Date: November 2007
Q: Paikhas - On the web site xx the owner of Paikhas, bred by your stud farm, claims that Paikhas was sold as registered with MAAK but that in fact Paikhas is not registered with MAAK.
A: This is not correct, Paikhas was registered with MAAK in February 7, 2003 with registration number 102100102. This information can be verified with MAAK. We do not know why this false information is published by the buyer of Paikhas as the buyer got the paperwork for registration when she bought the horse. We have learned a lesson from this and will in future sales make sure that the buyer signs off for the paperwork that is delivered with the horse. This we recommend others to do as well.
The same person who publish the faulty information about Pakhas registration status also made other accusations against us on a Yahoo mailing list. Here is our reply to the libel against us personally and our stud farm that took place in December 2006 and January 2007;
this campaign allowed to be held on a public AT forum has in my opinion harmed the breed and the campaingers more than us. Anyways I left this forum now as I actually have better things to do than lower myself to the gutter level of human communication.
However what the whole thing has been about is if an elite grading of one of our horses was official or not, later on it was turned into being MAAK approved or not etc, etc, the war went on from the campaigners to why we did not advertise our stallion in their catalogue and why we did not market other US breeders when we were interviewed in equestrian magazines, bizarre to say the least, if we are the bad guys why the heck would they want us to:
1. advertise with them
2. share the genes of our horses with them
3 mention them when when were interviewed
well, well all this started off when we announced that Rosanna would be cover girl for Breyers introduction of a new Teke model horse. Thank you the US AT community for the gratulations!
Here anyways is what should have been my last message to the Yahoo list, after some considerations though, I as I mentioned above decided to leave the list and will publish the letter on my blog instead. Here you go (hopefully it will spinn off some interesting thoughts and ideas for a future informed dialogue on the problems and solutions to the internationalisation of the Teke breed:
Within the EU the status of the mother studbook is protected, in other words, if a breed has its mother studbook in the EU, another country within the EU is not allowed to grade the horses belonging to this mother studbook differently than the mother studbook states, for example if the mother studbook states that a mare (normally broodmares that have one registered foal are eligible for grading before being entered into the appropriate section of the studbook, stallions are more seldom graded but tested as they have to be approved for production for the studbook before they have registered offspring.).
Before EU, each country that set up breeding plans, registries and studbooks for non-domestic breed where free to do so without having to follow any rules, standards or recommendations from the mother studbooks or international umbrella organisations. This was not unusual and has been the case for many non domestic breeds in Sweden. The Swedish breed association normally set up their own registration, studbook rules as well as breed plans, Swedish judges where used to work often with judges from the country of origin of the breed but the rules for approval etc where set up according to Swedish horse breeding tradition. I have already mention that there are no global horse breeding organisations, approved by any- and everyone to certify anything.
This led to the fact that individuals that by the mother studbook for example would have been inscribed into the main studbook where cassated in Sweden as they did not fulfil Swedish requirement for genetical soundness or correctness of the exterior, two criteria that according to Swedish horse breeding traditions have been considered very important, so important that stallions that did not fulfil those requirements were not allowed to be used in breeding to external mares. Akhal-Teke stallions approved by their Russian studbook (mother studbook) had until 2006 to apply for a breeding license from the Swedish State via The Swedish Akhal-Teke Association. Did they not pass State Approvals arranged annually they would not be granted a breeding license in Sweden. The Swedish State Approvals focus on soundness, the stallions must be free from genetical defects according to a list annually published by the Swedish Ministry of Agriculture, the stallions must have a correct conformation, the stallions must be shown under rider and prove to have a temperament under rider to be suitable for breeding. Today still after new EU rules have been applied, I would say that few, with knowledge and experience in horse breeding would disagree with the fact that Holland and Sweden still have the strictest rules for horse breeding in the world when it comes to keep horse breeds sound and free from defects that both affect the fertility of horses as well as their wellbeing and usabillity.
New EU rules have come into effect and as with new international rules they have to be tested and understood before they can be fully interpreted and implemented by the users. In 2003 and 2004 there were a few cases in Sweden were national associations had to change their rules for studbook and approval status for individuals within a breed. One quite known case that involved UK was about the Welsh breed. So today in 2007 Swedish breed associations cannot imply just any rule for inscription into their national studbook if that rule is not in compliance with the rules for the mother studbook IF the mother studbook is in the EU.
IF the mother studbook is outside the EU countries it has no such protection and a Swedish breed association has their only obligation for fulfil against the Swedish Ministry of Agriculture to prove that they work for and approve genetically sound, correct and good tempered horses. A Swedish breed association is free to set up and apply their own set of rules for classifications/gradings, registrations, studbooks etc. An Akhal-Teke graded during a show arranged by the only association approved by the Swedish State to manage the breed, in our case The Swedish Akhal-Teke Association, is the ONLY association in Sweden that CAN grade Akhal-Tekes. Paikhas is bred, born, registered and elite graded in Sweden, not in Russia not in the USA not in Denmark. I have, not yet seen one comment RELEVANT to this fact.
