Kazakhstan’s Adai Horses Gallop Towards International Recognition

ASTANA — In a remarkable stride towards recognizing and preserving Kazakhstan’s equestrian heritage, the Adai horse has officially been acknowledged as a distinct breed by the international equestrian community judges from the United Arab Emirates and Almaty on Nov. 4. This significant development comes on the heels of an international horse racing tournament in Kenderli, the Mangystau Region, where the Adai horses showcased their prowess in long-distance racing, vying for the coveted status of a pedigreed animal.

Photo credit: np.kz.

The Adai horse was originally bred in the 18th-19th century in the Mangystau Region with the Kazakh horse and Turkmen breeds. The main habitat of the horse is the steppes between the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea. The breed got its name after the Adai tribe of the Mangystau Region. Grazing on the steppe all year round, under the watchful eyes of shepherds, this horse has adapted well to the hot climate and herding.

The international tournament in the picturesque Mangystau Region aimed to confer breeding status upon the Adai breed of horses. Renowned judges from the international equestrian community, hailing from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), were invited to evaluate the Adai horses. The six judges from the UAE and Almaty unanimously recognized the need for conferring such a prestigious status upon these remarkable creatures.

A critical aspect of the tournament was not only achieving the first position at the finish line, but also ensuring that the horses maintained a heart rate below 64 beats per minute and remained free from injuries throughout the rigorous competition. This stringent criterion underscores the commitment to the welfare and endurance of the Adai horses.

The winner of this challenging tournament was a mare named Kok Zhebe, representing the Adai breed. Kok Zhebe conquered the grueling 100-kilometer distance in an impressive four hours, 48 minutes and 36 seconds. Her success not only exemplifies the breed’s speed but also highlights its ability to endure demanding conditions.

Photo credit: Bossagro.

This triumph on the international stage is a testament to the Adai breed’s potential to become a symbol of Kazakhstan’s equestrian excellence. The competition also served as a platform to showcase the unpretentious nature and remarkable endurance of Adai horses, positioning them as formidable competitors, especially in long-distance races, against established breeds such as the Arabian horse.

The commitment to recognizing the Adai horse goes beyond the tournament arena. Last year, during the working visit to the Mangistau Region, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev directed the government to initiate efforts for the scientific recognition of the Adai horse and its breeding as a pedigreed animal. This visionary move reflects a commitment to preserving the unique genetic heritage of the Adai breed and elevating it to international acclaim.

The efforts are underway to formalize the Adai racehorses as a distinct breed. With a completion date set for the end of December, Kazakhstan is poised to add another jewel to its equestrian crown. The Adai horses, with their rich history and remarkable capabilities, are set to become ambassadors for the nation, carrying the legacy of Kazakhstan’s equestrian heritage to new heights on the global stage.

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