There are forty five breeds and breed groups reared in the Soviet Union. The question arises: what causes such a variety and is it justifiable?
The answer primarily lies in extremely versatile purposes of the horse's use. The horse continues to be used for various work, such as drawing loads, pulling carts, sledges, carrying packs; it helps in ploughing and harrowing small plots, grass mowing, hay raking up in copses and ravines; the horse in light harness and under saddle is used for transportation, particularly on seasonably encountered slick roads and in winter during snow flurry, and, of course, on mountainous paths for away from motor ways.
Various breeds of heavy-draught horses (athlets), fast trotters, sturdy riding and pack horses have been developed to be most effectively used. With the advent of farm mechanization the role of a live traction has certainly diminished and nevertheless it is not uncommon when horses are used for utility purposes on the farm and there are cases when they are merely indispensable.
With the rise in the Soviet people's living standard, equestrian sports and horseback travelling have increased in popularity and that necessitated special breeds. Sportsmen are in need of the horses on which one could win in major events at hippodromes, in cross-country races, in overtaking complex obstacles, in dressage competitions. Apart from this, numerous folk equestrian games and contests are being held. For this purpose, horses should be endowed with several gaits and gifts.
In some areas, particularly, in the eastern part of the country, the horses are conventionally bred for meat and milk production. It is obvious that in this case definite goals, are being pursued in the breeding and certain breeds have evolved for this purpose.
However, the aforesaid has not fully covered all that accounts for the necessity of such a big variety in horse breeds. There is another explanation - horses are distributed all over the country, i.e. from the Baltic area and Carpathians to the Pacific Ocean, from the Transcaucasia and Central Asia to the areas beyond the Arcitc Circle. Such a vast territory encompasses plains and forests, deserts and mountains, subtropics and taiga. Horses of some breeds can easily endure scorching sun of desert while others are kept in the open very close to "the Cold Pole", i.e. in the regions of Verkhoyansk and Oymyakona; some have got used to vast lowlands whereas the habitat for others is located in high altitude cloud-topt areas of the Caucasus, Thian-Shan and Pamirs. Man strives to protect horses from exposure to detrimental effects of environment, and therefore he builds barns, procures feeds. This makes it possible to rear most valuable horse breeds fit to various climatic zones. For instance, good trotters are bred in the Ukraine, central regions of the European part of the country, in the Urals, Kazakhstan, the Altai and Siberia.
But it is not always expedient to create artificial conditions for horses' keeping. As a rule, the horse should be highly adaptable to local environment. Whatever are the conditions for breeding, say, Kabardin or Lokai horses, their lot will be invariably the use under saddle and pack by herdsmen and shepherds on hilly paths, alpine meadows facing all the difficulties which the mountainous areas are fraught with. There is another example: Kazakh and Yakut horses are adjusted to natural environment as well as wild animals. This superlative quality of theirs enables to obtain valuable animal products through the use of pasture vegetation all year round even in the winter when horses attain the feed by moving snow aside.
In other words - different breeds are fit to different conditions.
During the lengthy history of horse breeding, the breeds have long been moulded and retained their importance up to the present time. From the depth of centuries came to us the gem of the ancient horse breeding - the Akhal-Teke horse. It is important not only as one of the oldest forms of the horse but as the one which is very valuable for sporting events and breeding purpose. Other old breeds such as the Don, Kabardin, are also very important. These breed horses are good by themselves and serve as an excellent source for the breeding. For example, Don horses were extensively used to develop the Budyonny, Kustanair, New Kirghiz and Kushum breeds.
Horses purchased abroad, exerted a considerable influence on the process of the breed formation.
At the end of the XVIII-th century the Dutch and Danish breeds along with the Arabian became the foundation for the exellent Orlov trotter which has retained its importance. Since that time Thoroughbreds have begun to be bred in Russia and nowadays they constitute a special wealth for classical sporting events and races, and also serve as an indispensable upgrader in developing and improving so called riding half-bred lines.
With the increase in popularity of hippodrome races at the end of the XlX-th century there was a great demand for fast horses. They were sought after both at home and abroad. Trotters from the USA turned out to be the fastest and they started to be purchased. American trotters were used not only in prize winning but also in crossing to the Orlov. That marked the beginning of the work resulted in the development of a new breed - the Russian trotter. The Brabant, Ardennais, Percheron, Clydesdales, Suffolk breeds have been introduced from western Europe since the second half of the XlX-th century in the view of the industrial development and agricultural intensification.
These heavy-draught horses were poorly adapted to continental climate conditions and too slow at work over long distances, while their offsprings resulted from the crosses with indigenous horses, did fit in with the requirements. In a subsequent period of time Soviet animal specialists would develop new breeds of heavy-draught horses by breeding these cross-breds.
Horse breeding as well as other sections of animal husbandry constantly responds to life's requirements, hence horse breeds are being renewed. In the past this process proceeded spontaneously but now it is a planned breeding policy.
In the Soviet time twelve new breeds have been established and at present three or four more breeds are about to be developed.
The USSR greatest horse gene wealth is now under close study from the viewpoint of the present requirements. The work is being conducted to manifest genetically different horses which have rare colours, girth's distinguishing features, Karakul-form whorls, inborn immunity to various diseases and etc. Adequate attention is being attached to the maintenance of the old native breeds which are almost on the verge of extinction. It is quite probable, that these breeds are of no practical use now and yet they should be maintained as part of the gene wealth to be used in future for the breeding horse.
For many centuries the process of breed formation have been conditioned by demand for the various type of horse, varied with inherited attributes of parent lines, and proceeded under continious influence of different conditions of horse breeding.
In animal science there exist a few systems to classify horse breeds. Depending upon the target set, breeds may be divided into several groups as to the origin, breeding level, work characters and so on. This Album deals with the description of horse breeds with regard to their main utility purposes.
