By Laman Ismayilova
The very best of the equestrian world gathered in the Private Grounds of Windsor Castle once again on May 9-13 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the world famous Royal Windsor Horse Show.
The Show featured an exciting performance of the world’s best riders including the ones of the Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation.
The federation returns to Windsor, having previously performed at Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration in 2016, with their new stunning performance “Land of Fire – Azerbaijan”.
Azerbaijan’s participation at Royal Windsor Horse Show was co-organized by The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) and the Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation, as well as supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan.
Along with a group of riders, Azerbaijan was represented by the dance group “Serhedchi”, “Natig” rhythm group and artists.
A special program was greeted with interest by the spectators of the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Some 20 State Border Service riders on Karabakh horses, led by trainer Azer Hamzayev entered the arena to the sounds of majestic performance of “Natig” rhythm group.
The mastery of the riders delighted the audience.
Horse and rider combinations combined fast paced movements with tight turns and perfectly timed executions. They were accompanied by the ‘Sarhadchi’ dance ensemble who performed traditional dances alongside fire-jugglers performing a spectacular fire show. The performance, choreographed specifically for Royal Windsor Horse Show, demonstrated the strength and bravery of the Karabakh horse, and the courage and peacefulness of the Azerbaijan people.
The coach Azer Hamzayev said that Royal Windsor Horse Show a great opportunity to celebrate traditional culture of Azerbaijan.
“We are very excited to be returning to Royal Windsor Horse Show and to be showcasing a performance which captures our heritage, in front of the fantastic crowds. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate the Karabakh horse, and the traditional culture of Azerbaijan,” he said.
The delegation of the Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation met with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and presented her a bronze sculpture of the Karabakh horse.
As part of the events, Queen Elizabeth II was presented with her portrait, made by Azerbaijani artist Jasar Mammadov, on behalf of Azerbaijan.
Mammadov created a unique school of fine art in Azerbaijan. He was born in the family of honored artist of Azerbaijan, member of UNESCO International Association of Art, Sakit Mammadov.
Karabakh horses became an adornment of the festive events. Since 2012 Karabakh horses have been successfully representing Azerbaijan at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Windsor Castle's first encounter with the Karabakh horse dates back to 1956 when a Karabakh stallion called Zaman was presented to Her Majesty the Queen.
Beautiful national horses, famous for their dense chestnut color, have already participated in the Royal Horse Show several times. Azerbaijan’s participation at the Royal Windsor Horse Show was co-organized by the European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) and the Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation, and supported by the Culture and Tourism Ministry of Azerbaijan.
Equestrianism has a long history in Azerbaijan, which was one of the first regions in which the horse was domesticated. The Karabakh horse, originating in the Azerbaijani Karabakh region, is renowned for its good temper, loyalty, strength and speed.
The Karabakh horses are mountain horses, so they are not very tall, 1.48-1.52 metres (up to 15 hands). They are slim, with attractive faces and are kind and gentle by nature. Despite their delicate appearance they are known for their stamina and they have been very successful racers. Their suppleness also made them the ideal mount for traditional games like Chovgan and Sur-papa.
Karabakh horse is also included on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Therefore, it was only natural that a fine example of the Azerbaijani Karabakh Horse named Zaman entered the Royal Stables in 1956.
The story of these horses is inextricably linked to the Armenian–Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Unfortunately, these magnificent beasts can no longer be bred in the area from which they originated due to the Armenian occupation.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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