A stud farm in Kabarda is working determinedly to revive the legendary Kabardian (Circassian) breed of horse that has existed for thousands of years. The Kabardian horse has always been known for its endurance and toughness. The current market value of a thoroughbred Kabardian stallion is in the tens of thousands of dollars.
For a long time, specialized stud farms in Circassia had been on the verge of ruin. However, the situation has changed completely in recent years.
Experts are predicting a brilliant career for a two-month old foal born to the well-known Kabardian mare Satin, prize winner in races at national and international competitions. “At the age of two years we begin to train them and prepare them for races. After 5-6 years, they begin to take part in long-distance races,” said Amur Tleushev, Foreman of the Malkinsky Stud Farm (http://malkastud.ru/).
Founded back in 1870, the Malkinsky delivered horses to the Imperial cavalry. During WWII, many horses died in the battlefield, and some were expropriated to Germany. The stud farm was looted in the 1990s, with the stallions sold off next to nothing. Only a few dozen heads were left in Kabarda.
A few years ago, stud farm workers sought genuine Kabardian thoroughbreds in the mountain villages of Kabarda, and the historic manor house and stables were restored. Now the herd count exceeds 400 Kabardians. Veterinarians continue breeding work at the gene level. Now-a-days, the Malkinsky is the largest specialized stud farm in Circassia, actively reviving and enhancing the population of Kabardian thoroughbred horses.
“We have selected 100 purebred mares of the Kabardian breed. Every year a professor from the University of Stuttgart comes to the farm and takes DNA samples to monitor and prevent mixing of blood,” said Aznaur Tukhuzhev, Director of Malkinsky Stud Farm.
The Kabardian is good-natured and frugal, and, therefore, does not require special care. The horses are kept on grazing grounds all year round. They graze in the mountains even in winter, raking off the snow with their hooves to get to the grass.
The Kabarda horse has always been appreciated for long-distance journeys and treks. It has no equal on steep rocky climbs at high altitudes. In addition, it is extremely hardy – it could cover a hundred kilometers per day without stopping. These qualities help the Kabarda to win long-distance races at the international level. In addition to its magnificent physique, the Kabardian horse is gentle and loyal. “It’s a cordial and faithful horse. It gets attached to only one person for life,” said trainer Asker Marushev.
A colt can fetch up to 16 thousand dollars at auctions. Each year, some hundred horses are bought by Russian and European breeders. However, the best stallions are kept on the farm for further reproduction of the species. The breeders are planning not only to increase the number of these splendid equine creatures, but also to enhance and establish their pedigree.