Strong, tough and noble, these qualities are exactly what to expect from a creature considered a national symbol. Legendary Karabakh horses are a beautiful, precious and extremely important creature for the people of Azerbaijan. This image can be found anywhere from folk tales to postage stamps but is now facing extinction.
The brave man is known for his horse. This quote describes the pride and love of Azerbaijani people with horses. Azerbaijan has favorable climatic and geographic conditions for horse breeding. The first presence of horses in this area dates back to 5000 BC. Horses have been the pride and pride of Azerbaijanis for many centuries.
The Karabakh horse is associated with the traditional sport of Azerbaijan. Examples include chovgan, horseback riding and soccer. They are considered the precursors to polo horse racing. Its origins can be from the middle of the first millennium and not much has changed.
While most of the basic rules of play remain the same as polo elsewhere, here the player never wears a helmet or a saddle. So chovgan is a game of skill, but above all it is courage. The player rides Karabakh stallions famous for their exceptional speed and endurance.
Bahruz Nabiyev, chairman of the Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation, said that people who are afraid of a certain activity in their life cannot play the game. But it is a sport deeply ingrained in the life of the people of Azerbaijan.
It’s a part of the country’s history, every citizen has a love for these horses from history. The horsemen played this game long ago. Then they started making it an official sport in Azerbaijan and made championship competitions and titles.
In 2013, Chovgan – the horse-riding game of Karabakh playing ball was included in the list of Unesco’s Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of urgent conservation. The game takes place on the grasslands, in a folk music called Janghi, with two teams playing on horseback, each with five people.
The players and trainers were both strong farmers and good horse-riders. They wear dry hats, long robes with high waists and special pants, socks and shoes. The match reminds of the nomadic cultural background associated with the awareness of horses as an indispensable part of everyday life. The rules, skills and techniques of the match are passed on from experienced players to newbies through collective training.