Karabakh horse — is a breed of mountain-riding horse created in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and widespread. In the 17th-18th centuries, this horse breed was further improved in the Karabakh Khanate. Karabakh horses are considered the oldest horse breed in Asia and the Caucasus. Currently, it is the national horse breed in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Researchers believe that Karabakh horses are descendants of Manna, Midian, Atropatena, and Albanian horses. The height of the withers of Karabakh horses is 148.5 cm, the girth is 165.8 cm, and the girth of the withers is 18.3 cm. They are mostly golden and brown horses. Since 1946, breeding work with the breed has been carried out at the Aghdam horse breeding plant.
Karabakh horses for centuries Roman, Sasanian, Arab, Seljuk, Mongolia, Iran, etc. Although it underwent certain changes as a result of interaction with horses, it was able to keep its original roots. In the 18th-19th centuries, the breed of Karabakh horses was significantly improved. Karabakh horses have had a great impact on equestrianism in Turkey, Iran, Georgia, the North Caucasus, Russia, Kazakhstan, as well as in Western Europe.
History of the Karabakh horse
Azerbaijan is one of the countries where horse breeding has been organized since ancient times. In most of the historical sources, it is reflected that the horse was first domesticated in the regions of Turkestan close to Iran. This is believed to be between 8000 and 4000 BC.
In many sources, the Khazars are the first human settlements where the horse was domesticated. they show areas along the southeast, south and southwest coasts. Proponents of the Indo-Germanic theory say that in the early stages of human history, the horse was domesticated by Indo-Europeans who spread throughout Central Asia from the Kansu region of China to the west, based on a nomadic culture.
In any case, the territories of the modern Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as South Azerbaijan, are the most it coincides with the crossing points of settlements where the horse was domesticated and horse riding was considered to be formed by various researchers.
In the work "History of Azerbaijan" written under the guidance of Academician Z. Bunyatov It is noted that 7.5% of the animal bones found in the Alikomektepe monument in the territory of the current Jalilabad region belonging to the last stage of the Neolithic period (the end of the 5th millennium BC and the first half of the 4th millennium BC) are horse bones, and it is shown that the number of horse bones found in that monument part is reserved for domesticated horses. The more interesting fact is that at least two types of horses have been identified at this stage. However, along with the rare occurrence of horse bones in the remains of bones found during archaeological excavations in other ancient human settlements of those times and 1000-2000 years later, there are opinions that those horse bones belong to domesticated small horses (similar to Przewalski's horses). has been put forward.
About the remains of bones found in Binagadi excavations of the Pleistocene epoch of the Quaternary period. Professor V.V. Bogachev notes that the horses that lived here in those times were large horses and had medium-sized heads.Also, the nails were small and thin.
Professor V.V. Bogachev Horse of the fourth period found around Balakhani and Khirdalan describing its bones, he concludes that the horse found according to the width and length of the diastema and the profile of the head belongs to Prjevalski's horse. In any case, this horse is an example of eastern horse types, and differs in a slight narrowness of the interjaw bones. All this was extensively and thoroughly studied for the first time in the work "Karabakh horse" written by professor R. Kh. Sattarzade and honored zootechnician S. O. Hasanov. In the studies of academician I. Aliyev, B.C. It is reported that 95 percent of the horse bones found in Goytepe excavations near the city of Urmia dating back to the 5th millennium are the bones of domesticated horses. In the Early Bronze Age, the use of horses in primitive farms created conditions for an important innovation in cattle breeding.
In sources from the period of the existence of the state of Manna in the 1st millennium BC it is shown that horses were already widely used, including that they were used as harnesses. Horse breeding was also widespread in the ancient Azerbaijani states - Midia, Aderbaygan (Atropatena) and Albania, which were formed after the fall of the Manna state. Horse breeding was better developed in Midia. Historian Herodotus writes that bigger, stronger and handsomer horses were bred in Media (4th century BC) in a large area called Nesey (after the Nesey plain located southwest of the Caspian).
From many studies, historical literature, various sources, as well as from our research, it can be concluded that Karabakh horses have their source from the horses that existed in Azerbaijan in the most ancient times, mainly from Nesei horses. As a result of historical evolution, two main branches of Nesey horses were separated and developed, one of them was Akhaltaka horses bred by the Turkmen people, and the other one was Karabakh horses, which were unique to the Azerbaijani people. Many Soviet researchers tried to distance the history of the Karabakh horse from its pedigree with their superficial considerations. For example, Professor I.I. Kalugin considers the origin of the Karabakh horse to be the Arabian horse and notes that it was influenced by the Akhaltaki and Iranian horses. It is true that the participation of horses of other breeds in the formation of any horse breed is a necessary and undeniable fact. The interventions of Arabs, Persians, and Mongols in Azerbaijan are known from history, and these interventions and raids were all carried out by means of cavalry troops.
