Member Report from Kazakhstan
Delegates from the Kazakh Association of Purebred Arabian Horses were unable to attend the 2019 WAHO Conference, but sent us this report.
The breeding of purebred Arab horses in Kazakhstan has a relatively short history, although our horse-breeding traditions have centuries-old roots, and the most favourite animal for most of the population is the horse. Arabian horses began to be imported to Kazakhstan in limited quantity in the late 1960s. At this time, the Arabians in Kazakhstan were registered in the Russian Arabian Stud Book. The breeding stallions mainly came from Tersk Stud in Russia and were widely used on non-Arabian mares at a State Stud Breeding Centre for Sport horses. The partbred Arabian offspring of these stallions had high sports qualities and were used in different types of equestrian sport. All horse breeding during those years was under state control, and developed according to the state programme.
In 1993, after gaining independence, came the first chance for the population of the Republic of Kazakhstan to have the opportunity to own pedigree horses. The foremost breed became the purebred Arabian. The Rahat Stud was formed as a basis for breeding purebred Arab horses, with the foundation stock imported from Russia with later additions from France. This new generation of Arabian horses has gained popularity in their own right not only from the owners, who appreciate the beauty, the elegance and the grace of Arabian horses, but also for those that appreciate the breed for their strong constitution, stamina and good performance in long distance rides.
The support provided in the late 1990s by horse owners and sponsors allowed the central hippodrome in Almaty to be updated on the basis of which the Jockey Club of Kazakhstan was created. Thanks to the good prizemoney, both the classical races and national types of equestrian sport became available that further influenced the development of the Arabian breed in Kazakhstan. Interest in Arabian horses increased. Assessment of the stallions and mares on their athletic capacity and quality of produce became possible. With the assistance of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the first specialized horse exhibition where the best horses of different breeds were presented was held. In the Arabian breed the mare Verhushka (Bahrein / Veda), born in 2000 at the Rahat Stud, previously the race winner of the Oaks prize, became Champion. Her parents are both from Russia and both are from the Piolun line and the Taktika family.
The financial crisis of 2008 negatively influenced further development of horse breeding in general. It was connected first with lack of support from the state and also in income which was decreased for the private owners of horses. As a result, the number of organized events and races was reduced; there was also a reduction in the number of registered purebred Arabian foals in the stud book. The peak of registered purebred Arabian foals was in 2009 (27 foals), this has gradually decreased, as some mares are used to produce Anglo-Arabs or Partbred Arabs. For the last 3 years the statistics are as follows:
2016: 28 mares, 14 stallions, 6 foals
2017: 36 mares, 8 stallions, 5 foals
2018: 32 mares, 7 stallions, 4 foals.
The First International horse exhibition “KazEqui 2016” took place in 2016 in Almaty at the “Chamberlain Country Club”. Revival of horse culture in Central Asia and the promotion of a responsible attitude to animals and the nature became a keynote of this exhibition. Within the exhibition, with the assistance of the head of the Russian society of the Arab horse Igor Bochkarev, the first show of Arabian horses took place in Kazakhstan. The First Arabian Championship show of Kazakhstan took place within the framework of “KazEqui 2017”, judged by Irina Stigler and Jan Calis. The winners were awarded valuable prizes.
In 2018, Almaty’s hippodrome gained support in the form of prize money amount from the state budget and after that the Arabian horses began to take part in racing again. The new economy on breeding of Arabian horses appeared in the same year, and after that five mares and one stallion were imported from Russia in November. Today, our Arabians take part in racing, show-jumping, dressage and endurance races as well as shows, exhibitions and traditional horse sports.
One of the traditional and most popular horse sports in Kazakhstan is known as “Baiga”. The emergence of equestrian sport of this type dates back centuries, in connection with the nomadic way of life of Kazakhs, who had to overcome the long distances of the extensive steppe, which was only possible on good horses. Baiga long distance races take place from early spring till late autumn in all regions of the country. Horses of different ages compete over different distances: for 2 years of 7-11 km, for 3 years of 15-21 km, for 4 year olds and over of 25 km and more. Traditionally, the riders are boys between 7 and 14 years of age. Horses of different breeds not only from Kazakhstan, but also from other countries of Central Asia, can take part in these races. Successful breeds include Thoroughbreds, purebred Arabians, half-Arabians and native breeds. Depending on the status and the venue, the prize-winning sums in Baiga can be very large.
Since 2002, when Kazakhstan became a full Registering Authority Member of WAHO, Kazakhstan has released four volumes of our stud book. Each year, a panel of judges selects the horse they consider most deserving to be awarded the WAHO Trophy.
The Kazakh Association Purebred Arabian Horses in Kazakhstan has provided the following report.
