Representing Szabadka (Subotica), Nikolett Szabó, a disciple of the legendary horse trainer Sándor Ribárszki, won the 14th National Gallop at Heroes’ Square, Budapest on the back of her yellow mare named Pipacs (Poppy) and lifted the Herend Trophy!
The 14th National Gallop was held under lucky circumstances as the races took place in late summer rather than early autumn weather both on Saturday and Sunday at Heroes’ Square, Budapest in the presence of a large audience. Saturday’s preliminaries were followed by Sunday’s finals, but before that a Hungarian specialty Pusztaötös (galloping show with 5 horses) could be admired, followed by the production of Devil Riders of Győr featuring mostly young girls performing death-defying gallop and amazing exercises.
As always, five jockeys made it to the finals of the main program of National Gallop: the Hungarian people living beyond the country’s borders were represented by Farkaslaka (Csaba Tamás, in the saddle of Villámlás/Lightning) and Szabadka/Subotica (Nikolett Szabó, Pipacs/Poppy), and the others were from Heves (Arnold Nagy, Fantázia/Fantasy), Kerekegyháza (László Tolnai, Trója/Troy) and Abony (Viktória Zboray, Marokkó/Morocco).
Before the final race, Tibor Székely, chief captain of the National Gallop, remembered two heroic women, two sisters, Antónia and Karolina Zichy. They were the first flag mothers of the Hungarian War of Independence of 1848-1849. Antónia Zichy was the wife and later widow of Count Lajos Batthyány, prime minister of the first Hungarian government.
In the three-and-a-half-round final, Farkaslaka started the best, but Szabadka (Subotica) took the lead and won the race, repelling the attack of the former two-time winner Arnold Nagy (Fantázia/Fantasy, Heves). The winning jockey was Nikolett Szabó, who trains in Alag, on the back of Pipacs/Poppy. She is a disciple of Sándor Ribárszki, the former trainer of Overdose. Csaba Tamás, representing Farkaslaka, finished in third place.
The 24-year-old Nikolett Szabó has already won with a pony in 2013 among the little hussars, also back then with a yellow mare, but in the “regular” National Gallop she reached the finals for the first time and won immediately!
The Herend Porcelain Manufactory Ltd. is proud to have been the official prize supplying partner of the National Gallop for many years. Thanks to tradition and many years of cooperation, the winner again lifted a Herend statuette “Hussar looking his blade” as a Trophy.