Whether in ancient times and the Middle Ages, or in the 19th and 20th centuries Arabian horses were widely used, especially in the improvement of local Karabakh and Dilbaz horses of Azerbaijan. However, because Azerbaijani horses were superior in quality at that time, their influence on foreign horses was greater. Since the local horses have more quantitative and qualitative improvement features and are better adapted to the local conditions, the imported horses have been gradually assimilated. Otherwise, the existence of local breeds in Azerbaijan would not be possible.
In some Arabic sources, in the 8th century, when the Islamic religion was already established in Azerbaijan it is noted here that the golden Karabakh horses were widespread and that 60,000 golden-colored horses were taken from Azerbaijan by the Arab invaders and taken to Arabia.
I.I. Kalugin especially emphasizes the influence of Mongolian horses on the Karabakh breed. However, in the works of most researchers, academicians Z. Bunyadov, I. Aliyev, professor R. Sattarzadeh and others, it can be seen that Azerbaijani horses, including the Karabakh horse, have gone through a special free development path, that it is an ancient breed.
The presence of at least two horse types in the earliest archaeological excavations , the depiction of different types of horses, including Karabakh horses, in ancient works of art, miniatures, the transportation of thousands of horses from Azerbaijan to Arab countries at the time when Arabian horses were not yet formed as a breed, and their use as breeders in those countries, etc. the facts prove that the Karabakh horse is a horse breed that was formed as a result of a long evolutionary path on the basis of local horses that existed in Azerbaijan since ancient times, and was created thanks to the creative selection of the people for centuries.
Colonel K.A. Diterikhsin, who was a great admirer and connoisseur of Karabakh horses, Russian State The article "An Overview of Karabakh Horse Breeding" written at the request of the Union of Horse Breeding Boards and published in 1866 in the journal "Konnozavodstvo" can be considered the first scientific article written about the status of the Karabakh breed in the Middle Ages and the 19th century.
K.A. Diterichs showing that Karabakh is a part of Eastern Asia and a land considered to be the natural homeland of the horse in science, the formation of Karabakh horses and their formation as a breed can only be attributed to the material and economic needs of the people living here. emphasizes that it is closely related to the factors arising from their lifestyle, culture and national traditions since centuries.
K.A. Diterichs called the base of the Karabakh horses "khan sarilar kohlani" and " showing that the horses were called "yellows" and noted that those horses were primarily from the Shusha district, and all the species of Eastern horses in this region (the zoological group that was considered a genus at that time was called a species, and the group that is now considered a type was called a genus - Х.R. ) representing its derivatives in the last millennium, was widespread without allowing other blood mixtures.
He is widely known for improving Karabakh horses as a breed and gaining great fame. noting the indispensable role of Karabakh Khan's factories in the spread, at that time there were more than a hundred horse breeding factories in Shusha province alone, especially Panakh Khan, his son, Ibrahim Khan, who was the last independent ruler of Karabakh, Ibrahim Khan's sons, Mehdigulu Khan, Mohammad Hasan Agha, his son Jafargulu-Javanshir Khan's daughter Nateva (Usmiyev's), Khan's grandson Mirza Ali Bey, Asad Bey, Farajulla Bey, Ibrahim Bey, Suleyman Khan, Taghi Bey, Huseyn Agha Aganli, Mammad Bey Gilani, Adigozal Bey Gilani, Adigozal Bey's grandson Huseyn Bey, Mehtar of Madatov It mentions the conduct of breeding works at the level of class factory horse breeding in special factories and stables for representatives of the sons of Abdulrahman, Cavalier Ali Bey, Mammad Bey Karabakh, Mammadgasim Agha and other dynasties included in the khan clan.
Among those planters, the successors of Panah Khan and his dynasty, Mehdigulu Khan and Factories of Jafargulu KhanIt is interesting to note that the Karabakh horses bred in A modern analysis of the works carried out in the Khan plants gives reason to say that those works, being purposeful, served the improvement of the breed and the increase of desirable types. An example of this is that breeding stallions should always be purebred, "yellows" should be bred in purity, preference should be given to the so-called "breed yellows" with purer blood than "thick yellows", which are a mixed part of the breed.
