THERE is no evidence that Marek Skomorowski had ever worked with horses professionally before he was appointed to head one of the most elite stables in Poland, a 199-year-old state-owned stud farm in the village of Janow Podlaski. He had a degree in economics; his main credential seemed to be his connection to a small right-wing party allied to the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), which took power last autumn. The director whom he replaced was an experienced breeder. “The horses haven’t succumbed to depression,” Mr Skomorowski quipped after taking over the job in February. He spoke too soon. By early April two mares owned by Shirley Watts, the wife of the Rolling Stones’ drummer, Charlie Watts, had died. Mrs Watts withdrew her two surviving horses this month, threatening to sue.
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