‘Beauty’ of Turkmen horses admired at Golestan festival

May 17, 2022 - 20:52

TEHRAN – On Sunday, tens of athletes, trainers, riders, and breeders from various Iranian provinces took part in equestrian competitions, dedicated to the “beauty” of the Turkmen horse breed.

Over 200 horses entered the one-day event, which was held at pastures lands of Kalaleh in the northern Golestan province, CHTN reported.

The competitors came together from Razavi Khorasan, North Khorasan, South Khorasan, Mazandaran, Gilan, Tehran, Alborz, Fars, and Isfahan, the report said.

The annual festival seeks to boost local tourism and rural economy and help safeguard the genetic heritage of the Turkmen horses, according to organizers.

The Turkmen horse is noted for endurance, bravery, smartness, and slender body. Many locals believe that breeding such horses is one of the toughest jobs in the world.

The horse breed is dominantly found in the pasturelands of Turkmen Sahra, a region sandwiched between Iran and Turkmenistan.

Iran and Turkmenistan are set to jointly put forward the Turkmen horses and their safeguarding practices as a candidate for inclusion in UNESCO’S list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Golestan is home to hundreds of historical and natural sites, with UNESCO-registered Gonbad-e Qabus – a one-millennium-old brick tower – amongst its most famous.

Moreover, the northern Gilan province has long been a hub for the breeding of Caspian Horses, which are believed to be depicted on bas-relief carvings of the UNESCO-registered Persepolis. Caspians are extremely rare and were barely saved from extinction in 1965. Archaeozoologists are now studying the area to prove the connection between the modern Caspian and the tiny prehistoric horse of Persia.


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