About Day of the Turkmen Horse
On April 19th, Turkmenistan recognises the importance of the horse in the history of the country.
The Akhal Teke horse is believed to be one of the oldest surviving and purest of horse breeds. The Akal Teke is a descendant of the ancient Turkmene horse that originated from Asia and was used by nomadic tribes as a war horse.
On this day, Students read poems dedicated to the Akhal-Teke horses.
The Turkmen Racing Horse Festival is a time for horse enthusiasts, equestrians, and anyone with an interest in horses to commemorate the Akhal-Teke horse, the national symbol of Turkmenistan.
The breed is said to be one of the oldest in the world, and it is also indigenous to Turkmenistan, which explains why they are so proud of it.
These majestic animals are ideally suited for horse racing due to their “speed, intelligence, and endurance. Turkmenistan’s horses are referred to as “golden horses” because of their gleaming coats.
Turkmenistan has a horse racing tradition that dates back approximately 3,000 years. To participate in flat racing, the Akhal-Teke horses were selectively bred for their superior qualities, such as strength and endurance. In the past, these horses were also used for transportation and raiding in addition to competition. Today, these horses are exclusively bred for racing and are a national symbol, appearing on postage stamps, banknotes, and the national coat of arms. Therefore, this day was created to honour this uncommon and distinctive horse breed.
In 1881, following Turkmenistan’s incorporation into the Russian Empire in the late 19th century, Russians established stud farms for Akhal-Teke horses. In 1885, the Russians established an official Akhal-Teke registry in order to export this horse breed abroad. However, after the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922, economic and political turmoil led to the closure of these breeding farms, resulting in a sharp decline in the number of horses. In 1979, this breed was introduced to the United States and a registry was established for it. There are approximately 6,000 Akhal-Teke horses left in the globe, which increases their value.