We come to the end of 2009 grateful for having survived the economic crisis so far and full of hopes for the brighter future for the Akhal-Teke breed in the UK.
While the breed remains small, with only one purebred foal born this year (Dominik-Oinam), we are delighted to see the numbers boosted by the arrival of several new purebreds to this country:
The most recent of these is a 3-year-old stallion Kambarbay (Kuvvatli-Sonata), imported from Estonia to Scotlandby Solaris Sportshorses. This successful warmblood stud specialises in Dutch and Belgian warmbloods and breeds 60-70 mares a year. The fact that its owner has taken an interest in the breed is an exciting development and we wish Rosalyn Serex success in discovering the Akhal-Teke.
Two four-year-olds – Gemyr (Mazan - Mirage) and Sharanly (Sugun - Guldesse) arrived in the UK from Luxembourg and have been put in training with the well-known British event rider William Blaine. This too is a much welcome development: we know what the Akhal-Teke are capable of in the hands of the right professional trainer and look forward to following their eventing careers.
Of the existing horses, two in particular deserve a mention:
Ashir (Mazan-Ataka), owned and ridden by Jacqueline Bradbury who trains with Matt Ryan (formerly Australian Olympic Team member and now based in theUK), has made a breakthrough this season, successfully completing five events at the Pre-Novice Level. After the uncertainty of the previous season and following a change of saddle and the fine-tuning of his feeding regime, Ashir has now demonstrated that his innate jumping ability can be translated into positive affiliated eventing scores. His attitude to work remains exemplary and he is gaining both confidence and technique. His dressage is improving and Jacqueline is hoping to step up to the next level next year. We wish them a steady continuous progress up the British Eventing ladder!
Pompei (Posalak-Parchagozel) came here last year from France, to work with Jill Thomas, a well-known British and International endurance rider based in Cornwall. Pompei (referred to as “Pops” at home!) was already an advanced endurance horse in France and Jill took him on in the hope of getting him to the international level. He has had an excellent season, completing Golden Horse Shoe with a Gold award and coming the overall sixth in the Red Dragon, one the best known and toughest British endurance rides.
Jill has also taken on Gidchi Shael (Gazyr-Model), a young mare with a superb pedigree who quickly proved her potential by successfully completing several novices rides as well as coming a credible fifth in a local dressage competition. Her dam had competed in endurance in Russia and her sire, Gasyr, is recognised as one of the most important Akhal-Teke stallions today, himself a World Champion and the sire of Heva Shael, the winner of Equiros 2008.
Another exceedingly pleasing result came from the 2009 British Futurity evaluations for young endurance prospects: Yoldash, a ¾ Akhal-Teke, by Dominik out of a Chatanz daughter Firyuza (by Atamekaan out of Ainur), earned 8.64 points and a First Premium award at the Grange in Okehampton,Devon. He was overall forth out of 15 horses evaluated at four UK locations – an superb result by any standards.
On a more mundane subject, we have finally prepared our Application to DEFRA for the Breed Recognition of the Akhal-Teke Horses in the UK. With all our breeders and owners now firmly on board, we should hopefully gain the DEFRA approval and start issuing breed-specific passports to the British Akhal-Tekes in 2010.