By Laman Ismayilova
The National Equestrian Sport Festival, organized by the Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation (ARAF) with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, wrapped up in Baku.
The sport festival took place at Bina Equestrian Center on June 2-17, Trend Life reported.
Within the framework of the festival dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, several tournaments of national and international importance were held.
Arena Polo World Cup was held with the participation of representatives of Azerbaijan, Germany, Ireland and India. At this prestigious competition, Azerbaijan was represented by Elite Horse & Polo Club, athletes of the national polo team.
The President of the Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation, the head of the State Border Service, Colonel-General Elchin Guliyev welcomed the participants of the competition dedicated to the 95th anniversary of the birth of the national leader Heydar Aliyev and the National Salvation Day. He wished the participants success.
In his speech, Guliyev stressed that today Azerbaijan is known in the world as a sports power. In recent years the federation regularly hosts international competitions.
The President of the Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation also noted the great performance of the State Border Service horse riders at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, organized on May 10-13 on the eve of the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Land of Fire - Azerbaijan program was met with great interest and became a significant event for propaganda and recognition of national horse breeds worldwide.
Azerbaijan's Elite Horse & Polo Club have finished second at the sixth Arena Polo World Cup in Baku after losing 7-6 to German Rhein Polo Club Düsseldorf in the final.
The festival also featured horse race "The Cup of the 100th anniversary of the ADR" in a distance of 1,600 and 2,000 meters. The horse race brought together 24 jockeys and horses.
The winners were Orhanbey Hajiyev (Lalezar horse), Hilal Nazarov (Bahr horse) and Rauf Tahirov (Karabakh horse).
Serhedchi team became the winner of chovgan tournament race held as part of "The Cup of the 100th anniversary of the ADR".
The winner of Heydar Aliyev Cup was Seid Musayev (Concorde 57 horse), horse rider of Serhedchi team.
During the festival, guests were presented entertainment and concert programs.
Polo is a team sport played on horseback. Players score by driving a small hard white ball into the opposing team's goal using a long-handled wooden mallet. The modern sport of polo is played on a grass field of 300 by 160 yards (270 by 150 m).
The modern game usually lasts one to two hours and is divided into periods called chukkas, which last 7 minutes. The most popular variant is a match of 6 periods.
In Azerbaijan, chovqan or chovqan-polo is considered a national sport. In 2013, chovgan, a traditional horseback riding game on Karabakh horses, was included in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The history of Azerbaijan p[rovides many facts and evidence that confirm the existence of this game in ancient times.
As a result of archaeological excavations conducted in the Oren-Kala area, a vessel with images of chovqan was found, which indirectly confirms the existence of this game in the 11th century in the city of Beylagan (southeastern Azerbaijan).
Notably, polo was introduced in the Summer Olympics at the 1,900 Games.
The World Polo Championship is held since 1987.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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