Work characters of heavy-draught horses are determined during special pulling tests and expressed as:
the time in which the load is delivered over the distance of 2 km at the trot with traction power being 50 kg;
the time required to deliver the load for 2 km at the walk with traction power being 150 kg;
traction endurance is the distance covered by the horse without stopping with traction power being 300kg;
maximum traction power (in kilograms) is indicative of the efforts which the horse is able to make at a short distance.
It is traction power (measured with a dynamometer) rather than load weight drawn by the horse that counts because the latter is varied with road quality and cart design. It is power and agility that should be displayed by the horse and as for the rest it is man's concern.
It is not difficult to calculate the load weight according to traction power if road quality is known. At hippodromes where heavy-draught horses are tested, track resistance factor is usually 0.04. It means that in order to determine the load weight, the traction power value should be multiplied by 25.
This breed is developed in Gorki, Yaroslav, Vladimir Regions and Mordva Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and based on the Belgium Brabant x native harness- type horse foundation. It was established in 1952.
The Soviet Heavy-Draught horse is noted for its weighty body, bony legs, well-developed muscles. Measurements of stallions: weight (at withers) is 161 cm, body length is 169 cm, girth's circumference is 210 cm, cannon's circumference is 25 cm; size of mares: 159-166-200-24.
Weight of stallions averages 780 kg and of mares - 650 kg. The predominating colour is chestnut and red roan.
At All-Union contests the following records were set: the load was delivered by trotting in 4 min 53 sec and by walking - 11 min 51.8 sec (overall record for all breeds), traction endurance - 2,131 m and maximum traction power - 851 kg.
Mares of this breed have a high milk yield and in this respect they have no equals. For example, Ryabina, the mare of the Experiment Stud of the Ryazan Region, produced 6,1001 of milk for a lactation (milk yield plus milk sucked by the foal).
In 1980 the number of this breed horses together with crossbreds was 109,900 head out of which 6,800 were pure-breds.
At present the most valuable Soviet Heavy-Draught horses are bred at the Mordva and Pochinkovski Studs (Gorki Region).
This breed was descended from the old, mountain-type Ardennais horse which had been introduced to Russia from Belgium in the second half of the XIX-th century and used to be crossed to native harness - type horses.
An intensive breeding resulted in the development of a new breed which in its worth was far more superior to the original Ardennais and at present it is sharply distinct from the Ardennais bred in western Europe.
The breed belongs to the group of small heavy-draught horses. Size of stallions kept at studs: height (at withers) is 152 cm, body length is 162 cm, girth is 206, cannon's circumference is 22 cm; size of mares is 148-158-191-21. Stallions weigh 650 kg, mares - 570 kg. Coat colour is predominately chestnut, brown and red-roan.
Official records registered at the contests for horses in harness are as follows: the load has been delivered at the trot in 5 min 20,4 sec, at the walk - 14 min 21 sec, with traction endurance being 1,091.6 m, maximum traction power- 820 kg.
Russian Heavy - Draught horses are highly adaptable. They are successfully bred in different climatic zones. During the last decades these horses proved to be good at upgrading native breeds reared in herds in certain areas of Siberia.
In 1980 a total of this breed horse population with crossbred included, was estimated as 128.800 head of these 8,500 were pure-breds. Highly appraised Russian Heavy-Draught horses are bred at the Novoaleksandrovski Stud of the Ukraine, Mstislavski Stud of Byelorussia, Krasnoarmeiski Stud of the Urals area and Kuedinski Stud of Perm Region.
The breed has been developed on horse-breeding collective and state farms of Vladimir and Ivanovo Regions as a result of the effective breeding conducted at the Gavrilovo-Posadski Government Stud. It has evolved from the cross of native harness-type mares with Clydesdale stallions. It was established in 1946.
Vladimir Heavy-Draught horses at the USSR Exhibition of Economic Achievements attract many visitors by their stout build, bright colourings and concerted actions.
Size of stallions: height (at withers) is 165cm, body length is 173 cm, girth is 207cm, cannon's circumference is 24.5 cm; size of mares is 161-167-196-23.3. Weight of stallions is 760 kg, of mares - 690 kg. The Vladimir breed is characteristic of a bay colour of the coat with white markings both on the forehead and legs, hairy legs (tufted fetlocks).
The following records have been set: load has been delivered at the trot for 4 min 34 sec (the record of all breeds); at the walk - 12 min 34.2 sec, traction endurance is 1,494 m, maximum traction power is 820 kg.
In 1980 the number of horse population of this breed with cross-breds included was 36,800 head of which the 2,300 were pure-breds. The best Vladimir horses are raised at the Gavrilovo-Posadski Stud of Ivanovo Region and also the Guriev-Polski stud of Vladimir Region.
It resulted from the cross between the native Zhmud and the Ardennais which had been imported to Lithuania from Sweden in the twenties and thirties. It was established in 1963.
For its stout built and bone the Lithuanian Heavyweight Harness horse is intermediate between the Russian Heavy-Draught and Soviet Heavy-Draught horses. Size of stallions: height at withers is 158 cm, body length is 164 cm, girth is 197 cm, cannon's circumference is 24 cm, size of mares: 155-162-192-23. Stallions weigh 700 kg, mares- 650 kg. The predominating colour is chestnut, bay is less frequent.
Here are the records set by Lithuanian Heavy-Weight Harness Draught horses at the All-Union competitions: the load delivering at the trot was done in 4 min 45 sec, at the walk - 13 min 20 sec, traction endurance - 1,397 m, maximum traction power is 860 kg.
Horses of this breed have great endurance under hard work and are economical to feed and keep.
They are easy to be adapted to the continental climate conditions and, therefore, distributed far outside the Lithuanian SSR.
In 1980 the number of this breed horses made up 33,300 head with 12,900 pure-breds included.
The Nyamunski, Zhegarski and Sudavski Studs are raising the best Lithuanian horses.
This horse is of an all-round agricultural type. The breed was developed on the Tori Stud Farm, Estonian SSR, and named after this area. It was founded in 1950. The breed was descended from the native Estonian horses crossed to Western European breeds, such as the Norfolk-Roadster and Postier-Breton.
