The Ukrainian horse breed was officially registered in 1990. It combines the best qualities of the original breeds: thoroughbred horse, other West European and Russian horse, more precisely, Oryol-Rostopchinsky. Ukrainian horseback is characterized by strong build, high growth, bony, massiveness and beautiful shapes.
Origin of breed
Ukraine has long been famous for the traditions of horse breeding: already in the XVIII century. Derkul, Ukrainian, Alexandria and other plants were founded there. In Ukraine, they created a streltsy breed, at the Novoaleksandrovsky plant they bred Anglo-Arabian, and at Limarevsky - Orel-Rostopchin horses.
After the Civil War, only a few specimens remained from the Streltsy and Orel-Rostopchin (Russian horse) breeds. The task of introducing a horse-drawn breed of horses in Ukraine was posed by Marshal of the Soviet Union S. M. Budyonny after the Great Patriotic War. The horse was supposed to approach the Oryol-Rostopchin breed in type and be suitable for the needs of the army and agriculture. Hannoverans, trakens, thoroughbreds, Vernius, Arabian-hydran and others were imported into Ukrainian stud farms - more than 11 breeds in total. The hybrids were bred “in themselves”, trying to consolidate the necessary qualities. So, Russian-Trakene-Hungarian mares were crossed with stallions of Russian trakens. Crossings were repeated, and over 40 years, by 1990, it was possible to create a breed of large horses for work and sports purposes.
The work on the breeding was initially carried out at the Ukrainian stud farm in the Dnipropetrovsk region, then at the Alexandria, Derkul, Dnepropetrovsk and Yagolnitsky. Ukrainian riding horses are especially good at dressage competitions: on them athletes have won medals of world and European championships and the Olympic Games more than once.
Ukrainian horse today
Currently, Ukrainian horseback riding is used as a sports horse. This breed, especially its breeding core, is ambitious, very hardy, relatively unpretentious, easy to manage and has beautiful external forms.
She is obedient, balanced and has outstanding sports qualities. There are three types in the breed today. Animals of the main type are quite tall - 162 cm at the withers. The skeleton and body are well developed, the constitution is dry and strong, they have a typical riding depot and exhibit free movements with different pitches. The horses of a thick type are massive, their height at the withers is 161 cm, they differ in a damp constitution and resemble harnesses on the exterior. The height at the withers of lightweight horses is 160 cm, they are close to the main type, but their skeleton and body are less developed.
How to create a breed
At the end of the XVIII century, in the Little Russian steppes bordering the Oryol and Voronezh provinces, a number of stud farms were laid down - Derkulsky, Limarevsky and some others. The reason for their foundation was the results of a series of Russian-Turkish wars, during which:
- the Crimean Khanate was defeated - the eternal enemy for Russia, the Commonwealth and the Ukrainian lands that were in their composition.
- the Russian Empire included the lands of Crimea and Tavria.
- The Ottoman Empire, which for several centuries posed a serious threat to almost all European countries, including Russia, was relegated to the position of a second-rate power.
The elimination of the threat from the external enemy made it possible to develop the economy of the lands that had previously suffered from the constant raids of nomads and from military operations aimed at repelling them. Rich natural pastures and boundless steppes, as well as the traditions of spontaneous selection of Zaporizhzhya Cossacks, who managed in difficult conditions to breed a small, fast and hardy native horse, were favorable factors for the development of young Russian horse breeding. These traditions were preserved and continued in a number of founded stud farms located on the territory of modern Lugansk, Zaporizhzhya, Kirovograd and some other areas. The creation of the Streltsy horse breed, which was considered one of the best in pre-revolutionary Russia, was associated with them. Attempts were made in these plants to preserve and breed the Orel-Rastopcha (future Russian riding) horse, and finally, a beautiful Anglo-Arabian herd was concentrated in them. But Ukrainian stud farms became famous not at all for this.
