POLAND (by Agata Grosicka) The Polish Dressage Indoor Cup 2017 took place in Michałowice outside Cracow during the last March weekend. One of the key events for breeders, riders and everyone involved in Polish dressage, it sums up the winter season and gives the clear indication which horses and riders may dominate Poland’s dressage arenas throughout the coming year.
A total of 99 contestants participated in 30 classes over three days of competition in all age-group categories. What is worth noting is the fact that the most interesting performances were delivered by young horses that were awarded in 2015 and 2016 at the Polish championships for young horses. As dressage is where experience, technique and years of practice count, it was a good indication that these horses are naturally gifted and have promising sport and breeding futures ahead of them.
One of the most shining stars of the show was the seven-year-old Hanoverian stallion Lord Django (Stalypso - Lona x London- derry), owned and ridden by Ilona Janas (43). The couple won bronze in the seniors’ final competing against much older and more experienced horses. Lord Django comes from Herman Sprehe’s breeding center and Janas mentioned that he was born on April 1 – April Fool’s day. “He was not an easy partner in the early days. He was like a big baby, always ready to argue but was never a dangerous horse. In the first competitions he loved looking around, he was not scared, only curious.” The couple finished second in the four- year-old Polish championship, won the following year at the age of five, and in 2016 qualified for the dressage World Breeding Championship for Young Horses (WBCYH) in Ermelo, the Netherlands. Janas continued by saying, “He has matured a lot. You can see now that he knows his value. He loves to com- pete. Whenever he enters the dressage arena he’s ready to show off which is great”. The pair has already qualified for this year’s WBCYH in the seven-year- old category and, earlier this month at the Stadl Paura CDI-YH in Austria, they scored 73.93%. Al- though Ermelo is their primary goal for this season, Janas also wants to launch Lord Django’s breeding career.