Pavol Gašpar was a long-time employee of the Topoľčianky National Stud, where he worked for 45 years, 23 of them as the head of the Breziny breeding facility. During his riding career, he devoted himself to almost all riding disciplines - dressage, show jumping, eventing and driving. He was also involved as an official of the Slovak Equestrian Federation. He was a national judge, course designer and holder of a coaching license. In 2018, he was awarded with the SJF gold badge for his contributions to the development of equestrian sports.
He was born in Prešov on June 27, 1953. At that time, the state stud farm was located in their neighbourhood, so horses were a part of his childhood. His brother Rudolf Gašpar introduced him to active riding. Thanks to him, in 1971 he joined the then Topoľčianky Breeding Company, where his brother was already active as a competitor. He was his strict coach and biggest critic. During the period of Gašpar's equestrian beginnings, such equestrian personalities as František Hrúzik, Dominik Pružinský, Milan Alakša, Jozef Varga and Jozef Haspra worked at the stud. In his own words: "There was someone to look up to." He acted as a "groom" for Dominik Pružinský at competitions and completed his first starts under his guidance.
He achieved many successes during his rich riding career. In eventing, he reached the final of the Golden Horseshoe in Humpolec with the horse Polaris. His most successful showjumping horses certainly included Vazal, Libertus, Flamengo and Honor. Later, driving became his domain. Since 1995, he has harnessed warm-blooded horses, and since 2008 he has only worked with Lipizzans. He belonged to the stable drivers of the Topoľčianky team. Among his greatest achievements are the championship titles of Slovakia from 1996, 2001 and 2013, starting at the Danube-Alpine Cup 2004 in Greven and at the world championships in Salzburg (2005), Rome (2006), Wark (2007), Kecskemet (2009) and in Topoľčianky (2013).
As they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. His son Pavol gathered riding experience as a child alongside his father. He was fascinated by horse racing. In a very short time, he won 50 victories and became a jockey. He has a victory in the classic St. Leger in 1996 and is the record holder of the Topoľčianky racing track. He currently works as a starter at almost all races organized in Slovakia.
Pavol Gašpar remained loyal to horses even after his retirement in 2015. For the next 7 years he worked as a trainer of the show jumping department and was active as a judge or course designer at equestrian events.
Besides horses, his great passion is hunting. He likes to go to the forest to sit or feed the animals - as he himself says: "...to rest and clear his head."
Congratulations on your life anniversary and we wish you good health!