Mare Emira is presented at the yearly Arabian horse auction "Pride of Poland", in Janow Podlaski, Poland, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
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Poland's right-wing government is facing a test of its reputation at – of all places – a horse auction at a 199-year-old stud farm.The reputation of the state breeding program, which is considered a national treasure, faced a setback earlier this year when the new conservative government purged three top managers who had worked in the program for many years, in one case for four decades.One notable person absent this year after more than two decades of buying horses from Janow Podlaski is British breeder Shirley Watts, wife of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. Pietrzak took over in June, replacing a very short-lived manager who had no previous experience with horses, but said on his appointment he hoped to make horses his new hobby.Potential buyers ahead of the auction of 30 mares and one stallion had mixed opinions on the horses, which were presented at a show and were also available for inspection to potential buyers in the classical 19th-century stables on the farm's grounds.
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