Having made a significant contribution to the development of Russian, and subsequently Soviet horse breeding, during the three wars - the First World War, the Civil War and the Great Patriotic War - they lost almost all of their livestock, and some factories were defeated. Since they provided horses with not only the army and uterine herds of breeding farms, but also the village, in 1945 after the victory over Germany there was an urgent need for a horse that, in its type and multifunctional purpose, would approach the Russian riding breed, which at that time was considered dead. The initiator of the creation of the new breed was S. M. Budyonny (1883-1973), who played a significant role in the founding of Soviet horse breeding in the 1920s. It was at his suggestion that the Ukrainian stud farms defeated by the Germans began to be restored, and the trophy mares of the predominantly Hungarian Mesohedies factory, as well as the Trakenen, Hanover and some other horses captured by Soviet troops, were sent to the survivors. From the Urals, the pedigree stallion of the Russian riding breed, nicknamed Bouquet and several mares, who had been saved during the war, was returned by a miracle, and the horse breeders began work on breeding a new breed, originally called the “UPG horse” (Ukrainian pedigree group). The name itself indicated that it was planned to get a half-breed breed from it, which would not be inferior to the best European horses of this type. In total, 11 breeds took part in its creation, among which were:
- some surviving representatives of the Russian riding breed (Bouquet and its offspring, as well as the offspring of the Globe). The line they founded was considered a priority for the entire breed.
- Hungarian (Vernier, Hydran, North Star, Furioso).
- thoroughbred horse.
In total, the result of various repeated and variable crosses by the beginning of the 50s was 6 pedigree lines, 2 related groups and 15 uterine families. This structure has been preserved to this day.
Three stages of work
In the history of the creation of the horse UPG (future UVP), three stages can be clearly distinguished.
- the first (from 1945 to 1951).
- second (1952 - 1959 gg.)
- the third (1959 - 1984).
At the first stage, specialists selected the available horses for certain signs based on the plans drawn up by the All-Russian Research Institute of Horse Breeding and accumulated crossbreeds. The selected mares of the Hungarian breeds were covered with trakenes, Hanoverians and thoroughbred horse stallions, and the cross-breeding mares, who had the blood of an English purebred breed, were covered with Hungarian, Trakenen and Hanover stallions. The resulting offspring were divided into groups (large, medium, lightweight and “out of type”) and re-crossed with the same stallions selected for horses according to the constitution type.
The second stage was the accumulation of all the best genotypes obtained by crossing the first stage. It was to its end that the number of horses was created that met the intended requirements for the new breed. At this stage, the horse breeders carried out the following actions:
- crossbreeding of mares with purebred stallions (for example, “Hannover-Hungarian”, “Trakene-Hungarian” and “Anglo-Trakene-Hungarian” - with English riding stallions, “Anglo-trachenok” - with Hungarian, and “Anglo-Hungarian] "- with trakenes).
- the best large horses were selected and distributed according to type (thick, basic and light).
- crossed selected individuals with the aforementioned stallions, picking them to each other according to the type of body addition.
The third stage was characterized by breeding "in itself" crosses of the desired type with the following selection:
- crossbred horses (“Trakene-Hungarian”, “Anglo-Hungarian” and “Anglo-Trakene-Hungarian”) were covered with purebred stallions.
- the same mares were crossed with producers who had the blood of Russian horse breed.
- the obtained crosses were bred in themselves and, depending on the type, crossed with stallions of various genealogical combinations, gradually replacing purebred horses.
Since 1982, a small number of Arab, Terek and Akhal-Teke horses have been involved in breeding.
As a result, after so many crosses, the Soviet horse breeders managed to raise a crossbred horse combining the best qualities of various European and Eastern breeds, which made it almost universal in use. The Russian horse breed gave it endurance, a unique exterior, as well as the harmony and elegance of the forms typical of an oriental horse, the English thoroughbred horse “shared” growth, agility and excellent jumping ability, and the “Hungarians” made the Ukrainian horse not only elegant, but also suitable for harnessing work in agriculture. The consolidation of all these qualities made it possible to carry out further work to improve the UVP.
