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История коневодства в Тамбовской области  

История коневодства в Тамбовской области

Horse-breeding in the Tambov Area

Applicant: Irina Nikitina, the pupil of the 11 “B” form CG

Supervisors: L.I. Ivina, the teacher of Biology

L.N. Kozhevnikova, the teacher of English

Tambov 1998

Historically Tambov area has been known as the territory of chanters.

By the amount of private stud farms it challenged superiority of Voronezh,

Oryol and Kursk areas. The development of horse breeding in many respects

was promoted by two circumstances. First because of the flood plains, where

the herds freely grazed (only in one Morshansk area today are left about 20

thousands hectares even after rash ploughing up of a large part of flood

plains). Secondly, and it is also important, the deep pocket of the Tambov

landowners. They had large and sometimes fabulous capitals. So, one of

brothers Archarov’s, the holder of extensive lands in Rasskasovo area,

bestowed him by Katherine П, handed the whole horse regiment to the Tambov

national militia in 1812, by putting on the horses his own bonded recruits.

He also gave regimentals, armed and supplied the regiment with provisions

for three months. Nobody in Russia made such generous gift for army that


Count Stroganov, princess Golitsina, general Lanskoy (the second

husband of Natalya Goncharova), Bashmakov - the Tambov millionaire and

holder of gold mines beyond Urals, old-line noblemen the Naryshkin’s, the

Arapov’s and many other had their own stud farms in Tambov area. The

Lavrovsky stud farm, which nowadays has worldwide glory, was built in

Tambov land by the landowner Voeykov.

The merchantry tried not to drop behind from the aristocracy. One

of the Aseev’s brothers, the holder of Arzhenka cloth factory, has

purchased the stud farm from a widow of the local broken landowner

Kruchenkov. The example of Aseev, but without the raping, was followed also

by other industrial aces from the districts of the region. It was

considered very prestigiously.

We should remember that horse-breeding remained one of the few

worthy commercial activities for the aristocrats. In 1840, when Chicherin,

the relative of our future Minister for Foreign Affairs, has opened

distillery in Lyada and the landowners Tulinov and Poltoratsky have

purchased cloth factories, noble society has apprehended it as mauvais ton.

But the pinces and dukes and members of the tsarist family very well

descended to trading horses from theirs stud farms.

All reading Russia knew from the story by Turgenev about

inveterate chanters from the district city of Tambov region with a

beautiful name - Lebedyan. But only few know today, that the fans of

equitation created there the first Russian association and issued first

horseracing journal. Much earlier than in metropolis and Moscow, the prize-

winning horserace of Oryol trotters were arranged in Lebedyan. Several

years later the same association of equitation fans was also established in

Tambov. This association built on share contributions the three-storey

building for its club on former Dvortsovaya, nowadays Sovietskaya Street,

one of first in the center of our city (now The Department of

Communications). In this club the horse-breeders from all Tambov districts

met at card tables and in the hall of extensive library.

The special page in a history of domestic horse-breeding were

written by the life copers brothers Demin’s from Kozlov. They managed to

get and turn over the blooded trotters even from Khrenov farm of count

Aleksey Orlov. Although, only after his death. While alive the count

strictly forbade selling his horses. Demin’s were in close friendship with

former count’s adscript Vasiliy Ivanovich Shishkin, the manager of Khrenov

farm. Shortly Shishkin opened his own stud farm.

The abundance of private stud farms in the region produced big

horse fairs, beginning from Lebedyanskaya and finishing with Tokaryovskaya,

one of cheapest in country. On Tambov fairs the merchants came a long way

from European countries, and also from Persia and Turkey. Only in 1897 61

580 horses were exported from Russia. Each tenth of them was purchased in

Tambov region. On fairs they sold not only separate horses, mainly it was

the business of small copers, the owners of stud farms sold the young

grossly, by so-called stakes after one famous stallion and different dams.

Unblooded horses on Tambov fairs were bought up for meat merchants from

Denmark. A kilo of horsemeat was equal in cost with a kilo of Danish

butter. Vneshtorg knows the price that the danish horsemeat lovers, the

horsemeat is the irreplaceable ingredient of top-grade sausage, are ready

to pay us for horses for meat.

Many brilliant trotters were grown up on Tambov stud farms. In

1904 at stud farm of Afanasyev in village Yaroslavka, now the territory of

Rzhaksa area was born grey stallion Krepysh. His father was Gromadniy, the

Imperial prizewinner, and the mother Koketka, the grand daughter of Varvar

– prizewinner from the farm of well-known horse-breeder Rogov. Changing

hands, Krepysh in a 1907 stepped on the turfs of Moscow and St. Petersburg

for the first time. By his graceful pace he made a conquest of fans.

Krepysh entered the competitions for 79 times and in 55 races he was the

first and he established or improved 13 records. With heartache thousands

of fans witnessed a loss of Krepysh in February 1912 in Moscow to the

American trotter General Age. They did not blame their favorite but his

american jockey William Keaton, who, they believed, intentionally drive

Krepysh in a wrong way.