In the works of K.A. Dietrichs and other researchers, it existed in the 18th-19th centuries Among the listed typical signs of Karabakh horses, the following are particularly noteworthy:
– hormanic of all parts of the body, primarily characteristic of horses of mountain origin and being closely related, the head being in proportion to the length, the pacer being strong, the hooves strong, the loin straight and the place of the saddle felt, the neck being small, the ability to keep the center of gravity flexible in its movements, and thus instantly even during the fastest running having the ability to stand by changing the position of the body; - indicating the horse's southern origin, thin and dry skin, delicate and dazzling bright color of the hair, having a sanguine-choleric temperament, tendency to catch colds, etc.; - the horse being pure-blooded and obedient to the owner , the meaning of their views, the expression of kindness in their behavior, etc. There were mainly 3 types of horses kept in the factories of the Khan of Karabakh: Monkey, Garnyirtyg and Aliyetmez. Horses belonging to the monkey type are resistant to long marches, have a calm temperament, and have a slight tendency to jump high. Horses belonging to the Belly type are very handsome, with a high neck and posture, and are inferior to the Monkey type in terms of strength and durability. The Aliyetmez (Geyran) type surpassed the others in short-distance running, had a high jump, a handsome and playful body structure reminiscent of a gazelle.
In addition, planters also preferred Tohmaq type. These horses had a relatively large body, yellow-golden color, and their mane and legs were dark brown.
Heads of generations of the mentioned types were held in 1869 at the All-Russian at participating in the exhibition, among them Maimun silver, Tohmaq bproduct medal, and the Usmiyevs' (Khan's daughter Nateva's) horse named Alyetmez was awarded a certificate.
In the 70s of the 11th century, the Yelizavetpol horse factory was established in Karabakh . Good Karabakh mares were collected here, and they were partially mated with Arab, and even in some cases with Anglo-Arab stallions.
Thus, a long period from the Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century Karabakh horses went through a development path that can be considered a golden age for them against the background of a number of processes.
The collapse of feudal socio-economic relations in Azerbaijan at the end of the 19th century, the country became a part of tsarist Russia, the weakening of Karabakh horses as a result of the sale of a large number of horses, especially mares, to Russia, England, Iran and other countries at that time, a number of historical events that took place at the beginning of the 20th century gave impetus to this process, a new approach to this breed as a whole, more rather, he prioritized his rehabilitation.
First of all, it was necessary to assess the resources of Karabakh horses in the country . For this purpose, in 1926, under the leadership of professor I.I. Kalugin, an expedition was created and research was carried out in the regions of the republic. According to the results of the research, the expedition came to the conclusion that they could not find a real Karabakh horse at that time. This gave the reason for a number of other Soviet researchers to express the same opinion, even to put forward opinions about the complete extermination of the Karabakh horse.
However, this is just a new Soviet as demanded by its ideology, the factory owners from the khan and bey clans that existed before the October Revolution, in fact, were nothing but greedy and disgusted with the history of the nation and the material and spiritual wealth it had created over the centuries, bringing it down to nothing.
Simple logic suggests that only 10 - 12 years ago, there were a large number of factories and farms in different parts of Azerbaijan, especially in the Karabakh region, where horses were bred.Many Karabakh horses were gathered. So many Karabakh horses could not "evaporate into the sky" in this short period of time in the country where horse meat is not eaten and the horse is considered a symbol of honor and masculinity. The modern analysis of the results of the conducted research gives reason to say that the expedition that conducted the research simply did not need to see the Karabakh horses. If it were not so, 20 years after that research (1946) it would not have been possible to find more than 60 typical Karabakh horses from just a few regions for the purpose of organizing the Karabakh horse factory.
Professor R.Kh.Sattarzade and A.A.Agabeyli are also members of I.I. Kalugin and dismissing the opinions of scientists who agreed with his results as unfounded, they considered that the deterioration of any breed depending on the level and direction of the selection work, or the transition of desired traits to a hidden form, does not mean that the breed is completely out of order.
In addition to all this, it should be noted as a more concrete fact that Although the khan factories that existed in the 19th century were destroyed, at the beginning of the 20th century it was possible to find any number of descendants of horses bred in those factories in many places. For example, in the 1920s, from the remnants of the khan's factories, Bala Maimun was born at the "Dashsuz" horse factory in the Sheki region, Nadir and his descendants Nadir II in the same factory in 1935-1943, Shamilchiq in the vicinity of Shusha, etc. the existence of stallions and a large number of mares and their use, even if in a small way, could not serve to protect the gene pool of the breed.
