and well respected breeders of Arabian horses in the world. Losing them both would cause irreparable harm to the breed not only in Poland,  but everywhere around the world.

The world believes this injustice can be corrected and that Marek, Jerzy and Ania can be reinstated to their positions of authority within the Polish State Studs. The future of the Polish Arabian breeding program is at stake. The world stands behind Poland and behind the best protectors – Trela, Bialobok & Stojanowska – of her National Treasure – the Polish Arabian horse.

Sincerely,

Nina Suskevicova

Jeff & Roxanne Schall, Shada Inc, USA

Jeff & Roxanne Schall, with Jeff’s brother Jerry, manage Shada Inc in Minnesota, one the breed’s leading training and management facilities with over three decades of success. 

As a person who has committed his entire adult life of 31 years to the Arabian horse, and its breeders and enthusiasts, I would urge the Polish government to reevaluate the international importance of their breeding program and the people for whom helped make it so amazing. The expertise, wisdom and respect that Marek Trela, Jerzy Bialobok & Anna Stojanowska have is priceless. Their impact on the Arabian “Polish Stamp of Excellence” is felt, admired and revered around the globe.

No matter large or small, of wealth or modest means, if ever you have owned or encountered the Arabian Horse you have witnessed and experienced in some fashion the influence of the Polish Arabian. Granted my plea may be of little concern to some, given the fact that I have never been a direct customer, although I can assure you that our breed and your program is a better place because of these three individuals. Please make a difference in all of our lives and forge into the future with the same strong team you have had together for all these years!

Sincerely,

Jeff Schall

Mickey Hegg, International Breeder & Judge, Ireland

Gentlemen:

It has come to my attention that the directors of Bialka, Janow Podlaski, and Michalow, have all been terminated from their responsibilities with their respective studs. To say that I am disappointed in this action would not begin to express my total disbelief. The knowledge that will be lost in the continuity of breeding the world’s best Arabian horses will be a severe blow to the breed, not to even mention the market. The Arabian horse is Poland’s National Treasure, as validated in the book by Zenon Lipowicz.

We have been coming to Poland every year for the National Show, Arabian Horse Days, Auction, and farm tours. We have purchased five horses from the various farms, have intentions of looking for another colt/stallion, but without the direction of these master breeders with their advice, are questioning whether to do so.

Please reinstate these three expert and knowledgable directors, to maintain the continuity and effectiveness of the Polish breeding programs. You have survived wars, occupation, pestilence and the Russian Army devouring the horses, and the devotion of all the directors have helped the breeding to survive and thrive. Please reconsider the plan you have embarked upon, and reinstate these breeding experts, who are respected worldwide. Thank you for not letting this happen.

Best regards,

Mickey Hegg

Andrew K. Steen, Celebrated Author & Arabian Horse Historian, Spain

Andrew K. Steen is one of the foremost authorities on Arabian horse history in the world. He is the author of several of books on Arabian horse history that are “must reads” for all breed devotees. 

Kindly add my name to the long list of dedicated Arabian horse breeders and aficionados that is saddened, disappointed and outraged, by the recent events that have placed the Polish National Stud and its unique and priceless herd of Arabian horses in dire jeopardy of being forever lost.

The Ministry of Agriculture’s decision to abruptly fire and replace the Directors of the Studs who have dedicated many decades of their lives to the preseveration and perpetuation of one of the most renowned herds of Arabians in the world, is tantamount to cultural suicide! The ruling is disgraceful, contemptable. It is so ill-advised, illogical and imprudent, that it smacks of absolute stupidity.

The National Studs of Poland have greatly enriched and improved the quality of the horses bred at countless breeding farms throughout the world. They are a fundamental part of Poland’s history, heritage and worldwide prestige. The Ministry’s purely political decision must be reversed without delay.

– Andrew K. Steen