The Akhal Teke: Desert Horse To Olympic Champion and Back Again

by Kristin Berkery

>> Download the complete 1,400-word article for Kindle

Horse and rider in native Turkoman costume, date and photographer unknown

Horse and rider in native Turkoman costume, date and photographer unknown

Absent, foaled in 1952 and winner of three Olympic medals. Photographer unknown

Excerpt: This summer marks 52 years since one of the most unusual horses first competed at the Summer Olympics in Rome. Absent, a striking black Akhal Teke stallion with four white socks and a star, introduced the world to a little-known ancient breed when he won a gold medal in dressage for the Soviet Union. He returned to the Olympics two more times for an individual bronze medal in 1964 and a team gold medal in 1968, both in dressage.

>> Download the complete 1,400-word article for Kindle to learn more about the origins of the Akhal Teke horse, its genetic challenges, and the efforts to preserve this rare breed. The Kindle ebook article includes 10 historic and modern photos, both in color and black & white, and links to resources.

About Kristin Berkery

Kristin is a freelance graphic designer and writer in Sacramento, California, with a life-long passion for horses. She designs websites and marketing materials for businesses. In her spare time she's active with her daughter and son. See Kristin's online portfolio and LinkedIn profile.

2 thoughts on “The Akhal Teke: Desert Horse To Olympic Champion and Back Again

  1. Michael Kerr says:

    Hi, I read your article about Akhal Teke and did enjoy it. However I must comment about “heavenly horses” of Ferghana which could be a misunderstanding of sources as “heavenly horses” came from ili valley in lands controlled by Wusun who were related to the Alan’s. they exchanged horses for Chinese brides. The horses from Ferghana were called “blood sweating horses” and these were superior to “heavenly horses” of Ili Valley”. There seems to be a common misconception that these horses are the same.

  2. Kristin says:

    Thank you for that clarification, Michael! :)

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