In Kazakhstan, for some background information, there are about 1.5 million horses, from 13 breeds and mixed-breed groups. The largest percentage (76%) of them are productive breeds horses and only 22% of pure breeds, including Purebred Arabians. During Soviet Union times, Arabian stallions were imported in limited numbers into Kazakhstan to improve the breeds existing at the time.
A new generation of Arabian horses were imported to Kazakhstan early in 2000 and have gained popularity in their own right not only for the owners, who appreciate the beauty, the elegance and grace of the Arabian horse, but also for those that appreciate the breed for the constitution of a fortress, stamina and good performance in long distance rides.
Kazakhstan has been a member of WAHO since 2002. In 2003, with the direct participation of Russian specialists, the first studbook of purebred Arabian horses in Kazakhstan was issued. It included 36 mares, 11 stallions and 74 foals. In 2016 we prepared Volume 4 of the Studbook for the period 2012-2016, which includes 45 mares, 8 stallions and 56 foals. The mares mainly originate from the well-known lines and families of Russian and Russian-French origin. The stallions are sons and grandsons of the great racetrack fighters, of show winners and of those who have distinguished themselves through their offspring. Here are some of them:
Kamelot (RU) (Anchar-Kameia). His sire Anchar, raced 38 times, 11 times was the first, winner of the prestigious awards in Russia and Europa prize in Poland.
Kair (RU) (Adres-Koldunia). His sire Adres was the European champion among the stallions of 1990, and the best in Europe race horse in 1991.
Dura Lex Sed Lex (FR) (Dormane- Maceth). His sire Dormane has been leading sire of champion racehorses many times.
Nubiec (RU) (Balaton –Neapolitanka). His sire Balaton is a famous multi- champion among Russian stallions.
Over the past two years we registered only 10-14 foals on the basis of DNA tests and parent verification, although we know that more than that number were born. The smaller number of the registration of horses is due to increasingly high costs for raising, maintenance and training of horses. On the other side we have insufficient horses to organize good racing and show programs, which explains their limited holding.
Some owners use Arabian mares in crossing with Thoroughbred stallions for producing Anglo-Arabs for sport. The unregistered Arabians and Anglo-Arabs horses take part in our popular national races, over distances from 9-35 km (depending on age) without separation of breeds. 90% of the winners in such races are Thoroughbreds, the Arabians and Anglo-Arabs experiencing inequality.
More popular for Arabian horses are endurance rides. In 2015, the 7 year Arabian gelding Monarch, the descendant of popular stallions such as Drug, Topol and Aswan, won a major ride over 30 km. He was awarded our WAHO Trophy for that year. In the autumn of 2016 the 60 km ride attracted entries from more than 20 horses of different breeds, including Thoroughbreds. The 11 year old Arabian stallion Nurdan, great-grandson of triple-crowned stallion Topol, took 2nd place. In addition, Nurdan is in training for jumping to a height of 110 cm and has won first place in the class of “fans” on the Cup of the Equestrian Federation in 2016. Nurdan has admirable Arabian breed type, excellent movement, correct conformation and a very good temperament. At the Arabian horse show which took place in October 2016 in Almaty, Nurdan was recognized as of the best horse of the year and was awarded the WAHO Trophy.
In recent years, import of Arabian horses has declined in Kazakhstan. In 2006, 17 horses were imported, in 2007 – 28, in 2008 – 6, in 2009 – 4, then in each since 2010 only a single Arabian horse has been imported. Exports from Kazakhstan are also small, with just 1 to 2 horses per year. Currently, owners of our Arabian horses believe that we have enough mares for breeding in the country, but in the future many people want to buy more horses for shows.
Kazakhstan does not yet use microchips, nor do we allow artificial insemination, transport of semen, embryo transfer or multiple registration of foals per mare per year by embryo transfer.
REPORT FOR 2010 as submitted by the Kazakh Association of Pure Arabian Horses:
In 2010 Kazakhstan has published the 2nd volume of the Arabian Stud book covering the years of 2004-2007 inclusive. The next volume (2008-2011) is planned to be published in 2012.
For the last 3 years in Kazakhstan there were changes in Arabian breeding. The global financial crisis has made a negative impact on horse breeding development as a whole that was reflected, in particular, on Arabian horse breeding. In 2008 we have registered 18 foals, in 2009 – 26, in 2010 – 14. Still the smaller quantity of foals is registered in 2011. It is likely that due to the recession and in order to reduce their expenses, owners have reduced their breeding of Arabian horses and have reduced the quantity of foals for registration.
