Janow Podlaski, with a royal tradition of nearly two centuries, is at the heart of the Polish Arabian community – a mecca of bloodstock, architecture and breeding wisdom. Established by royal decree under Czar Alexander I, Janow Podlaski has been from its inception the source of the very best equine bloodstock in the country. Janow is famous not only for its accomplished and celebrated Arabians, but its equally talented Anglo-Arabians, many of whom have competed at the FEI and Olympic levels in Show Jumping, Eventing & Dressage.
Every important dam and sire line in Poland has a common link to Janow Podlaski. As the most important source of Arabian breeding in inter-war Poland, Janow Podlaski is responsible the world famous “Kuhailan” type of Polish Arabian, as well as for breed legends such as Gazella II, Mammona, Fetysz, Eleonora, Ofir and his famous sons, the four “W”s: Witraz, Wielki Szlem, Witez II & Wyrwidab.
The Polish foundation of the famous Tersk Stud of Russia was comprised of principally Janow Podlaski Arabians confiscated by the Red Army at the onset of World War II. Janow’s legendary Director Andrzej Krzysztalowicz not only held together the remnants of Polish Arabian breeding during the horrors of the Second World War, but traveled with his beloved horses during the evacuation to Germany at the close of the war, and via ship during the repatriation of the surviving Arabians back to Poland in 1946.
With Janow in shambles post-war, the best of the Janow-bred Arabians were dispersed to three interim studs: Albigowa, Nowy Dwor and Klemensow. Following reconstruction, Arabian breeding was returned to Janow Podlaski in 1960, celebrated with the arrival of such luminaries as Bandola, Arfa, Comet, Eunice, Ellora, Etna and Algonkina from Albigowa and Nowy Dwor. Lost dam lines were returned via select purchases from Tersk, including the famous “P” families of modern-day Janow via Parma and especially Piewica.
It was here in Janow Podlaski that Dr. LaCroix and his young son Gene first discovered Bask. It is also in Janow that each August the world gathers to celebrate the annual auction – Pride of Poland – and the Polish National Show during Polish Arabian Horse Days. Many of the breed’s most celebrated Arabians were created at Janow Podlaski: breed pillars El Paso, Bandos, Pilarka, Etruria, Algeria, Eukaliptus and Sasanka, as well as modern superstars Pinga, Palmeta, Pogrom & Pianissima.
Positioned on Poland’s Eastern border at the doorstep of the celebrated 19th century Arabian studs of the Polish aristocracy, Janow Podlaski emerges as the stoic epicenter of Polish Arabian breeding – ornate, renaissance- inspired buildings amidst a lush, densely forested landscape. Time at Janow is well spent with trips to hallowed stables and expansive pastures, visits with old friends and the discovery of new favorites, and paying homage to the people and horses who paved the way for modern success with unyielding sacrifice and wisdom.
As the youngest of the three State Studs, the Arabian breeding program at Bialka was established in 1983 as an expanded business endeavor of one of Poland’s leading National Stallion Depots. Foundation stock was composed of dam lines from all three State Studs in existence at the time, representing a broad cross-section of the entire breeding program. The majority of the breeding herd from Kurozweki State Stud was entrusted to Bialka early in the new millennium when the program was terminated.
As a stallion depot focused primarily on producing world-class sport horses, the initial aim of the Arabian program at Bialka was to breed top quality athletes from Poland’s proven performance dam lines. Within the first decade, Bialka was responsible for several of the leading Arabian racehorses on the track in Warsaw, including Derby winners Dziewierz and Ostragon, Oaks winners Al Adha, Aryjka and Fiszka, and Criterium winner Fiolek, as well as for Poland’s most titled international endurance horse Alahar.
With representatives from Janow’s “P” and Michalow’s “E” families, Bialka has been consistently successful in creating international quality show horses. Foundation mare Pentoza, the “Queen of Bialka”, was especially prolific at producing top quality females. Her descendants now comprise the largest family of mares at Bialka, from which hail multi-international champion Pesal, the very first Polish National Junior & Senior Champion Stallion to be named Best in Show on both occasions, as well as the reigning darling of European and Middle Eastern show ring, Perfinka: All Nations Cup, PSIAHF and UK International Gold Champion, and World, European and Qatar International Silver Champion Junior Mare.
