There has been a global outcry among Arabian horse enthusiasts following the replacement of three experienced and influential figures, who were in charge of Poland’s state studs of Janow Podlaski and Michalow, writes Marilyn Sweet.
On Friday, 19 February it became clear that stud directors Marek Trela (pictured) and Jerzy Bialobok, as well as the chief Arabian horse specialist Anna Stojanowska, had been “released from employment” by the Polish Ministry of Agriculture and the Agricultural Property Agency. All three served several years being mentored by the previous directors and inspector before taking over their roles and are held in high regard as top judges.
Marek Trela is currently the vice president of the World Arabian Horse Organisation (WAHO).
The studs are regarded worldwide as centres of excellence of Arabian horses, with the results of their carefully considered breeding programmes consistently selling for top prices during the annual Pride of Poland sale. The mare Pepita achieved a record price of €1.4m (£1,102,000) in 2015.
Since being elected in October 2015, the Law and Justice party has made sweeping changes resulting in many replacements of managers of all types of state enterprises.
Marek Trela said: “I would never have believed that our Polish Arabian state studs, which survived two world wars and communism, could be at risk in times of democracy and freedom.”
Jaroslav Lacina, president of the European Conference of Arabian Horse Organisations (ECAHO) has contacted those responsible for the dismissals and attended a protest held in Warsaw on 27 February.
Peter Pond, president of WAHO, said: “Allowing inexperienced people to take the many and important decisions that are necessary for the successful and sound future of these world famous establishments could, without a doubt, lead to the rapid and serious diminishing of their present high standards.
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“This potential loss of such an invaluable and unique heritage — the great national treasures that are the Polish Arabians of which the Polish people are so rightfully proud and which have been nurtured for so long — is unthinkable to the international community of WAHO.”
Ref: Horse & Hound; 3 March 2016