Akhalteke - is the most ancient horse breed in the earth; its best quali­ties, which the Turkmen had developed at the early stages of racehorse breeding, remained practically unchanged till our days. Today's representatives of the breed differ from their ancestors, which had lived a millennium ago, by tall growth and more regular and harmo­nious constitution. Having brought to perfection the methods of horse-breed­ing in the course of horses rearing and training, our ancestors - folk selectionists - had developed a unique horse culture type, which later had spread far beyond the region.

 The Akhalteke breed of horse is dis­tinguished for wonderful exterior, elegance and smartness of harmonious forms, developed musculation, distinc­tiveness of tendon and chord system, hardness and sensibility, devotion to its master. By the exterior alone, it is impos­sible to mess it with any other one. They have light and small head, elegant and sticking out ears, large flexible and expressive eyes, smoothly arched long neck with developed back of the head, a powerful, but rather “elegant”, croup. With tall growth, its constitution is ex­tremely lean.

 The mane and tail are sparse; body hair is short, tender, silky and brilliant. Its color may be golden-brown, golden-dark, silvery-grey and other tints. Apart from widespread paints - chestnut, black, red and grey, infrequent are light-bay, creamy, Isobel, black brown paints. Very often, Akhalteke horse has small blazes on the forehead (depel), some­times of white color (sakar), and a hairy lock at the low back side of legs (sekil).

 The movements of Akhalteke horse in straddle are smooth and fluent, its at- a-rot running - relaxed, gallop running - at a high speed, curvet - even and fast like flying over the earth. Actually, it is one of the world's friskiest horse breeds; the entire characteristic of the horse with its hot temperament testifies to its born runner nature. All this is the result of hard work of many and many generations of Turkmen horse-breeders in the sphere of selection.

 Today, in compliance with modern requirements, the selection work in­cludes such directions as: perfection of the exterior, running and sport qualities of the breed; conducting of the indus­trial control over the selection measures in the horse-breeding farms; to rear the unaltered male horses in compliance with the toughest requirements. Intro­duction of the advanced experience and modern methodologies of horse-breed­ing science aimed at the increase of pedigree flock to the Turkmen horse- breeding industry is one of the focal tasks of the sector.

 Special attention is given to main­taining the selection documentation. Each horse is on file of specialists of State Association “Turkmen Atlary”. The youngsters are exposed to checks in the immunogenetic laboratories, where the animals' pedigree is specified, and all the data about the horse are registered offi­cially. From the moment of producing posterity, the studhorses and female horses are registered in the State Regis­ter Books. From generation to genera­tion, the data and information about horses are systematically brought into the Register Book.

 The selection of studhorse and fe­male horses in the production practice is carried out in the process of classification by the following characteristics:

 - origin or parentage - pedigree four times removed;

- physical parameters;

- exterior;

- the degree of activity estimated by the results, which were demonstrated in the races, sport achievements, participa­tion in distance tests and marathons, in­ternational competitions;

- reproductive capabilities and qua­lity of rising generation (for studhorses and female horses).

 Thus, by the selection value and sig­nificance in the horse-breeding work, the horses are subdivided by the merit 10-point system into the following classes: elite, selec­tive, the first and second classes.

 Breeding of horses is carried out ex­clusively by their belonging to the pureblood breed, which allows to maintain the hereditary homogeny, securely to preserve and develop the qualities pecu­liar to the breed. The process is imple­mented with the use of the following methods:

 - breeding by pedigree lines;

- breeding by crossing between the lines;

- breeding by congeniality of differ­ent level;

- outbreeding mating;

- breeding, which envisage the fami­ly of female horses.

 It is worth noting that the first method (breeding by pedigree lines) was used by Turkmen people since an­cient times. In times of old, when the Pedigree Books did not exist, every horse-breeder held to the memory the pedigree of racers and was able to enu­merate the names of numerous prede­cessors.

 In the book “The Akhalteke horse of Turkmenistan”, its author K.I.Gorelov, who had been investigating Akhalteke horses during his expedition in 1925-1927, made up the line of breeding and the list of horse breeds, identified as:

 1. The Boinov's line. Boinov, the starter of the line, - a chestnut horse (born in 1885), by the origin is the off­spring of the Akhalteke horse Lyalyanin chepi. The Lyalyanin chepi's pedi­gree - Garamcha, which originates from Gutlysakar (we consider, one generation, by the age, in the pedi­gree history of horses approximates to 12.5 years, that is why the third generation of Lyalyanin chepi ances­tors falls on 1848).

