Strong Nicholson Link for Polish Visitor

Strong Nicholson Link for Polish Visitor
Marcin Konarski competing. Photo supplied

Polish designer and technical delegate Marcin Konarski may be heading to New Zealand for his first time, but he has a far closer link with Kihikihi than is publicly known.
In the 1990s he worked at the stable of Andrew Nicholson.
“It was a great time for me and I learned a lot,” he said. “Andrew helped me many times during competitions and we are still friends. I always appreciate his balanced advice and he always finds time for me to talk to him about the future of eventing and cross country courses’ designs.”
It was through Andrew that he met John and last year the two were together at the FEI workshop for course designers in Balindenisk.
“I have known John for quite some time now and know that he is a great course designer on some very good events.”
So while Konarski is now known as one of the most respected in his field, he actually made his mark as a rider first.
For eight years he was chairman of the eventing committee in his homeland and for the past two years a member of the FEI eventing committee, but go back a few years and you discover he almost made the Athens Olympics.
“Unfortunately, just before the end of qualifications, I had an accident which caused a spine injury and finished my career as a rider,” says Konarski, who rode in the European Championships as a junior, young rider and senior, as well as competing successfully at 3* level.
As soul-destroying as that was for the then 27-year-old, his heart remained with eventing.
“I couldn’t imagine myself doing something else so I became a trainer, an organiser of eventing competitions, a technical delegate and a course designer.”
He has been designing courses for years, and this year will be at Kihikihi as the TD for the Waipa Home of Champions CIC3*.
“While working on many different events I meet all sorts of people and can face many problems, and from this point of view it is a very valuable source of information about issues that concern the (FEI eventing) committee.”
When not running more than a dozen international and national events in jumping, dressage, eventing and driving, or officiating at other events, Konarski operates an equestrian centre with his wife. Their students include members of the Polish eventing team.
The biggest event he and his wife run is the Strzegom Horse Trials which runs for five days, attracts more than 300 horses from 20 nationalities and includes a Nations Cup class.
Konarski sites German trainer and course designer Rudiger Schwarz as one who has had a huge impact on his life.
“He has changed a lot in my life and around my philosophy of fence building.”
The two have worked together since 2008.
And while Konarski will not be directly involved with the Rio Olympics, as a member of the eventing committee he deals with a lot of issues connected to the games.
This will be his first visit to New Zealand.
“It has always been my dream to visit New Zealand and it is about to come true.”
However, his visit will be fleeting.
“I will spend most of my time working at the competition and fulfilling my role as TD. It is a pretty time-absorbing role. I will only be in the country for five days, so practically just for the event.”


Date Added: Wednesday, 30th March 2016