If you own or ride a beautiful horse, why not enter your beloved 4-legged creature in a beauty contest?
President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov of Turkmenistan has just announced a national beauty contest – for horses only. Horses were once prized by the late Alexander the Great for their stamina in speed. The thoroughbreds in Turkmenistan are now being groomed for a series of beauty contests.
The President has sweeping powers over this desert nation that has a population of 5 million people. He is known for his excellent horsemanship. As a result, it is no surprise that the ancient Akhal Teke breed will have its own national beauty contest to be held in April every year.
What a beauty!
This horse breed is considered “the wings of the Turkmen”. Akhal Teke’s are characterised by their long and delicate necks and legs, as well as their beautiful shimmering coats. The best horses will be chosen to “promote the glory of the heavenly racehorse worldwide.”
Special awards will also be given to craftsmen for those who have the best carpet featuring the horse. There will also be a contest for best ‘holiday attire’, ‘best portrait’, and even sculpture.
This much revered Akhal Teke horse breed has been given as a gift to several foreign leaders. It is also featured at the centre of the national emblem of Turkmenistan. It also enjoys a cult status in this nation where eating horse meat is a strict taboo.
The late leader, Saparamurat Niyazov, also had a flamboyant personality and loved horses. Eyebrows were raised around the world in 2004, when he opened a stunning leisure centre worth $20 million that had medical facilities, air conditioning, and a swimming pool – not for humans, but for horses.
It truly is a horses life in Turkmenistan.