Basic Field Bravery Test of Sztumski Mares and Stallions, 29 July 2012

On the last Sunday of July (29 July), the Basic Field Bravery Test of Sztumski Mares and Stallions was held for the fourth time in the Horse Stud Narusa near Frombork in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodeship.

Young mares, which in the future will be able to participate in genetic resources conservation programme for cold-blooded horses, coordinated by the National Research Institute of Animal Production, took part in the draught horse test. It is worth underlining that this test is voluntary for cold-blooded mares and the Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodeship is one of the few where it has been organized for many years. The Field Test for cold-blooded horses consisted in covering a several hundred metre route, determined in the field at a walk or a trot. This is a draught horse test and it aims at proving the usefulness of a mare to working use. Although the number of horses currently used in agriculture is small, it is important to check their character, temperament and their willingness to cooperate with humans.

The Evaluation Committee, composed of the Chairperson – Marek Morawiec, the Director of Warmian-Masurian Horse Breeders Association, Grażyna Polak, Ph.D. – the Coordinator of the Program for the Preservation of Sztumski Horse Genetic Resources, Andrzej Kopczyk – the Director of the Pomeranian Horse Breeders Association and Henryk Kuhn – the President of the Warmian-Masurian Horse Breeders Association, took into consideration the following qualities: “character and behaviour”, “style of moving, halting, immobility”, “walk” and “trot”.

Seven mares took part in the test. DALIA (born in 2010), the property of the organizer of the event – Jolanta Tulisow, was chosen as the best mare in Sztumski type, followed by ALGIDA (born in 2010) and ATENCJA mares (born in 2009). Three stallions were also the subject of the Basic Field Test. Black WIST received the best score and is the property of Cezary Świerdzewski, who also owns a herd of mares which participate in the program for the preservation of Sztumski horse genetic resources.

Apart from the Field Bravery Test, the program of the event also included amateur competitions in driving draughts drawn by one or two horses and a family picnic. Draughts from the whole voivodeship took part in the competitions. They were prepared by private studs and stables: the Horse Stud Galiny, the Horse Stud Wieniec, stables from Piastów, Smolajny, Drewnów, Chojnów, Rogity and Malinów. Stallion Herd Kętrzyn put up its draught.

Unfortunately, the weather was bad and the whole event was interrupted four times with torrential rains, which thwarted the plans of the organizers. Apart from this, the Narusa Horse Stud was visited by many guests and tourists. Special appreciation is due to starting draughts, which fought for victory until the end in spite of very adverse conditions. The competitions, in which cold-blooded horses take part arouse increasing interest from owners, breeders and the public. Every year, in many regions of Poland, amateur competitions for cold-blooded horses are organized in log-rolling, sports ploughing, driving and also draught shows and races etc. which provide an opportunity to learn the assets of the old breeds of work horses.