Traditional equestrian marathon was held along the Kopetdag Avenue in foothill valley of the southern edge of the capital under the events timed to National Turkmen Horse Holiday, which is marked on the last Sunday of April, The state news agency of Turkmenistan reports.
Great attention is paid in Turkmenistan to the work for protection and continuation of unique traditions of national horse breeding and further development of this ancient art.
Steadfast measures for modernization of the infrastructure of the industry, strengthening of equipment and facility base, increment of the livestock of thoroughbred horses, stimulation and activation of international cooperation in this sphere are taken under patronage of the Head of the State.
Opening of International Ahalteke Equestrian Complex and International Quarantine Centre became an important input to the development of national horse breeding and training. Both centres deal with making of the register of the most famous ahalteke horses – the elite of the world horse breeding with the mention of their achievements, origin and other information. The work on inclusion of ahalteke horses to the UNESCO World Heritage List is also carried out.
Ahalteke horses is one of the most ancient and the most beautiful breeds of riding horses. Annual reviews and competitions, which are held under the events on occasion of National Turkmen Horse Holiday, became the continuation of traditions of the ancestors who defined the stamina of their horses in covering big distances regardless of the terrain and weather conditions.
Folk bands, popular singers and bakhshys have performed before the start of the marathon. After the completion of the official opening ceremony, the Head Referee from Austria Marcus Mac Hubmann gave start to the marathon.
The route of the competitions included two legs (30 km each) and run across rugged terrain along the Kopetdag Avenue. Around 30 ahalteke horses including the horses from Ahalteke Equestrian Complex, National Equestrian Centre and velayat stables of the Türkmen atlary State Association as well as the horses belonging to different ministries and departments took part in the competitions.
The horses had to demonstrate not only the speed but sport stamina as well. The horses had medial inspection twice during the race (checking of temperature, pulse and breath), which results have to meet set international standards.
The competition allowed to ensure in an excellent physical training and endurance of ahalteke horses, which are thought to be the wings of soul in Turkmen nation. It also demonstrated the ability of riders to calculate physical capabilities of horses on long distances and showed the achievements of national selectionists and coaches.
The award of the winners will take place during coming events on occasion of National Turkmen Horse Holiday.