The Toric horse is less in weight against other heavy- draught horses, however, it is square in build and bony. Size of stallions: they stand 157 cm high, body length is 162 cm, girth is 193 cm, cannon's circumference is 21.4 cm, mare's measurement is 153-160-189-20.2. Stallions weigh 580 kg, mares - 540 kg. Coat colour is largely chestnut and brown.
Toric horses have excellent work characteristics and it is not uncommon when they successfully compete with large heavy-draught horses.
The records: load delivering at the trot in 4 min 44.8 sec, at the walk -13 min 21.5 sec, traction endurance is 1,238 m, maximum traction power is 880 kg.
High qualities of the breed made it very popular far outside Estonia.
In 1980 the number of horses was 45,000 head of which the 7,500 were pure-breds. Excellent breeding horses are concentrated on the Tori experiment farm.
This breed was created in Latvian SSR by crossing native horses to the Oldenburg and Hanoverian breeds. It was established in 1952.
Latvian horses are tall but they concede body and bone development to typical heavy-draught breeds. Average size of stallions: height (at withers) is 165 cm, body length - 170 cm, girth - 198 cm, cannon's circumference - 23 cm; size of mares: 160-166-195-22. Weight of stallions averages 650 kg, mares - 600 kg.
There are two types of horses within the breed, i.e. heavy harness and light harness horses. Horses of the first type are stout, usually black and less frequently bay in colour, have high work characters. Officially registered records are as follows: load pulling at the trot - 4 min 36.8 sec. at the walk - 13 min 30 sec; traction endurance is 1,537 m; maximum traction power - is 1,004 kg - an overall record of all breeds. Horses of the second type are predominately chestnut, more elegant and in the girth close to riding breeds. The cross of Thoroughbred stallions on mares of this type results in exsellent progeny to be used for equestrian sports.
In 1980 the breed population made up 32,900 head out of which the 3,200 were pure-breds. Best horses are bred on the Tervete collective stud farm of Latvia.
It is descended from the native horses of northern forest type which have been improved by crossing to harness breeds - the Gundsbransdale, Ardennais and others.
Average size of stallions: height (at withers) is 155 cm, body length is 162 cm, girth being 189 cm, cannon's circumference is 22 cm; size of mares: 151-156-175-20.9. Weight of stallions is 540 kg, mares - 490 kg. Coat colour is different - slightly sorrel with a dorsal band, dark mane and tail; cream - coloured with a dorsal band, black mane and tail; bay; black; solid cream - coloured; mouse - coloured.
Byelorussian Harness horses are thrifty to keep and endured at work. Officially registered records are as follows: the load delivering at the trot is for 5 min 1.3 sec; at the walk - 14 min 46 sec; traction endurance is 389 m, maximum traction power is 660 kg.
In 1980 there was a total of 93,000 head of horses of this breed, of these 27,600 were pure-breds. They are bred on collective and state farms of Byelorussia.
Trotters have valuable attributes which are needed for work in light harness, namely agility and high traction power. They are also appraised for their ability to genetically improve horses raised on collective and state stud farms. Races at hippodromes enjoy great popularity.
These breeds resulted from the long-term breeding conducted at the specialized studs. Regular tests for agility is the requisite condition for further imperfection.
1976 marked a bicentenary of the Khrenovski Stud (Voronezh Region) at which the Orlov trotter was developed at the turn of the XIX-th century. It involved the then best horses of Arabian, Danish and Dutch breeds. Selection of the best stallions and mares to be bred at the Stud, the breeding in lines, efficent feeding, the soundness enhancing - horse keeping on pastures and paddocks for a major part of the year - all this contributed to the creation and further improvement of the Orlov trotter. Trotters' tests held at different distances and selection of the fastest trotters to be used for breeding purposes made it possible to raise their worth.
Pedigree data of horses were recorded from the very beginning and they served as the basis for the first Stud Book which was published in 1847. Since that time the books have been regularly issued.
The Orlov trotter is a large horse with a well-proportioned deep chest. Size of stallions: height (at withers) is 161 cm, body length is 162 cm, girth is 183 cm, cannon's circumference is 20.5 cm; size of mares: 159-162-184-20. Coat colour is grey, chestnut, bay.
Elegant Pion, the grey Orlov stallion, who was foaled in 1969 set the breed record in 1974: he covered 1,600 m in 2 min 0.1 sec. One should keep in view that the Orlov trotter is not a specialized prize winning horse. It is a valuable genetical upgrader of native horses from different parts of the country.
In the equine population, the Orlov trotter is supreme in the USSR. In 1980 there were 552,000 head of the Orlov trotter altogether and of these 40,700 were pure-breds.
Excellent Orlov horses are bred at the Moscow, Khrenovski, Dubrovski (Poltava Region), Perm, Altai, Novotomnikovski studs (Tambov Region).
Russian Trotter horses are bred at studs distributed in different zones of the country, the Dubrovski Stud of the Ukraine, Gomelski Stud of Byelorussia, Ufa Stud in the Urals, Omsk Stud in Siberia and many others.
The Russian trotter originates in the cross-breds which were resulted from crossing the Orlov trotter to American breeds. This work started at the end of the XlX-th century. The breed was officially established in 1949.
Horses of this breed are similar to the Orlov trotter in height and girth but have a higher agility. In the 1974 race to attest agility, the stallion named Vlastnyi covered the distance of 1,600 m for 1 min 58.7sec.
Size of stallions: height (at withers) is 160cm, body length is 162, girth is 182, cannon's circumference is 20.2cm; size of mares: 159-161-183-19.8. Colour: bay, chestnut, brown, grey.
To increase agility, that is required for successful performances to be made at the International Contests, some horses of the Russian Trotter breed are recrossed to American trotters. In 1980 Russian Trotter horses were estimated as 692,000, with 50,500 pure-breds included.
