After a two-year break, when the Open Doors Day was held only symbolically due to pandemic measures in connection with Covid-19, this year the gates of the National Stud opened again to the general public. Attendance broke all previous records. The pleasant spring weather in connection with the prospect of a day full of experiences attracted more than 15,000 visitors to Topoľčianky.
In addition to the historic riding stable, the hippological exhibition in Topoľčianky was also opened to the public, which is regularly updated with important information and key events in the existence of the stud farm. In addition to more than 3,000 artifacts, visitors can also see the carriage house with its collection of historic carriages and various rare harnesses. Traditionally, wineries also participated in the program of the Open Day, which opened their cellars and organized wine tasting. Topoľčianky Castle and Hunting Castle were also made accessible. The company Mercedes-Benz Slovakia s.r.o. exhibited its newest car models in the grounds of the National Stud. The musical group Q-TY from Zlaté Moravce ensured a good mood in the premises of the riding hall. It included a number of interesting stalls of local artisans who presented their handmade products from various regions. There were also merry-go-rounds and various other attractions for the little ones.
The open day for visitors started at nine o'clock. The entire area of the riding school was open, so those interested could see the stables, where they could find all five breeds of horses bred at the National Stud - Lipizzan, Hucul, Shagya-Arab, Arabian Thoroughbred and Slovak Warmblood. During the morning, public training sessions of individual sports departments took place in the main arena. Visitors could thus observe the way of working with show jumping, dressage or vaulting horses. As part of the morning program, cynological demonstrations were also performed by students from the Secondary Vocational School in Ivánka pri Dunaj.
The biggest attraction for visitors during the Open Day is clearly the gala program itself. The National Stud and its guests present their breeding and sports work with their horses.
Many special guests graced the event with their presence. The new breeding, sports and tourist season was opened with a short speech by Samuel Vlčan, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic and director of the National Stud, Michal Horný. The invitation was accepted by the former president of the Slovak Republic Ivan Gašparovič, the chairman of the Nitra self-governing region Milan Belica and also the director of RVPS Nitra Ján Chladný. Majorettes from the I. NIMA group led by Mrs. Alžbeta Martišková provided a pleasant atmosphere. This introduction was followed by a white ballet performed by the eight riders of the National Stud and their eight stallions of the Lipizzan breed, who demonstrated the elegance of classical riding in an interesting choreography of a foursome. Under the leadership of lunger Boris Kodak, the vaulting department presented itself in challenging exercises at the gallop, in the categories of individuals, pairs and groups. The Shagya-Arab and English Thoroughbred breeds were presented through the endurance and racing department. The classic Topolčian school presented its Lipizzaner stud stallions. Spectators had the opportunity to watch the exercises of the Spanish University, such as levada, curbet, pesada, piaffe, passage and the most attractive capriole for the audience. Exercises such as sitting, lying down and bowing were also included. The variability of the program was underlined by the appearance of the Slovak Riding Police, which participates in maintaining public order on various occasions. Horses are carefully selected for these purposes and undergo special training. Of course, the audience-attractive duel in driving could not be missed. Miroslav Matúška and Jozef Mašír measured their strength, dexterity, accurate eye and speed of horses. The contrast of use in the past and in the present was demonstrated by riders with Hucul horses. A short demonstration with a carrier saddle intended for transporting heavy loads over mountain terrain in contrast to recreational riding under the saddle presented by riders Peter Vančo and Bálint Bíro. Michaela Horná and her extremely talented Slovak warmblood stallion Forever rode a dressage freestyle to music at the "T" level. The showjumping department led by Pavel Gašpar took care of the adrenaline from overcoming obstacles up to a height of 160 cm, performed by Kristína Flaková on the Panavia and Martina Nittnaus on the filly Pet. The end of the gala program belonged to the guests from Poland. Stunt group La Pattat Dutka & Franczak Horse Show performed in an adrenaline show on Lipizzans purchased from the Topoľčianka National Stud. The atmosphere during the gala program was truly indescribable. Spectators rewarded the performances of riders and horses with thunderous applause.
We wish everyone a successful breeding, tourist and sports season and we believe that we will meet like this again next year.
Z generálky galaprogramu DOD 2022:
DOD 2022 očami Františka Kabáta: