World Nomad Games Participants Showcase Equestrian Skills at International Festival 

ASTANA — The participants of the fifth World Nomad Games performed at the international festival in the Almaty Region on July 4. 

Photo credit: inbusiness

According to, equestrian competitions and demonstration performances of horseback riders shooting at targets while galloping with bows drew significant interest from the attendees.

In the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau, riders showcased their strength and agility, honing their skills for the upcoming World Nomad Games. The festival attracted guests from six Central Asian countries and Russia.

The festival organizers prepared special performances for international guests, featuring artists in a concert program and traditional nomadic entertainment. One highlight was altybakan, a traditional swing and game that used to be crucial to the Kazakh youth.

Photo credit: inbusiness

The festival also offered traditional baursaks (puffy fried bread), prepared by master folk culinarians.

Further ahead, the foothills transformed into an arena for national equestrian performances. Archers impressed the audience by hitting targets with well-aimed shots at a gallop, and some participants performed this discipline on camels. Several girls competing in the team provided significant competition for the male riders. 

Kokpar, a prominent and spectacular national horse-riding competition, featured teams battling for a goat carcass. Another game, tenge ilu, showcased riders’ skills in picking up coins or bags of money from the ground at a gallop. This year, tenge ilu received official rules for the first time, and participants will compete according to these rules in Astana this autumn. 

The fifth World Nomad Games, scheduled for Sept. 8 to 13, will feature more than 2,000 participants competing in 21 sports for 97 medals. 

Photo credit: inbusiness

The competitions include horse racing, traditional forms of wrestling, intellectual games, martial arts, archery, national bird hunting, folk games such as togyzkumalak (nine pellets), and ethnic sports. 

Nail Nurov, the head of the Directorate for Preparation and Holding the World Nomad Games, discussed the scale of preparations. According to Nurov, the ongoing preparations for the World Nomad Games include facets ranging from the reconstruction of urban infrastructure to the planning of logistics, accommodation and catering.

As early as April, travel companies in the United Kingdom announced sold-out tours to Kazakhstan with a visit to the World Nomad Games. 

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, YouTube and Tiktok!