Al Khalediah Poland – evolutionary changes and the first „A” show in Poland

Interview by Urszula Łęczycka
Translation by Joanna Krawczyk

This year marks the 10th anniversary since Al Khalediah Stables sent its first horses to Poland to establish a branch of their breeding near Warsaw under the name of Al Khalediah Poland. When the decision was made to build a European branch of the stud in Poland, no one at the time knew that by lucky coincidence the stables would stand on lands once owned by the family of the most outstanding breeder in Polish post-war history. It was in Nowe Wrońska that in 1924 Ignacy Jaworowski was born, who 30 years later found his way to Michałów Stud and created a herd of Arabian horses that have been promoting the Polish Arabian all over the world. Today, on the anniversary of bringing horses to Al Khalediah Poland to Nowe Wrońska, the stud’s Board has been introducing innovative changes in the breeding program of show and racing horses of the branch, making staff changes at the very top of Al Khalediah Poland, as well as presenting the plans of the first in Poland „A” ECAHO show, a rank attributed since this year to the Al Khalediah European Arabian Horse Festival.

Al Khalediah Stud, Nowe Wrońska, Poland

HUBERT KULESZA General Director

Tutto Arabi: The year 2018 is not just an anniversary of the Al Khalediah branch in Poland, but also a year of significant changes in the same stud – in its breeding program, business activities on the Polish and foreign market, as well as staff changes. One of the important activities of the Stud – very significant for breeders and Arabian horse owners not just in Poland but also abroad – is the organized since 2014 Al Khalediah European Arabian Horse Festival, a show which this year will become the first „A” ranked ECAHO show in Poland. Apart from upgrading the rank and the Festival’s prestige can we expect significant changes in the organization and running of the event?

Hubert Kulesza: Definitely the organizing of the first „A” ranked show is a breakthrough event in the history of Arabian horse shows in Poland. It is a matter of pride for me not just because I am employed by the company that organizes this event, but I am filled with great satisfaction as a Pole that a show of this rank is organized on the one hundredth anniversary of regaining independence by our country. I believe that the combination of these two things ennobles the merits of Polish breeding and its achievements abroad. I would like to use this occasion to thank my co-workers for the amount of effort they have put in the organizing of the past four editions of the Festival. The decision of ECAHO to grant our show an „A” rank is also an acknowledgement of the entire team’s hard work. We have to be aware of the turning point that an „A” show is for Poland – we have found ourselves among six of the most prestigious events for Arabian horses in Europe and we are the first country organizing a show of this rank in our part of Europe. There cannot be many changes in the running of the show itself, because an ECAHO affiliation obliges us to hold it in accordance with specific rules. A novelty will be the expanding of the championship to hold top five titles. The rank of our shows makes also the fourth and fifth place an honour in the finals. When it comes to the rules of holding the championships we will keep the standard method with a modification. Of course many breeders prefer the open method, which is perhaps more attractive for the viewers when the judges’ verdict is not so obvious. However due to some controversies that have arisen when using this method at several important shows in the past season I think that we should continue the so far used methods for holding the finals during the Festival.

AKEAHF Festival, Nowe Wrońska, Poland
Pustynia Kahila, Gold Champion Senior Mares & Best in Show AKEAHF 2017 Nowe Wrońska, Poland

TA: Will the show’s participants need to qualify from shows of lesser ranks?

HK: According to ECAHO rules the organizer of an „A” show may require qualifications, however it is a right and not an obligation. Qualifications will result in a decrease of attendance and we have been very happy so far with the participation of about 100 horses at each of our Festival’s editions. I think that this number is a definite success placing us in the lead among European shows in terms of attendance. Our mission is to support the community of Arabian horse breeders and the fact that we are located in Poland particularly obliges us to support also our domestic breeders, expecially those that need the most help – the smallest ones who may just be starting out today, but in a few years will show up at the World Championships. Due to this we do not want to limit access to the Festival and close it for horses that have already achieved show successes . The decision is therefore final – there will be no qualifications.

TA: So let’s get back to the thrilling prizes… What will the horses compete for this year? Will it be prize money or in-kind prizes?

HK: The will of the owner and board of our company is to make the Al Khalediah European Arabian Horse Festival an event not of a commercial nature, but to support the community of breeders, also thanks to the funded prizes, which without any doubt cause emotions – and that makes me happy. Emotions cause people to talk about our show. The beginning of the year at Al Khalediah Poland is a time of establishing the budget, just like at any other large company. The final decisions have not yet been made, however due to the upgrade of the event’s rank you can expect an upgrade of prizes. The prizes will be just like before, both money and in-kind. I cannot at the moment reveal what they will be, but I can promise that they shall bring lots of satisfaction to the winners.

TA: The Festival is not just about competing on the show arena – Al Khalediah Poland is also the co-organizer of the Arabian Race Day that is part of the entire event. What are the prizes and races that the horses will compete for this year?

HK: Of course our event is not just about show horses, but also racing horses – each year we co-organize and sponsor at the Służewiec Race track an international A-category race under the name of Al Khalediah Poland Cup over 1600 m for 4 year old and older Arabian horses. The prize pool has been increased to 66,500 PLN (16,000 Euro), which makes it the third highest prize in the racing season for Arabian horses in Poland. This day will also include the Europa Cup, the most important international race for Arabian horses in Poland.

