The Turkmen Atlary State Horse Association held their fourth annual horse marathon (60 km) during the Turkmen Horse Holiday at the National Equestrian Sport Center. Twenty-five horses and riders took part in the marathon. As usual to add a festive flair to the event, there were famous Turkmen singers and dance groups who performed before and during the ride.
This year they invited Estonian FEI endurance vets Kätlin Leisson and Kaido Puusepp, who was also appointed as the chief referee. The race was run to Turkmen rules but the FEI vets upheld standards with continuation rules for the horses. They also attempted to implement FEI rules for first place to be the horse that pulsed down first and passed the vet checks but the current rules of first over the line stood. However, the race organizers expressed interest in having a Best Condition award for next year as the main prize.
Every year the competition improves and this year Edenli, ridden by Nuri #15, was even specifically trained for endurance. They won, pulsed down first and passed the veterinary check. Second across the line was #3, who failed to reach criteria, and third across the line was #21.
A few horses were given water and allowed to eat as well as having water poured on them to aid with cool down. Completion speeds were between 20-25 km/hour. Once a training and nutritional program is established these horses will make a mark on the international endurance scene.
Visit the Turkmen Horse Holiday gallery to see all of the images from the endurance race!