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Honorary Patron:

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Guardians: The Krzyształowicz sisters (Jadwiga, Barbara, Anna and Marta), Marek Trela

The Stud Farm in Janów Podlaski is united inseparably with his many years’ director. He became a legend already while alive.

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Andrzej Krzyształowicz was born in Vienna in 1915. He died in Janów Podlaski on 9 September 1998 and was buried at the local cemetery.

He was bound with agriculture since childhood thanks to his father that was an agent for Dzieduszycki’s estate in Zarzecze at that time. The family moved to Łańcut in 1923 where Kazimierz Krzyształowicz became a governor of count Alfred Potocki’s estates. Numerous count’s possessions included also Albigowa with the English thoroughbred stud farm. In that very place, the young man took an interest in horse breeding and horseback riding in the custody of Bolesław Orłoś, the stud farm manager. Where, he saw a pure-bred Arab for the first time, namely a stallion Kafifan brought from Egypt. This horse was his owner’s mascot and his pride and joy, and he was presented to numerous count’s guests who visited the stud farm. Maybe, this first contact with an Arabian horse decided further vicissitudes of the young man.

However, after obtaining the secondary-school certificate in Lvov in 1933, Andrzej Krzyształowicz decided to dedicate himself to aviation that was very fashionable among young people and he filed his documents to the school in Dęblin. Some health problems discomfited these plans and he had to choose another profession. In this situation, he chose agriculture, the closest domain to him from childhood. He studied at Agricultural and Forest Faculty at University of Poznań to know the profession to be performed by him for the rest of his life. His family moved to Surochów that time, because his father started working for Czartoryscy in Pełkinie. While visiting his parents, the young student confirmed his interest in horse breeding, in particular Oriental horse breeding since Czartoryscy had pure-bred Arabs and Anglo-Arabs.

Within the third year of the study period, he had to choose a final branch of study, so he started working at the horse breeding department. A year later, prof. Tadeusz Vetulani gave him the theme of his thesis, namely development of “Monograph of the Stud Farm in Janów Podlaski”.

Andrzej Krzyształowicz’s first visit in Janów (then beloved for the rest of his life) was on 5th July 1937 when he came to collect materials for his thesis. In Janów, he met Władysław Bielański, a student from Veterinary Medicine Academy in Lvov who just finished his apprenticeship, the further professor and world famous specialist in the field of horse reproduction; they became the many years’ friends.. The apprentices spent their time in Janów extremely laboriously – apart from collecting materials for their theses, they got the feel of everyday stable duties and had to learn to recognize all horses as this was required categorically by manager Stanisław Pohoski. Andrzej Krzyształowicz’s stay in Janów finished in September 1937. Then he began working out the collected materials and preparation for defence of his thesis. Finally, once he passed the exam, he graduated as an agricultural engineer on 24th June 1938, Today, his thesis is the unique source of knowledge on the stud farm in the interwar period. It comprises descriptions of the stud farm facilities, their architecture and functionality as well as the characteristics of horse breeds that were bred then in Janów, together with zoometry measurements. The war destroyed many buildings including stable buildings and some of them were not rebuilt after war; this fact rises the documentary value of the work even more. Presentation of breeding goals of the stud farm of that time and methods of their realisation is the source of information of extreme importance for contemporary breeders and it support them in their work since continuation of the breeding policy of that time made the contemporary successes of Polish breeding possible.

Manager Stanisław Pohoski and dr Witold Pruski, then chief of Horse Breeding Department at Agriculture Ministry, proposed jointly the elevated position of the assistant director of the Stud Farm in Janów Podlaski to the young graduate. As a result, on 1st December 1938, Andrzej Krzyształowicz acceded to a such responsible office at once; forthy authorities’ confidence to the young man’s abilities. Unfortunately, a dream come true on working at the stud farm of Janów happened in the tragic period for Poland – loss of independence and extinction of the splendid breeding of Janów.

After outbreak of war in 1939, in the absence of the manager, he had to deal with completely unusual situation caused by mobilization of some employees and to provide care and fodder to horses as well as to prepare the stud farm to war conditions. According to the authorities’ instruction on the stud farm evacuation, almost 200 horses, being led by about 40 people, left east on 11th September. They marched by nights to avoid (if possible) air raids that decimated columns of refugees on Polish roads. Under the guidance of Stanisław Pohoski, Andrzej Krzyształowicz together with retired colonel Jakimowicz, coach of young horses, and apprentice Adam Sosnowski led the over two-kilometre column of horses southeast to surroundings of the cities Kowel and Kamień Koszyrski (at present Ukraine). In Wierchy village, in the face of growing hostility of indigenous population that, in anticipation of invading soviet army, began threaten the people and horses safety, the decision was made to return to Janów.

