Date: June 2002
Q: What was the outcome of the Graefendorf meeting?
AT-MEETING FRANKFURT / GRAEFENDORF 22ND / 23RD JUNE 2002
REPORT (REVISED VERSION 03/09/2002)
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Brugeille Nicole France
Fard Akbar Czech Republic / Iran
Havlicek Jara Czech Republic
Van Kasteren Michèle BENELUX
Marquise Maria Great Britain
Le Saux Serge France
Pruente April USA
Soledad de Dobrynine Maria Spain
Spalkova Karin Czech Republic
Toepfer-Gebert Sabine Germany
De Toledo Maria BENELUX / Spain
Vogel Christoph Switzerland
OBJECTIVES OF THE MEETING (see invitation)
· Develop, co-ordinate and promote the Akhal-Teke breeding on a world wide common basis,
· Create an open, constructive, transparent and democratic dialog between all parties concerned,
· Create a common platform for concerns and requests of Akhal-Teke breeders and “National Akhal-Teke Associations”.
· Bundle and concentrate common resources
· Create a common problem-solving process
- define objectives / design and propose solutions / projects
· Give a “common voice” to Akhal-Teke breeders and “National Akhal-Teke Associations” outside the countries of origin, to be heard and noticed in Russia as well as in Turkmenistan
REASONS FOR THE MEETING ( see invitation)
· Danger of dissociation of Akhal-Teke as a unique pure-bred race
· Present situation of the “MAAK’s”
· Lack of transparency, communication and co-operation
· Lack of common policies among Akhal-Teke breeders and “National Akhal-Teke Associations”
· Lack of common expertise
CONCLUSIONS OF THE MEETING
The Akhal-Teke-Meeting of Frankfurt / Graefendorf was a successful second step in the process of an open, constructive, transparent and democratic dialog started in Luxembourg. The meeting was an excellent and useful platform to exchange experiences, to discuss ideas and strategies about the future development of the Akhal-Teke breed on a world wide basis.
In Luxembourg 6 Countries have been represented. In Frankfurt / Graefendorf representatives of 3 additional countries joined the meeting: representatives from the USA, Great Britain and the Czech Republic.
Due to different reasons, important members of the world wide Akhal-Teke family were missing in Frankfurt / Graefendorf. Therefore the prospects of an open, constructive and transparent dialog were limited – especially the hope for an open dialogue with MAAK was reduced to a monologue:
· The participants of the meeting very much regret that MAAK did not delegate a representative
· The fact that Barbara Illauer (official MAAK delegate for Western Europe, living in Germany, not far from Frankfurt / Graefendorf) renounced to join the meeting was registered with amazement.
· The absence of MAAK delegates and other important players in the Akhal-Teke community affected and reduced the effectiveness of the dialog. The participants of the meeting missed the chance to get familiar with the actual situation, concerns plans and projects of the absent partners.
· Instead of first hand information the search for common solutions for common problems partly had to be based on hypothesis and assumptions.
Notwithstanding the scepticism and suspect important players in the Akhal-Teke scene signalled with respect to the meeting of Frankfurt / Graefendorf the participants of the conference decided that:
· the started process of an open, constructive, transparent and democratic dialog is a adequate approach to find common solutions for common problems in the Akhal-Teke breed,
· the meeting was useful – a good second step in the right direction,
· the started process has to be proceeded - a next meeting will follow.
MAIN RESULTS OF THE MEETING
· The opening session - the presentation of the actual situation of the Akhal-Teke breed within the different countries represented at the meeting - made clear that all countries are more or less on the same way to create “National Akhal-Teke Associations” and to install “National Akhal-Teke breeding Registrations” in accordance to their national laws.
· The main objectives of the “National Akhal-Teke Associations” are:
· to develop and preserve the Akhal-Teke as a pure-bred horse race,
· to achieve the official acceptance of the Akhal-Teke horses as a “national horse breed”,
· to achieve the official acceptance of a “National Horse Registration”
for pure-bred an half-bred Akhal-Teke,
· to develop a modern Akhal-Teke purebred horse breeding management.
· Common findings
All participants agreed on the principals that:
· the 7th edition of the Russian stud-book for Akhal-Teke (closed mother stud-book) is accepted as the common basis for all pure-bred Akhal-Teke,
· the parentage of a pure-bred Akhal-Teke always can be traced back uninterrupted and consistently to this 7th edition of the Russian stud-book for Akhal-Teke,
· the parentage of new borne Akhal-Teke have to be validated as pure-bred Akhal-Teke by DNA-tests and DNA-analysis,
· artificial insemination (AI) is important and indispensable for the development of the Akhal-Teke breed in western countries,
· artificial insemination (AI) has to be officially accepted as a breeding method (always taking in to account and avoiding the danger of inbreeding - maintaining a sound relation between the number of stallions available and the number of breeding mares), uncertainties in regulation in this field will seriously damage the breed.
