30.04.06 16:55

Turkmenistan marks Horse Day as national holiday

This holiday was established in the first years of independence. It is marked on the last Sunday of April every year.

By tradition, the capital's hippodrome was the epicenter of festivities. The specialists of Turkmenatlary (Turkmen horses) state association arranged a gala equestrian festival there. The programme of festival included performances of best sportsmen and pop-stars and celebration of the industry's best workers. As expected, the promenade of elite representatives of Ahalteke horse breed and horse races became the highlight of the programme.

Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov conveyed a complimentary address to horse-breeders and horse connoisseurs on the eve of the national holiday. "Our horses are the decoration of any festivities, they are the wings of our people and its national pride," the head of state noted in particular.

Addressing Turkmen horse-breeders, the president expressed his sincere gratitude to them for conscientious work and professionalism and wished them big successes in work. "Your work is best evidence of the great importance that independent neutral Turkmenistan attaches to horse-breeding and of how we care about Ahalteke horse breed, of how we love our "heavenly horses", the message says.

It should be noted that Ahalteke horses, often called "royal horses", boast centuries-old history. Ancient historians and poets wrote about matchless beauty of the Central Asian horses, known as Nissei's horses, starting from VII-VI centuries BC. According to the hypothesis, this name derives from the ancient Parthian capital, Nissa. Afterwards, they were better known as Ahalteke horses. Ahal stood for the name of the oasis and Teke was the name of a Turkmen tribe which had long bred these horses. It is worth noting that today, since many centuries, the state emblem of Turkmenistan carries the profile of the beautiful Ahalteke horse, Yanardag, the 1999 world breed champion.

Today, Turkmenistan pursues a comprehensive selection-breeding work aimed at increasing the elite stock of the world-famous Ahalteke horses. Turkmenistan has created all conditions for keeping and breeding "heavenly horses". Turkmenistan has the Central Asia largest super modern equestrian center.

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