Following the endurance race was the show jumping exhibition at the indoor jumping stadium, National Akhalteke Horse Complex. The Presidential Stables as well as the Ministries of Defense and Internal Affairs sponsor riders. The twelve top jumpers in Turkmenistan were part of the competition.
The riders live at the complex that is still being expanded to include families of everyone involved in equestrian events at that venue, including riders, trainers, grooms and owners. An entire planned equestrian community is growing at the national complex. There are schools and parks for the children, restaurants and a hotel as well.
With Turkmenistan hosting the 2017 Asian Games and the inclusion of show jumping Turkmenistan has a chance to show off their unique horses in an international arena. However, in order to get to the Olympic levels they need to continue to work with higher level and Olympic trainers. The current show jumping competitions are indoor timed events of two rounds, the first at 1.0m and the second at 1.15m.
Faina Zaripova (above) started riding 9 years ago under the head jumping coach Durdymurat Kanayev. Although Kanayev initially didn’t believe that Zaripova could become a jumper at all, now she is his prize pupil. Zaripova has not only shown persistence and determination but also the athletic ability to become a top jumper in Turkmenistan. Every year the crowd cheers for their favourite, not just because she is the only female equestrian, but also because of her riding ability and amiable personality. Zaripova won the top prize in show jumping in 2013 and continues to remain at the top in competitions. I would love to see how she would do under the tutelage of an experienced Olympic coach.