Today is the horse grading. Mr. Kilmuk, Nadja Terasova and Clara de Vos van Steenwijk are the judges, I took it upon myself to photograph and film.
Every horse gets evaluated by all 3 judges individually, score sheets are collected, points are calculated by a team, and the results are announced.
At first the whole class enters the ring, and then they come in one by one to be graded.
The day started with Turkmen dancing and music.
Foals and mares were graded first, and classes worked up in years.
Like every morning, drinking coffee in my office and reading the morning emails...appears an email from Iran! To all the board members of the American Akhal-Teke Association, we are invited to come to Tehran for their first Turkoman horse Festivale!
Only Cathy and I replied we were delighted to come, but in the end, because I am still a Dutch citizen, I was the only person they could get a visa for.
Tickets bought, and receiving the email with the official letter that visa's would be granted only the afternoon before leaving...I arrived in Tehran at 2 am in the morning. I was greeted by out lovely guide for the next 4 days, taken to the hotel and slept a little. That morning Shohreh picked me up, by then Calra de Vos van Steenwijk from the Netherlands had arrived as well, and we went to the race track.
They were setting up for the horse grading the following day.
We discussed the set up, Alexander Kilmuk and Nadja Taressova were flying in this night to be the grading judges including Clara, so I became the photographer.
Our biggest difficulty was the fact that every class was of mixed breed...some with more AT blood than others, and some seemed pure Yomud. They asked us to grade with the emphasis on the AT.
We walked the stables of the race course, there are Iranian TB, Iranian Arabs and Yomud horses in the stables.
It was nice to see how the horses were walked for long time around the track, ponying another to maximize time. Hay seemed of very good quality. And most horses had layers of blankets wrapped on quite tight.
Amrita Ibold, perfectly Teke crazy in every way.