Training for Sokólski horse breeders, Szepietowo 2016

Between 8 and 9 November 2016 a training for breeders, participating in the genetic resources conservation programme of Sokólski horses, organized by the National Research Institute of Animal Production and co-financed from the European Union funds as part of the Technical Aid of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, was held in the Podlaski Agricultural Advisory Centre in Szepietowo. More than 70 breeders and also the employees of the Provincial and District Horse Breeders Associations, agri-environmental advisers and the employees of district branches of the Agency for Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture (ARMA) took part in the training.

During two days’ training seven papers and presentations  concerning the niggling problems of Sokólski horse breeding were presented.

On behalf of the organizer – the National Research Institute of Animal Production, the gathered people were welcomed by Prof. Jędrzej Krupiński, Ph.D., who also delivered the first lecture concerning history and current state of the farm animal genetic conservation programmes in Poland. Then, Grażyna Polak, Ph.D. presented the paper on the state of the realization of Sokólski horse genetic resources conservation. The representative of the District Branch of ARMA in Wysokie Mazowieckie spoke about the payment for farmers maintaining native breeds, whereas the rules of the commission inspection of mares introduced to conservation programmes since 2017 were presented by the President of Herd-book Commission of cold-blooded horses, Wiesław Niewiński, M.Sc. On the next day (Wednesday) three papers were delivered. The paper concerning horse breeding in the voivodeships of north-eastern Poland was presented by the Director of the Białostocki Horse Breeders Association – Marek Niewiński, M.Sc. The penultimate paper presented by Romualda Danków, Ph.D. from the Poznań University of Life Sciences generated most interest. It concerned the alternative means of using Sokólski horses, use of mares for milk production. The paper was rewarded with an applause and generated an animated discussion. The last paper was delivered by the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Jacek Chmielewski, who presented the state of the realization of agri-environmental-climatic programme from the aspect of local breeds included in payments.

Subsequently, the speakers answered a range of questions which were asked by both the breeders already participating in the programme and the people who aim to join these programmes. An animated discussion was unfolding also on the first day during the joint supper and also during farewell dinner. The breeders’ representatives postulated that in the next years also other issues associated with reproduction, horse shoeing and horse transport are dealt with on the training.

In conclusion, Prof. J. Krupiński thanked the speakers for the presented information and papers, breeders for the arrival and an active participation in the discussion. He also expressed the conviction that the trainings on the conservation and future of native breeds have a positive influence on solving a range of problems and it is essential to continue them.