Central Asia's Best-Kept Secret shown at Coleg Gwent Equestrian Centre

Beth with Monty

Display: Books, Scythian Exhibition and Stallions

Masha Bond with Oyun Shael

Team Teke GB's “Meet the Akhal-Teke” afternoon brought people from Scotland, Devon and Northamptonshire to the Usk Campus of Coleg Gwent on Saturday November 4th.

Three horses started the event in the outdoor arena. Jenny Barnes brought her versatile part-bred Linhay Lale, who traces on the dam's side to farm horses... and the famous Hyperion. Lale, who has won show jumping and been placed in several Riding Club classes, leads guided rides when she isn't out hunting.

Beth Dee showed her part-bred palomino Midoak Magic Icon, winner of multiple classes at the British Palomino Society's National Championships; they gave a very professional and polished show ring performance. Representing the pure-breds was Kyzyl Akhal-Tekes' eventer Tedzhen, a winner in several disciplines.

The outdoor part of the day concluded with a display of dressage in-hand by Maria Baverstock, of Akhal-Teke UK, with the stallion Oyun Shael. Bred at Russia's Shael Stud and owned by Maria Bond, Oyun is an exciting new stallion who will be standing in this country from next year. He aroused great interest and the resulting discussion continued until people were persuaded inside by tea, coffee and huge plates of cakes kindly provided by Sheila Shepherd and Jenny Barnes, for the indoor presentations.

“Equine nutrition” was the subject of a talk by Lisa Elliott MSc, nutritionist for Castle Feeds. Working through the stages of digestion, from stomach via small intestine to hind gut, she described the function of each section, and its relevance to different types of feed. She finished with brief reference to the many Castle Feeds products, explaining why their new “Zero Range”, with its absence of grains or molasses, reflects the latest ideas on how to feed the horse. Her talk generated some searching questions and vigorous discussion among the audience. Castle Feeds kindly donated three bags of Zero Range to the raffle.

Lisa Elliott of Castle Feeds

Maria Baverstock and Oyun

Multi-disciplinary Liz Troman

Maria Baverstock, who looks after breed registration in the UK, returned from settling Oyun safely to give a talk on the Akhal-Teke in dressage. She briefly mentioned the brilliant Absent, who set Olympic Dressage records half a century ago, regretting that until recently there has not been a focused selection for dressage in the Akhal-Teke breed. However, in recent years, the Shamborant Shael-Teke stud near Moscow has established a dedicated programme to select Akhal-Tekes for dressage qualities, with early indication of promising results.

Another break for refreshments and raffle was followed by Liz Troman's talk, “How to look after your horse's back”. Liz, who counts Saddle-fitting, McTimoney Chiropractic and Veterinary Nursing among her many qualifications, gave an illustrated overview of the horse's spine. She enumerated the many ways in which this can be damaged, and stressed the need for regular and professional saddle checks to accommodate the often-rapidly changing shape of the horse's back – and of the rider, who may set up pressure points through poor balance even in the best of saddles. She illustrated this last with a telling set of thermal images showing pressure distribution due to a heavy but well-balanced rider – good – to that of a lightweight but unbalanced rider – dreadful!


Well-covered display boards and tables provided varied information on subjects ranging from the Caspian Horse – related to the Akhal-Teke – to the Exhibition at the British Museum on the Scythians, early breeders of this three-thousand-year-old horse.

Team Teke GB would like to thank the Equine campus of Coleg Gwent for allowing us to use their excellent facilities, and also Castle Feeds for their participation.      








Sypayi vK

World Breeds Trophy

Photo Caroline Moorey

Jacqueline Bradbury and Sypayi vK retained the trophy for the leading ridden Akhal-Teke at the Gala Day of the British Palomino Society's annual Malvern show. The bay gelding from Ajdarha Akhal-Tekes won the ridden Akhal-Teke class, collected placings in four other classes and crowned the day by winning the Foreign Breeds Ridden Championship, kindly sponsored by Horse India. Their cumulative points total gave them the Fawkes Akhal-Teke trophy for the third year in succession.

Behind them came Kyzyl Akhal-Tekes' home-bred gelding Tedzhen, with placings in five classes including a 2nd in Novice Dressage. Third was Jill Thomas' palomino gelding Salimrashid.

The Iriska Trophy for the most points gained by an Akhal-Teke in-hand went to Jill Thomas' home-bred mare Zolotaya Mechta, a daughter of Salimrashid, who also won her in-hand Akhal-Teke breed class, shown by Ian Badcock.

There were further wins and places for Salimrashid and Zolotaya Mechta the following day, when the BPS held its Championship Show. Joining them was the Beth Dee's part-bred Akhal-Teke Midoak Magic Icon, a former multiple winner here, who came back from a long-term injury to be placed in his class.

As ever, Team Teke GB are most grateful to the British Palomino Society for its support for the Akhal-Teke. We would also like to thank Chase View Veterinary Clinic of Ross-on-Wye for sponsoring us with Team Teke Special rosettes, presented for Sporthorse and Dressage as well as Akhal-Teke classes on Gala Day.


FEI 1* Debut for Firyuza


Annette Hansford's Arab x Akhal-Teke Firyuza completed her first FEI 1* Endurance race at Windsor in May, finishing 9th out of 19 starters. The LH picture shows them enjoying a spin on Ascot Racecourse during the race. 

photo: Gilly Wheeler

Annette and Fizzy went on to contest the 80km race at Cirencester Park in July, finishing a very good 6th, despite the slippery conditions underfoot following steady rain on hard ground. Photos to the right.

A big thank you to our generous sponsors: