On February 19th, news broke the Polish Ministry of Agriculture and the Agricultural Property Agency has released Janow Podlaski director Marek Trela, Michalow director Jerzy Bialobok, and the Agricultural Property Agency’s chief Arabian horse specialist Anna Stojanowska from their long-held positions.
In response, the global Arabian horse community is calling for their reinstatement. Petitions in Polish and English are circulating. The English language petition has already gained more than 3,000 signatures.
Organizers of the petition claim that the removal of Trela, Bialobok and Stojanowska leaves the Polish Arabian in jeopardy. It is feared that the tradition of breeding excellence is now at risk, as these knowledgeable professionals are replaced.
Those who sign the petition are lending their support to an open letter to Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo. The letter states:
“In regard to the dismissal on Febraury 19th, 2016 of Anna Stojanowska, horse breeding inspector of the Agricultural Property Agency, as well as Marek Trela and Jerzy Białobok, presidents of Janów Podlaski and Michałów studs, we would like to express our regrets and grave concern over these sudden and unfortunate decisions. We are writing to you not as representatives of any political fraction, but as people that have for many years been associated with Arabian horse breeding either professionally or simply as its enthusiasts. It is also not our aim to go into detail regarding the political or personal reasons that may be the cause of the inspector’s and the presidents’ dismissals.
“All three persons have for years been loyally associated with national Arabian horse breeding at the state studs, devoting their talent and both professional and personal lives to these jobs. Each of them had begun their career from hands-on experience and thoroughly getting to know the requirements of the job, successively working their way through all career stages: as a simple stable worker, head groom, veterinary officer, breeder etc., under the watchful eye of legendary mentors Andrzej Krzyształowicz and Ignacy Jaworowski.
“The creation of the power that Polish Arabian horse breeding is today took place as a result of their personal involvement and dedication – through everyday work at the studs, but also by gaining connections, trust, authority and respect all over the world. This is reflected in the social functions served on national and international organizations that unite breeders: the Polish Arabian Horse Breeders Association, the European Conference of Arabian Horse Organizations (ECAHO) and the World Arabian Horse Organization (WAHO).
“The titles, distinctions and honours that have been bestowed upon Polish horses bred thanks to the brave decisions, knowledge, experience and breeding intuition of Jerzy Białobok, Marek Trela and Anna Stojanowska are endless. These successes had a direct influence on the growing market value of Polish horses – not only those from state studs, but also those of private ownership.
“Polish Arabian horses are a part of our national heritage. Thanks to maintaining the continuity of existence and the supervision of the Polish State over the studs, they have also become the only national export product that has uninterruptedly enjoyed a growing recognition among buyers all over the world.
“The breeding of Arabian horses is an extremely sensitive field and every sudden change may lead to unpleasant and irreversible consequences. One of the elements of success is the continuity of its existence, guaranteed by the maintaining of a state-owned status by the most valuable studs. The second should be the ensuring of the best, professionally trained staff: from the very basic stable employees to the very top, the so-called “heads” in the form of experienced breeders, managers, presidents. We are under the impression that the head has just been separated from the body.
“As a result we are asking to reconsider the decisions which may have long-term and irreversible effects for the maintaining of our breeding at the high level at which it currently stands. We are not authorized to speak on behalf of the dismissed people and we are not necessarily calling for their reinstatement to their previous positions. However we do feel that they should at least have a chance to return within the structures of Polish breeding in order to complete their lives’ work and school their successors.”
You can follow the development of this situation on the Facebook page Reinstate Anna Stojanowska, Jerzy Białobok & Marek Trela.