One of the rarest horse breeds, with only around 300 registered purebreds in North America.
A passionate, expressive, intelligent, and loving breed, naturally great at many sports including endurance racing, jumping, eventing, polo, and dressage. One of the few 'hot blooded' breeds, along with Thoroughbreds and Arabians. Perhaps best known for their unique metallic sheen, earning the label of "world's most beautiful horse".
The athletic foundation for most modern sport horse breeds. In particular, the foundation of the modern Thoroughbred, created in the 1700s by breeding Akhal-Teke stallions with local English mares. DNA research has also shown that 6 of the 8 founding sires of the Lipizzaner were Akhal-Tekes. *
Akhal-Tekes have a special extra gait, known as the "Akhal-Teke Glide," which is a smooth fast trot, with a slightly-shifted rhythm of footfalls giving reduced suspension. *
Originally from Turkmenistan, where they remain the national pride. The closed stud book has been held in Russia since 1932. The first two Akhal-Tekes horses, Senetir and Oliva, were imported to the United States in 1979, by Phil and Margot Case. Senetir became an outstanding sire, producing two Olympic team hopefuls in eventing, as well as many other equestrian sports competitors.
The Akhal-Teke breed goes back around 4000 years, to the very dawn of horse domestication in Central Asia. Known over time as Scythian, Nisaean, Parthian, Ferghana, Karaman, Turanian Racer, Heavenly Horses, the Golden Horses, Argamaks, and Turkoman (or Turcoman), the breed was highly prized and discussed by Herodotus, Aristobulus, and other ancient historians, sought by empires from the Han Chinese and Genghis Kahn to the Russian Czars.
The Akhal-Teke breed developed with the nomadic horse tribes of Central Asia to excel in desert conditions, making them an incredible endurance horse. In 1935, to demonstrate their prowess, a group of Turkmen riders rode 2500 miles in 84 days. The trip included a three-day, 235 mile crossing of the infamous Karakum Desert.
Akhal-Tekes come in a full range of solid colors: cremello, perlino, palomino, buckskin, smoky black, grey, chestnut, bay, and black. A stunning metallic shine can occur with any Akhal-Teke color. Many have so-called "primitive markings" due to the nd1 allele, but the breed does not carry the "D" dun dilution allele. Akhal-Tekes create buckskin coloration with the cream dilution, instead of the dun dilution.
The most famous modern Akhal-Teke is the fabulous black stallion Absent, who won the Olympic gold medal in dressage at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, ridden for Russia by Sergei Filatov. Absent went again with Filatov to win the bronze individual and team medals in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, and won the team silver medal for Russia under Ivan Kalita at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. One Akhal-Teke horse, four Olympic medals, spanning three Olympic Games and two riders, medalling each time. Several Akhal-Tekes horses in North America today are direct descendants of the great Absent. *
The Akhal-Teke Foundation is a public charity for education about and preservation of the rare & amazing Akhal-Teke horse, with a variety of quality programs to support & expand the mutual success of Akhal-Teke fans, riders, trainers, owners, and breeders.
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