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Turkmenistan horses, riders set to vie in
top UAE endurance events
UAE Equestrian Federation team visits Turkmenistan,
Mutual Relations Receive a Big Boost


If all goes well, very soon the UAE endurance aficionados will be watching and competing along with horses from Turkmenistan in the UAE deserts. For the first time, equestrian enthusiasts will get to watch the Turkmenistan breed of horses called Akhal Teke in action.

This was the outcome of a recent visit by a high-ranking delegation from the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation, headed by the Secretary General Taleb Dhaher Al Muhairi, to Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan. The visit was in response to an invitation extended to His Excellency Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of the UAE Equestrian & Racing Federation, from the President of the Turkmenistan Equestrian Federation in an effort to boost mutual relations in this field.
The visit, which coincided with the 17th Independence Day celebrations of Turkmenistan, included the opening of a mega building which houses the headquarters of Turkmenistan Equestrian Federation. Some races were held to mark the occasion which attracted huge attendance since they were considered major horse races in this Central Asian country.
Taleb Al Muhairi held a meeting with Mr. Annakuli Nurgldiyev, the Minister of Equestrian Affairs in Turkmenistan and Yusup Annaklychev, Secretary General of Turkmenistan Equestrian Federation, in the presence of the UAE Ambassador to Turkmenistan Hassan Al Adhab. During the meeting the UAE Equestrian Federation extended an invitation to the Turkmenistan horses and riders to take part in the forthcoming Endurance Championships such as the HH The President of the UAE Cup, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup and the National Day Cup. The two parties held elaborate discussions of relevant issues such as quarantine arrangements.
Taleb Al Muhairi thanked the officials of the Turkmenistan Federation for the warm reception and hoped for better and wider mutual relations in future. He said that the visit was fruitful in opening up a window of opportunities for the two parties to boost their equestrian ties. He said that Turkmen horses and riders could soon find their way in top UAE endurance championships this season, and more is yet to come. He also thanked Ambassador Hassan Abdullah Al Adhab for the endless support and personal involvement in coordinating the visit programme.
The UAE delegation attended the official opening ceremony of the new Equestrian Federation building, which was opened by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. It is arguably the biggest of its kind in the region and many Asian countries. The President also showed his prowess in riding by taking part in two races.

The UAE Ambassador took this opportunity to thank His Excellency Dr. Sheik Sultan for his endeavour is boosting the equestrian activities not only in the UAE but outside too. The ceremony was attended by a host of high ranking diplomats.

Meanwhile at the races, lot of excitement prevailed as 15 new cars stood majestically beaming and waiting only to be presented to the winners. Each of the first three finishers in each race in a card of the six races drove away with a brand new vehicle, five minutes after passing the finish line.

In a further boost to the equestrian sport in Turkmenistan, Mr. Annakuli Nurgldiyev informed the UAE delegation that the President had recently endorsed plans to construct five horse stables in five regions of the country. The step is thought to boost the drive to excel in international endurance races and horseracing events that will set the stage for a successful participation in WEG, in Kentucky 2010.


Much regard is devoted to horses in Turkmenistan and the popular view is to treat them as precious animals. For example horses are never used in pulling weights, nor are they slaughtered or eaten. Their welfare is absolutely attended to during life, and upon death, they are not left as corpses or cremated but buried and funerals of notable horses are made. Moreover, they are not sold, but are offered as gifts to highly regarded state guests. For ages the Turkmen people have been famous for their special reverence for horses. The nationís coat of arms and the official emblem of the state have a depiction of a horse.

The second largest racecourse of Ashgabat, which has been fully refurbished, was a home of the main horserace event made in celebration of the Independence Day. Races were conducted every 15 minutes in distances ranging from 7 to 15 furlongs. Races were made on the dirt track, which is right-handed. The racing horses are known as Akhal Teke breed, known for their unique colours somewhat different from thoroughbreds and pure Arabians. They believe their skinny horses are the most beautiful in the world.

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