RFE/RL:Turkmenistan marks National Horse Day

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Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has won an annual domestic horse-racing event marking Turkmen Horse Day, state media reported.

The horse race took place at the Equestrian Sports Complex near Ashgabat on April 29 as part of nationwide events to celebrate Turkmen Horse Day, which culminated in an annual horse-beauty contest.

Berdymukhammedov, who wields almost absolute power in the isolated Central Asian nation, is known for his love of horses and has authored books on the national Akhal Teke horse breed, which is revered in Turkmenistan.

Berdymukhammedov narrowly escaped serious injury in a horse riding event in Ashgabat in 2013 when his horse fell after crossing the finish line, throwing him in front of other horses who only just missed him.

In 2011, Berdymukhammedov issued a decree that a beauty contest for the country's thoroughbred horses should be held in Turkmenistan in the last weekend of April every year.


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