Date: August 2002
Q: n fact, AT are probably one of the most versatile breeds and maybe part of preserving and developing one type is in fact preserving this versatility, rather than encouraging selection for specific disciplines.. The fact that individual Teke will have an aptitude for certain activities doesn't invalidate the versatility..
On another note though - I looked through a Turkmen book at the weekend which has the photographs of the AT line-founders: and what variation! So my next question to this forum is: when defining standard and type, how do the sire lines fit into this? Do we want to encourage certain recognisable lines? Or are lines there just as a historical genetic material to strive at an improvement through crossing them?
If you breed you must be 100% knowlegdeable on the goal, breeding without a defined gaol is
the biggest threat to any breed.
There are breed standards for Akhal-Tekes that covers type, conformation,
movements, performance abilities and general appearance.
The tekes are indeed versatile, they are faster on the race track than the
Arabian horses, they have more Olympic medals in dressage than the English
TB, they have also individual horses that have outstanding performance
records surpassed by no other breed, the achievments of the grey stallion
Arab, born and bred in Turkmenistan.
In order to maintain the versatility it is important to early detect the
talent of every horse and place it with the right rider/user.
In the Swedish association we now investigate whether the three-year-old
test is useful to early measure the gaits, show jumping ability and
rideability for tekes. It is especially important to early select the mares
for breeding do decrease the generation interval for the breed in Europe.
The different sire lines have different genotypes and phenotypes, it is
important to work with well defined sire lines or types in a breed with a
closed stud book, the sire lines can be compared to "microbreeds" within
the AT breed. The systematic and correct work with sire lines will make
sure to not loose the genetic diversity in the breed.