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The Farm in Janów Podlaski is closely associated with the figure of its long time director, Andrzej Krzysztalowicz.
Andrzej Krzysztalowicz photo: J. Sparagowski
It is most appropriate then to tell the history of the Farm in his own words.
"[...] the history of the Farm has been as troubled as the history of our nation. The Farm was established in 1817, after the Congress of Vienna on the initiative of Administrative Council of the Congressional Kingdom of Poland and approved by the Tsar, Alexander I. It was the first state-owned farm on polish territory. Until the January uprising of 1863 the Farm was managed by polish breeders. After the uprising, in which a few of the Janów stable hands participated, and up to the beginning of the First World War the Farm was run by tsarist administrators accountable before the board in charge of state farms located in St. Petersburg. In 1914 the horses were evacuated deep into Russia and none of them ever returned to Janów.
The Clock Stable - birdseye view
After Poland regained its independence, the Ministry of Agriculture collected horses of all races and from different sources spared in the war and bearing promise for future breeding and stationed them in Janów. Many buildings and other facilities were destroyed, but the grazing fields and pastures remained. After the restoration of the stables and the reorganisation of the horse breeding in Poland, Janów retained Pure Arabians and Anglo-Arabian Half Bloods. The Half Blood stallions reared in Janów in the period between the two World Wars provided the base in the breeding of cavalry and other military horses.
The pure Arab horses, with a 200-year tradition of breeding in Poland, were as early as the nineteenth century sold to other European countries. By the 1930-s they were also exported to USA.
More than 80 percent of Janów's horses perished in the war campaign in 1939. The rescued remainder of the horses was used by the Polish personnel, by then under German supervision, to recreate to two main areas of breeding. In 1944, as the Russian army was approaching the River Bug, the German Command ordered an evacuation of the horses. The Farm including its staff was relocated to Germany, near the town of Dresden, where it remained until February 1945. The evacuation continued when the Russian army crossed the River Oder. This time on foot, the farm was ordered to Dresden were it witnessed the allied bombing of the town on the night between 13th and 14th February. The next step along the way was Torgau on the Elbe. From there, the Farm was transported by rail to Nettelau, south of Kiel and escaped miraculously without casualties as the transport was bombed heavily on the way. In Nettelau, the Farm saw the end of the war and the formation of an administrative unit representing Polish farms and responsible for all horses from Poland transported to Germany. The return trip in 1946 was by sea. Due to the damage to many buildings in Janów the Farm was temporarily stationed in Posadowo, not far from Poznan. The horses returned to Janów in the autumn of 1950.
To this day, the Farm has maintained its two breeding lines, the Pure Arabians and the Anglo-Arabian Half Bloods. The Arabians are bred for their export potential. The Anglo-Arabs were initially intended to strengthen the Polish workhorse, not least in agriculture. Now, however, new uses like recreation, sport and export are the reasons behind the breeding of Anglo-Arabians. Since 1960, the Arabians from Janów are sold abroad - most of them to USA. From 1969 onwards Janów has been the host to the auction offering Arabians from Janów, Michalow, Bialka and Kurozweki. [...] The auction is preceded by the National Championship for Arabian Horses, [...]"