|Genny Haynes||Honorary Secretary|
After two years of restless work and time-consuming contacts with the Ministries and other authorities in charge, with the Jockey-Club of Romania and the race-tracks, Guillaume Fillet has finally obtained the agreement to organize races for Arabian horses at the race-track of Ploiesti. Situated some 50 km north of Bucharest, this track is very nice and functionally designed as well for trot as for gallop, but had never been used for flat racing!
A first « demonstration race » was organized in October 2017, starting horses from the National Stud of Mangalia near Constanza (coast of the Black Sea) and some horses of private owner of the rea of Bucharest. During the same (trotters-)meeting a flat race for Shagya-horses was also run, also a novelty. The Shagya-horses are very close to be pure Arabains, sometimes up to 99% , but are descendants of initial crosses of local mares with successive generations of Arabian Stallions, and selected on their sports ability. This breed, so typical of the Balkan is also bred actively in Hungary (State Stud of Babolna), in Bulgaria at Kabijuk and at Topolcianky in Slovakia.
On 27th of May 2018, the first « prep-race » of A.R.A.C., Romanian Association for Races for pure-Arabian horses, took place, again during a trotting-meeting, attended by a numerous and enthusiastic public.
Again, at the start appeared « beginning » 3-year old horses of Mangalia Stud and a couple of older ones belonging to enthusiastic private owners. All the horses are of course Heritage horses as the country did not see any imports during the Communist period apart from one or two Russian stallion of old Tersk bloodlines. More recently there have been few imports, mostly some show-horses from Polish and Egyptian lines, but of course, none for racing as there was no racing in Romania for a long time !
Sunday, it was the grey mare Demona (RO), belonging to Guillaume, and the only experienced race-horse of the lot, that won the race easily under the saddle of Toporan Luigi. Demona was born and grew up in Romania. She is by an imported Russian stallion (Pacific by Kubinec) and out of a Mangalia dam. Her victory is not really astonishing in view of the experience she acquired when racing past season in Belgium in the AHRCB-Heritage races, which she won on several occasions! She was trained by the Belgian trainer Toon Van den Troost, and was definitely the best of the three mares Guillaume tested on our tracks.
In second position of the recent race in Ploiesti came the chestnut mare Raja, of an Egyptian sire and also out of a dam of Mangalia breeding . She belongs to our friend Marius, a breeder of Sibiu, also active in show-breeding and endurance-riding. Congratulation to Raja for her first race ever and also to her “jockey” Mircea, also for him, a first race!
The numerous public was very enthusiastic and hopefully some new adepts for ”the king of sports” will come forward.
The next A.R.A.C. prep-race will be on the same track on the 10th of June when the starting-gates will be inaugurated, all to be ready for the climax of this first part of the race-season 2018 in Romania :
The Wathba Stallions Cup will be run at Ploiesti on Sunday 1st of July, with the help of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival! For that special occasion there will also be races for Thoroughbreds, for Shagya horses, for trotters and poney races! For the pure-Arabian race, there will presumably be entries from Bulgaria, Russia and Hungary in what will be like a Balkan Championship! Very probably all will be Heritage horses so as to race these local-bred Arabians among their peers …
Congratulations to Guillaume for the results achieved thanks to his tremendous efforts to (re-)start the flat racing for Arabian horses in Romania and thanks to Lara Sawaya and HH Sh Mansoor for the confidence put in Guillaume and his cooperation with the neighbouring countries for the Wathba Stallion Cup of 1st of July 2018. I wish you all the best for the future of Arabian racing!