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Horse races of endurance

 Main objectives : 

• to highlight the essential qualities of the horse of the Kyrgyz type and to identify the best horses of this type for the revival of the breeding;
• to select the best riders and horses, then to create a Kirgiz national team.
• to raise the interest of an international public;
• to attract the international media: journalists, photographers, televisions, radios, etc
• to support the exchanges in the fields of sport, culturae art and science.
Type of races and distances
The sport of endurance are not races for speed but races on long distance, in varied and broken grounds :
• Kunan chabysh : November 5 - Distance envisaged : 12 km.
• Bichty chabysh : November 6 - Distance envisaged : 15 km.
• Great Price “At Chabysh” (5 year old horses minimum) : November 7, 2005. Outdistance envisaged : 47 km in two races
The rules of the races are established on the basis of international discipline of endurance. They are strictly applied. The non-observance on behalf of a participant involves his immediate elimination and without recourse.
a) Selection
Only the horses answering to the standard of the horse of the Kyrgyz type can take part in the races At chabysh 2006. The horses of other types are excluded.
The selection committee is present on the races organized by during the summer 2006, at the time of the festivities on the whole territory of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The official selection is carried out in October, in the cities and villages. Informations in the town hall, RAS office, Ministry of Agriculture or Kyrgyz Ate Foundation. traditional kyrgyz musics and songs.
b) Inscription
The inscription of the selected horses is free of charge. The passport established for each horse is given to the owner. This passport must be presented the day of the race on At Chabysh 2006, as well as the passport of the rider.
Age of the riders : 12 years old minimum for the Kunan race, 16 years minimum for Bychty and Great Price.
c) Transportation of the horses
During the selection of the horses, the owners can request a financial assistance for the transport of their horses, in the conditions fixed by the Selection committee.
d) Safety and insurances
The competitors take the whole responsibility for themselves as for their horses, since the departure of the place of their residence until the return to this place.
e) Prizes
The winners and the first 5 places, for each race, are rewarded by prizes given by the Kyrgyz Ate foundation, its partners and sponsors.
A special price is granted to the rider who arrive with the horse “in better physical condition” for each race, according to the application of the rules of the races of endurance.
The total sum of the prizes, collected up today, is of 240.000 soms (6 000 US$).
The equestrian contests of endurance, also called equestrian raids, are tests of outside run to the stop watch, on an imposed and marked out route, with veterinary controls, before, during and after the test. There are various types of tests characterized by the distance to cover.
In Europe, the qualificative tests on short distances (20, 40, 60 km) are run at imposed speed, not being able to exceed 15 km/h. Only the more important tests (130 and 160 km) are run at free speed, like a “race”.
The horse
The horse of endurance is characterized by its resistance to an effort supported in varied ground, the solidity of its members and his aptitude for the race. All these qualities develop and are acquired thanks to a rigorous training of the horse and rider.
A perfect knowledge of the limits of its horse is necessary, an over-estimate of the capacities of the horse or a bad preparation can have heavy consequences both for the horse and the rider - fall, wound, dehydration, exhaustion…
The rider
The best rider is not inevitably the one who arrive first ! It is the rider who will cover the distance without exhausting its mounting in the best time. Thus it is the final veterinary control which determines the winner.
The winner
The winner of a race of endurance is the first rider which crossed the finishing line with a non limping horse and whose rate of heartbeat is lower than 64 beats per minute during veterinary control 30 minutes after the end of the race. A special prize is granted to the horse presenting the best physical condition after the race.
Each committed horse must be mounted during all the competition by the same rider.
a) The horse
The horse must be “in a good condition”, i.e. neither too fat, nor too thin. The coasts should not be visible but one must be able to palpate them. The horse must be correctly tretaed agianst parasites. No one boitery must be observed.
The horse-shoes are very important. Their role is :
• to protect the foot from the impact of the stony and unequal grounds;
• to protect the foot from the wear due to the work on hard ground;
• to obstruct at the minimum the damping, the balance and the adherence of the foot which it protects.
When the training is carried out in varied grounds, which is recommended, it is highly advised to shoe the horse as soon as the training will begin.
For the race, it's necessary to shoe the horse at least 8 days before the race.
The harness have to be the lightest possible and well adapted (it does not wound the horse).

