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23.11.05 11:10

“HEAVENLY” IN A COUNTRY UNDER THE HEAVEN

Beijing, 22 November (Xinhuanet) - In June 2002, the year of horse on the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the horse of Akhalteke breed was brought to China from Turkmenistan. It was an eight year old stallion named “Akdash” (“White jewelry”), which is called the “Heavenly Racer” in China. It was the invaluable gift from the President of Turkmenistan.

Three and half years have passed. Where does Akdash live? How is he in China? The correspondent of Xinhua agency addressed these questions to Liu Czhunyuan, an expert of the Chinese Export-Import Company purchasing pedigree cattle. This man was responsible for Akdash during his 7-hour flight to China and nowadays looks after him at the stud farm in Lanfan city (Hebei province, North China) at the Chinese Export-Import Company purchasing pedigree cattle situated not far from Beijing.

“The Akhalteke breed is one of the oldest ones for riding, which influenced the genesis of many breeds, including the Arabic purebred”, said Liu Czhunyuan who didn’t hide his admiration of the horses of Akhalteke breed. “The livestock of purebred Akhalteke is small even in Turkmenistan. They account for about 200 thousand. Nowadays, they rarely come across in Russia too”, says Liu.

Speaking about Akdash, Liu told about the glorious past of his “ancestors”: these horses either served, for instance, to Marshal Georgiy Zhukov or became famous thanks to their jockeys at the equestrian championships, Olympic Games and other international competitions. Akdash himself has glorious history: due to his natural speed, in the races for two year-old steeds for 1000 meters he made a record having run the distance for 1 minute 42 seconds.

Liu Czhunyuan told that initially, when the stallion was brought to Lanfan city, feeding him was the biggest problem. He was used to feed on camel’s thorn that doesn’t grow in China, unfortunately. Akdash refused to eat oats and the “groom” was worried by this circumstance. On the advice of vets he began to add salt, vitamins, minerals and microelements to oats. Finally, he was lucky to “invent” special forage, which the horse liked very much.

However, the solution of feeding problem pleased the “groom” for a short period. Being an expert in breeding pedigree cattle, Liu Czhunyuan was concerned with furthering the existence of the precious Akhalteke breed in China. Usually, a three year old stallion is considered grown-up; for a five year old racer it is high time to become father. In 2002, Akdash turned 8, however, the haughty “prince” loved no one from local beauties. The speed of “girls” during the races on the 1000 m distance didn’t shake him. In 2003, Liu Czhunyuan finally learned about the availability of the new party of purebred mares. He agreed with their masters on arranging of “running competitions” among the stallion and mares. Everything happened the way Liu assumed. Akdash fell in love with 6 beauty horses.

At present, Akdash is father of five foals. So, the offspring of the “Heavenly Racer” appeared in China. The local people haven’t seen the Akhalteke horses since the rule of Yuan dynasty (1279-1368).

Xinhua Agency, 22.11.2005.

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