The annual festival of riders and hunters known as drag hunting was held on Sunday 6th November at Michałów State Stud. The event was organised by the Voivodship Community Centre in Kielce, the Municipality of Michałów and Michałów State Stud, while Pińczów County and Municipality became the official partners of the event. The celebration was supported by the sponsor, Gomar company from Pińczów.

For the first time the event was open to public which turned out to be a very good idea. Many riders and carriage drivers participated in the event and the weather did not disappoint either. The traditional “fox” hunt with almost 20 riders took place in the beauty spots of the stud. In the end, the win belonged to Julia Zabojszcza, however it was not the only attraction prepared for the participants gathered in large numbers. The organizers prepared a few special presentations which took place in the indoor arena. The Michałów drag hunting was enriched with the presentation of the horses and cows bred by Michałów Stud. The audience had the chance to admire the Arabian stallion Ptolemeusz, silver medallist at this year’s Polish National Show in Janów Podlaski as well as four show mares: Wildanova, Parantella, El Mariella i Elgarolia. The purebreds were joined by two Appaloosa mares of Małopolska breed, Turnia and Balladyna, mini Shetland pony Ursus as well as the Jersey cow Werbena 72, this year’s vice-champion of the National Breeding Cattle Show in Minikowo together with three Jersey calves. The Arabian breed aficionados could also admire the presentation of two riders wearing Polish historical costumes, Marta Jaros on the stallion Złoty Medal and Iwona Sternak on the mare Karamea, while Oliwia Kowal representing the nearby La Posada Stud and her Michałów-bred Arabian stallion Elgoriusz presented the special bond between the rider and the horse. 

Paweł Staszczak of the Voivodship Community Centre in Kielce who, together with cavalry captain Robert Mazur, represents the 13th Vilnius Cavalry Regiment Volunteer Cavalry Squadron, also from Kielce, led a really interesting presentation of cavalry outfits of different epochs as well as saber jousting on foot. After the presentations were moved to the outdoor arena, the participants of the drag hunting had the opportunity to see the usage of sabre and lance on a horse as well as live cooking presented by the the Farmer’s Wives’ Association “Szydłowianki”. The carriage driving competition with 11 participating teams was another attraction of the event. The amateur competition took place thanks to the support of Szeleść Driving Team from Klikowa, while the judging was undertaken by professional equestrian judges, Katarzyna and Sebastian Widalski. Damian Szeleść won in the category of the single-horse carts (0 penalty points in 62.76 s), while Paweł Pełka placed first in the two-horse cart category (3 penalty points in 85.74 s). The daring ride of the youngest participant Bartek Banach (3 penalty points in 81.03 s) ensured his victory in the two-horse cart category for ponies.

As befits the real drag hunting, the participants could taste a delicious hunter’s stew prepared by Bolesław Chrobry Agricultural School in Chroberz as well as shop for the local goods on numerous stands located at the stud. The hunter’s feast with a barbecue finalised the event.

The success of the celebration as well as the attendance of the participants allow us to hope that the Michałów drag hunting will become a recurring event and this important festival of riders and hunters will enter the Michałów events calendar for good.

Photos: Karolina Misztal

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