 At present, 13 lines in the Akhalteke horse-breeding start from the Boinov's line;

 2. Soltanguly - a colt of Gekpishik,Gekpishik - a descendant of Gyllytov, which, in turn, is the colt of Gutlysakar; being the great-great-grandson of Gutlysakar, it is a relative of Boinov;

 3. Nedirbai - was used as a stallion in 1902-1908 in the Zacaspian region. It had won the award at the horse exhibi­tion in Tashkent;

 4. Chaparkel (Herrikgala 2);

 5. Gechili- by origin, it is the colt of the Ovezmyratdyali horse - a descen­dant of Yaraji horse;

 At present, there are 17 family lines in the Akhalteke horse-breeding sector, identified as: Arab, Aksakal, Akbilek, Garlavach, Gyrsakar, Gaplant, Eyeberdi Teleke, Skak, Pereng, Sluchai, Pakyrpalvan, Melegush, Saparkhan, Gelshikli, Posman, Yel, and Dorbairam.

 To the within-said list, by the way of separating from the Gyrsakar family, a new line, Garaderi, can be added.

 To preserve and further advance the best characteristics of the breed, the pure-blood Akhalteke horses alone are included in the list of reproduction. When selecting them by the pedigree, special attention is given to their belong­ing to the line, the family history, value of parents (father and mother) from the point of view of their pedigree-produc­ing value and quality of horse yield.

 The properly organized zootechnical work is the prerequisite of efficient pro­gressive functioning of the line from generation to generation.

 Cross-lines take a special place in the selection work of Akhalteke horse breeding husbandry. Proficient applica­tion of coupling, the horses' belonging to different lines and genealogy com­plexes lead to the reciprocal enrichment of lines with new qualities and heterosis that manifest itself, particularly, in high work capacity of horses.

 For example, in producing offspring, the preferential characteristics of the stallion are taken into account to strengthen the weak positive qualities of the female horse from another line.

 While applying the bigeneric cross­ing, special attention is paid to the ma­nifestation in the posterity of positive re­sults of the lines merger, and conse­quently, to the selection of male and female lines for further crossing. Upon this condition alone, production is pos­sible of the horses with the display of generic heterosis, which will have the demand-driven exterior characteristics and strong constitution of the body, hard in races and sport events.

 In the practice of the horse-breeding work, the bigeneric crossing generated good results: in the Pedigree Horse Com­plex of the village Garadashayak, Ruha­bat etrap, crossing of the horses Shahy and Bahar, a representative of the Eyeberdi Teleke line - Alvan, resulted in pro­ducing wonderful offspring - a combination of quickness of Shahy (Yel line) and primordial beauty from Alvan runner (Eyeberdi Teleke line).

 Application of the complicated line-breeding method invests in strengthen­ing in the offspring of positive characteristics and properties of the blood-related horses. When using this method, the relation degree is fixed by the generally accepted system of the an­cestors line system (by Shaporzhou).

 Since early time, in the Turkmen horse-breeding activity, the method was used of crossing the close, interim (mid­dle) and distant relationship in order to propagate the best pedigree qualities to the offspring. Today, when coupling the male and female horses, these methods are applied (if its expedient), especially the method of coupling animals by the interim and distant ancestry. In the Akhalteke horse-breeding trend, the glorious horses were produced by two-side cross­ing of the related breeds: Eyeberdi Teleke - from Boinov II-III, Garabeg - from Gyrsakar IV-III.

 All these methods generate positive results upon condition of conducting of the planned and targeted selection work. To further improve the legendary breed of horses, the selectionists see clearly the aim of the line reproduction of horses, most thoroughly selecting the pairs and continuators of the line.

 Today, our horse breeders are work­ing over producing new generations of descendants of famous racers, which con­tinue the best genealogy lines. Turkmen horse breeders with the Akhalteke horses they reared participate regularly in the interna­tional exhibitions. Our “celestial” horses traditionally take prize-winning places at the reputable competitions, become champions at the international horse shows invariably evoking admiration of the recognized professionals and experts.

 Positive results in the development of horse-breeding work in Turkmenistan are achieved not only due to the organizational-and-economic and selection meas­ures, but also due to close links of the science and production, the dedicated work of many other specialists, veterinaries, seiyis-trainers. Breeding of elite pureblood horses is not only a technologically difficult work; it is the trade for the people wedded to their profession and work.

 

Bazarbai MEREDOV,

Honored Horse-Breeder of Turkmenistan