Breeds of riding-type horses were developed as a result of the intensive breeding. They are perfect in agility and other sporting qualities, beautiful lines and actions. It is not by chance that sportsmen select horses of these breeds for the performances at major events including the Olympic Games. These horses gained a high reputation in upgrading horses of other breeds reared in many areas of the country and in southern areas, in particular.
The breed evolved in England in the XVIII-th century and now is distributed all over the world. The Thoroughbred was introduced to Russia in the second half of the XVIII-th century.
It was based primarily on Oriental blood (Arabian, Turk, Barb). Regular tests at racings and selection of the fastest horses to be bred, played a major part in their genetic improvement.
Volume I of the General Stud Book was issued in 1793. Later the Stud Book was declared to be ceased and only those horses were eligible for entry in ensuing volumes of the Stud Book, the ancestors of whom had been registered in Volume I.
Size of stallions: height (at withers) is 163cm, girth is 185cm, cannon's circumference is 20.1 cm; size of mares: 160-184-194.4. Colour is chestnut, bay, black-brown, more rarely, black and grey.
Thoroughbred horses are Second to none in suppleness at the gallp. They are bred to be used for hippodrome races both on the flat and over jumps, as well as for the Olympic equestrian events.
Owing to their outstanding qualities Thoroughbred horses are very important in horse breed development and improvement.
There is a group of breeds of so called half-breds which cannot thrive without being regularly crossed to the Thoroughbred. They are: the Budyonny, Turkmene, Kustanair, Ukrainian and others.
Thoroughbred horses are distinguished for their propulsive nervous system and need more efficient feeding and care and that makes their raising and utilization more difficult. That is why the half-bred breeds have been developed since they can be used for various purposes and suitable to different conditions. The following records have been set at the USSR racecourses: by a two-year-old for 1,200 m in 1 min 11.1 sec; by a three-year-old for 2,400 m in 2min 27.2sec; by a four-year-old for 3,200m in 3min 22 sec.
Our jockeys won many times the Socialist Countries' Cup at Thoroughbred Races held in Moscow, Berlin, Warsaw, Prague and Budapest.
The stallions Anilin and Aden from the Voskhod Stud were four times winners at the Europe Prize Competition held in the FRG.
At the XXII-d Moscow Olimpics held in 1980, Thoroughbreds: Gepatit, Galsun and Gelispont, gained fame after the Soviet sportsmen having ridden them, had won gold medals in team scoring for show - jumping and three-day events.
In 1980 there were 6,240 Thoroughbreds and that is only one per cent of the world's total equine population of this breed.
In view of this, the Thoroughbred is being bred alongside the regular introduction of sires from foreign countries, mainly from Great Britain and France.
In the Soviet Union the work to improve the breed is carried out at eight specialized studs and on several breeding stud farms. The Voskhod Stud, Krasnodar Territory, is famous for its Thoroughbreds.
The breed was moulded in the second half of the VII-th century in oases and deserts of the Arabian Peninsula; it has emerged in Europe since the VIII-th century. Arab horses have long been introduced to Russia.
An extensive use of these horses in the XVIII-XIX-th centuries resulted in the development of our own highly valuable breeds, such as the Orlov trotter, Orlov riding horse, Rostopchin, Strelets. Besides, great attention is paid to breeding Arab horses in pure.
Size of stallions: height (at withers) is 154 cm, body length is 154 cm, girth is 178 cm, cannon's circumference is 19,3 cm; size of mares: 151-151-178-18.7. Colour is bay, chestnut and grey.
Arab horses are tested under saddle at the Pyatigorsk Hippodrome. The best agility has been recorded for two-year-olds which covered the distance of 1,200 m in 1m 18.4 sec; for three-year-olds having covered the distance of 2,400 m in 2 min 41 sec and for adult horses the results were 3min 40.5 sec for 3,200 m.
Arab horses are used to upgrade native breeds of Transcaucasia and Central Asia and also the Don, Tersky and Trakehner breeds. Those from the Tersky Stud usually enjoy great popularity at the International Auctions.
In 1980 there was a total of 555 pure-bred Arab horses and of these 437 were from the Tersky Stud located in the Northern Caucasus. Progenitors of these horses were introduced prior to the Great Patriotic War from the best studs of England, France, Poland and later on from Egypt.
It is a direct descendant of famous ancient oriental horses. The breed is still being kept in pure owing to the traditions of Turkmen people who have over centuries nurtured it as the national wealth.
Stallions kept at studs measure 160 cm in height, 162 cm in body length, 178 cm in girth, Cannon's circum ference is 19.6 cm; size of mares: 157-159-175-18.7. Colour is different - bay, chestnut, cream-coloured with a black or dark brown dorsal stripe and tail, solid cream-coloured often with a golden tinge, black and grey.
Turkmen people enjoy horse races very much. The highest speed shown by two-year-olds at the distance of 1,200 m is 1 min 18 sec, three-year-olds for 2,400 m is 2 min 41.6 sec, and adult horses for 3,200 m - 3 min 42 sec.
Akhal-Teke horses under saddle are very good at moving about sandy deserts of Turkmenia.
This breed is very remarkable for its sporting qualities. Suffice it to recollect the famous stallion named Absent: when riding it the gold medal was won in dressage at the Rome XVII-th Olympics and the bronze medal - at the Tokyo XVIII-th Olympic Games.
The breed population in 1980 was 2,100 head and together with cross-breds it was 6,650.
Akhal-Teke horses are bred at the Ashkhabad Stud, on collective and state stud farms, Turkmen SSR. Some excellent horses of this breed are also raised at the Daguestan and Tersky studs in the Caucasus and at the Lugovskoi Stud, Kazakhstan.
It originates in the cross-breeding of the Don, Black Sea native horses and the Thoroughbred; it was developed at the Budyonny and First Mounted Army Studs, Rostov Region. Established in 1949.
Size of stallions which are kept at studs is as follows: height at withers is 164 cm, body length is 166 cm, girth is 186 cm, cannon's circumference is 20.4 cm; size of mares: 162-165-189-20. The predominating colour is chestnut but in some cases brown colour is encountered and bay colour is also not uncommon; some horses have a bright golden tinge.
