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World Championship - 2002

International Association
of Akhal-Teke Breeding (MAAK)

Subject: Akhal-Teke studbook

There are many theories about the origin of Akhal-teke breed. Many nations can call this breed it's national treasure: Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, and areas from Altay, Russia and Turkmenistan (incidentally, Turkmen became known only in 8th or 9th century, much later than Akhal-Teke horses). Before Central Asia was adjoined to Russia, pedigrees were passed down in oral tradition. But in the 19th century the breeding of Akhal-Teke horses began to be written down. These breeding records, with written notes, developed into a large archive of breeding documentation were unfortunately lost during an earthquake. Breed-shows of young horses were organized regularly, and the best horses were demonstrated at the horse exhibitions in Piatigorsk, Kiev, and Paris. This is how the world got to know Akhal-Teke horses again.

Historically, since the time when Soviet Union was formed, the All-Union Research Institute of Horse breeding (VNIIK) played a leading role in the selection of main horse-breeds for all the stud farms in the huge territory of USSR, including Akhal-Teke breed. The work was always conducted by the means of a network of bases, distributed all over the country, including the Tashkent experimental base, where E. Ershova - the author of the first plan of work with Akhal-Teke breed - worked as a leading scientist. Many researchers, K.Gorelov, G. Neelov, A. Bogushevskiy, E. Ershova and other well-known scientists from VNIIK, and the Ministry of Agriculture of USSR made a number of expeditions to investigate resources in horse breeding all over the country. Their studies produced the Centralized Breeding accounting and the first volume of the studbook. During this period, Soviet scientists (V. Vitt, V. Lipping, S. Kovalevskiy, P. Kuleshov, P. Urasov, S. Afanasiev, S. Bogoliubskiy and others) convincingly proved the ancient origin of Akhla-Teke breed and it's huge role in the world horse breeding.

By 1938, VNIIK researchers were able to verify and track the purity of the Akhal-Teke breed. This important information was formally maintained in official Akhal-Teke Studbooks. Only purebred horses, and horses who had among their ancestors crosses of English Thoroughbred and Akhal-Teke horses, bred before 1932, were allowed into the Studbooks. After 1932, any horses that had "foreign" blood were not allowed into the Studbooks.

In the 1960s, years of repression against horse breeding had started and Akhal-Teke horses were on the verge of disappearance. In January 1, 1973, VNIIK restarted the work with Akhal-Teke breed by the order of the Ministry of Agriculture. From this time the Newest History of the Akhal-Teke breed began. During these almost 30 years, VNIIK has done a tremendous work. In 1990, the Association of Akhal-Teke breeding (AATK) was founded. AATK established close connections with breeders from different countries and made possible the establishment of the International Association of Akhal-Teke breeding (MAAK). MAAK was officially registered in Moscow in 1995. Some results of MAAK and AATK work are - the organization of the annual International Meetings of breeders and fans of Akhal-Teke horses; breed-shows; World and National Championships. Despite the very difficult economical situation in Russia, after the break-up of Soviet Union, testing of Akhal-Teke horses for racing and sport qualities were established and enlarged. These events dramatically increased the interest to Akhal-Teke horses throughout the world.

Over the seventy years since VNIIK was founded, 7 volumes of Studbook were published. The next volume, #10 containing pureblood Akhal-Teke horses from different countries is in preparation for publishing. The "Registry of young horses" (official ADDITION to the State Studbook) has been published annually since 1992.

Since the time the USSR fell apart, we have been expecting a break up of the formerly united country - "Akhal-Teke Land". We tried hard to postpone this moment and we managed to do it for 10 years. It allows keeping the unity of the breeding base for more effective selecting and breeding work. Unfortunately, that high position could not be kept forever under the pressure of disconnecting countries. We know that Turkmenistan wants to have it's own Studbook and we have nothing against it. But we want to bring your attention to the fact that Russia is the official successor of Soviet Union and only Russia has the right and obligation to continue the Studbooks of Akhal-Teke breed (all volumes of the Studbook were made by VNIIK, USSR). All-Russian Research Institute of Horse Breeding (VNIIK) is the only successor of All-Union Research Institute of Horse Breeding and is now empowered to conduct Centralized breeding accounting of the Akhal-Teke breed and to draw up and publish the State Studbook of the breed, in accordance with Ratified Rules.

We are not confronting the fact, that the Akhal-Teke horse is the national pride of Turkmenistan, but other nations - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, Uzbekistan, and Russia also reasonably consider this breed as the national pride. By the way, Russians saved the breed from disappearing.

We are sorry to talk about it, but the fact is, that Turkmenistan was guilty of delaying the publication of the next, 10th volume of the Studbook. Geldy Kiarizov asked to wait with the publishing of the next volume of the Studbook, to give time to test Turkmen horses and include them into the volume. VNIIK did the tremendous work of testing, proving and registering majority of Turkmen horses, but until now, this work was not paid for and we did not get complete information from Turkmen breeders about the horses that should be written in the Studbook. We are sorry that the enormous amount of time spent on this work with Turkmenistan leaves limited time for work with other regions and countries. We are looking forward for the day, when this unfortunate situation will change for the better and breeders from all countries will work together again in behalf of Akhal-Teke breed.

The work of this registry produces a Studbook that is comprehensive, precise, professional, demanding a deep knowledge of the breed and unlimited love of it. VNIIK will put all the knowledge and efforts to keep this work at the high level and to provide timely support to all MAAK members in all countries and regions. Lets keep the high standard of Akhal-Teke breed together.

Vise-President of MAAK,
Leader of Selection and Breeding Center,
The main Registrar of Studbook of pureblood Akhal-Teke horses,
Leading Scientist of VNIIK, docent, Ph.D.
Tatiana Riabova

Executive director of MAAK
Specialist of Selection and Breeding Center,
Registrar of Studbook of pureblood Akhal-Teke horses,
Researcher of VNIIK, Ph.D.

Nadezhda Abramova

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