However, in 1921 a central pairing of 20 breeding stallions station was organized. From that station, which is called the State stable ("DAT" or "GZK" in Russian), stallions are distributed to the stations in Sheki, Shamakhi, Agdash, Gazakh, Goychay and Shusha in the spring months (during the breeding season), and again to the central station after the completion of the campaign. was collected. Although the names of those stallions are not known, it can be seen from the archive materials that 12 of them were of the Karabakh breed. Undoubtedly, these measures played a significant role in improving the breed quality of local horses.
After that, in 1933 in Lachin district, 1934- 71 (now "Daşsuz" DDKTIM) and 75 Hil State Stables (in Gusar district) were established in Shaki. That tA lot of Karabakh horses were concentrated in the farms, especially in the DAT in Lachin. However, the indispensable role of the establishment of the specialized "Karabakh" horse factory (now Aghdam horse factory) should be noted as the most important event in the history of the Karabakh breed in the XX century. The plant was officially established on the basis of decisions No. 1681 of the Council of Ministers of the USSR dated October 8, 1948, and No. 583 of the Council of Ministers of the Azerbaijan SSR dated May 27, 1949. Preparatory work was carried out for the assembly of the plant, and in 1946, a special commission of the People's Land Commissariat (N. Efandiyev, S. Jafarov and S. Agushevich) visited the regions of Agdam, Shusha, Khojavand, Barda, Yevlakh, Tovuz, where Karabakh horses were widespread in the past, and the breed they chose 60 Karabakh horses, including 59 mares and 1 stallion, that have preserved their characteristic features.
Those horses selected in the autumn of 1947 were used by Azerbaijan SSR State Farms and 27 mares from them were re-examined by specialists of the Ministry of Agriculture (U. Alibayov, S. Hasanov, I. Efendiyev and S. Agushevich) and were identified as more typical Karabakh horses, and in the spring of 1948, these mares and their foals were taken to poultry farming in Hal. was brought to the state farm and thus the foundation of the plant was laid. By the special commission of the Ministry of State Farms (R. Sattarzadeh, S. Zulfugarov, A. Zahoyev and S. Hasanov) those horses were certified and branded, named, and their exterior described.
However, the territory of the Haldan Poultry State Farm was not suitable for the newly created horse farm. . The summer months here were extremely hot, and the soil and vegetation were very different from those of Karabakh. Based on all this, in September 1949, the plant was moved to a place called Goytepe near Aghdam, one of the places where horses used to live in Vakhtil Khan factories.
Karabakh horse breeding plant has been operating successfully since its creation. In 1952, 6 typical Karabakh horses were selected and sent to Moscow to participate in the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition.
In 1956, Queen Elizabeth II of England was presented at the factory by the Soviet Government The gifting of a bred stallion named Zaman is considered one of the most important events in the history of the breed. That horse was taken to the Queen by the famous jockey Ali Taghiyev. General development of agriculture in the republic in 1960-70, Aghdam aThe strengthening of the material and technical base of the breeding plant, the increase of interest in racing competitions created fertile conditions for the development of the Karabakh horse. After the establishment of the factory, the formation of families and lines within the breed, the active participation of Karabakh horses in a number of all-Union exhibitions and competitions coincide with those years.
As a result of the purposeful work carried out in the 1980s through the Moscow auction it can be noted that a large number of Karabakh horses were sold to many foreign countries, including Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, France and other countries. In those years, a large number of breeding horses were sold from the factory within the republic.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and the independence of Azerbaijan did not end without bloodshed. It was manifested by the Karabakh struggle that continues to this day. In this war, the mass genocide of our civilian population, along with the creation of an army of up to a million refugees and internally displaced persons, severely affected the country's economic system, including horse breeding. In August 1993, the Aghdam horse factory was occupied by Armenian invaders. When the Armenian troops entered the territory of the region, one of the objects that interested them first was the horse breeding plant. However, the Armenians could not achieve their wishes, selfless horsemen ensured the withdrawal of Karabakh horses from the battlefield
Karabakh horses removed from the war zone were first kept for a while in "Aran" in Yevlakh district » was placed in the territory of the breeding sheep farm. However, since the natural conditions of those places were not favorable for Karabakh horses, the horses were transferred to the Lambaran wintering yard in the Aghjabadi region of the plant. In fact, the soil, water, and vegetation of Lanbara (especially in summer) do not compensate for the Agdam stud farm, which is the birthplace of Karabakh horses.
But in addition to all the above, during the last 10 years year round a new generation of Karabakh horses adapted to stay in unfavorable conditions, yet retaining the characteristic features of the breed, was bred.