The purpose of the breed is versatile: it is used as the workhorse in agriculture, (largely on livestock farms), as the event horse and the horse meant for export. The breed is also widely used to genetically improve native breeds. Budyonny horses display a high agility at racecourses. The record of a two-year-old for 1,200 m is 1 min 16 sec, of a three-year-old for 2,400 m is 2 min 36.5 sec and older horses for 3,200 m - 3 min 29 sec. The Budyonny horse has other valuable sporting characteristics.
At the 1980 Olympic Games held in Moscow the gold medal was won in team scoring on the stallion Reis for over jumps; on the stallion Pincet the gold medal was won in team scoring and the bronze medal in individual scoring.
In 1980 Budyonny horses were estimated as 9,900 and there were 49,300 head altogether with cross-breds included.
At present the breed is widely distributed in Rostov Region, Stavropol and Krasnodar Territories, Kazakhstan and other areas of the southeastern part of the country. The best foundation breeding stock is concentrated at the First Mounted Army and Budyonny Studs.
This is an old German breed of riding horses which were developed at the Trakehner Stud founded in 1732.
Size of stallions: height at withers is 165 cm, body length is 167 cm, girth is 193 cm, cannon's circumference is 21.6 cm; size of mares: 162-164-191-20.6. Colour is chestnut, bay, black-brown and black. Trakehner horses are remarkable for their high sports qualities in show- jumps, cross-country races, and turnout competitions. Thus, the stallion Pepel gained world-wide fame when E. Petushkova riding it won victories in major international events: she became the World, European and Olympic champion for dressage programme.
At the Moscow Olympic Games gold medals were won in team scoring for show-jumps when stallions Topkii and Espandron were ridden.
The best agility registered for two-year-olds was 1 min 17.4 sec at 1,200 m distance, for three-year-olds - 2 min 38 sec, at 2,400 m and for older horses - 3 min 37 sec at 3,200 m.
In 1980 the USSR had 3,680 Trakehner horses and of these 2,120 were pure-breds. The most valuable Trakehner stock is kept at the Kirov Stud, Rostov Region, and the Dovator Stud, Byelorussian SSR.
These riding horses which are bred at the studs of the Ukrainian SSR.
The breed has not been officially established as yet and nevertheless it showed to be excellent at international equestrian competitions. I. Kizimov, Merited Master of Sport, became Olympic champion in Mexico in dressage programme performed on the stallion Ikhor. The Soviet sportsmen having ridden the stallions Igrok, Plot and Shkval in dressage tournaments of the Moscow Olympics were awarded gold medals in team scoring and in addition, Igrok "brought" the Olympic silver medal.
The foundation of this breed group includes first of all indigenous horses of riding type which have long been bred in the steppes of the Ukraine, Hungarian and Thoroughbred horses.
Then of importance were Trakehner sires and horses having evolved from the famous in the past Orlov-Rostopchin breed noted for a particularly beautiful chest and superb actions.
Size of stallions kept at studs: height at withers is 166cm, body length is 166cm, girth is 194cm, cannon's circumference is 21 cm; size of mares: 161-161-188-20. Colour is black, bay and chestnut.
Apart from being used in sports these horses are also extensively used for utility purposes on the farm.
In 1980 there registered 38,400 Ukrainian riding horses with 3,900 pure-breds included. The best foundation stock is kept at the Alexandriisky and Dnepropetrovsky studs.
It was developed at the Tersky and Stavropol Studs in the Northern Caucasus and established in 1949. It is based on few horses of the Strelets, the old breed which was almost completely extinct in the Civil War years, and on highly-bred and half-bred Arabs collected from various studs. Due to the fact that there was a small number of horses available at the time of the breed development, scrupulous work was to be conducted by breeders.
Tersky horses bear a marked resemlance to Arab pure- breds. Size of stallions: height at withers is 154cm, body length is 154cm, girth is 178cm, cannon's circumference is 19.5cm; size of mares: 151-151-178-19. Coiour is grey.
Tersky horses are employed for runs at the Pyatigorsk hippodrome, various competitions and circus performances.
At the XXII-d Moscow Olympics the stallion Tskheti won the gold medal in team scoring for the three-day-events.
Horses of this breed are sound and well fit to hot climate conditions. Stallions are effectively used to upgrade native breeds in Azerbaijan and Tadjikistan. At the hippodrome the highest speed of two-year-olds at 1,200 m distance is 1 min 21.2 sec, three-year-olds at 2,400 m is 2 min 38.8 sec and adult horses - at 3,200 m - 3 min 18 sec.
In 1980 there registered 2,800 horses out of which 830 were pure-breds. The breed gained its name from the Tersky Stud but now it is being bred solely at the Stavropol Stud and on some stud farms.
This is a breed group resulted from the cross between the Kabardin and the Thoroughbred, and successfully combines worth of the parents.
Size of stallions: height at withers is 157 cm, girth is 182 cm, cannon's circumference is 19.8 cm; size of mares: 154-185-19. Colour is bay, black-brown and black.
Anglokabardin horses put up the following records at hippodrome races: three-year-olds have covered 2,400 m distance in 2 min 36 sec. They participate at national and Olympic events and are used for the work under saddle on farms of the Northern Caucasus. The total number of the breed group makes up 6,300 head. The best horses are raised at the Malokarachaev Stud, Stavropol Territory, and Malkinski Stud, Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous SSR.
Horses of these breeds have many work qualities which are applied in the areas of their breeding, i.e. in the steppes, mountains, in the areas of farming under irrigation.
For utility purposes these horses are used largely under saddle and sometimes in harness. They are also popular at various national equestrian sport games, competitions and races held at local hippodromes.
This breed evolved during XVIII and XIX centuries in the steppes bordering the river Don in the herds owned by Don cassaks. Progenitors of this breed were steppe nomads' horses as well as oriental breeds: the Karabakh, Persian, Turkmene.
