Karachai Horses
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About Karachai HorsesAbout Karachai Horses



Karachay (also known as Karakachan Pony, Karatschai Pony,rnKaratschaever, Karatschaewsker, orKarachaier) horses were developed in thernNorthern Caucasus. They came from the highland Karachay at the rise of Kuban.rnThey were developed by crossing regional horses with eastern stallions.rnKarachay horses are summered in rugged mountain country where there are largernchanges in temperature and humidity, and wintered in the foothill and plainsrnwith some hay feeding. These conditions made the Karachay horse strong-limbedrnand sturdy.

rnrnThey were first bred for use in the military and agriculturernuse. They were bred by Karachays around the 14th-15th centuries in the climaticrnand geographical conditions of the North Caucasus. They were known to Europeansrnsince the 18th century at least. German researcher P. Pallas (1793) wrote:rn"They grow a small but hardy and hot breed of horses, known for theirrnoutstanding qualities". Another researcher, Bronevsky S. (1823), wrote: "They have small, but sturdy breed of mountain horses, known under thernname of Karachay horses". Hungarian ethnographer, a member of thernexpedition of Emmanuel to Elbrus, Jean-Charles de Besse also gave a highrnevaluation of the breed in 1829: "Karachays ranch fine breed of horses...rnThey are easy on the go and I don't know any other horse breed that is betterrnfor ridding on steep slopes and which is so inexhaustible".

At the end of the 19th century there were local stud farmsrnin Karachay where some herds included 500-1000 horses. In the beginning of thern20th century Karachay played a significant role, supplying most of the KubanrnCossack army`s regiments with chargers. Every year Karachay sold about 10rnthousands of horses.rnrn 

rnrnIn the 1920’s, during the period of recreation of horsernbreeding at North Caucasus which took place after the destroying civil war,rnpeople worked with Karachay horses according. In line with this, selectivernbreeding of Karachay horses ensued. The Riding State Stud farm was created inrn1927, and the State stud farm (Gosplemhoz) of Karachay horses was organized inrn1929 and then reorganized in 1930 into Karachaevsky stud farm No 168, whichrnbore Joseph Stalin's name for some time.

In 1935 the first volume of the studbook was established forrnthe mountain breeds, registering 204 Karachay mares. Karachay horse werernespecially good in the mountains. In the winter of 1935/ 1936 a 3,000-kilometerrnride was held in the Caucasus. The time and route of the ride were extremelyrndifficult. Among the participants there were 10 Karachay horse and horses ofrnother breeds. The ride lasted 47 days, on average 64 km per day. In one monthrnthe same horses finished a race from Piatigorsk to Rostov, distance of 600 kmrnin five days over very muddy roads/trails. In 1937 a State breeding center wasrncreated in Karachay Autonomous Oblast.

In 1943 Joseph Stalin deported the Karachays people tornCentral Asia and the Karachay breed was renamed as the Kabarda breed and therntwo breeds were combined. But the horses still were bred in the same lands.rnAfter the war they bred a new type of horses, higher and more sturdy. Karachayrnhorses were exported to other stud farms, e.g. for recreation of Malkinsky studrnfarm No 34 which began in 1958. There were exported 104 Karachay andrnAnglo-Karachay mares and 4 stallions from the stud farm No 168. Namesrn"Karachay horse" and "Anglo-Karachay horse" were mentionedrnagain in specialist literature in 1963, but the breed still wasn't separate.rnKarachay horses were automatically referred to the Kabarda breed and so namedrnin the 2nd, 3rd and 4th volumes of the studbooks. In 1980s therndiscriminatory decision of referring Karachay horse to Kabarda breed wasrnannulled and Karachay breed was again separate included into the 5-th volume ofrnState stud book. Karachay breed and Anglo-Karachay breed group regained theirrndue place being mentioned in the State stud books and official lists of speciesrnof the USSR and Russia in 1990s.

In 1998 a group of Karachay-Cherkessiya`s horsemen withrnthree Karachay horses ascended the east top of the mountain Elbrus, making anrnunprecedented act. In 1999 the horsemen ascended west top of the highestrnmountain in Europe. The Karachay horses’ is thus strong with strong and adaptedrnlimbs to climbing mountains. Special credit goes to an expert on horse breedingrnnamed Klych Geriy Urusov who was the mastermind of Elbrus conquest onrnhorseback. At the present time Karachay horse is bred at Karachaevskyrn(Malokarachaevski) stud farm No 168 and the other stud farms. In 2008, therernwere about 20 000 horses in Karachaevo-Cherkessiya.

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