Before registration in the Arabian Stud book, all foals are confirmed by DNA in Czech Laboratory. The use of blood-typing is only necessary when one or both parents of a foal are outside of Kazakhstan and DNA is not available, in these cases parentage can only be confirmed by blood typing. Kazakhstan doesn’t use artificial insemination, import or export of semen, or embryo transfer. Now in view of small number of the Arabian horses we are not using microchips. Passports are issued only after DNA and blood testing, and after registration in the Kazakhstan Arabian Stud Book.
Racing has been temporarily suspended at the central hippodrome of Kazakhstan. Endurance riding events have become popular for all breeds, including Arabians. Preparation for these events doesn’t demand the same expensive conditions of maintenance and training as for racing and they enjoy wide popularity of the horse-owning population. Horses of any breed can participate without registration in a Stud Book and without passports. A feature of our national endurance races is that any breeds of horses participate in them, but it is important to note that more than 90 % of winners in these races are Thoroughbred horses or Anglo-Arab horses. Therefore the Arabian horses in Kazakhstan has begun to be used more often for crossing with thoroughbreds, especially for breeding Anglo-Arabians.
With the reduction of races, imports of Arabian horses to Kazakhstan has decreased. But, despite all complexities, there are still many fans of Arabian horses in Kazakhstan, and today more than 20 owners have Arabian horses. One of the newer and enthusiastic owners of Arabian horses is the horse-racing club “Ajar” incorporating excellent Arabian mares. In 2006 the club has imported two stallions, Kair and Kamelot, from the best horse-breeding centers of Russia.
1. Kair, grey stallion, 2001 (Adres-Koldunia), successful race winner in Russia, the regional champion of Russia in 2004, the grandson of Drug who was the champion of Europe among stallions of 1990 and the best race horse of Europe in 1991.
The winner of the WAHO Trophy of 2010 in Kazakhstan was the daughter of Kair – beauty Malika grey, 2009. Malika – the grand daughter of one of the best stallion of the sire line of Korej in Russia – Prikaz and the great-granddaughter of the champion of the USSR –Mascat.
2. Kamelot, bay stallion, 2000 (Anchar-Kamea), the participant of 14 races in Russia, the winner of the Big prize for horses of 3 years in Russia, the son of the well-known stallion – Anchar, the winner of the championship of Russia in the Liberty class. Kamelot’s mother – Kamea, the winner of the Oaks prize in Russia.
In 2008 The Kazakh Association of Pure Arabian Horses reported 21 registered foals. There are estimated to be 27 active broodmares and 11 active breeding stallions. 5 horses were exported to The Kyrgyz Republic, and 6 were imported from Russia.
The main activity for Arabians is racing, with 29 races each year. They also take part in endurance and shows.
REPORT MADE AT 2007 WAHO CONFERENCE:
The first Arabian Stud Book for Kazakhstan covers the period from 1999 to 2003. The next volume will be printed and distributed at the beginning of 2009 covering the period 2004-2007. The number of purebred Arabian foals registered in 2005 was 18; in 2006 this has increased to 20. The annual number of foals born in the main is stable. As you know, only recently has Kazakhstan begun to breed Arabian horses. During the last 5 years, there has been a substitution of older broodmares for young ones. At present there is a trend to increase the number of foals born. It is not expected that the number of active breeding stallions and mares will change considerably.
In 2006 10 registered Arabian horses were imported to Kazakhstan from Russia, this is the greatest indicator for the last 5 years. All our Arabian foals must pass mandatory parent verification before registration. From 2006 Kazakhstan has been using DNA typing in the laboratory of the Czech Republic. As there is a relatively small number of Arabian horses in Kazakhstan, and they do not leave the country, microchipping is not used. Artificial Insemination, export or import of transported semen, Embryo transfer as well as multiple foals per mare per year, are not used.
The Jockey Club of the Republic of Kazakhstan is the main initiator of flat racing with the participation of Arabians. Races are held in the southern capital Kazakhstan, Almaty. Every year Arabian horses from the age of 2 years old compete from May to August over distances ranging from 1000 metres to 2,800 metres. Besides this, some Arabian horses compete together with other breeds, including thoroughbreds, in long-distance races, from 15 kilometres for 2 year olds up to 35 kilometres for horses older than three years old. These races are conducted by the National Federation of Equestrian Sport of Kazakhstan. The Arabian horses which win in such races become very popular. Arabian horses also participate in endurance rides from 60 to 120 kilometres, also organized by the National Federation of Equestrian Sport. Endurance riding is a young discipline in our country, officially starting in 2005 with the participation of different breeds of horses. In 2006 the winner of such rides was an Arabian stallion.
As for promotion and popularisation of Arabian horses, during the days of the Classic races a lot of official museum and show programmes are conducted. The exhibition of different breeds of horses is conducted with the direct participation of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and Arabian horses take part in this.