No foaling around! Horseback queen Anna Sokólska wins first official Polish mounted archery comp
Horse-riding archery queen Anna Sokólska has won the first official Polish Championships at the 9th International Horse Archery Competition held in Grunwald.
The 33-year-old finished the three day event on her horse called Czanar with a whopping 294.27 points, despite a poor start, with runner up Wojtek Osiecki scoring 280.62.
Traditionally held over the long weekend at the beginning of May, the event was moved to August because of the COVID-19 pandemic with each day of the championships testing precision, speed and horsemanship.
Delighted Anna who excelled in all three categories later posted on social media: “It was a tough three days of competition.
“I do not believe it yet but I am the Polish Champion in Horse Archery 2020. Czanar is my friend, sports partner and star.
“I was the first person to ride him but even at 13 years old he still surprises me. On the archery track he set a dizzying pace of 6 seconds per 100 metres.”
She added: “For three days of the competition I received messages from many kind people, the support of fans is a secret power for each competitor, which allows you to forget about fatigue and emotions, focus on goals and fight for medals.”
Described by portal podlaskie.eu as the “best woman horseback archer in the world”, the latest win is yet another string to the Białystok blonde’s bow.
Winning international competitions since 2013, including 8 gold medals in competitions as far and wide as Japan, Turkey, Iran, and South Korea, in 2018 she was the highest ranked female competitor in the World Cup.
Mounted archery dates back to 9th century BC and was used both in military campaigns and for hunting.
While the tradition of horseback archery stretches back longer than most sports, international competitions that pit riders against one another are still in their infancy.
The sport is popular in Asia with the South Korean government passing legislation in 2007 to preserve and promote it and in the same year the British Horseback Archery Association was established holding their first competition in 2010.
In addition to coaching and competitions Sokólska takes part in workshops which introduce people to the history and tradition of mounted archery as well as teaching absolute beginners how to shoot a bow and arrow.
Her club AMM Archery also put on performances with the riders and the horses, showing off their skills to wow the crowds.