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Honorary Patron:

Sponsor: Marek Gawlik

Guardian: Jan Ziniewicz’s family

A groom from Janów Podlaski Stud Farm, that saved horses Witraż and Wielki Szlem during a carpet bombing of Dresden.

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He was born in 1898.

Jan Ziniewicz started working with horses as the eighteen-years-old in 1916, in the period when the stud farm was evacuated during World War I far inside Russia.

After coming back to Poland, he worked as a groom in the stud farm, at first with mares and then with foals. In 1921, he began working at the racing stable. Every year during the season, he went to racecourses in Lvov, Lublin, Piotrków and Przemyśl. In 1937, he won the Oaks on Olsza and the Criterium on Lowelas (by Koheilan I) in the same season.

The war found the team in Lvov in 1939. Under the coach Szyszko’s command, they rode on horsebacks to Białka but their horses were taken by the army there. Then, the following horses disappeared from Polish breeding: Skrzyp, Kasztelan, Sumak, Rozmaryn, Robak, Rdest and Ramajana.

They walked back to Janów Podlaski for 5 days. During occupation, Ziniewicz worked at the leading stable as a groom. He took care of, among others, Witraż, Wielki Szlem and Werset. In 1943, he shipped off the stallion Witeź and two mares, Wierna and Zalotna, to the stud farm Hostownia (Czechosovakia).

During the stud farm evacuation in 1944, he took care of 8 horses at the beginning. During the stop at the rail station Biała, he wanted to come back home but he was alone in the car and “he had no heart to leave the horses without attendance”.

He reached Dresden together with the horses during a carpet bombing of the town on 13 February 1945. He led Witraż and Wielki Szlem. He did not release the horses even then when firebombs fell next to them. He mentioned the exceptional calm of our Arabians within the surrounding “hell”. After their arrival to Nettelau, he became a commander of the leading stable until return to Posadowo in 1946. Within his holiday, he went to Janów and stayed there (induced by R. Kajetanowicz).

He worked there with stallions and used to go with them to copulatory points for 3 years. Once the stud farm of Janów came back, he worked there as a commander until retirement in 1963. Waćpan was his beloved horse and Zimiewicz took care of him until the stallions’s death.

Jan Ziniewicz died on April 26, 1975 at the age of 77. He was buried at the Roman Catholic Cemetery in Janów Podlaski (52.190278, 23.215833).

Jan Ziniewicz with Almifar (Witraż’s grandson) and Czort (Wielki Szlem’s son).