The column of the exhausted horses and people returned to Janów on 24 September at 5 a.m. and soviet military vehicles transporting forces to take control on the stud farm drove in at 6 a.m. These armed forces dealt mainly with watch of safety of civilians coming from beyond the Bug River that started bestial plunder of all that could be taken. In the first instance, the horses were taken and then the fitting, fodder and stable equipment.

While being unable to counteract plunder of the stud farm and deprived of duties and his bread and butter sources, Krzyształowicz escaped from Janów at the beginning of October 1939. He returned in January 1940 to occupy a post of a groom at the stud farm being already in the area under German occupation. Under colonel Hans Fellgiebel’s command, he worked to reconstitute the breeding of Janów as a stud groom at the stallion’s depot and then as a technical assistant at the stud farm. He took part in finding the horses missing during evacuation and distributed in the field; they became a base of Polish breeding starting almost from nothing because after Russians’ departure, only two mares, Wierna and Wilga (yearlings), were found in the forest plus the orphaned foal Zalotna out of Makata. After several weeks, the next mare, Najada, was brought; she was stored by a farmer Zaręba.

For the whole period of German occupation, engineer Krzyształowicz worked actively to reconstitute the herd of Janów; at the end of the war, the number of horses was finally the same as before the war but their quality was of course not the same.

The next evacuation of the stud farm occurred on 16th July 1944, this time to the west – to Germany. Krzyształowicz did not leave the horses and accompanied them in the dangerous exile together with his wife, Zofia, and his daughter, Jaga. First, the stud farm was transported by railway from Biała Podlaska, through Gostynin, Görlitz, Lobau to Reichenbach and then they went on foot to Sohland at Saxony where they stayed until February 1945. On 13th February, the horses and the people left further towards Dresden. The night between 13th and 14th February 1945 was surely the most tragic one in the town history. The carpet bombing of allied bombers took place this night and the most of buildings in Dresden disappeared. Unfortunately, the stallions that moved faster than the mares and the young stock were found at the air attack zone and 22 stallions were lost. The survived stallions, the mares and the young stock reached Torgau on foot on 23rd February and then, by railway, Nettelau estate close to Kiel where the stud farm lived to see the final fall of Germany and the Allies’ arrival. In May 1945, the Polish Stud Farm Management in Germany came into being; Lt Col Władysław Rozwadowski was its first commander. All Polish stud farms and stallion’s depots located in the area of Germany were subject to this Management. The stud farms were reorganized after English fashion in autumn 1945 and the Stud Farm of Janów was included in the Polish Horse Depot No 2 as the Nettelau Department with Andrzej Krzyształowicz as its manager Once he arranged everyday activities of the stud farm, then starting from autumn 1946, he sent the following transportations of horses and equipment homewards; he himself came back to Gdynia by the last ship together with the most valuable pure bred Arab mares.

As the result of the war damage, Janów was not ready to receive horses and the Stud Farm of Janów found its temporary seat in Posadowo. Engineer Tadeusz Rudzki staying in Posadów between 1947 and 1948 wrote about this in his report as follows: “Thus, thanks to Polish stud farm personnel, managers relegated to dependent positions, grooms that left their homes and went on dangerous exile to the unknown providing only with the beloved horses, Poland and Polish breeding recovered this valuable material without which the situation of horse breeding in Poland would be critical due to the present war damage” (“Oriental Stud Farm of Janów in Posadowo. The report of one year’s stay developed by Tadeusz Rudzki, eng.”, 1947-1948; the Stud Farm Archive. The further quotations come from the same source). Once all 392 horses came from Germany to Posadowo, the inspection of the horses took place on 11-15 November where, according to Tadeusz Rudzki’s report, the following participants attended: “Chief Inspector of National Stud Witold Pruski, eng., inspector of District of Poznań Stanisław Hay, eng., manager of PSO Gniezno Bronisław Walicki, eng., manager of PSK Posadowo Czesław Hincz, eng., and the man who never left his horses – Andrzej Krzyształowicz, eng.”.

However, the post-war reality deviated considerably from that expected by the homecommer Krzyształowicz. He counted on possibility to continue his work with the horses of Janów in accordance with the breeding philosophy of Stanisław Pohoski, his teacher and creator of the pre-war successes of Janów. The new reality following other values brought however decisions that changed the breeding position of Janów for long and overshadowed this so well-deserved for the country stud farm. The source materials do not include any reasons that could justify meritoriously the decision on division of the Arabian depot into three separated stud farms; therefore, the opinion that it was an attempt to protect the Arabian breeding against communists’ liquidation endeavours seems doubtful. Unfortunately, this was the reality where ideas ignoring the pre-war achievements of Janów prevailed; the Carl Raswan, i.e. Karl Shulz’s rules on breeding the Arabian horses while maintaining the foundation stock purity were assumed despite they were shook by authorities of that time (Witold Pruski, Michał Jankowski); they are denied by contemporary scientists, too.

