Date: February 2000
Q: How do people in various countries get their horses graded? I assume
everyone waits for a visit by Dr Ryabova or another qualified judge. Here in France there is a proposal for the French Akhal Teke Association to approve stallions. I gather that as far as the Russian stud book is concerned, any male graded first class or elite is eligible to stand as a stallion. I am not sure of how the proposed system would work in France - I assume the horses would have to be inspected by both the Russian and French inspectors!
I heard there was a scheme to set up a panel of authorised judges - any
progress? The present situation is difficult because we have heard that no one from Russia is anticipated in France this year - so no horses will be graded and obviously an ungraded stallion could not be used until he was graded. I would be grateful for any information on the general situation in
other countries.

A: In Sweden we try to get judges from Russia/Turkemnistan when we have stock to grade, last time we had Dr Ryabova and Geldi Kiarizov to grade the Swedish breeding stock. Personally I do not think that only one judge should grade horses. In the Swedish Association we do not yet have the compentece to judge Akhal-Tekes. We have to approve our sires through the Swedish Horse Breeding Board but they do not give points on type. We recently got approved by the Swedish Agricultural Ministry to register pure bred and part bred Akhal-Tekes in Sweden. Now we will work towards approving the sires ourselves but for that we need judges that are licensed by MAAK. Unfortunately that option does not exist. Optional would be if every Teke country had one or two approved judges that could travel for a couple of years as aspirants with Dr Ryabova and then the western countires could exchange judges.

The Russian stud book does not approve breeding stallions, they grade them and every year they recommend certain stallions for breeding. First class does not mean approved for breeding. To use your stallion for breeding you only need to register him in the stud book as a breeding animal. First class is not the same as approved for breeding.

You can use an ungraded stallion for breeding as long as he is pure bred.
A couple of weeks ago xx asked about how the different associations and breeders planned to evaluate their stock. I also wonder how the breeders on this list plan to evaluate their breeding stock this year. In 1998 Dr Ryabova visited many European countries as well as the US and made an evaluation on the stock, most of the horses where first generation bred from Russian/Kazakh/Turkmen horses.
I think it is important to follow and evaluate how the breed develops when we now breed second and third generations from stock we have produced here in the west.
The unique type and conformation of the Akhal-Teke can only be maintained by careful selection for the true types of Akhal-Tekes.
How are we going to evaluate the horses in the future? I think we need to educate judges from all the teke countries in the west so we will have possibilites to judge our own horses. I also think in the future it would be a good idea to work out a system for approving stallions for breeding.
The yearly evaluation and recommendations from MAAK should also be easier to access, it would be a very good thing to publish the year book in English and Russian and with more space for the Tekes outside
Maybe we could start here to discuss our own thoughts on what the best type of Akhal-Teke is. The true Akhal-Teke type do not maintain itself by reproduction but only through careful selection by the breeders, the
Turkmens with good pure bred mares could travel far to get his mare bred to the best sire for her.

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