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Chovqan competition for President Cup kicks off in Baku

15 December 2023 17:59 (UTC+04:00)
Chovqan competition for President Cup kicks off in Baku
Laman Ismayilova
Laman Ismayilova
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Chovqan competition for the President Cup, organized by Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation, has kicked off in Baku.

A minute of silence was observed in honor of National Leader Heydar Aliyev and the Azerbaijani martyrs. The National Anthem of Azerbaijan was played at the ceremony, Azernews reports.

A parade of the participating teams took place first at Bina Equestrian Center, followed by a colorful concert.

The cavalry of the Azerbaijani State Border Service demonstrated a fascinating Odlar Yurdu show with graceful Garabagh Horses.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Youth and Sports Farid Gayibov expressed his gratitude to Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation for holding competitions held during the year.

Hailing the successes of Azerbaijani horse riders in international arenas, the minister pointed out that horse breeding in the country has made great progress.

Jamil Abdullayev, lieutenant general of the Azerbaijan State Border Service, emphasized that as a result of President Ilham Aliyev's attention and care to the field of sports, javelin competitions are often organized in the country.

He underlined that the main goal of holding the competition is to create an impetus for the development of horse breeding in Azerbaijan and to promote this type of sport among young people.

Next, a polo match between Sarhadchi-Garabagh and Polad teams (Group A) took place.

Besides the clubs representing the Agstafa and Agjabadi regions, six teams from Baku are participating in the tournament.

​Chovqan competition for the President Cup will last until December 23.

Note that Chovqan is a traditional horse-riding game played between two teams mounted on Garabagh horses. Chovqan is the predecessor of modern polo. The horse racing was held during holiday festivities.

Each team has five riders, with two fullbacks and three forwards. The game starts at the centre of the field and players use wooden mallets to try to drive a small leather or wooden ball into their opponents’ goal. The game lasts 30 minutues.

There is no age limit in this sport.

Chovqan players traditionally wear large astrakhan hats, long, tight-fitting coats with a high waist, and special trousers, socks, and shoes.

In 2013, UNESCO decided to include the game of “chovqan” on its Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

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Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @lmntypewriterrr

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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