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2021  N5-6(194-195)
This year marked the first-ever joint celebration of the traditional Day of Turkmen Akhal-Teke Horse, which is celebrated in the country on the last Sunday of April, with newly established Day of Turkmen Alabay. And this is absolutely logical. After all, the proud and swift Akhal-Teke horse and the courageous and imperturbable Central Asian Shepherd Dog – Alabay represent the true national treasure of the Turkmen people, bright symbols and sources of pride. Turkmen Alabay and Akhal-Teke horse are inextricably linked with the history and fate of the Turkmen people, who treat the dog and horse not only as allies and friends but something more.
The celebration of the two national holidays started a few days before April 25. It was preceded by the thematic exhibitions of fine and decorative-applied arts dedicated to “heavenly” horses and Alabay in all the regions of the country. The exhibitions featured picturesque paintings and sculptures, carpets, jewelries and horse equipment. Song and musical performances were presented by masters of art – famous pop artists, bakhshi, dance and folklore groups.
The conference titled “Turkmen Horse and World Art of Horse Breeding” was held at the Mary province library. It was noted at the conference that the Turkmen people were able not only to give the world a masterpiece of horse breeding but also carry through the centuries the purity of the most ancient breed, constantly improving the distinctive qualities and gene pool of unique Akhal-Teke horses.
The State Museum of the State Cultural Center of Turkmenistan hosted the exhibition “Winged Horses – Pride and Glory of the People” dedicated to Day of Turkmen Horse and Day of Turkmen Alabay. The exhibition displayed paintings by artists, photographs of Turkmen Alabay dogs, Akhal-Teke horses and famous jockeys.
There were also presented old photographs among other photo works. For example, one of them depicts Turkmen Alabay dogs named Gokje and Arlan from the collective farm named after Samsonov of the Kerkinsky region, who in 1940 won the 1st place at the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition. There were also demonstrated carpets with images of horses and Alabay dogs. Visitors had the opportunity to get a close-up view of the old horse harness on a life-size model of the Akhal-Teke horse and compare it with the modern horse harness displayed nearby.
The Center of the International Association “Turkmen Alabay” and the International Association of Akhal-Teke Horse Breeding were inaugurated in the capital of Turkmenistan on April 22. The Deputy Prime Minister, head of the International Associations “Turkmen Alabay” and Akhal-Teke Horse Breeding Serdar Berdimuhamedov cut the traditional ribbon at the inauguration ceremony.
The ground floor of the new building accommodates a museum displaying artworks dedicated to Akhal-Teke horses and Turkmen Alabay. There is also a library with rich book collection. The first floor of the center has offices, specialized rooms and a conference room for various events, including international ones.
As part of the ceremony of inauguration of the new facility, the International Association “Turkmen Alabay” convened for a regular meeting. More than 190 individuals and organizations from 11 countries of the world are currently members of this association.
And the following day, the winner of the International Beauty Contest of Akhal-Teke horses was announced in Turkmenistan. The bay horse named Aygytly (Unwavering) won the title of the 2021 most beautiful Akhal-Teke horse. Ten best representatives of the Akhal-Teke breed that qualified to the finals from all the regions of Turkmenistan took part in the competition.
Aygytly belongs to the Akhal-Teke equestrian complex of the President of Turkmenistan. The horse is trained by horse breeder Chary Ballyev, who was solemnly presented on behalf of the head of state with the main prize – a Lexus car, as well as a challenge cup and a diploma.
The last Sunday of the month – April 25 – was naturally the most eventful day. This year, the festivities started with horse racing at the International Akhal-Teke Equestrian Complex. In total, seven races were held at various distances. In each race, the fast Akhal-Teke horses demonstrated their best sport qualities.
Following the final race and race winners awarding ceremony, prizes were also awarded to the winners of the long-distance horse marathon and show jumping competition held earlier.
The opening ceremony of the facilities of the International Association “Turkmen Alabay” was held near the International Equestrian Center. The opening ceremonies of dog breeding centers in Balkan, Dashoguz, Lebap and Mary provinces were held simultaneously in the teleconference mode. These infrastructural facilities were built by the private construction companies of the country in accordance with the modern requirements of cynology and national traditions of Alabay breeding.
The first-ever contest “Brave Turkmen Alabay of the Year” was the culmination of the holiday. This spectacular event aroused great interest among guests. Ten elite representatives of the breed selected in the qualification rounds from various regions of the country were taken to the observation podium for viewing. Then, the four-legged contestants raced along the dog obstacle course.
Based on the results of the contest, the title “Brave Turkmen Alabay of the Year” went to Alabay named Akkhan (White Khan) belonging to the State Border Service of Turkmenistan.
The Deputy Prime Minister, President of the International Association of Akhal-Teke Horse Breeding and the International Association “Turkmen Alabay” Serdar Berdimuhamedov presented the prizes. The dog-winner’s neck was decorated with a special medal, and the main prize of the President of Turkmenistan – a car and a challenge cup – was handed to the representative of State Border Service.
This was the final event of the week that finished on the last Sunday of April. It was full of amazing and interesting events timed to coincide with the national Day of Turkmen Horse and Day of Turkmen Alabay which was celebrated for the first time this year.


©Turkmenistan Analytic magazine, 2005