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The Siberian 'Royal Races'

By Alexey Pudov in Yakutsk
19 August 2015

How horseracing and equestrian culture is developing in the Sakha Republic.

It became one of the leading sport events in the Republic. Its status nationwide is growing. Picture here and below: Alexey Pudov

'People with golden reins behind their back' - the is how the Sakha (Yakut) people call themselves. In ancient times, our people tamed a special horse to be able to survive in winter by finding food under the snow. 

An interesting initiative led to a huge love of Sakha people to horses. During the summer holiday 'Ysyakh', horseracing becomes an essential part of the celebrations.

Yakut horses may not be as quick as English thoroughbreds but still at every village holiday is carried out fete races at long or short distances. Usually the distances are 880 metres, 4,800 metres or 7000 metres. And in the last decade, the popularity has grown of horseracing on thoroughbred English horses. 

The Equestrian Federation of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) is headed by the mayor of Yakutsk, Aysen Nikolayev. The basic organisational team of our Equestrian Federation is the Yakut State Agricultural Academy (YSAA). The Rector of the Academy is Professor Leonid Vladimirov, scientist-physiologist, the First Vice-President of the Equestrian Federation leading to an enormous energy for 16 years. 

Riding horse in winter


Riding horse in winter

In ancient times, our people tamed a special horse to be able to survive in winter by finding food under the snow. 

It became one of the leading sport events in the Republic. Its status nationwide is growing. The Federation's team has some successes, notably the creation of a community of people who are passionate about horse riding. 

The chief judge of horseracing, Alexander Ivanov, brings much effort and energy in the development of this wonderful sport, as does the Director of the Equestrian Complex, Alexander Kapitonov. To raise the status of the Equestrian Federation of the Republic, the federation's president is assisted by S. V. Maslov. 

He proposed uniting the breeders of the Russian Far East, setting objectives, finding the points of growth, solving problems of breeders from across this vast region. Today it has become popular to invite experts and direct participants of horseracing from Chita region, TransBaikal region, Amur region, and the Republic of Buryatia.

Horserace in Yakutia


Horserace in Yakutia


Horserace in Yakutia


Horserace in Yakutia

Today it has become popular to invite experts and direct participants of horseracing from Chita region, TransBaikal region, Amur region, and the Republic of Buryatia.

Seminars were held within the Yakut State Agricultural Academy, and the integration of horse breeders in the Far East is now planned for the future. As Leonid Vladimirov, said: 'We did not really believe that we could do this. Anyway, it was started at a high level. 

'In the fall of 2014, our representatives visited Amur and Primorye regions, and we took part in a meeting on the development of horse breeding in these regions. We plan to feature joint horseracing of competitors from the Far East region this summer.'

The Equestrian Federation is expanding its activities, and invites representatives of different teams of the Far Eastern Federal District to our races. The Sakha Republic started sending its teams for the competitions held in the Federal District. The Federation under the leadership of Aysen Nikolaev becomes influential in Siberia. 

There are several problems. It is expensive to keep the race course; there are difficulties  for the thoroughbred horses in the winter and hot summer period. These problems partially can be solved, if there was a second new race track in the area of 'Yus Hatyn, 15 kilometres from Yakutsk, which will develop a solid infrastructure with communications, outbuildings for horses, accommodation for trainers and jockeys. Despite all the difficulties, we go right forward 'step by step'. 

Horserace in Yakutia


Horserace in Yakutia


Horserace in Yakutia


Horserace in Yakutia


Horserace in Yakutia

Yakut horses may not be as quick as English thoroughbreds but still at every village holiday is carried out fete races at long or short distances.

We have only noble aims. In fact, we are engaged in the education of the younger generation, attaching them to the beautiful creation of nature. Horses are its beauty and grace, given to us by nature. They help to create a world of love and light for man.

We want our children to be proud of that. Many teenagers visit our equestrian section with a great pleasure. Nowadays the hippotherapy - horse therapy - becomes popular. We practice the therapy for past few years, and show jumping for more than 5 years. 

The coaches have been trained. The psychological effect of the horse on the human body is very strong. In the process of communication with a horse relieves stress, a man obeys the rhythm that sets the horse while riding. Moving along, a rider and a horse sense and trust each other or even become friends. Horse riding has such a relaxing and soothing effect. There are few legends about the special energy of the horse and horsehair.

Horserace in Yakutia


Horserace in Yakutia


Horserace in Yakutia


Horserace in Yakutia


Horserace in Yakutia

 In fact, we are engaged in the education of the younger generation, attaching them to the beautiful creation of nature. Horses are its beauty and grace, given to us by nature.

A  new level of the racing festival here started three years ago by the Association of Ladies in Hats. They managed to organise a real holiday concert with red carpet for trainers and jockeys, representing teams of the regions of the republic at the conclusion of the racing season of 2013. On that holiday, the youngest 17-years-old jockey, Philip Konstantinov, received from the 'Ladies in Hats' a specially designed jockey jacket, made by our famous compatriot Janna Nesterova from St Petersburg.

This autumn holiday, held at the conclusion of the racing season, gave a new level of quality of promoting equestrian sports in the republic. The Rector Leonid Vladimirov noted that with such a potential promotion in such a geographically remote region of the world, we are able to attract the attention of English Royalty and to enter the special prize of the British Queen.

Kyunnyi Artamonova - translation,

The Yakutsk State Agricultural Academy

Comments (2)

That's fantastic! As I have read that there are horse races in Buryatia I would like to know whether the Buryatian horses are similar like the Mongolian. I would be glad to get into contact with Buryatian breeders.
Rolf-Peter Lacher, Gammertingen/Germany
23/08/2016 18:29
0
0
Great story, thank you….and the best picture is all those Yakutian fans all so enthusiastic . Inspiring stuff. Thank you Alexey.
Tom , Ireland
25/08/2015 00:35
4
1
1

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