During the Soviet Power years a great deal of work has been done to improve the Don at the Budyonny and Zimovinski Studs of Rostov Region, Issyk-Kulski Stud, Kirghizia, and Lugovsky Stud, Kazakhstan.
Don horses are well apt to the continental climate conditions, they are usually kept in herds and endured under hard work. Impressive records were set when Don horses and their crossbreds were ridden at one of the most difficult events: - one day endurance rides. In 1950 the Don stallions ridden by a group of sportsmen covered 305 km for one day (20 hours of movement and 4 hours of rest pauses) and at that time an overall record was put up on the Don-Teke-Kazakh cross-bred stallion Zenith - 311.6 km. The best results achieved at the hippodrome by two-year-olds were 1 min 20 sec for 1,200 m, by three-year-olds - 2 min 43.2 sec for 2,400 m.
Size of stallions: height at withers is 162 cm, body length is 165 cm, girth is 188 cm, cannon's circumference is 20.5 cm, size of mares: 160-163-185-20. Colour is chestnut and brown, often with a golden tinge.
Don horses are reared in south-eastern regions of the European part of the USSR and also in Kazakhstan and Kirghizia. Some Don horses and particularly their cross- breds are encountered in other areas of the country. This breed is extensively used to improve horse population in the zones where horses are kept in herds. In 1980 there were 243,000 head of this breed horses and of these 29,000 were pure-breds. The most valuable horses are bred at the Budyonny and Limovnikovsky Studs of Rostov Region.
The breed was developed in Kustanai Region, Kazakh SSR. The work to develop the breed began at the end of the XIX-th century in the area where the Turgai, Kustanai and Orenburg Stud stables were located and Kalmyk, Strelets and Don stallions were bred. Mares of the Kazakh breed were used as the foundation breeding stock. The resultant female progenies were crossed with Thoroughbred stallions. The breed was established in 1951. Horses are kept in stables, on pastures and in herds. The purpose of the breed is versatile: it is used to improve indigenous horses reared in the horse herding area for working livestock on farms and equestrian sport.
Size of stallions: height at withers is 158 cm, body length is 158 cm, girth is 188 cm, cannon's circumference is 20 cm; size of mares: 155-157-185-19.5. Colour is chestnut, brown and bay.
Kustanair horses are very agile. The record for three- year-olds set at the hippodrome is 2 min 35 sec for 2,400 m. During a 100 km ride, the impressive record was set - 4 h 1 min 5 sec (the stallion Chervonets).
In 1980 Kustanair horse population was 41,700 head out of which 2,900 were pure-breds. The breed is spread in the northwest of Kazakhstan. The best horses are raised at the Krasnodar Stud, Kustanai Region, at Saryturgai Stud, Turgai Region and on the Kustanai Regional Agricultural Experiment Station.
This is a native breed of the Northern Caucasus and has been known since the XVI century. Kabardin horses are exclusively well fit to management and work in hilly conditions. Size of stallions: height at withers is 150cm, girth is 180cm, cannon's circumference is 20cm; size of mares: 147-177-19. Colour is bay, black-brown and occasionally black.
For the herdsman and shepherd this is the most useful saddle horse and it is also of interest for horseback travelling. The records set during hippodrome racings are as follows: for two-year-olds at 1,200 m distance - 1 min 24 sec, for three-year-olds at 2,400 m distance - 2 min 44sec and at 7,000 m distance - 8 min 41 sec.
But much more important are the records which are suggesting horse endurance. Thus, on the stallion Project 50 kilometeres were covered in 1 h 41 min 25sec.
Kabardin horses are bred in Kabardin-Balkar Autonomous SSR and some mountainous areas of Stavropol Territory. The number of pure-breds is 8,500 and together with closs-breds - 28,600 head. The best stosk is centerd at the Malokarachaevski Stud.
It was developed in Kirghizia in the mountains of Thian-Shan as a result of the cross between native short horses, the Don and the Thoroughbred. Horses of this breed are kept in herds on alpine pastures. This breed was established in 1954.
Size of stallions: height at withers is 155 cm, body length is 158 cm, girth is 186 cm, cannon's circumference is 20.6 cm; size of mares: 149-154-181-19. The predominating colour is chestnut and bay, sometimes it is with a golden tinge.
New Kirghiz horses under saddle, or pack are generously employed for various work largely for shepherds' use and at national mounted games and race courses. The best agility of two-year-olds over 1,200 m is 1 min 20.8sec; of three-year-olds over 2,400 m - 2 min 45.0sec.
The important purpose of this breed is to produce meat and mare's milk.
When mares are grazed in summer on mountainous pastures their daily milk yield is usually within 14-191.
In 1980 there registered 114,000 head of New Kirghiz horses out of which 20,500 were pure-breds. This breed is being bred on state and collective stud farms of Kirghiz SSR. The most valuable stock of this breed is concentrated at the Osh, Kirghiz, Yassi Studs and on the stud farm of the Thian-Shan Experiment Station.
This is an old native breed reared in Tadjikistan. It is mostly used under saddle for cattle grazing and rides to the mountains as well as for national events and especially in the national mounted game "kokpar".
The old type of Lokai horses is not large (height at withers is 143-146cm), but it is distinctive for their strong legs and well fit to movement along rocky paths in the mountains.
In 1980 the breed equine population was 11,000 head out of which 16,300 head were pure-breds.
Over last 25-30 years a group of valuable animals-the Tadjik riding horse - have evolved on the basis of crossing Lokai mares to Arab and Thoroughbred stallions with a subsequent selection of the best cross-breds for breeding purpose.
These horses used under saddle are intended for utility purposes. Size of stallions: height at withers is 156 cm, body length is 156 cm, girth is 181 cm, cannon's circumference is 20 cm; size of mares: 150-151-177-19.
