features=Riding horse bred for endurance; noted for 'metallic' coat of some individuals
group1=Akhal-Teke Association of America
group2=International Association of Akhal-Teke Breeding
The Akhal-Teke, 'Ahalteke' in the
Turkmen language, (pronounced|ahalˈtеkje) is a breed of horsefrom Turkmenistan, where they are a national emblem. [Permanent Mission of Turkmenistan to the United Nations, Country Facts. Web page accessed June 12, 2007 at http://un.cti.depaul.edu/public/Turkmenistan/1/English/ ] They are noted for their speed and for endurance on long marches. These "golden-horses" are adapted to severe climatic conditions and are thought to be one of the oldest surviving horse breeds. There are currently about 3,500 Akhal-Tekes in the world, mostly in Turkmenistan and Russia, although they are also found throughout Europe, Australiaand North America. Many Akhal-Tekes are bred at the Tersk Studin the northern CaucasusMountains.
The Akhal-Teke typically stands between 14.3 and 16.3 hands. These horses are famous for those individuals who have a golden buckskin or palomino color with a distinct metallic sheen. However, a number of other colors are recognized, including bay, black, chestnut,
palomino, cremello, perlinoand gene.
The Akhal-Teke has a fine head with a straight or slightly convex profile, and long ears. It also has
almond-shaped eyes. [Akhal-Teke Standards, web site accessed June 12, 2007 at http://akhal-teke.org/standard.htm ] The mane and tail are usually sparse. The long back is lightly muscled, and is coupled to a flat croup and long, upright neck. The Akhal-Teke possess sloping shoulders and thin skin. These horses have strong, tough, but fine limbs. They have a rather slim body and ribcage (like an equine version of the greyhound), with a deep chest. The conformation is typical of horses bred for endurance over distance. The Akhal-Tekes are lively and alert, with a reputation for being "one-rider" horses.
The breed is tough and resilient, having adapted to the harshness of Turkmenistan lands, where horses must live without much food or water. This has also made the horses good for sport. The breed has great endurance, as shown in 1935 when a group of
Turkmenriders rode the 2500 miles from Ashgabatto Moscowin 84 days, including a three-day crossing of 235 miles of desert without water. The Akhal-Teke is also known for its form and grace as a show jumper.
According to some, the Akhal-Teke were kept hidden by their tribesmen for years. The area where the breed first appeared, the Turkmenistan desert
Kara Kum, is a rocky, flat desert surrounded by mountains. However, others claim that the horses are descendants of the mounts of Mongolraiders of the 13th and 14th century.
The breed is very similar to the now-extinct
Turkoman Horse, once bred in neighboring Iran. Some historians believe that the two are different strains of the same breed. It is a disputed "chicken or egg" question whether the influential Arabian was either the ancestor of the breed or was developed out of this breed. It is also probable that the so-called "hot blooded" breeds, the Arabian, Turkoman, Akhal-Teke and the Barball developed from a single "oriental prototype" of wild predecessor (see Domestication of the horse, "Four foundations theory")
Turkmenistanfirst used the horses for raiding. They selectively bred the horses, keeping records of the pedigrees via an oral tradition. The horses were called "Argamaks" by the Russians, and were cherished by the nomads.
1881, Turkmenistan became part of the Russian Empire. The tribes fought with the tsar, eventually losing. A Russian general, Kuropatkin, who grew to love the horses he had seen while fighting the tribesmen, founded a breeding farm after the war and renamed the horses "Akhal-Tekes," after the Teke Turkmen tribe that lived near the Akhal oasis. The Russians printed the first studbook in 1941, which included 287 stallions and 468 mares.
The Akhal-Teke has had influence on many breeds, possibly including the
Thoroughbredthrough the Byerly Turk(which may have been Akhal-Teke, an Arabian or a Turkoman Horse), one of the foundation stallions of the breed. The Trakehnerhas also been influenced by the Akhal-Teke, most notably by the stallion Turkmen-Atti, as have the Russian breeds Don, Budyonny, Karabair, and Karabakh.
The breed suffered greatly when the
Soviet Unionrequired horses to be slaughtered for meat, even though local Turkmen refused to eat it. [ Filipov, David. "A Long Way to Go." "Boston Herald," April 5, 1998. Web site accessed June 12, 2007 at http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/1998/04/05/a_long_way_to_go/ ] At one point only 1,250 horses remained and export from the Soviet Union was banned. The government of Turkmenistannow uses the horses as diplomatic presents as well as auctioning a few to raise money for improved horse breeding programs. Male horses are not gelded in Central Asia.
