Longines EEF Series Newsroom

Stories from the Series: Poland Prep for Paris – Adam Grzegorzewski
June 17, 2024

Interview by Eleanore Kelly

Images Dava Palej and Lukasz Kowalski

For the first time since 1980, Poland has qualified teams for all three equestrian disciplines at the Olympic Games held in Paris later this year. One rider responsible for helping the Polish Jumping team qualify is Adam Grzegorzewski, a 26 year-old rider whose equestrian journey has been extra special as he has owned his Olympic prospect ‘Issem’ since he was a foal. He tells Eleanore Kelly about his jumping journey so far.

The Polish Jumping team qualified in Prague back in July last year, in which 10 nations from Central and Eastern Europe plus Central Asia, came forward, and Poland and Israel claimed one of the final golden tickets for Paris.

Adam was not even alive when the Polish Jumping team last competed at the Olympics but he was delighted to play a part in securing the qualification and very much hopes to be selected. “I was in the team in Prague and I had a good show but the whole team really worked to make the qualification. The Nations Cup was extremely exciting until the last riders. When we knew we had taken the second place, which gave us the qualification we were super happy. I still cannot believe it happened.”

This year has got off to a great start for Adam. “I have a very good horse at the moment who is in a very good shape from the beginning of the year so it looks quite optimistic at the moment. Issem is my main horse and we have specific plan for the Olympics. We only pick good shows and only at the 4 star level. I think if he stays healthy we will make the team for the Olympics.”

Poland last qualified for Team Jumping at the Moscow Olympics in 1980, where they won team silver and the late Jan Kowalczyk won individual gold. Since then equestrian sport at the top level has suffered a little in Poland but that seems to be changing again and interest and participation in Poland is growing rapidly explains Adam.

“We have more and more horses that can jump the two star level and the national level is really growing at the moment, so it looks really optimistic for the future to have some more combinations jumping at the serious shows. We have all three disciplines qualified for the Olympics this year. We may not have then biggest chance there but if we keep progressing like that, maybe in a few years we might even have a chance to do something more serious.”

“At the moment there is not a large group of riders to choose from as we don’t have so many horses at the level to do it. If I get to the Olympics and everything will be good this will be my first time. This would be extremely special. It would be the dream come true even to be there. That’s why we make all the plan this year to prepare and find the best shows to train the horse in the best possible way.”

Adam reveals he fell into Jumping rather than setting out to make a career from it.  “It was a little bit by accident. I started with ponies and then it somehow got more serious. I love everything about it- the horses, the riding, the training and competing. Now I ride around 16 horses on my yard everything from very young horses up to Grand Prix horses. We do a little bit of everything and I rent a stables near to Toruń which is a big city in Poland. I used to train riders but at the moment I am just focusing on the sport and we buy young horses and sell them when they are a bit older.”

Adam has been a great supporter of the Longines EEF Series and last year he jumped all of the competitions – both the qualifiers in Denmark and Norway, followed by the semi-finals in Deauville and the Finals in Warsaw. “It really helped me to build the horses up to a bigger level and gain experience for the bigger shows.”

This season, Poland started their campaign at Stutteri Ask and then went on to take a spectacular win in Drammen. Now attention turns to the semi-finals in Deauville this week where Adam will be lining up, hoping to ensure his team make it to the Final in Warsaw.

Issem has been Adam’s horse of a lifetime and their strong partnership is evident when they jump in the ring.

“He is a special horse, particularly for me because I have had him from a foal. He is one of the best horses you can find, I learnt everything on this horse. I have jumped two and three star with other horses but not with really special results and with him I have jumped up to 5 star and also my first Europeans with him. He is just amazing. He’s like a dream horse- he’s super to ride and very easy in the ring. He’s really a fighter and wants to do everything for me.”

Adam is managing his expectations ahead of the Olympics. “It’s quite difficult for me to get to the five star shows. I have a lot of experience at the four star but I have not jumped any really big shows and maybe I will only get one before the Olympics so it’s really very difficult to say what we will achieve there, when we don’t jump at this level. So I just want to prepare myself as best as possible and ride the best round I can do and then I will be happy.”

Catch all the action from the first semi-final in Deauville this Friday from 13.00 CEST with Clipmyhorse.tv and live on our website les-eef.eu.

Horses in focus:

Issem
11yr old
KWPN
Quality Time TN x Clinton
Bred by J Saaltink
Owned by Sylwia Grzegorzewska