This ancient breed of horses is distributed in the Central Asia region, i.e. in Uzbekistan and the northern part of Tadjikistan. Size of stallions: height at withers is 153 cm, body length is 155 cm, girth is 175 cm, cannon's circumference is 19.6 cm; size of mares: 148-150-172-18.8. Colour varies, but predominately it is chestnut, bay and grey.
Karabair horses are well fit to the Central Asian desert and mountain conditions, endured at work. Largely they are used under saddle for cattle grazing, rides and national sport events. Breeding stock is usually tested at local hippodrome races. The best speed of three-year-olds over 2,400 m is 2 min 52 sec; that of two-year-olds over 1,200 m is 1 min 22 sec.
In 1980 the number of this breed horses was 55,600 head and of these 43,000 were pure-breds. Highly valued breeding stock is being bred at the Dzhizakski Stud of Uzbek SSR.
There are no specific meat and milk purpose horse breeds yet. However, if the herd horse breeding is meant for meat and milk production, horses of local breeds are used for this purpose. These breeds have an extremely high adaptability to being kept all year round on natural pastures under severe conditions of Siberia, Kazakhstan and neighbouring regions, in such cases the produce output entails low inputs. Horses of these breeds are used not only for meat and milk production but for various work, largely on livestock farms.
This is an ancient native breed which was formed in nomads' economy. Kazakh horses have been considerably improved under collective and state farming conditions - their size and weight have increased. They are reared in herds to be subsequently used by herdsmen and shepherds as workhorses and also for meat purpose; mares of this breed are remarkable for their high milk yields and usually highly valued on mare's milk-producing farms.
Within the breed there are several types, for example, the Adaevsky (riding) type and Dzhabe (heavy-weight) type. The Kazakh is bred in pure in the areas of semi-arid and arid zones.
Stallions of the Dzhabe type measure 144 cm in height at withers, 151 cm-in body length, 180 cm-in girth, 19.1 cm - in cannon's circumference; size of Adaevsky type stallions is 142-145-166-18.2; size of mares of the Dzhabe type is 142-150-178-18.8 and of the Adaevsky type is 139-142-163-17.7 Weight of Dzhabe stallions is 450-500 kg and that of mares from 400 to 450 kg.
317,500 head of Dzhabe type horses were registered in 1980 and of these 47,700 were pure-breds; the Adaevsky type horse population was 22,000 out of which the 20,000 were pure-breds.
Highly rated horses of the Dzhabe type are bred at the Mugodzharsky Stud, Aktubinsk Region, Kulandinsky Stud, Kzyl-Orda Region and Agricultural Experiment Station of Dzhezkazgan Region. Foundation breeding stock of Adaevsky horses is being maintained at the Agricultural Experiment Station, Guriev Region.
It has been developed in the western part of Kazakhstan and originates in the cross breeding of Kazakh horses, trotters and riding horses; it is being grazed all year round on semi-arid pastures. The breed gained its name from the Kushum river. It was established in 1976.
Kushum horses are raised to produce meat but also used by shepherds for herding cattle.
Kushum horses are no worse fit to being kept in herds on gramineous - wormwood-salsola grass pastures than the Kazakh but in size they are much larger.
Measurement of stallions taken at the time of the breed approval is as follows: height at withers is 160 cm, body length is 161 cm, girth is 192 cm, cannon's circumference is 20.9 cm; size of mares: 154-156-184-19.3. Stallions weigh 540 kg and mares-490 kg.
In 1980 this breed population was 41,100 head with 4,900 pure-breds included. It is distributed in livestock-producing areas of the western part of Kazakhstan.
This native breed has been formed over centuries on Bashkirs' livestock farms. It is bred to be used for cattle herding, transportation and non-hard work. Mares of this breed are remarkable for high milk yields and mainly kept on mares' milk producing farms of large spas.
Size of stallions: height at withers is 143 cm, body length is 144 cm, girth is 180 cm, cannon's circumference is 20 cm; size of mares: 142-145-178-18.4.
In 1980 there registered 45,700 Bashkir horses of which the 15,400 were pure-breds.
The rated breeding stock is concentrated at the Ufa Stud.
A major portion of Yakut horses is distributed in the valleys of the middle part of the river Lena and also along the rivers Vilyui and Aldan; several herds are encountered further to the North, in the basin of the rivers Yana, Indigirka and Kolyma, i.e. beyond the Arctic Circle. Here January mean temperature ranges from -45 to -50°C and drops even lower for short periods. This area is called the "Cold Pole" of the Northern Hemisphere. Nevertheless, such intensely severe frosts are not a liability in all-year-round grazing of horses which become profusely hairy in winter-time.
Yakut horses are not large in size: mare's average height at withers varies with regions from 131 to 140 cm, body length ranges between 136 and 145 cm, girth - from 165 to 176 cm, cannon's circumference is 17.3-18.4 cm, weight is 370-430 kg. Stallions are usually larger. Yakut horses are raised for meat purpose and also used under saddle for various work. In 1980 the breed population made up 137,900 head. Breeding stock is bred on the Experiment Stud Farm of the Yakutsk Agricultural Research Institute and on a number of state stud farms.
Herds of small horses well apt to local conditions are grazed in the Altai mountains, valleys of Tuva and Buryat
Autonomous SSR. They are raised largely for the use under saddle by herdsmen and shepherds, transportation as well as for meat purpose.
The origin of these horses is lost in the remote antiquity. Judging by multiple equestrian bones found in burial mounds, the early nomads who inhabitated this region in the first millenium В. C., had already had horses near to the modern local type.
The height at withers of the mares of this breed averages from 135-138 cm, body length is 140-146 cm, girth is 164-172 cm, cannon's circumference is 17-17.5 cm, weight is 350-415 kg. Stallions are larger in size.
In the second half of the XIX-th and at the beginning of the XX-th centuries new breed groups were formed in some agricultural areas of Siberia. These are the Kuznets reared in Kemerovo and Novosibirsk Regions, the Chumysh reared in Altai Territory, and the Verkhneyenisei - in Tuva Autonomous SSR. They resulted from the cross of native horses with trotters and heavy-draught horses.