b) The rider
• The port of the number is obligatory.
• The wip is tolerated. any excessive use will be sanctioned.
Walking on foot : the rider can go down from its horse if necessary and even he can run beside this horse, but it must cross the start and the finish on horse.
Assistance : no vehicle, pedestrian, even dog are allowed to accompany the competitor, however it is possible to help a rider to get on his horse. If the horse does not want to run any more, the rider does not have the right to be ask help from outside contributors, it can however ask assi to one judge in order to ask a veterinary surgeon intervenes.
In the case of accident of the horse or of the rider, it is immediately necessary to warn the organizers of the race.
In the case of abandonment, the horse must nevertheless be presented at the veterinary control.
In order to develop and to improve the sporting capacity of the horse of endurance, a specific training is necessary. Indeed the horse will have to provide a work intensive and especially very long on a rough ground. The rider also will have to train itself not to obstruct the horse in its effort and to manage as well as possible the race according to the qualities of its horse.
Each horse present its own characteristics, and the trainer will have to take them in account during the physical preparation of the horse.
a) Musculation and work
In general, the training of the horse should not be started for a horse less than 3 years old.
The exercises consist in carrying out, walking and trotting, several circles and half circles and “eight” to soften the horse in the lateral direction. Then to carry out accelerations (soft) followed decelerations (quite as soft !), to soften the horse in the longitudinal direction.
One can also make jump some small obstacles to contribute to the musculation.
Some working sessions in varied ground, walking in mountains, climbing and going down from the hills, - working sessions from 1 to 5 hours.
b) Trottings
They constitute basic work and are carried out in varied ground. It is necessary to remain in the natural rate of the horse without never precipitating it.
To lengthen the distances from work gradually, without increasing the speed :
• in fact the trotting sessions must be approximately for 1 hour (without counting the period of heating, then of return to the calm).
• with the young horse, one will start with 5 minutes of trot, 5 minutes of walk, 5 min of trot, 5 min of swalk and so on. As the horse gains in resistance, one will be able to lengthen the duration of trotting and to shorten the duration of walking until arriving at one hour of trot without stopping.
c) Setting in breath
• on very good grounds
• with the gallop, regular, flexible and slow
• as for the trottings, to gradually lengthen the duration of the gallop
• some sprints can be included, to stimulate the moral of the horse, but they must be carried out with moderation, especially with the young horse still in growth.
Generally, the horse of endurance must be trained at least three months before the race and must work every day with at least a day of rest per week. Its food must be well adapted.
During its training, the horse must completely at least once have carried out the distance from the race. One week before the race the horse should not any more provide large effort but complete a light work. The horse does not work the day before the race. Its food should not vary right before the race.
a) Arriving on the site
• Grooming of the horse
• Presentation of the horse to the veterinary control
• Presentation of the horse in hand without harnessi nor legs protection
• Veterinary Control
• general condition
• Identification of the horse
• Cardiac pulsations
• Rate of breath
• Condition of the mucous membranes, tends and articulations
• Trot in hand in the search of a possible boitery
b) If the first veterinary control passed successfully
• preparation of the horse and of the rider : complete harnessing
• heating, duration approximately 30 minutes with jog-trot and few gallop
• during the first 30 minutes, the body “gets under way” for the effort, so to require a too great effort in these the first 30 minutes can strongly compromise the remainder of the race because the horse will have drawn too quickly from its reserves.
c) Departure of the race
• Departure grouped in a rhythm which the horse is able to maitain for a long time
• An assistance must be envisaged during the race, every 5 to 10 km, in order to give water to the horses regularly and to prevent its dehydratation
• If the weather is not too cold, it can also be interesting to sprinkle the horse on the neck, using water bottles poured by the rider, in order to decrease the body temperature of the horse.
Reduction of the body temperature of the horse = reduction of heart rate = help to recovery = horse which will as well as possible preserve its form throughout the race.
d) First stop at the first half of the race
The horses will start the race again in the exact order of their arrival, keeping the same variations of time that on the arrival of this first loop.
• One withdraws the harness
• One proposes to give water to drink to the horse, then sprinkles it on the neck and one covers it on the kidneys if the weather is cold
• Then, one moves towards veterinary control. The veterinary controls the same points as at the beginning. _
• If an element of control seems to him worrying, he tells to the rider and both decide, if it is necessary for the health of the horse, to stop the race.
e) If the 2nd veterinary control passed successfully
• The horse have to be groomed. One masses it on the croup and the thighs by keeping if it's needed a blanket on the kidneys to maintain it with the heat.
• During this time, one brings hay or dry grass to the horse and a bucket of water to be carried of its mouth. _
• One lets it rest thus while waiting for the restart of the race, by stopping from time to time this rest by some small twalks in hand.
• At 15 minutes of the restarting of the race, one saddle again the horse, and remakes a soft heating from 5 to 10 minutes
• Presentation on the starting line
f) With the signal : departure of the second loop
Again on this second half of the race, assistance will be offered to the rider and its mounting in order to water it, and to cool if necessary.
The rider, all the time of the race, must remain “with the listening of its horse”, « speaking to him ». If something does not go, the good rider will be able to feel it and stop its mounting before to be too late.
g) Final arrival
As on the intermediate control, the horses need a rest without saddle, one watered the orse, cooled it on the neck and put a blanket on the kidneys. Then one presents the horse to the veterinary control.
The winner will be the rider which will have known to cross the finishing line with a horse in perfect health… What wants to say that the first to pass the finishing line is not inevitably the winner !
Indeed, if the horse is exhausted too much, if it “does not recover” or if it limps very strongly, it will be sanctioned by the veterinary and will thus not winns the race.
On the other hand, the horse having crossed the finishing line in second position, if it arrives in full form, and “ready to set out again”, will winn the first price.
The veterinary control is the verdict of a good or a bad management of the race. It must help the rider to progress and to knowi how to listen to its horse.
• To rehydrate the horse
• To cool the horse - always in front, never on the kidneys
• To cover the kidney of the horse with a blanket
• To walk quietly in order to avoid very painful cramps being able to occur with the stop of an intense effort
• To feed the horse in small quantity with hay or dry grass, so as to maintain the digestive function, often blocked at the time of an intense effort
• saddle and hardness which does not wound ;
• blanket under the saddle ;
• protections for the members if necessary ;
• warm blanket for covering the kidney ;
• cans filled with water;
• two buckets for water ;
• six water bottles.
The «endurance» is an intense sport which requires a rigorous training for the horse as well as for the rider which must be able to recognize the first signs of tiredness of its mounting.
It is not the fastest horse which winn as it is the case on a hippodrome but well the rider who winns is that one who having known to manage the effort of its horse and to benefit the best from the qualities of his horse.
The lack of preparation of the rider and of its horse can have some dramatic effects on the race, and even can give the death of the horseif the rider will have pushed beyond its limits.
The trining must be well adapted to each horse by taking well into account its capacities and knowing well the type of race in which one wants to make it take part.