The most eastward-located stage of the CAVALIADA series continues to enjoy unflagging popularity. This year it was attended by nearly 200 athletes and over 300 horses. All the tickets for Friday and Saturday were sold out, and there were lots of spectators in the stands on Thursday and Sunday as well. The two most important sports events were the world ranking and CAVALIADA Tour competitions. The Thursday’s prologue to these competitions (140 cm) saw the victory of German Christoph Lanske, but as the situation developed the Poles were getting in the lead to the delight of the public. On Friday, the basic course (145 cm high) of the third stage of the CAVALIADA Tour was flawlessly completed by 10 couples. Seweryn Murdzia with Ula Bajou K turned out to be the best in the jump-off. It was a big surprise because it was the first victory for both the horse and the competitor in a competition classified in the FEI ranking. “Bred by Marek Kubacki, Ula is very fast and has great technical skills. I could feel that she was in a perfect shape and when entering the course, I knew she would do her best,” said the winner about his horse. It is worth adding that Ula Bajou K is a half-sister of Wibaro (from father Bajou du Rouet’s), who allowed Kamil Grzelczyk win 24 such competitions already. Another nice surprise and the best international success in his career was the second place of Polish Junior Champion Aleksander Lewandowski with Jazzmir van Het Halderthof.
The Polish athletes made fans even happier in the Sunday’s Grand Prix for the award of the President of the Management Board of PKO Bank Polski, under the patronage of the Marshal of the Lublin Province. While it seemed that last year’s winner from Lublin – Krzysztof Ludwiczak (with Cros Blue) – was unbeatable in the competition amongst eight horses, 17-year-old Aleksandra Kierznowska entered the course. Her very dynamic ride in long lines turned out to be the key to her success. That way, this young female athlete reached for the third victory in the LR class in her career and became the youngest Grand Prix winner in the history of CAVALIADA. It is worth adding that her mare Badorette won the LR competition in Lublin already last year. At that time she was still ridden by Dawid Skiba. After that, Ola’s dad and trainer Hubert Kierznowski decided to buy a very ambitious and fast mare for his family stable. As you can see, the decision turned out to be the right one. The second place was defended by Krzysztof Ludwiczak and the third place went to Seweryn Murdzia, who thus became an independent leader of the CAVALIADA Tour.
The audience also liked other CSI competitions, especially the Puissance contest for the MTP Group award, under the patronage of the Marshal of the Lublin Province and Speed & Music for the Mayor of Lublin award, under the media patronage of Radio ESKA. On Friday, after four rounds and successfully passing a 195 cm high wall, Mateusz Kiempa with Jalandahar and Łukasz Brzóska with Quicklensky proved to be the best. The latter was also the hero of Thursday night, when he triumphed in the Venus vs. Mars contest. Riding Cornet’s Sunshine, Marek Lewicki proved to be the best specialist in riding fast to the rhythm of music. Antoni Strzałkowski was faster than him, but a 3-second penalty for the drop resulted in him having to settle for second place. What is worth emphasizing, all these competitions ended late in the evening and then the Lublin audience did something that could be envied by fans in other equestrian cities, not only those hosting CAVALIADA – they all remained for the honorary round.
Those specialized in other equestrian competitions brought as much excitement to the public as show jumping experts. After a daring ride in the second turn, Paweł Warszawski with Hatteria II was the best in the LOTTO Eventing Tour. This time the winner from Poznań, Daria Kobiernik (Ideal Girl), rode a little more cautiously, but her second place allowed her to strengthen her position as the leader in the table. Two competitions of the Polish Indoor Cup Four-in-Hand were dominated by Piotr Mazurek. However, Saturday was a step away from a sensational ending. In the second turn, Wiesław Sadowski encouraged his four beautiful fresians to full gallop. He was faster than the leader, but as he dropped one ball, he finished the competition in second place. Thus he showed that the fight for the final victory will not only be played between Mazurek and last year’s winner Kostrzewa.
Just like Mazurek reigns in driving, the undisputed queen of this season’s CAVALIADA dressage is Lithuanian Sandra Sysojeva. She won two competitions in Lublin and with a total of four wins she is in the lead. As for CAVALIADA Future, Natalia Głowacz (mini) and Luna Kowalonek (midi) are in the lead after the competitions in Lublin.
The forthcoming rounds of CAVALIADA Tour in all five disciplines will soon be held in the TAURON Arena Kraków (20-23 February). Last year’s premiere of CAVALIADA in Kraków turned out to be a very good decision. The new stage of the Cavaliada Tour in the former Polish capital attracted both great competitors and an audience of over 10,000 people. “The first edition of CAVALIADA Kraków was very well received by competitors, fans, sponsors and exhibitors. Thanks to that, expectations towards this year’s event have significantly increased. CAVALIADA is the biggest equestrian event in Poland, which is famous for its excellent audience. Every year we fill the stands in Poznań, Lublin and Warsaw by selling out tickets before the event starts. Our dream is now to fill the stands of TAURON Arena Krakow – the largest sports and entertainment hall in Poland. We would like to break the record of audience attendance at equestrian events this year, which is why we warmly encourage everyone to come to Kraków on Saturday, February 22nd. Everybody will receive a small souvenir,” says CAVALIADA Tour Director, Radosław Kulupa.
This year, the sports status of CAVALIADA Kraków has increased. The Sunday’s Grand Prix will be classified in the world ranking, CAVALIADA Tour, as well as in the World Cup qualifiers. It will thus be the second-to-last stage of the Central European League. Traditionally, the final one, will take place at CAVALIADA Warsaw in March.