At the same time, a peculiar popularization of the breed was carried out. Against the background of her successes in various competitions, an international auction was held in Kiev in 1975, at which only UVP horses were sold. Their exterior and other characteristics caused such delight among visitors that 78 horses were sold on it for a total of $ 131,600 (in terms of Soviet rubles, this amounted to 361.6 thousand). This auction contributed to the strengthening of interest in UVP abroad, and so sufficiently warmed up by its success in competitions, and was a serious incentive for its further improvement. In addition, a specialized Council for breeding work with UVP was created. Since several stud farms were simultaneously engaged in its creation, he coordinated all the work between them, which greatly facilitated the task. The Council existed until the breed was officially approved.
The Ukrainian horse breed of horses, obtained as a result of many crosses, is a real explosive mixture of various European and Eastern breeds, similar to all of them and at the same time having its own face. It is characterized by such signs:
- high growth.
- more massive and developed body compared to purebred breeds.
- head with the correct proportions.
- Long neck.
- deep and wide chest.
- high withers.
- straight back.
- strong, correctly set limbs with well-developed joints.
- the main breed suits are black, bay and gray. A tin suit is also acceptable.
There are three types in the breed:
- main. Horses of this type have a high height - 162 cm, a developed body and skeleton, a pronounced riding stock, a dry and strong constitution.
- thick. It is characterized by a growth of 161 cm, massiveness, the exterior of a draft horse and some signs of damp constitution.
- lightweight. Outwardly, these horses look like horses of the main type, but they are inferior in height (160 cm), and also have a less developed body and skeleton.
Inherent in these types of character traits please all riders who deal with a horse of Ukrainian riding breed. It is different:
- calm temperament and kindness.
- agility and mobility.
- productivity of movements on all gait.
- ability to learn the elements of high school riding.
- mind and quick wits.
If we add an elegant look to all this, it becomes clear why Ukrainian horse breeders are deservedly proud of this horse, despite its half-blooded character. In addition, the Ukrainian riding horse showed its best side in various All-Union and world competitions, sports and Olympics, and world fame came to her after the Soviet athlete I. Kizimov became Olympic at the XIX Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City (1968) the champion. Ukrainka showed remarkable results in dressage, show jumping and eventing, and it was not by chance that the USSR national team in dressage and show jumping mainly performed at it. Over the last quarter of the twentieth century - up to 2000 - UVP gave more than three hundred winners and prize-winners of various competitions, and this figure, perhaps, most eloquently speaks of the quality of the horse and its contribution to the development of equestrian sport.
Like other countries of the post-Soviet space, after the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine entered a period of protracted economic and political crisis, which affected the work of stud farms. One of the founders of the UVP, the former nachkon of the Alexandria stud farm (1967 - 1980) V. Stashevsky once sadly noted the fact that romanticism, adherence to common values, a sense of responsibility and creative spirit disappeared from the stud work, as a result of which “the practice of rude instinct. " This led to the fact that for a long time in independent Ukraine, the Ukrainian horse breed was in a humiliated position. However, he was inclined to attribute these trends to the so-called. “Diseases of growth” and looked with hope into the future, believing that Ukrainian horse breeding will revive and stand on a par with horse breeding in the leading countries of the world, since he has all the prerequisites for this. Perhaps the opinion of the honored horse breeder is not far from the truth. At least, the Ukrainian horse breed of horses, the creation of which he and his comrades gave a lot of strength and energy to, has not disappeared. She is still bred in 11 stud farms of Ukraine and at some pedigree farms, and the breeding stock, the lion's share of which is young stock, totals 1201 heads. And despite the fact that the best livestock in the 90s was exported abroad, stud farms are working to preserve and improve the breed, using the gene pool of European sports breeds and modern reproduction technologies. The Ukrainian horse is still in demand, and this is excellent evidence that the Ukrainian horse breeders are on the right track.