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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Akhal-Teke (AT) [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Teke, whether called Nisean or Ferghana Horse or just "The Golden Horse," has always been a horse of tremendous value. It has always been a racehorse, and its speed on the flat is second only to the Thoroughbred. The breed has produced notable jumpers as well, and the "electric black" stallion Absent won Gold in three consecutive Olympics, in dressage.
The Akhal-Teke is a tall horse, somewhat narrow, and otherwise long and lean, built to run, run fast, and run for days. Its special hair structure refracts sunlight away from the skin, helping to cool the horse in the blazing heat of Central Asian summers; it also imparts the metallic glitter or glow to the coat which is so characteristic of the breed, and many breeds related to it. Tekes have a "hooded eye"; that is, an epicanthal fold over the eye which helps to reduce the glare of the wide Central Asian skies. Some sport frontal bosses like those found in the Moyle and the Chinese "Dragon Horse"; and some show the touching or crossing ear-tips characteristic of the Marwari and Kathiawari of India (the Akhal-Teke is probably an ancestor of both breeds.) Tekes are well known as "one-person horses," who are devoted to their favorites and distrustful of all others.
When the Soviet Union took over Turkmenistan, numbers of Turkmen horses were drastically reduced when the Soviets decreed that no family may own more than one horse; many Teke Turkmen took their herds with them and escaped to Iran, where the horse is bred as the Teke Turkoman today. The Soviets named the remaining horses "Akhal-Teke", after the Teke tribe subgroup centered at the Akhal oasis (the Turkmen themselves called their horses "Argamaks".) Some Thoroughbred was added to increase the horses' speed, but it was found that the crossbreds could not adapt to the Central Asian climate. By the 1960s, only 1200-1500 of these horses remained. The Soviet Union eventually fell apart, and breeders began their work anew, spreading the horse all over the globe.
All Akhal-Teke horses alive today trace back to four 19th-century sires: Boinou, Chopar-Kel, Sultan Guli and Niderbai. Akhal-Tekes are still bred according to sire-lines today, though there are many more as great stallions founded their own lines.
In Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, the Teke is a flat-racer; in the United States, Great Britain and Australia, the horse is mostly used for endurance riding and eventing. In China, they are a prized status-symbol.
The following are the: range, average, (SD), and MOE of performance metrics of ordered Akhal-Tekes in Horse Isle (not bred ones). In rare cases,
Speed: 16.1-17.4, 16.7 (0.30), 0.06.
Sprint: 43-53, 49 (2), 0.48.
Accel: 0.77-0.94, 0.86 (0.04), 0.01.
Decel: 0.66-0.86, 0.77 (0.04), 0.01.
Jump: 5.11-5.35, 0.22 (0.05), 0.01.
Pull: 1.16-1.75, 1.43 (0.12), 0.02.
Turning: 37.88-48.9, 43.34 (2.33), 0.46.
Reverse: 2.1-2.8, 2.4 (0.10), 0.03.
Stamina: 43.6-47.96, 45.3 (1.02), 0.2.
Reaction: 0.66-0.79, 0.73 (0.03), 0.01.
Coats & Height:
Colors: bay, black, brown, chestnut, grey, all cream dilutes, pearl.
Additionals: flaxen, linebacked, rabicano, sabino-1, sooty, splashed-white overo, white-spotted, all rare patterns.
Height: 14.3hh to 16hh
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