· Akhal-Teke may have only one pedigree: the principal “one horse – one pedigree should be granted on a world wide basis (in order to avoid abuse and betrayal with multiple pedigrees). The proposition is that the pedigree should be issued by the authorised* “National Akhal-Teke Association” of the place of birth,
· methods and correctness of horse registration by “National Akhal-Teke-Associations” have to be co-ordinated (authorised* and audited*) periodically by an “International Akhal-Teke Authority”, to ensure the world wide breeding of pure-bred Akhal-Teke on a common basis:
· the task of the “International Akhal-Teke Authority” should be to:
· define common criteria for horse registration (in order to guarantee and preserve the pure-bred breeding of Akhal-Teke world wide),
· authorise “National Akhal-Teke Associations” to register pure-bred and part-bred Akhal-Teke following the guide lines of the “International Akhal-Teke Authority”,
· audit the “National Horse Registration” of the authorised „National Akhal-Teke Associations”,
· define common breeding goals, common breeding guide lines and programs for
the future development of the Akhal-Teke as a pure-bred horse race,
· define common criteria and methods for judging and pointing pure-bred Akhal-Teke,
· educate, instruct and appoint international experts for judging and pointing pure-bred Akhal-Teke,
· the future development of the Akhal-Teke breed on a world wide basis needs an efficient co-ordination and a clear defined division of work between breeders, „National Akhal-Teke Associations” and the “International Akhal-Teke Authority”.
· APPROACHES TO CHANGE – THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW STRUCTURES
A key discussion turned around the question how the role and functions of the “International Akhal-Teke Authority” should look like: if and how MAAK already is playing the role, what role MAAK is playing actually:
· The general impression of the participants of the meeting was that MAAK actually is playing a part of the role as a “International Akhal-Teke Authority”, but not the role as the “World Organisation of National Akhal-Teke Associations” as proposed and suggested by the participants:
· Following the by laws of MAAK, MAAK is an Association of breeders and not of “National Akhal-Teke Associations”. Voting members of MAAK are exclusively owners of breeding mares. “National Akhal-Teke Associations” as representatives of horse owners can get active or associated members but have no right to vote.
· The participants of the meeting would welcome that MAAK would take over the role of the “International Akhal-Teke Authority” under the condition that MAAK could be transformed from a horse-owners-organisation into a “World Organisation of National Akhal-Teke Associations”.
· In order to get an efficient division of work between breeders, „National Akhal-Teke Associations” and the “International Akhal-Teke Authority” it is needed to clearly define and structure the roles of this three elements:
· breeders interest are discussed on a national level within their “National Akhal-Teke Association”,
· on a international level breeders interests are represented by the representatives of their “National Akhal-Teke Associations”,
· the “International Akhal-Teke Authority” should therefore be a “World Organisation of National Akhal-Teke Associations”,
· MAAK was founded at a time where only few “National Akhal-Teke Associations” existed. At that time it made sense that MAAK became an Association of breeders, of breeding mare owners. Today most breeders are organised within “National Akhal-Teke Associations including Russia: AATK,
· time changed - in order to get an efficient division of work the functions, duties and rights between breeders, horse owners, “National Akhal-Teke Associations” and the “International Akhal-Teke Authority” should be analysed and newly structured.
· The participants of the meeting are convinced that the Akhal-Teke breed needs a “World Organisation of National Akhal-Teke Associations” where they can discuss and solve common problems efficiently.
· The participants of the meeting pronounced the wish that MAAK could take over this role as the “World Organisation of National Akhal-Teke Associations” but had no possibility to check in how far MAAK would be willing to transform its functions and by laws in order to make it possible to represent also the will and wishes of “National Akhal-Teke Associations”,
· The participants of the meeting are looking forward to discuss the mentioned issues with MAAK in an unbiased, open and transparent dialogue.
· PROJECT 1: “WORLD ORGANISATION OF NATIONAL AKHAL-TEKE
The initial idea was that as many “National Akhal-Teke Associations” as possible should get MAAK members in order to present their propositions for changes to the general assembly of MAAK. However the analysis of the by laws of MAAK made clear that “National Akhal-Teke Associations”, not being owners of breeding mares, can not get voting members of MAAK.
A new approach to reach the task of change had to be found. Following the actual by laws of MAAK individual members of MAAK (active or associated) can present propositions to the general assembly of MAAK. Individual active members have voting rights if they are owners of more than 5 breeding mares. Only breeding mars owners can change the by laws of MAAK. The chances to transform MAAK from the inside, by its voting members, is unknown and difficult to judge but is worth to be tested in a first approach.
A working group “By Laws + Stud-Book Regulations” will have to study the actual by laws of the MAAK and the actual “Regulations of the State Stud-Book for purebred Akhal-Teke” (Regulations of the “mother-stud-book”). The aim is to submit propositions for changes to the general assembly of MAAK: the task is to achieve a new division of work, rights and duties between breeders, “National Akhal-Teke Associations” and MAAK as the “World Organisation of National Akhal-Teke Associations”.
