“The organiser of the Pride of Poland auction will be the stud farm in Janów [Poldlaski] which has selected the International Poznań fairs as a subcontractor. I am convinced that the auction which results will be of an adequate result this year,” Waldemar Humięcki, the head of the Agricultural Property Agency (ANR) said on Friday.
The previous subcontractor of the auction, Polturf, resigned earlier this week in the wake of a scandal surrounding two stud farms in the country, including the Janów Podlaski farm.
"I hereby inform that Polturf company is no longer the organiser of the 2016 Arabian Horse Days. I wish to thank all that have supported this event over the last 15 years: our Clients, Guests, Sponsors, the wonderful Janów Podlaski Public, as well as Contributors and Friends. It was a pleasure meeting with you in Janów Podlaski during the beautiful and joyful National Championships and the Pride of Poland Sale. We are proud for having been a small part of the Arabian horse world," Polturf said in a statement.
Earlier in April, Shirley Watts, wife of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, threatened to sue Polish government officials over the death of two Arabian mares she kept at the famous state-run Janów Podlaski stud in eastern Poland, Britain’s The Guardian daily reported.
The Guardian cited Shirley Watts as saying: “I am going to sue them because of the way they treated my mares.”
The two 16-year-old horses, Amra and Preria, died while in the care of the Janów Podlaski stud, to which Watts had loaned four mares to help expand a valuable Arabian bloodline, The Guardian said.
A new head of the stud farm was appointed in February by Poland’s new Law and Justice (PiS) government, replacing longstanding head Marek Trela, sparking protests in the equestrian world. The first death, of a mare named Pianissima, took place in October, before the dismissal of Trela.
In August 2015, the Pride of Poland auction saw the sale of 28 mares bred mainly in the state stud farms of Janów Podlaski, Michałow and Białka.
Pepita, a grey Arabian mare foaled in 2005 sold for a record EUR 1.4 million – the highest ever in Poland.
The second and third most expensive thoroughbreds, Pistoria and Wieża Róż brought in EUR 625,000 and 270,000 respectively. (rg)