In 1999 one of the best Akhal-Teke sires in Russia died at the horse-breeding farm “Yulduz” of Krasnodar region.

He was born in 1976 at the Soviet collective farm Tubdenskii in Dagestan. Originally part of the Soviet collective farm Gublenskii, Tubdenskii later on became a separate studfarm, now known as studfarm Dagestanskii. The man responsible for bringing him into the world - Vladimir Petrovich Shamborant – had such high opinion of him that he decided to make him a symbol of all Akhal-Teke breeding within Dagestan.

Shamborant had good reasons for his decision. To begin with, Dagestan could boast a most impressive pedigree. His sire, Yulduz, was the best son of the line founder Gelishikli who is seen by for many Akhal-Teke breeders as the “ideal” of the Akhal-Teke horse. The mother of Yulduz, Gul’, the daughter of Sapar Khan and Djeren, is the best mare for quality of progeny at the Tersk stud. Besides Yulduz, this combination was also responsible for the outstanding Gundogar, Guneshli, Gul’dzhakhan and Gesel’. The combination of Gelishikli with the daughters of Sapar Khan was, in essence, the “golden cross” of the Tersk stud. A very important element in Yulduz’s breeding was the in-breeding to Bek Nazar IV, IV – IV, V and to his sire Bek Nazar Al V.V-IV, V.VI. The type, conformation, temperament and workability of Gelishikli line emerged in many ways as a direct result of their influence.

The mother of Dagestan, the buckskin Fakiya, the daughter of Karat and Fergezel’, was a brilliant racehorse who won The Opening and the Summer Prizes, won many other traditional races, showed excellent record for 1600m – 1,46.4 minutes. In her appearance she was a compact, useful mare with prominent withers and dry strong legs.

The father of Fakiya, the isabella Karat, was the son of the wonderful Taimaz, one of the last real representatives of the line Everdy Teleke. But Taimaz owed his type to a considerable degree to his dam, the black Kara Kyz, daughter of Sapar Khan and full sister to Gul’.

The mother of Fakiya is one of the most typey and well-bred mares acquired by Tersk stud from Turkmenistan – the bay Fergezel’, daughter of Fakir Sulu and Mama Gezel’, the grand-daughter of Gezel’, the mother of Gelishikli.

Thus the pedigree of Dagestan is based on complex in-breeding of the most outstanding representatives of the Akhal-Teke breed: III-III Fakir-Sulu, IV-III Sapar Khan, III-IV Djeren, IV-V Gezel’.

Dagestan was a stallion of medium height (157cm), compact (diagonal length shorter than the height of the withers, with correct build and stunningly typey and extravegant. He had a light, dry head with straight profile line, long, high-positioned neck, well-pronounced withers and sloping shoulder. His colouring was buckskin with clearly-black legs, exactly the same as his dam’s.

Dagestan was born at the time when his native studfarm experienced severe feed shortages. But both he and his mother were kept in special conditions and were sheltered from the effects of malnutrition.

At the age of two Dagestan began appearing at racecourses: at Piatogorsk until the age of five, from then on at Krasnodar. Against strong competition, from the age of two onwards he was a serious rival to best racehorses and won many serious prizes. But his most achievement was at the end of his racing career as a six-year-old. In great style he won The Introductory Prize, The Comparative Prize and The Turkmen Republican Prize.

Dagestan was used as a stud with a relatively small number of mares. His registered progeny consists of 36 horses: 19 stallions and 17 mares.

Dagestan children were usually medium size, dry, mostly possessing great workability and with lively energetic temeprament. Not all of them were equally typey. Along with the most stunning horses there were some simplier ones. But in breeding selection what matters is not the general mass but a few outstanding individuals. And there were quite a few of those among Dagestan’s progeny: Gaizana 7 out of Gaia (Vatanchi – Golubka), Doremir out of Damdja (Garem – Djakhan), Gelishikli II out of Ariia (Kaltaman – Alyzha 2nd), Dorkush out of Kalina (Dost 2nd – Keniz). All of them are out of mares of different breeding – Dagestan had good wide compatability, all that was needed was a bit of luck.

Gaisan was a good racehorse (winner of Autumn Prize), a medium-size, light, elegant horse with a lively temperament. Apart from his paternal origin, he has intersting breeding on his mother’s side, the daughter of Vatanchi. Her type can be cearly seen in Gaisan and his children. The best son of Gaisan, the bay Rakhmet out of Rampa (Parakhat –Rena) – is a good race horse (winner of Boinou Prize, The Big Summer and The Closing Prizes among others) and will be used a stud at the end of his racing career.

The daughers of Gaisan – Rupiia, Melegozel’, Giandja, Geli, Gratsiia, Koroleva are typey and show good breeding. By racing criteria the best one of them is Melegozel’, unbeatable at sprinter distances, the winner of Shamborant Prize and The Dagestan Republican Prize. A very useful daugher of Gaisan, the buckskin Gul’khanum, have shown great potential in long distance races.

Dorkush is out of Turkmen-born Kalina and his pedgree is free of in-breeding. He is an excellent, well-bred, extravagant and correct stallion – no surprise he was the breed champion in 1997. His type shows the influence of his father as well as his grandfather, the great Yulduz. At the moment, Dorkush is being used as a stud in Dagestan and the first examples of his progeny are very interesting.

The daughters of Dagestan have been used in a number of breeding farms around Russia and Turkmenistan. Some of them have already shown a great breeding potential, and among them the mare Millet, bay, born in 1985 out of Mikhmanli (Opal – Gratsiia) is one of the most outstanding dams of the Akhal-Teke breed as a whole. Crossed with Gaigysyz, buckskin, born 1988 (Karaman – Syiagul’) she has already produced three amazing children: buckskin Margaritka and two bays, Mangyt and Murgab, multi-champions of the breed.

We are convinced that a correct use of Dagestan’s progeny will play an important part in future Akhal-Teke breeding, perhaps even a major part in continuous evolution and improvement of the Akhal-Teke horses of Yulduz’s type.

A.S. Klimuk – Chief Breeding Specialist at the Stavropol’ Horse-Breeding Farm.
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