In the early 20th century, crossbreeding between the
Thoroughbredand the Akhal-Teke took place, aiming to create a faster long-distance racehorse. [Shimbo, Fara. "The Akhal-Teke under Soviet Rule." Friends of the Turanian Horse, 1998. Web site accessed June 12, 2007 at http://www.turanianhorse.org/soviet.html ] However, the Anglo Akhal-Tekes were not as resilient as their Akhal-Teke ancestors, and many died due to the harsh conditions of Central Asia. The crossbreeding was ended in 1935, after the 2,600 mile endurance race from Ashkabad to Moscow, when the pure-breds finished in much better condition than the part-breds. The Thoroughbred cross is believed to have been so destructive to the breed that a horse with a Thoroughbred ancestor must have 15 generations pass before it can be registered in the studbook. Since 1973, all foals must be blood-typed to be accepted in the stud book in order to protect the purity. A stallion not producing the right type of horse can be removed. The stud book was closed in 1975.
Uses of the Akhal-Teke
Because of the genetic prepotency of the ancient breed, the Akhal-Teke has been used for developing new breeds, most recently the
Nez Perce Horse(Appaloosa x Akhal-Teke). The Akhal-Teke, due to its natural athleticism, makes a great sport horse, good at dressage, show jumping, eventing, racing, and endurance riding.
One such great sport horse was the Akhal-Teke stallion, Absent. He won the Prix de Dressage at the
1960 Summer Olympicsin Rome. He was eight years old, and was ridden by Sergei Filatov. He went again with Filatov to win the bronze individual medal in Tokyoin the 1964 Summer Olympics, and won the Soviet team gold medal under Ivan Kalita at the 1968 Summer Olympicsin Mexico City. ["About the Akhal-Teke breed." Web site accessed June 13, 2007 at http://goldensandtekes.com/info.htm ]
* [http://akhal-teke.org/ Akhal-Teke Association of America]
* [http://akhaltekes.org/ Akhal-Teke Association of North America]
* [http://catha.ca/ Akhal-Teke Canada]
* [http://achal-tekkiner.ch/ Akhal-Teke Switzerland]
* [http://www.akhal-teke.fr/ The French Akhal-Teke Horse Association]
* [http://www.akhalteke.eu/ The European Akhal-Teke Horse Association]
* [http://www.maakcenter.org/ International Association of Akhal-Teke Breeders]
* [http://www.achalteke.cz/en/index.asp/ Czech Akhal Teke Association]
* [http://www.akhal-teke-horses.com/AboutAkhalTeke.php Articles about Akhal-Teke horses: introduction, in US, history (translated from Russian)]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Akhal-Teke — Un Akhal Teke … Wikipédia en Français
Akhal-Téké — Akhal Teke Akhal Teke … Wikipédia en Français
Akhal-teke — Akhal Teke … Wikipédia en Français
Akhal-téké — Akhal Teke Akhal Teke … Wikipédia en Français
Teke — can refer to several things: *Teke, a peak in Hungary.*Telekinesis as in George R.R. Martin s Nightflyers. *The Teke (Tekke) are a tribe of southern Turkmenistan most famous for their horses, the Akhal Teke desert horse.*Teke (see Beylik of Teke) … Wikipedia
Akal Téké — Akhal Teke Akhal Teke … Wikipédia en Français
Treaty of Akhal — The Treaty of Akhal was a treaty signed by Persia and Imperial Russia on September 21, 1881. The treaty marked Persia s official recognition of Khwarazm s annexation by the Russian Empire. After Persia had been considerably weakened by its defeat … Wikipedia
Ахалтекинская лошадь — Жеребец ахалтекинской породы, которая отличается своеобразным экстерьером Ахалтекинская лошадь, или ахалтекинец (туркм. Ahal teke aty) верховая порода … Википедия
Cream gene — Perlino redirects here. For the Polish village, see Perlino, Poland. The action of the cream gene on a chestnut base coat produces palomino … Wikipedia
Karabakh horse — Infobox Horse name= Karabakh Horse image caption=Karabakh horse, 1867 features = stands betweem 14 and 15 hands high. country= Karabakh, Azerbaijan group1= std1=| : For the region article see Karabakh and Nagorno Karabakh The Karabakh horse, also … Wikipedia