TA: There have also been some significant staff changes during the last year at Al Khalediah Poland…

HK: In order to achieve success you need to draw from the achievements of your predecessors. The Al Khalediah Poland Stud relies on continuity and an evolutionary nature of changes. A generation change is a natural event, when experienced managers pass the baton to the young. Such a change took place last year on the fundamental position of Stable Manager. After several years of managing the Al Khalediah stables in Poland Władysław Guziuk has deservedly retired. He was succeeded by Szymon Głowacki, who has been cooperating with us for several years now. I am counting on his enthusiasm, ambition, new look and experience in the field of breeding and training Arabians, both show and racing, which despite his young age he already has a lot of.


Fazza Al Khalediah
Fazza Al Khalediah, Białka Cup, 1st place


Tutto Arabi: What are Al Khalediah Poland’s main guidelines when it comes to the racing breeding program?

Szymon Głowacki: Al Khalediah Poland focuses greatly on Arabian horse racing not just in Poland, but also abroad, in countries much more developed in this field than Poland. Two years ago our stud has been enlarged by a group of mares from the Al Khalediah Stable in France. These mares introduced the blood of the stallion Tiwaiq to our breeding. The produce of these mares have also arrived with them and now you can watch them at the racing track. Horses that stood out in the past season where, among others, the unbeaten three year old colt Fazza Al Khalediah, Rammas Al Khalediah and Saudi Al Khalediah – all three are the sons of Jalnar Al Khalidiah (by Tiwaiq).

TA: The offspring of which outstanding racing stallions and damlines will we be seeing in the colours of the Al Khalediah stable at the race track this year?

SG: The racing program of Al Khalediah Poland is based on the stallion Tiwaiq, almost all the racing horses that we currently have are his sons, daughters or grandchildren. As you can see we have introduced this blood to our breeding with great success. Of course you will be able to see horses owned by Al Khalediah Poland in the 2018 season in Poland that have been previously known from the track, but our ambition are starts abroad. We want to compare out best horses with the competition in Europe and in the future also in the Middle East. When it comes to the offspring then this season we have the largest group by Nayef Al Khalidiah, winner of the President of the United Arab Emirates Cup Stakes. He is currently the most outstanding race horse in the Al Khalediah Stables, who has won many prestigious stakes also at French tracks. The second used sire is Jalnar Al Khalidiah – the sire of the afore mentioned Fazza, Rammas and Saudi Al Khalediah, a horse that has proven himself a superb sire not only on the tracks in Poland, but also in France and the Middle East. We also cannot forget the stallion Nashwan Al Khalidiah, also the winner of the President of the United Arab Emirates Cup Stakes, who has given the known in Poland Shadwan Al Khalediah. The get of these three sires will definitely be seen in the colours of Al Khalediah Poland.

TA: How can Polish and European Arabian horse breeders benefit from the racing breeding program at Al Khalediah Poland?

SG: We want to make the proven blood of Tiwaiq available also to other breeders. In this breeding season Hyyaf al Khalediah is on lease to one of the best stables that breed Arabian horses focused on racing – SK Czorty of Mr. Daniel Gromala, the breeder of the superb Derby winner Shannon Queen.

TA: Is Al Khalediah Poland going to support the organization of Arabian horse breeding in Poland and how?

SG: Definitely a huge support from Al Khalediah Poland in organizing racing in Poland is the co-organization of the Al Khalediah Poland Cup – the third in terms of prize money in Poland. We are making this money available to other breeders and horses owners, because we do not enter our own horses for this race.

TA: In this season Al Khalediah Poland is also focusing on strengthening its breeding program oriented at show horses…

Offspring 2017
Salman Al Khalediah
HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship IFAHR - 1st place

SG: At Al Khalediah Poland we have a very good group of broodmares representing damlines from all over the world. It is a promising genetic foundation which we have great hopes for when it comes to breeding show horses. When speaking of stallions, my largest hopes are associated with El Palacio VO, who arrived at our branch in Poland at the end of last year. It is no secret that I want to use him as widely as possible. He combines three very valuable bloodlines – Egyptian, Polish and Spanish. He has already given very good offspring in the Middle East and very promising foals by him are being born this year in Europe, also in Poland. In 2018 we are offering fresh and frozen semen of El Palacio VO for mares in Poland and abroad.

TA: What traits desired in the modern type of Arabian horse does El Palacio VO pass onto his offspring?

SG: El Palacio VO’s huge asset is definitely his pedigree – on the dam side he comes from Poland’s best damline of Milordka, whose successes do not have to be introduced. El Palacio VO’s dam, El Dorada, is a multichampion from Europe and the USA, an outstanding broodmare. El Palacio’s sire, Al Lahab, is a World Champion, one of the best Straight Egyptian sires available in Europe. His sire Laheeb was a very good fit for the Polish breeding program, where he left very good daughters. El Palacio VO himself also successfully competed at shows – he was World Reserve Champion, among others. For two years now he has been available outside of Al Khalediah, where he has sired the mare Bint Hazy Al Khalediah Stables, World and All Nations Cup Junior Reserve Champion and World Senior Top Ten Mare from Paris. This year the mare won a bronze medal at the 2018 PSHIAF in Saudi Arabia, receiving very high marks for type. This is El Palacio VO’s main asset as a sire – he passes on good type, a pretty head with a large, black eye, shapely ear and correctness of build. We would like to invite everyone to take the opportunity to use El Palacio VO and of course to participate in the Al Khalediah European Arabian Horse Festival, which will take place during the 17-19th of

El Palacio VO

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