The Akhal-Teke ( or ; from Turkmen Ahalteke, [axalˈteke]) is a Turkmen horse breed. They have a reputation for speed and endurance, intelligence, and a distinctive metallic sheen. The shiny coat of the breed led to their nickname, "Golden Horses". These horses are adapted to severe climatic conditions and are thought to be one of the oldest existing horse breeds. There are currently about 6,600 Akhal-Tekes in the world, mostly in Russia, although they are also found throughout Europe and North America. Akhal is the name of the line of oases along the north slope of the Kopet Dag mountains. It was inhabited by the Tekke tribe of Turkmens. There are several theories regarding the original ancestry of the Akhal-Teke, some dating back thousands of years. It is probable that Akhal Teke is a descendant of an older breed known as the Turkoman horse, and some claim it is the same breed. The tribes of Turkmenistan selectively bred the horses, recording their pedigrees orally and using them for raiding. The breed was used in the losing fight against the Russian Empire, and was subsumed into the Empire along with its country. The Turkoman has influenced many other breeds, including modern warmbloods, and recent research confirms that Turkoman stallions made significant contributions to the development of the Thoroughbred. However, there also exists the possibility that all Akhal-Tekes today have a Thoroughbred sire line. The studbook was closed in 1932. The Soviet Union printed the first stud book for the breed in 1941, including over 700 horses.
Also known as
This breed is also called Ahal-Teke, Akhal Teke, Akhal-Teke, Akhal-Teké, Aknal-Teke as well as Horse, Akhal-Teke.
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