A draft of the propositions of the working group (By Laws of a “World Organisation of National Akhal-Teke Associations” and a revised version of the “Regulations of the mother-stud-book) will be published and openly put to discussion before presenting it to the board of directors of the MAAK. A revised version will be presented in a third step to the general assembly of MAAK. The process will take some time!
PROJECT 2: CLEAR UP THE STATUS OF “UNCERTAIN” PEDIGREES
A special issue discussed during the meeting is concerning the uncertain status of “Akhal-Teke” bred mainly in Germany between 1970 and 1995. The uncertainty of the status of some “Akhal-Teke” bred in Germany before or short after the foundation of MAAK does harm the market for Akhal-Teke.
The proposition is that a commission should analyse and decide, together with MAAK, what horses are purebred Akhal-Teke and what horses are not.
Some of this “Akhal-Teke” with pedigrees in question have been exported to the USA. It is in the interest of all Akhal-Teke breeders to clear this existing uncertainty as soon as possible. The longer we wait clearing this question the bigger the damage to the image and market of Akhal-Teke will be.
PROJECT 3: IMPROVE AND SHARE INFORMATION, KNOW-HOW AND EXPERTISE
FIND A FAIR AND EFFICIENT FINANCING AND BURDEN SHARING
The participants of the meeting articulated their thorough regarding the lack of easy accessible information about Akhal-Teke breeding in English language, the lack of local breeding know-how and breeding expertise.
· Easy accessible information and guidelines about Akhal-Teke breeding in English language are missing. Opposite to the last 50 years, when Akhal-Teke breeding was concentrated in few state-owned breeding farms, the future of the Akhal-Teke breeding shall very much depend from small private breeding farms throughout the world. This “new” form of decentralised breeding (in some way back to the original form of individual breeding, when nomadic Turkmen bred their Akhal-Teke around their Yurts) is asking for new forms of breeding management in order to preserve the worldwide uniformity of the race.
The proposition is to create a central Akhal-Teke data bank, offering easy access to important documents and information about Akhal-Teke breeding for individual breeders and “National Akhal-Teke Associations” also in English language. Unfortunately Jessica and Todd Keith have been impeded to participate at the meeting. They already created an important and useful Internet based information-platform for the Akhal-Teke community. Also MAAK is offering some information in English language on the homepage.
A further dialog will be needed to discuss the upraised questions with all parties interested in the issue.
· The need for LOCAL KNOW-HOW AND EXPERTISE was an other important issue discussed at the meeting. The decentralisation, the breeding of Akhal-Teke throughout the world, is urgently asking for a decentralisation of know-how and expertise about Akhal-Teke breeding. The education of specially trained experts for judging and pointing Akhal-Teke on an international uniform basis is a major request. The issue of guide lines, the training and appointment of “authorised” judges for evaluation of Akhal-Teke should be one of the main tasks of the “International Akhal-Teke Authority”, the “World Organisation of National Akhal-Teke Associations”. The “monopolisation” and centralisation of know how would be a dangerous and unwise policy, not in the interest of the future of the Akhal-Teke breed.
The participants of the meeting insist that “commissions” or teams of at least three trained, and authorised Akhal-Teke experts should carry out horse judging as it is practised for other horse races.
· The FINANCING OF THE SERVICES to be offered by “National Akhal-Teke Associations” and the “World Organisation of National Akhal-Teke Associations” (and or other institutions) is an issue that has to be discussed in a next meeting. It is clear that the small Akhal-Teke community with it’s limited resources has to find an EFFICIENT AND FAIR BURDEN SHARING.
CALL FOR CO-OPERATION AND BUNDLING OF COMMON RECOURSES
Atmosphere and dialog of the meeting in Frankfurt / Graefendorf were unbiased, unemotional, pragmatic and constructive. The participants have been guided by the inspiration to find common solutions for common problems. The common task was to contribute in close co-operation to a successful future of a world wide Akhal-Teke breed.
The open, constructive, transparent and democratic dialog was appreciated and found appropriated to the task. No mistrust and no accusation what so ever were embedding the search of common solutions for common problems. The participants invite all parties interested in the future development of the Akhal-Teke breed to join the open-minded dialog started in Luxembourg and Frankfurt / Graefendorf.
The participants acknowledge the enormous efforts and contributions made by Turkmen, the former Soviet Union as well as by Russia to save the Akhal-Teke as a purebred horse race. They invite and welcome all parties involved and interested in efficient structures, successful development and management of the Akhal-Teke breed on a world wide basis to participate in the initiated dialog. They express their hope that at the next international Akhal-Teke Meeting about the future of the Akhal-Teke breed representatives of MAAK, and additional countries will take part.
For their hospitality and the organisation of the meeting in Frankfurt / Graefendorf a special acknowledgement was addressed to Mrs. Sabine Toepfer-Gebert, president of the German Akhal-Teke Association, and to her husband
In the Name of the participants of the
Akhal-Teke-Meeting of Frankfurt / Graefendorf