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by wittelsbuerger.com / Michal Pec

Reining community in Europe is growing fast. But one spot in Central Europe was unfortunately forgotten: Poland, known for its cavalry traditions and great Arabian horses. In Poland the interest in reining is growing slowly but steadily. Everything started in 2000, when Katarzyna Roleska brought to Poland the first reining horse - a palomino Quarter Horse stallion Miles O Rima (by Jac O Rima out of WH Jills Peppy). Miles, bred in Helmut Schulz's Westernstar Training Center has been ridden by Aleksander Jarmula. This team started to promote reining throughout demonstrations and clinics held in conjunction with equine shows.

One of the most important factors in the development of western riding in Poland was the possibility to introduce this sport to general equine public during the biggest Polish horse fair - Hippica Varsovia. This three-day event takes place every year in May and gathers more than 10 000 spectators on the Warsaw-Sluzewiec Hippodrome. The organizer, Polish Prestige (company specializing in the organization of horse auctions, shows and competitions; from 1996 to 2000 Polish Prestige was the organizer of the world famous Arabian horses auction in Janow Podlaski) was the main supporter of western riding demonstrations and shows during the Hippica Varsovia. Two years ago, with the joint efforts of the organizers and reining lovers, Hippica Varsovia 2002 hosted the first ever-reining show in Poland (won by Aleksander Jarmula on Miles O Rima). In 2003 reiners inaugurated a new arena - Marek Nortman on a Paint Horse mare Miss Toly Honorace won a prize of 250 USD. Today the western shows during Hippica are considered as the main support of the whole fair.

To give a boost to reining, Polish Prestige and Polish Equestrian Federation decided to organize this year the 1st International Reining Show in Poland. This event should be the highlight of the Hippica Varosvia 2004 horse fair. The exact date is still to be announced - the fair is scheduled for May 2004. There are two possible dates: May 22-23 and May 29-30 - decision will be made at the end of this week.

The 1st International Reining Show will offer one Open class with a prize money of 5000 PLN (ca. 1050 EUR). Due to a specific character of the event (held in conjunction with a horse fair), the number of participants will be limited to 12 horses. The show will be outdoors, on a 60 x 45 m arena located on beautiful Sluzewiec Racecourses' grounds in Warsaw. Competitors can expect to be evaluated by a renowned judge from the NRHA, AQHA or FEI list.

The organizers are expecting participation of riders from many European countries. It would be a great promotion of reining in Poland. One thing is sure: the combination of reining sport, fair and entertainment will gather a lot of spectators during the show.

For further information please contact: Michal PEC, phone: +48 604 589 453, e-mail: mipe@poczta.wp.pl

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