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International Association
of Akhal-Teke Breeding (MAAK)

Maria Cherkezova

Akhal-Teke community with a great sorrow inform about the death of Maria Danilovna Cherkezova. She passed away on Aplril 2, 2003 at the age of 84 years old.

The Akhal-Teke breeding in Turkmenistan at the second half of the XX century was strongly bounded with the name of this woman. Her acquaintances with Akhal-Teke horses started at the very young age – her father loved and appreciated Akhal-Teke horses. Maria Cherkezova graduated Ashkhabad Agricultural Institute in Turkmenistan with a diploma of a breeding specialist. Later on she worked at different positions at collective farms, at the State Studfarms, at the Ministry of Agriculture of Turkmenistan. Her experience grew up with time. She knew Turkmen language and it helped her a lot in her work. She had excellent memory, she remembered all the horses she met in her life and their pedigrees, it seemed like she could recognize them “by face”. During many years of work she covered many thousands of kilometers in a saddle. She was so popular in Turkmenistan, that sometimes post offices received letters addressed to “Ashkhabad, Cherkezovoi” and the letters found the addresser without a delay, because the name of the honored breeding specialist of Turkmen Soviet Socialistic Republic was known to almost everybody connected to horsebreeding. When old aksakals (old respected men in Turkmen lang.) met her at streets, they said “Look, there is the mistress of the horses going!” And yes, she has the full right for this name. All her life was devoted to horses, and not just horses, but Akhal-Teke horses. Maria Cherkezova worked as senior breeding specialist at Ashkhabad hippodrome, as director of Republican State Breeding Station. No one document of Turkmen Republic with a word “horse” escaped her attention, she missed no one event with horses. Every year she examined all Akhal-Teke horses in Turkmen Republic, made descriptions of foals, measured youngsters, took part in collecting blood tests, in preparing different documents, letters, projects and reports related to developing of horsebreeding in Turkmenistan.

During the last decade Maria Cherkezova was a connecting link between breeders from Russia and Turkmenistan. With great hospitality she opened the doors of her apartment to people from all corners of former Soviet Union, she was glad to see everybody and never refused to offer some good advise and help. It’s hard to imagine the Akhal-Teke breed without Maria Danilovna Cherkezova, “babulia” (grandma in Russian).

Babulia, we love you! We remember you!

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