The Swedish AT association could have elected to work completely with Swedish judges to grade our Tekes, this was our choice and it would not have affected the gradings official status. Being a young organisations with a breed unknown to Sweden we did chose to use Russian judges with an experience in the breed, its management and evaluation. We did also chose to use a judge from what we consider being the country of ORIGIN of the Teke breed, a Turkmen breeder and official of the breed in Turkmenistan. ( A sidenote to this it would be interested to compare the validity of a the studbook in Russia and the studbook being set up in the country of origin) This choise gave the breed a flying start in Sweden the breed show generated a large amount of national press coverage and in the SWEDISH equestrian community the breed association begun building an image of being serious and devoted to the development of the breed in Sweden.
How does this affect the quality of Paikhas, she is elite graded by a national Akhal-Teke association approved by the State to be the ONE and ONLY organisation in this country to perform gradings. Neither MAAK nor VNIIK are allowed to perform gradings in Sweden. Neither The Swedish Akhal-Teke association were in 1998 or 2003 nor KaraKum Akhal-Teke were members of MAAK. VNIIK is not a membership organisation but a national State run and financed horse breed association that has no official status in Sweden. I have not yet on this forum read ANYTHING RELEVANT from anyone who claims that they have WORKED with this QUESTIONS in any way that would make them QUALIFIED to make RELEVANT COMMENTS on this matter.
Paikhas is born bred and elite graded in a country that is UNIQUE when it comes to protect and maintain breed soundness, correctness and workability in their horses. Paikhas' father is ONE OF THREE Akhal-Teke stallions IN THE WORLD that has gone through and passed one of the, toughest State level managed and monitored tests for stallions. Paikhas was not only elite graded she was so by the MOST SUCCESSFUL BREEDERS OF AKHAL-TEKES in the world, we could have chosen to use Swedish judges and the gradings would have been as official.
We have NEVER advertised Paikhas as a MAAK- graded horse. I do not know how and were such gradings are performed, I do not understand that organisation at all. I am PROUD to not have had any involvement with an association that completely lack basic democratic functions and, until his death has had Saparmurad Niazov ELECTED as president, ESPECIALLY after he sent one of our friends and one of the few grand people within this breed in prison to be tortured.
I am aware of the fact that the international rules and regulations are not ideal and very complex to understand. Most breed associations realise the complexity as well as the fact that national breed associations must take national rules in considerations first. Only an INFORMED DIALOGUE can progress this breed's internationalisation forward.
The advisors that the present owner of Paikhas have used that volunteered to help her understand the value of the horse, that she paid $8 000 for, could obviously not even read and interpret the very simple goal with the Yahoo mailing list cited below nor the etiquette of my blog:
"This mailing list is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of the ancient oriental breed of horse known as the Akhal-Teke."
neither could they nor the owner of Paikhas interpret or respect the few very straight forward rules for the Yahoo mailing list:
THE PROMOTION OF THE AKHAL-TEKE.
The Akhal-Teke List
I promise not to sound far more intelligent in print than I am in person, thus leading people to think my advice is worth far more than it is.
I promise to address the original question posted, not turn it around to fit some campaign I'm on.
I promise not to add everyone else to my dirty joke list.
I promise not to talk condescendingly to another list member as if I am the authority on all matters, since obviously the "authorities on all matters" prefer to lurk, and by posting in the first place I am admitting my ignorance.
If a new subscriber asks a question which has been re-hashed 100 times, someone experienced post to the list: "I'll take this one" and answer them.
I will be free with my praise. I will send a "good one" note to those who deserve it.
I will share knowledge.
Me and Todd have been abused too long on the Yahoo list, and we will have everything written about us on this list evaluated by professionals in the realms of what is considered defamation and libel, and will if we get the advice, act accordingly. I can only add that this is the last thing we would like to spend our efforts on.
Since we moved to the US we have asked nothing from the US Akhal-Teke community and we have received nothing - but, obvious to you list members scorn and open hostility.
I consider it pointless for me to continue defending myself against this campaign, this is not a court room but a mailing list for the promotion of the breed and the latest campaign led by a few self appointed judges and experts on everything will lead to more than severe damage to this breed and therebye its breeders.
If you have sincere interested questions about this breed, feel free to ask me on my blog (you just have to follow a few simple guidelines for blog etiquette) or privately or follow the diary of our stud farm or just "hang-out" with us there. Both Todd and I have a lot to share, this we have always done and will continue to.