The Turkmen Atlary, the State Horse Breeding Ministry of Turkmenistan, has organized an annual endurance race for four years as part of their national Turkmen Horse Day. The 60 km endurance race was held at the permanent endurance course at the International Equestrian Complex in Gokdere. This year 33 Akhal-Teke horses participated representing riders from all provinces as well as the Presidential Stables, the Ministry of Defense and Internal Affairs.
Each year there are numerous improvements during the ride and they are working on establishing a solid veterinary control system working towards FEI standards. Originally they believed hot horses would suffer from drinking water and over the last few years more water has been used on the horses and this year some allowed their horses to drink freely at the stream. These are tough horses that despite the lack of experience they are loved partners and are able to do well at the endurance ride.
Most of the horses ridden are stallions although there is usually one or two mares present at the endurance race as well. The stallions are all well behaved and you wouldn’t know they weren’t geldings. They even take the bridles off and just use reins for them at the vet checks. The horses are bumped and mobbed and ran around each other without problems.
The winning horses coming over the finish line:
Every year there is a variety of entertainment always including lots of dancing and singing. So even when the horses are away on the track there is plenty to do!