The Novotomnikovo stud farm

The stud farm in Novotomnikovo played a large part in the

history of domestic horse-breeding; it was founded by count Illarion

Ivanovich Vorontsov-Dashkov in 1860 and still exists now. In short time he

bought up the best orlov’s stallions and dams, paying no attention to the


His new stud farm in Tambov area got famous after his bonded

jockey Oblopokhin on the stallion Zadorniy beat all capital jockeys on the

horses from the best prize-winning stables in St. Petersburg in 1861.

Zadorniy made three versts for 6 minutes and 6 seconds.

Vorontsov-Dashkov opened a new era in horseracing after he became

in 1882 a state manager of horse-breeding at tzar Alexander III request. At

that time he was the defense and domestic minister in the rank of adjutant


He turned the horse-breeding from lairds’ merry-making into real

commerce. The prices on the private stud farms were raised up. The owners

of stud farms in Moscow or St. Petersburg could be lucky enough and win

whole bags in one racing season.

In the last quarter of 19th century in a pursuit of high prizes

the american jockeys began to appear in St. Petersburg and Moscow more and

more often on theirs so-called “two-minutes” trotters – they cover a mile

(1600 meters) for two minutes and some seconds.

One of the first to Russia from America came Clayton’s, the well-

known jockey family – the father and sons with their own trotters. They

established the prize-winning stable and began the manufacturing of modern

very light carts with rubber wheels. Very soon they were unrivalled on the

racecourses of Moscow and St. Petersburg. One year Clayton and sons won

almost all prizes and earned more than 300,000 rubles. The horse-breeders

got agitated and began to repine. Some of them rushed to buy the very

expensive American trotters. Other protested demanding to forbid the

performance of American trotters in Russia.

In such conditions Vorontsov-Dashkov, as a head of domestic horse-

breeding, had to make a decision. He found a compromise. The prizes were

divided into two groups. One was for the horses of all breeds, other only

for Oryol trotters. But nevertheless, the count preferred American

trotters. «The only criterion of quality of a horse I consider a prize

pole», - he told later. With such reasoning Vorontsov-Dashkov made vigorous

efforts buying American trotters, not only for his stud farm and prize-

winning stables in St. Petersburg and Moscow, but also for state stud


Vorontsov-Dashkov was interested in cross-breeding more than

anybody else. He always was present at horsing, sitting under a glass cap

at center above one of the stables. The count considered it to be so

important, that often forced his spouse Elizaveta Andreevna (Shuvalova

before marriage) to be present on it with visitors, which were in

Novotomnikovo that time. The visitors were only grand people: the members

of tzar family, which arrival was marked with planting of one more tree in

oak alley of ancient park. Such as relatives of four daughters married off

in families of Shuvalov’s, Sheremetyev’s, Musin-Pushkin’s, and Demidov’s.

The conversations about horses touched common interest, as all

aristocracy had stables and stud farms. This kind of private business was

considered to be almost the only activity that is not derogating dignity of

a true aristocrat.

By the end of 19th century on private and state stud farms in

Russia there were 20 trotters prizewinners of an American origin. In the

mass order there was a crossing of blooded Oryol dams with American


The most given was Vorontsov-Dashkov. Even two victories of

“oryols” over “americans” in summer season of 1898 didn’t cool him. The

Oryol trotter Boets broke the record on three miles established by American

trotter Monnet. His own mare Krylataya broke the record of Monnet on three

and three quarters of second in the same season. But he had made the

choice, « his knight's move », and was not going to back up. Soon the count

accepted on a service all jockeys of Clayton’s family with the fantastic

salary 300 thousands rubles per year.

The outstanding scientist hippologist prince Sergei Urusov engaged in

controversy against Vorontsov-Dashkov. Urusov considered cross-breeding «as

a medicine not by illness». «The only developing of ability to quick trot,

as they have made with the trotter in America, - he wrote, - will result in

quick but narrow, boneless, long-legged horse without rib and quite often

without a back and completely useless in agriculture. It is necessary to

improve inside the breed. Bad can be born even from good but never good

from bad ».

Many years have passed since then and this dispute has not

finished yet.

After the death of the count Vorontsov-Dashkov in 1916 his heirs,

going to leave the country, arranged cut-price sale of all horses’ elite of

the farm. In Soviet time it became only a branch of state stud farm in


By 1918 in Novotomnikovo left only three blooded mares of Oryol

breed. Horses were taken from stables both by “red” and “white”. The very

nice farm before now it fell to desolation and, as the saying goes, the

farm was going. For long time it was existing only as horsing point, on

which only a dozen of mares were blissomed per year.

By a lucky chance among the three left blooded Oryol dams there

was the young mare Opora. Later she was bound to play the outstanding role

in domestic horse-breeding and to save the breed of Oryol trotters from

complete oblivion. In a 1934 she gave birth to a colt named Otboy. His

father was stallion Burelom born in 1927. The Moscow scientist hippologist

S. Kalinin liked this streamlined trotter after the Moscow races in 1930

and advised to pay the special attention to him.

Meanwhile stud farms kept cross-breeding of Oryol trot horses,

what was started before the revolution. Only now they cross-breed blooded

Oryol mares not with American trotters, the state did not give money to buy

them, but with crossbreeds’ posterity. At first they were called “american-

oryols”, then just Russian trotters. They were propagated on six stud

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