The surely objective observer, above-cited Tadeusz Rudzki noted as follows: I don’t know whether dr Skorkowski’s opinion prevailed during the last division of the pure bred Arabian or necessity (in absence of a facility to locate a greater group of horses within the Arabian region). Break of the pure bred into smaller group favoured dr. Skorkowski’s concept, anyhow three Arabian stud farms came into being; two of them have horses of Kuhailan type as far as possible and the third one of Saklawi type”.

Lack of a facility to locate the Arabian stud couldn’t be a rational argument because despite the stables in Janów were partially destroyed but they were quickly repaired and the part-bred Arabians and Anglo-Arabs came back home already on 30 October 1950. Before then, a training centre for young stallions was in operation and the stables held hackneys and Polish cold-blooded horses “kopczyki podlaskie”.

However finally, the horses of Janów were distributed among newly created stud farms in Albigowa, Nowy Dwór and Klemensów-Michałów. Andrzej Krzyształowicz, deprived of the horses saved by him, received the official command in December 1951 to accede to an office of a regional inspector of horse breeding for the south-eastern provinces and the order to move to PSO Białka together with his wife and four daughters. He fulfilled his new tasks perfectly, as usual. He supervised breeding at national studs at the region where the Arabians breeding was located, so he didn’t lose contact with his recent charges, however he dreamt constantly on their comeback home. At last, he came back to his Janów on 1st July 1956 where, some time later, he acceded to an office of a manager. Half-bred horses were already at the reconstructed stables and in 1960 and 1961, after liquidation of the stud farms in Albigowa and Nowy Dwór, the pure-bred Arabians were joined to them. The exile period ended and the period of the quiet breeding work began.

The pure-bred Arabian horses bred at Polish national stud farms arrested the foreign breeders’ attention and export of the horses started beginning from the early sixties on a more and more large scale. The growing interest in Polish horses resulted in necessity to arrange the trade and to this purpose, the first auction was organized in Janów in 1970. The success of this auction proved advisability of such a form of sale and the effects can be observed at present, when the auction of Janów celebrates the following jubilees and it became the event of the longest tradition worldwide. Andrzej Krzyształowicz was the organizer, the host, the “good spirit” and the living legend of the following auctions. The success in selling the horses of Janów and in arrangement of the next auctions shall be owed to him. The booming popularity of Polish horses and their successes at foreign shows indicated the necessity to arrange breeding shows also at our country; apart from being qualification of horses to international competitions, they should present the actual achievements of Polish breeders. Self-evidently, Janów and the days preceding its auction were chosen for this event. This increased the range of tasks of the manager of the Stud Farm of Janów and of course Krzyształowicz perfectly coped with new challenge: these events were organized excellently and the results of the horses presented by the Stud Farm of Janów were impressive.

Andrzej Krzyształowicz stayed on the position of the stud farm manager until retirement on 1st April 1991. After retirement, he did not lose contact with horses while offering advice and help to his successors.

His numerous pupils’ successes at breeding shows, racecourses and hippodromes in Poland and worldwide bear testimony of his superb breeding achievements. Thus, at the department of the pure-bred Arabians, the horses bred by Andrzej Krzyształowicz won as follows: 22 titles ‘Champion of Poland’; wins in the championships of USA, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, England, Canada, Brazil; 18 wins in Arabian Derby.

The department of the part-bred Anglo-Arabians delivered innumerable stallions to PSO (national stallion’s depot), priceless dam for local breeding and many excellent horses for sport.

The gold Olympic medal won in show-jumping by Jan Kowalczyk on Artemor from Janów is the best evidence of the highest quality of horses bred by Andrzej Krzyształowicz that was also an educator of all post-war generations of horse breeders in Poland while being a pattern of competency, conscientiousness, personal commitment and honesty for them.

Read more … (click to go to the Polish Digital Equestrian Library)

Author: Marek Trela

Andrzej Krzyształcowicz died on September 19, 1998 at the age of 83. He was buried at the Roman Catholic Cemetery in Janów Podlaski (52.190278, 23.215833).

Click the links below to go to the Polish Digital Equestrian Library (will open in a new tab):

„Andrzej Krzyształowicz” (2020) – Marek Trela

Andrzej Krzyształowicz and Marek Trela
Andrzej Krzyształowicz and Aloes sold to USA in 1987 for the price of USD350,000