AS: So, Czesław, tell us how your adventure with horses all began?
Horses have been a part of my life since childhood. I was born in the countryside; my father was the manager of a state farm and at the same time a horse lover. This was in the post-war era, when agriculture was not so mechanized and many horses worked in the fields. My father rode horses and also drove a horse-drawn buggy. At the age of six I was accompanying him. I could drive a buggy from an early age. And then I found myself an older horse and in my free time jumped up on it and rode bareback. I loved hanging round the stables; I knew all the horses and loved the smell of the place. Horses simply fascinated me. They’re beautiful, clever and yet submissive animals.
AS: When and how did you find yourself at Janów? What was it about Arabian horses that captivated you?
Arabians are perhaps the most beautiful horses. For me they are the ideal. Many years ago I dreamed of owning such a horse. I went to an auction, at Janów in fact, and bought two horses, a mare called Bajarka and a gelding called Elas. I fell in love with them right away. Now, I go to Janów whenever time permits.
AS: How did the idea of running your own stud come about? How many horses have you at your establishment?
Owning my own horse had always been my dream. It so happened that I bought an estate from state treasury assets – a former state-owned farm with a manor house. Once I had renovated the whole place, it just begged to also include stables. The property is located in the Słupia Valley Landscape Park, so the grounds are beautiful, and horses and bikes are the natural means of transportation. And so I started buying horses; I currently have fourteen, including the Arabian horses and other races such as Wielkopolska, Silesia, Shetland and Quarter. They’re mostly for riding, for recreation, but they’re hot-blooded mounts, requiring good riders.
AS: The sporting spirit has also inspired your stables – we’ve seen one of your riding club’s contestants, Ewelina Żołna, among the participants at the ECAHO Open Championship for Arabian Sport Horses, which was held in Janów Podlaski – was this your idea and one of your plans for the future?
I am delighted that this girl, a graduate of the Horse Breeding Technical College, came to me from Janów Podlaski. She’s very passionate abut horses and an excellent rider. She worked at the stud in Janów for several years, and then came to me. She has been preparing the horses precisely in order to enter events. She worked with Elas to enter him in the European Championship, and he came in very well, indeed was at the forefront of the Arabian horses. I must admit that Ewelina did really well.
AS: And finally – do you yourself often ride? How does the world look from up there in the saddle?
The world looks just fine, both from the perspective of the horse saddle and the bicycle saddle. In both cases, one gets a rush of adrenaline. Whether you are travelling downhill on a bike at a 100 kilometres an hour, or galloping through the forest, there’s a fabulous sense of the wind whistling, a great challenge and a large dose of adrenaline. It’s truly wonderful.