A long-time protector and expert of the Turkmenistan’s quintessential Akhal Teke horses, historian, breeder of Akhal Teke horses, and former General Director of “Turkmen Atlary” was bestowed the illustrious honor of being made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a fellow of the Long Riders’ Guild.
Geldy Kyarizov is joining an nonpareil group of equestrian explorers that have been honored by both organizations, who’ve recognized his dedication towards protecting, preserving and promoting the rare horse breed.
The Akhal Teke bloodline dates back to days of antiquity, but had almost been wiped out during the reign of the Soviet Union. In the late 1980s, Geldy rode 4,300 kilometers from Ashgabat to Moscow to petition Soviet Union government officials to intercede on behalf of the rare breed.
The petition was a success, thus began Geldy’s travels across a wide area of land in the Soviet Union, searching for prized specimens of the Akhal Teke blood line. To preserve the majestic creatures’ posterity, he began a breeding program which proved very successful in marking the breed’s resurgence. One success, Maksat, a stallion with a pedigree going back thousands of years, was bestowed upon the then British Prime Minister John Major as a gift from the Turkmen nation.
Yanardag, arguably the most successful horse in Geldy’s program, was considered so beautiful, so perfect, that Turkmenistan’s president placed the stallions image on a national stamp, ordered a statue to be erected in the horses’ honor, and named Yanardag the country’s national symbol.
Due to the program’s success, Geldy was able to secure government funding in order to establish a large equestrian complex in Turkmenistan’s capital, which subsequently introduced the nation’s first veterinary laboratory able to perform DNA testing that was necessary to set up a new stud book for the Akhal Teke.
In honor of Turkmenistan’s 10th anniversary of independence, he organized over one-thousand Akhal Tekes to march through the hippodrome in Ashgabat, an event known as the “Parade of Horses.”
A world-renowned and recognized expert of the breed, his educational conferences, equestrian journey’s, academic investigations, and DNA research have been invaluable to promoting and protecting the nation’s beloved breed.