Kilka dni temu (18 września) upłynęło 12 lat od śmierci wybitnego polskiego hodowcy Ignacego Jaworowskiego. Poniżej tekst, który opublikowałem w 2004 r. w Arabian Horse World. Jest to wspomnienie wielkiego człowieka i klimatu wizyt z klientami w Michałowie. Tekst jest po angielsku. Nie mam na razie czasu aby go przetłumaczyć, ale sądzę, że wielu z Was zna angielski. W razie czego można tekst „wrzucić do Tłumacz Google”.
„Pan” is a Polish language equivalent for Spanish „Don” or English „Sir”. Historically when used before someone’s name or a title it meant nobility. Now „Pan” is a common expression of respect or kindness to anyone with whom we do not feel fraternized enough. For me „Pan Jaworowski” has always been the finest example of a Polish nobleman. He was tall, slim, handsome, a very kind person with gentle sense of humor. We are tempted to say „great sense of humor” but his mood was in fact gentle. Pan Jaworowski loved playing jokes but always remembered not to offend anybody.
I made many trips with my clients to Michałów Stud. The perspective of three hours drive on a jammed national road from a luxurious Warsaw hotel to a small Polish village, spending a night on the farm seemed quite a challenge for our Western guests, but only at first visit. Every next time they knew what to expect and they loved returning. Mike Nichols, Wayne Newton, Kenny Rogers, Stephanie Powers… just to mention only a few names of American celebrities.
Michałów by all means is a magic place. Pan Jaworowski most of the time was to be found in one of the lime stone stables. His head always dressed in an old Polish forage cap, a walking cane in his hand. It seemed like he was never leaving his horses. We shake hands. Director takes us to the Manor House to rest after journey. Big, two storey, ridge ruffed building is his pride. The architect had a hard time to follow all Jaworowski’s wishes. The stud offices are on the first floor, comfortable guest rooms on the second. My guests are always puzzled over the unusual position of windows; placed very high above the floor level they produce a very fine view of sky and tree tops. My explanation is that the architect has made the windows to fit the director’s stature.
The real Michałów treat is that we have plenty of time to enjoy horses and the warm hospitality of our hosts. A hot cup of tee and, a snack, a small glass of excellent home made fruit liqueur is the welcome treat of Pani Maria, director’s wife. She enjoys our visit in a small, private apartment on our way to the stables. More hospitality is to follow; now we set off to see the horses.
We slowly go barn after barn. Pan Jaworowski shows all Michalow’s horses, the ones he is very proud of and the ones that failed his expectations. He openly shares with clients his concepts and eagerly discusses their views. Together we choose the horses we wish to see outside.
There is a nice quiet place behind the barns where the horses are brought for private viewing. On a long table under a wooden shelter pedigree books and stud records are placed just for us. Hot tea/coffee thermos bottles, china and silver are also there for a delightful horse session. We see the sires first, then mares in family groups and fillies. Time goes by and my clients are convinced that such fine group of horses is not to be found anywhere else in the world, except perhaps for Janów.
We all are getting hungry. Pan Jaworowski takes us back to his house. The apartment is very small, furnished with antiques. A large oak table in the middle of the dining room is dressed white for us; the china, silver, tiny glasses and of course frosty-white bottle of Polish Vodka in the center. We enjoy old family pictures and paintings on the walls while some delicious Polish specialties are being served. Pan Ignacy is a famous food connoisseur and Pani Maria is a great chef of the household, so the effect is unforgettable. Several vodka shots are obligatory, performed with a traditional Polish “na zdrowie” – good health toast.
Coffee time is the time for business. We are offered fine cognac or even better this excellent home made liqueur. A bunch of house dachshunds are now let in the room. They sniff and wave tails at the strangers and slightly disturb our serious business talks. We slowly explain what we need and why, and we find out that the horses my clients want to buy are of course not for sale. Nothing is generally for sale. I know Pan Jaworowski loves his horses and it is hard for him to part with them. No rush. It is always good to convince the host that my foreign guests are serious breeders and they really know what they want. Some more “na zdrowies” and of course… more horses to see.
It is already getting dark and Pan Jaworowski orders to harness the horses. Soon a nice coach stops in front of the porch. A pair of hot appaloosa stallions snort in harness. Urszula, Michałów breeding manager, takes the reins. “Na Podlesie!” Off we go! – to Podlesie grange to see colts. Urszula drives like crazy, straight across fields and meadows. We hit some haystacks but safely get to Podlesie branch farm after several furious minutes. The colts are very impressive. We will be watching them at the racetrack of Warsaw and later in the show rings of the world..
It is already night when we slowly return to Michałów. Some more business talks at Pan Jaworowski’s table. We are served light supper and I recommend my clients not to press for a fast business conclusion. It is good to give Pan Jaworowski more time to consider the matter, to study the possibilities and maybe to revaluate his breeding decisions. After all, selling horses is a must for any breeder. We return to our guest rooms. A special prize is waiting us there. On top of a tree, just behind our high set windows there is a family reunion of owls.
In the morning we join Pan Jaworowski for a routine daily stable walk. We are attended by Urszula and the stall master. Pan Jaworowski gets a report from a duty groom in each barn. Again we look at some most celebrated horses. Then the grooms turn the horses out for watering. A long cement trough is filled with fresh water. Mares and fillies come in groups and drink. Pan Jaworowski knows them all. He names a few for us, then the gate is open and the herd leaves for the pastures.
This is the famous Michałów sight. The horses turn into gallop in the wide alley lined up with old chestnut trees. The hoof beat dies in the distance. The herd gets to an open pasture, circles it once or twice and calms down for lazy grazing.
It is time for us to go. I intend to take my clients to Krakow, the ancient capital of Poland. Pan Jaworowski and I are very happy that our clients want to learn more about Poland’s history and culture. Arabian horse is simply a part of our civilization. We are however not allowed to hit the road without breakfast. While the meal is being prepared Pan Jaworowski takes us to the backyard of his house. We find out that his secret hobby is breeding exotic poultry. A flock of colorful hens and roosters, long tail pheasants, gooses and turkeys rush from everywhere while the director spills grain. A number of tiny black ducks turn my attention. They have beautiful red pearls over beaks and look very funny. I love birds and I congratulate Pan Jaworowski on this impressive feathery collection.
We have excellent scrambled eggs and fresh garden veggies for breakfast. Sorry to leave. We kiss Pani Maria, shake hands with Pan Ignacy and get to my car. We say good buys and promise to return when I notice three cartoon boxes on the back seat. The boxes are pierced with air holes and a familiar quacking noise comes out. A beautiful black drake and a pair of ducks were my gift. I loved them but what a problem it was to nurse them in Krakow.
Pan Jaworowski has passed away. Long time ago I gave up breeding black ducks in my garden. The great Michałów horses are still on the farm and you will allways find there this famous Polish hospitality.