International Champions Egema, Ekina and Emon, as well as Polish National Reserve Champion Emika all hail from Bialka, as does British National & UK International Champion Mare Maesta. From the Kurozweki dam lines, Bialka is the proud breeder of Hun, champion on three continents. Bialka is also caretaker to the rarest dam line in Poland, Bent-Al-Arab, along with the small, but valuable “C” branch of the Gazella dam line, responsible for international Bialka-bred champions Celsjusz, Camilia and Ciarka.
Set serenely amidst the rolling hills of Old Poland near historic Lublin, Bialka has a long-standing tradition of service and hospitality. With its pristine park-like center oval and dramatic backdrop, Bialka is home annually each May to the Polish Spring Show, Poland’s largest annual all-Arabian event. Brimming with potential with its impressive assortment of prolific mares and a promising collection of thoughtfully-bred youngstock, every visit to Bialka is a glimpse into the future of Arabian horse breeding in Poland.
Established in 1953, Michalow Stud was created when the post-war breeding program of Klemensow was relocated. Making the transition with the modest herd of Arabians and the burgeoning breeding program was Director Ignacy Jaworowski, the visionary breeder who would guide the success of Michalow for over 45 years from the most genetically challenged of the three post-war studs to one of the most well-respected and globally impactful breeding programs in the history of the breed.
Conceptually, Michalow was to be the breeding source of “Saklawi” type Arabians in Poland. Tall, elegant, refined and charismatic, this type of Arabian, most oftentimes grey in color, became the hallmark of Michalow, eventually setting the standard for this type of Arabian worldwide. Director Jaworowski was especially fond of his mares, the result of which led to the creation of arguably the most beautiful and prolific collection of Arabian mares to be found anywhere in the world.
The inherent beauty and show ring presence of the Michalow Arabian has always translated to abundant success in the international show ring. The very first European Champion Mare was Director Jaworowski’s all-time favorite: Estebna. From 1966 to present-day, Michalow holds the honor of breeding more United States National Champion Mares, eight in total, than any other breeding program: Dornaba (1966), Elkana (1972), Wizja (1977), Kawalkada (1993), Kwestura (2002), Zagrobla (2003), El Dorada (2006), and Emandoria (2007).
At the World Championships at the turn of the millennium in 2000, Michalow-bred Arabians claimed three of the four breeding championships with World Champion Stallion (Ekstern), World Champion Mare (Zagrobla), and World Champion Junior Mare (Emmona), as well as with World Reserve Champion Mare (Kwestura). Michalow is the proud breeder of several record setting mares, including the only two-time World Champion (Kwestura) and the only two-time Dubai Gold Cup Champion (Emandoria) and is the only breeder to have won both the prestigious Breeders Cup at the World Cup in Las Vegas as well as to have bred two Supreme Champion Mares at the same event: Emandoria (2008) and Wieza Mocy (2014).
Today, Michalow is the largest of the three State Studs, and can proudly boast more international champions in residence than any other Arabian breeding farm in the world. Michalow is still home to one of the world’s most exquisite collection of Arabian mares, including dozens of members of the universally esteemed “E” dam family through Estokada & Emigracja, descendants of the legendary daughters of Naborr & Comet, as well as the best of the living legend daughters of Monogramm & Gazal Al Shaqab.
Situated near the royal district of Krakow in ancient Poland, Michalow is firmly established in Poland’s prime agricultural region. Efficiently designed and expertly managed, the stud, with its spacious limestone stables built with quarried stone native to the region, is situated in a fertile river valley of productive fields and broad vistas. Every visit is a major event, as Michalow never fails to astound with dozens of international champions, legendary dams of distinction, accomplished sires of significance and a super abundance of exceptional youngsters.
The race track at Sluzewiec is one of the largest and most beautiful in the world, set in a greenway in the heart of Warsaw. Horse racing in Warsaw began in 1777. Racing was held in a part of Mokotow Field (which remains a large park in Warsaw) until Sluzewiec opened in 1939. Today, the racing season runs from spring until late autumn, with the historic Polish Derby and Wielka Warszawska, which was first run in 1895. Long used as the proving-grounds for horses from the state studs, Polish racing now attracts entries from private breeders as well.