История коневодства в Тамбовской области (HORSES)

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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 time.

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 prices.

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 general.

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 farms.

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 trotters.

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 ».

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