‘The main thing that pleases is that the Tatars have started breeding horses’
Tatarstan plans to almost double the number of horse-breeding farms, but it will not be easy, breeders warn
There are a little more than 30 thousand horses in Tatarstan, but their livestock needs to be increased to 50 thousand — rais of the republic Rustam Minnikhanov has set the task for the farmers. As the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Tatarstan told Realnoe Vremya, large-scale work is planned to execute the order. In particular, a programme for the development of horse breeding and equestrian sports in the republic for 2023-2030 is being developed. Preparations are underway for Horse Day holiday and endurance ridings, including on the Kazan-Altai route on Tatar breed horses. A special emphasis is placed on training personnel for the industry: horse breeders, cowboys, jockeys, riders and judges, as well as on the development of equestrian tourism as a symbol of the national culture of the Tatar people. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
“The number of cows is strictly monitored — the same should be done with horses”
There are four breeding farms in Tatarstan where horses are bred: Tatar stud farm 57 PLC in Novosheshminsk district, Aktay agrofirm in Aksubayevsk district, Plemreproductor named after S.Sh. Giniyatullin PLC in Tyulyachinsk district, and Khuzangaevskoye PLC in Alkeevsk district.
For example, the farm of Sagit Giniyatullin from the Tyulyachinsky district now has about 300 heads. Plemreproductor has licenses for breeding three types of horses. Now English, Arabic and Tatar breeds are bred here and, in addition, ponies are bred.
“According to the new rules, the breeding status of the farm is necessary: in the future, those who buy a horse will have to purchase it only in breeding farms. And if you buy an animal you don't know where, the state may not issue a subsidy. Now the state subsidises the purchase of horses of all breeds. Special attention is paid to the Tatar breed. Twenty thousand rubles are allocated from the state for the maintenance of one mare a year. The main condition for this is not to reduce the number of livestock," explains Giniyatullin.
According to the stud breeder, buyers of Tatar-bred horses also benefit. After all, 60% of the cost is compensated by the republic. According to Giniyatullin, it's time to raise the prices of horses.
As for the instructions of the republic's leadership — to increase the number of horses to 50 thousand heads — this is not an easy task and will take time, the breeder believes. In his opinion, this indicator can be achieved only through state control.
'The main thing that pleases is that the Tatars have started breeding horses'
Farmer from the Leninogorsk district of Tatarstan Farit Nabiullin revives the Tatar breed of horses, in 2010 he opened a centre for their restoration. With the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the horse breeder purchased 54 horses of the Tatar breed. Today his stable yard is one of the largest in the republic. The farm has about 500 heads, of which more than 300 are of Tatar breed. About 100 foals are born every year.
“The main thing that pleases is that the Tatars have started breeding horses. Finally, we are returning to our origins! In the summer, we had 500 heads. The demand was very high, and the number is now slightly less, but the livestock will recover again in the near future. We try to keep it on the same level. As for the goal to increase the number of horses in Tatarstan, for many farms there is no reason for this. It is necessary to sell to continue working successfully," the farmer believes.
Nabiullin considers the organisation of cooperatives to be another condition for the active development of horse breeding in Tatarstan. To date, there is not a single cooperative of horse breeders in the republic.
The stud breeder also noted the importance of the development of equestrian sports. He himself is the organiser of Audarysh competitions, which are becoming increasingly popular in Tatarstan. This year, for the first time, activists have hold the Ulak game in Tatarstan, which is otherwise called “kok-boru”, “kokpar”. According to the rules, players on horseback fight for a goat, but now the animal is replaced with a bag of hay or another inanimate object.
“Tell me, a purebred English breed — who needs it here? They don't breed them in villages. There is very little need for such breeds, they are needed only for those who are engaged in horse racing. And we need to breed horses at the call of the soul and to return to the roots. Besides, it is very eco-friendly to switch to horse meat and koumiss. The Tatars used to live like this in the old days. Very few cows were kept, everyone ate horse meat. This is a return to our ancestral cuisine. A horse is a totemic animal. It's in our genes.
Target programme, endurance riding, and subsidies
In the republic, as of January 1, 2023, the number of horses in all categories is more than 30 thousand heads, including in agricultural organisations — 9 thousand, in private farmsteads — 12,5 thousand, in farms — 9 thousand. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Tatarstan told this to Realnoe Vremya.
According to him, the ministry is currently developing the programme “Development of horse breeding and equestrian sports in the Republic of Tatarstan for 2023-2030". It is also planned to develop equestrian tourism and the Tatar breed of horses in the republic — as a symbol of the national culture of the Tatar people. To develop state-owned factory stables to improve the pedigree qualities of horses in private farmsteads, for which three zones have been identified — Buinskaya, Menzelinskaya and Chistopolskaya.
“Now the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Tatarstan has an ambitious task — to bring the livestock to 50 thousand, that is, it is necessary to increase the number of horses in the republic almost twofold. This goal has been set by the rais of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov. In addition to the implementation of the target programme, this year a Kazan-Altai horse race on Tatar horses is going to be organised. Horse races at a distance of 40 km on horses of Tatar and half-breed breeds will be held in three municipal districts with the final at the Horse Day festival in the Arsky district. It is planned to conduct training and advanced training of horse breeders, cowboys, jockeys, riders and judges. Besides, our goal is to attract as many people as possible to equestrian sports," the interlocutor of the publication stated.