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In the meantime, the Horse Festival has become known far beyond the borders of Tajikistan. It consists of three disciplines:
In this article and video, we show the first part, the classic horse race.
After the riders have completed their preparations, they gather at the starting line. With an arbitrator at the lead, they ride onto the racetrack and line up beside each other with the face to the stage.
After the mayor has given a short speech, they return in a bend to the starting line.
Meanwhile, the whole town has gathered at the racetrack. The tension increases more and more. Finally, another referee gives the starting signal.
In a wild gallop the horde storms towards the mountains, where we lose sight of them.
We don’t see them anymore, but referees supervise the whole route.
The first rider then reappears. After 28 minutes he crosses the finish line under the cheers of the spectators. Gradually the competitors arrive at the finish line. It becomes clear that the race is not only exhausting for the horses, but also for the riders.
One of them can hardly keep himself on his feet after dismounting. Possibly the thin mountain air is also a problem for him.
There is now a break that many visitors use for lunch. Preferred food is Plov, which we will get to know several times in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The lunch break starts with a dance.
We go for lunch at our hotel and return immediately afterward.
On arrival, we get to know a nice teacher couple from Erlangen in Germany. He is a natural history teacher and very interested in the living conditions of the people in this region. He thinks that the meadows in the side valleys have been grazed bare.
Later I asked our tour guide, who comes from Alichur, but he neglected this vehemently. He said that today about 200000 animals live in the region. In Soviet times it was about 1 million.
But he has possibly left something aside. The climate change has also led to strong modifications here. Within the last decades about one-third of the glaciers have melted already. It is also possible that this has led to a reduction in the amount of food available.
We are pleased to have made their acquaintance, but we have to look for a good position for the next race. So we have to end the conversation.
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