Date: September 2001
Q: How to work with MAAK as western association

A: Originally Todd and I initialized this list to create an openness and
democratic community for the breed. We do strongly believe in democray,
freedom of speech and transparancy for all societies and associations.
When we actively tried to get support for the breed in Sweden from the
MAAK and from the Russian managed mother stud book, we found that it was
very difficult to even find a telephone number to VNIIK in Ryazan, Russia
where the stud book management is working. We asked several people in
Europe working with the breed and few even knew the telephone number and
some didn't even want to give it to us. When we wanted to evaluate the
breed in Sweden we had difficulties to find out what standards that was
applicable for the only person that has ever graded Akhal-Tekes in Europe
and in the USA, Tatyana Ryabova. She visited us twice and graded our horses
but has always been very uncooperative to educate us or even discuss her
method of grading Tekes.
Still, we encourage breeders and associations world wide to let Tatyana
Ryabova grade and evaluate the breed in the west. The result was that
Tatyana Ryabova graded tekes in most European countries as well as in the
USA in 1998. She also produced a list of points and a ranking of tekes for
Europe and for the USA. Unfortuantely many owners and breeders of
Akhal-Tekes where disappointed in the methods used and in the inconsistency
of the points given to horses on site and the points that where later
published on her ranking list and also the year book.
Complaints on this and on the lack of democracy, transparency has been
communicated regularely to foremostly Tatyana Ryabova and her assitant N.
Abramova. Also the lack of records on the financial situation for MAAK and
for the mother stud book has been stronlgy critised by western as well as
Russian breeders. The official answer from N Abramova who is responsible
for the finances of the mother stud book is that "we lost 20 000 USD when
the bank went in bankrupcy" .
These incidents are merely examples of the difficulites that we meet as
western breeders and founders of approved breed associations in the west.
We have spent a lot of time and money to try to make the Russian stud book
management understand the needs and the culture of the western horse
society but this has only led to the fact that the Russian managment has
been even more unwilling to work for openness and democracy.
We have for the last year felt a great deal of disappointment in the
support from the people who always promote themselves as "savers of the
breed", "the only experts that know how to breed Akhal-Tekes", "the best
breeders of Akhal-Tekes in the world" and so forth.
We think that what we need today is an open and creative discussion on how
to breed the Akhal-Tekes to a standard that can help the breed flourish
into the 21th century and beyond.
Well, what I really wanted to say was that the awful terror attack against
the USA and what it stands for must work as a reminder for us all to not
give up in our efforts to not let democracy and transparency fail, not even
in such a small world as in the Akhal-Teke community.

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