Karabakh breed information
Karabakh horse general information
COLORThe main colors of the breed are chestnut and bay, with characteristic golden tint of the breed. They can also be gray. White markings are allowed.
SIZEAverage height is between 14-15 hh
ORIGINAzerbaijan - Nagorny Karabakh between Kura and Araks rivers
USESThe Karabakh is a good example of a light riding horse.
INFLUENCEArab horse, desert horses related to the Arab and Akhal-Teke
TEMPRERAMENTKarabakh horse is reputed to have good temperaments; calm, willing, and brave
The breed is hardy, strong, tough, and sure-footed. They have small clean-cut heads, straight profile with broad foreheads and nostrils very capable of dilation. Their neck is set high, average in length, muscular and elegant. They have compact bodies with well defined and developed muscles. The shoulders are often quite upright. The horses have a deep chest, a sloping croup, and long, fine, but very strong legs.
The horses have a deep chest, a sloping croup, and long, fine, but very strong legs, although the joints are small. The horses are narrow, not very deep through the girth, due to the Akhal-Teke influence.
Karabakh has close links to Akhal-Teke, bred in Turkmenistan, Central Asia and the Turkoman Horse bred in Iran. Some historians believe that in ancient times these horses were of the same strain and had significant influence in developing of the Arabian breed. Some historical sources mention that during Arab invasion of Azerbaijan in 8th-9th centuries tens of thousands of horses with golden-chestnut coloring, which is characteristic colors for Karabakhs, were taken by the conquerors.
The breed got its ultimate shapes and characteristics in 18th-19th centuries during Karabakh khanate. From 19th century this horse breed became increasingly popular in Europe. Thus, in one of the first massive sales in 1823, an English company purchased 60 pure Karabakh mares from Mehdi-Kulu khan, the last ruler of the Karabakh khanate. Karabakh numbers were initially hurt in 1826 during Russo-Iranian war, but the breed remained intact.
Karabakh has played an important role in formation of the Russian Don horses. In 1836 Russian general Madatov’s heir sold all his horses, including 200 Karabakh mares, to a horse-breeder in Don. Karabakhs were used for improving Russian Don’s characteristics up to 20th centuries.
In early 20th century. the Karabakhs sharply decreased in numbers once again, mostly because of civil and ethnic wars in the Caucasus in general and in Karabakh in particular. In 1949 the breed was revived in Agdam stud in Azerbaijan, which assembled most characteristic Karabakhs. In 1956 Karabakh stallion named Zaman, along with an Akhal-Teke Mele-Kush was presented by the Soviet government to the British Queen Elizabeth II.
There are some 65,000 horses in Azerbaijan, but only about 1,000 of them are thoroughbred. As well as the relocated Aghdam stud farm, there are two farms at Agstafa and one at Sheki which breed the grey Dilbaz, another famous Azerbaijani breed.
Karabakh fun facts
In 2004, a Karabakh horse set a record in speed by running 1000 meters in 1 minute, 9 seconds