The average height at withers of this breed mares is 150-155 cm, body length is 155-160 cm, girth is 182-188 cm, cannon's circumference is 20-22 cm, weight is 500-550 kg. They are reared to be used under saddle and in harness for utility purposes.
Horses of the riding and mountain - pack type have been bred in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia since the ancient time. A small number of the Karabakh and Delibor in Azerbaijan, the Tushin and Megrel in Georgia have been maintained up to the presint time.
Karabakh horses of the Akdamsky Stud have particular good looks and are characteristic of a bright golden chestnut colour and of a riding conformation. Height averages 148cm. There is a small number of Karabakh pure-breds left now and in order to avoid inevitable inbreeding, they are being crossed with the Arab.
The typical Deliboz is the short (height is 135-140) riding horse with a light torse and lean square-set legs; colour is usually grey or bay.
The Tushin breed is reared in the mountains and valleys of eastern Georgia. This horse is useful for herdsmen and shepherds; it moves along mountain paths well and in spite of its shortness (it is 135-140 cm high) it carries the rider and pack.
In the western part of Georgia there reared the Megrel breed which is remarkable for that it is thriving equally well in the mountains and in the Kolkhida lowland. It's height is as small as 130-135 cm. This miniature horse is being used for utility purposes on livestock farms and in orchards.
Horses of the all Transcaucasian breeds are good at trekking.
Specialized stud farms have been established to breed the Tushin and Megrel in pure.
A major part of the horse population distributed in the European part of the USSR consists of the stud-developed breeds and their crosses. However, old native breeds, such as the Pechorsky, Viatka, Estonian Zhmud, Hucul and so on, though few in number are still maintained. These are not large horses and they have qualities fit to light harness work; they are distinctive for hardiness and thriftiness in keeping.
It is distributed in the north-east of the European part of the country, in the river Pechora basin and further up to the Arctic Circle.
These small sturdy horses of harness type have the capacity to carry out various farming work mostly on livestock farms and in hay making. They can stand severe frosts and the temperature as low as minus 50°C and in summer-time they are not scared of myriads of insects.
Height at withers of the representative Pechorsky horses is within 136-145 cm, body length is 146-152, girth is 158-166 cm, cannon's circumference is 18-19.5 cm. Colour is black and bay, more rarely chestnut and cream-coloured. In 1980 there were 4,500 head registered.
In neighbouring areas, in the river Mezen basin, there bred the Mezensky horse which is similar in type, size and other characteristics to the Pechorsky breed. The number of these horses is 1,300 head.
In the XIX-th century restless troikas of Viatka horses who could cover in sledge harness, 15 versts for 33-35 minutes, were very popular in north eastern provinces (Guberniyas). They displayed great endurance in load transportation along thorp ways characteristic of the North. But later on the unfortune fell upon these horses: as a result of crossings to trotters and heavy-draught horses, pure Viatka horses have considerably declined in number. Only 5,700 head of this breed were registered and as a rule with the obvious addition of stud breed blood. Representative Viatka horses are 137-142 cm in height at withers, their body lenght is 142-146 cm, girth is 160-165, cannon's circumference is 17,5-19 cm. The distinctive colour is regarded to be slightly sorrel with a dorsal band, dark mane and tail.
This is an old native breed of horses which are reared on the Baltic sea coast and islands. It is bred in pure and the breeding is aimed at the maintenance of the type, harmonious conformation and valuable biological properties such as aptness to humid climate conditions and grazing on boggy pastures.
The Estonian horse played a very important part in the development of the Toric breed.
Size: height at withers is 142-146 cm, body length is 147-152 cm, girth is 170-180 cm, cannon's circumference is 18-19.5. In 1980 the breed population was as small as 600 head, but at present the breeding work is arranged so as to secure the protection of this original breed.
This breed is distributed throughout the Lithuanian SSR. This is a direct descendant of the ancient forest horse.
It has been improved through the addition of stud breed blood and yet retained a high fittness to humid climate conditions and grazing on wet pastures.
Typical Zhmud mares measure (at withers) 140-144 cm in height, body length is 141-146 cm, girth is 170-175 cm, cannon's circumference is 18.5-19.5 cm. The breeding work conducted on some stud farms (the Vilnius Stud and etc.) has resulted in the development of the Zhmud mares' new type; their height at withers is 150 cm and over. Colour is grey, mouse-coloured, black and bay.
These horses typify a high working capacity: in light harness they cover 20 km in one hour, they also easily transport the load of 1-1.5 ton by individually pulling a sledge. Troikas of Zhmud horses are good as well. Zhmud horses were extensively used to develop the Lithuanian heavy harness breed.
The number of the breed horses was 11,200 head in 1980 and of these, 6,500 were pure-breds.
This breed has long been bred in western areas of the Ukraine, in the Carpathians.
Hucul horses in pure are characteristic of shortness, compact build, square set legs with sturdy hooves. Height at withers is 135-138 cm, body length is 140-145 cm, girth is 156-163 cm, cannon's circumference is 17-18 cm. The predominating colour is bay and chestnut.
They work in harness, and under pack. Under pack-type saddle they transport the load for shepherds working cattle in the mountains. These horses are kept only at grass and hay.
In 1980 the number of horses of this breed was 29,000 with the 3,000 pure-breds included.
Ponies are peculiar miniature horses; their height at withers is usually as small as 80-120 cm but they have all biological properties inherent to the common horse and they give birth to normal prolific offsprings when crossed to other breeds.
There are up to 30 breeds of ponies in the world but in the Soviet Union there is only one breed - the Shetland. This is a very old breed: pony bones discovered on the Shetland Islands showed that they had belonged to the Bronze Age.
Ponies are economical in keeping and very adaptable to various geographical zones. The largest breeding stock of 30 brood mares was established at the Experiment Stud of Ryazan Region. Ponies are reared for circuces and zooes as well as for children's rides.