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24 JUL 2017

Fieracavalli 2017

Fieracavalli 2017: the Great Return of the noble Akhal-Tekè Horse

As for every edition, there will be plenty of surprises this year among the breeds on show in the many dedicated halls.

Connoisseurs will certainly note the return - after almost a decade - of one of the oldest and most prestigious equine breeds, whose origins date back several centuries before Christ: the Akhal-Teké.

Originally from Turkmenistan, this horse is nicknamed the "desert greyhound" given its lively temperament and rather sleek conformation yet is also known as the "celestial horse" because of its beauty, grace and sturdiness. The coat is one of its distinguishing features: it has magnificent metallic reflections ranging from gold to silver or bronze.

Its unusual name derives from the Akhal oasis, one of the largest in Turkmenistan and the Teké people. Several times at risk of extinction, the breed today numbers about 4,000 thoroughbreds around the world.

Thanks to the support of the Russian Akhal-Teké Breeders Association (RATA) - chaired by Ilia Kulygin and founded in 1990 with the direct involvement of the Russian Federal Institute of Scientific Research, the Ministry of Agriculture and the most important stables - Fieracavalli will host twelve of these fine horses performing in three different contexts: with traditional harnessings, dressage and show jumping.

Its astonishing versatility, thanks to its sleek and sturdy body, means this horse is ideal for all sporting disciplines: from eventing to teams, endurance and dressage, from show jumping to races and hunting, not to mention circus performances. How could forget the famous Fieracavalli Verona Gala in 1991 when Alexis Sokolov took the Pista di Diamante with his spectacular free-rein performance with 18 stallions.

One of the pioneers in breeding Akhal-Teké horses in Italy is Allevamento Prati Nuovi based in Travagliato (BS). Its stallion Muzar won the European Stallions Championship and ranked as the world's number one stud horse. 

Not to mention Absent - named by a group of experts as the "horse of the century" - leading the world dressage field for 12 consecutive years and winner of as many as four Olympic medals.

Thanks to its beauty and aptitude, this horse was chosen as a gift for many illustrious figures, including Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Queen Elizabeth and Mitterand - yet the first figure in history to be given this horse was Alexander the Great: and that horse was the legendary BUCEPHALUS.

The appointments scheduled during the show especially include - on Saturday 28 October at 18:00 - an important meeting between European Akhal Teké Associations in order to assess the effective potential for organizing a World Championship event at Fieracavalli itself in 2018.

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