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Akhal-Teke

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The Akhal-Tekes horse breed is a breed from Turkmenistan, where they are the national emblem. They are racehorses, noted for their endurance on long marches and are thought to be the predecessors of the Arabian and English thoroughbred breeds. These beautiful "golden-horses' are adapted to severe climate conditions and are thought to be one of the oldest surviving horse breeds.

Alexander the Great's horse, Bucephalus, is said to have been an Akhal-Tekes.

The breed suffered greatly when the Soviet Union required horses to be slaughtered for meat, which however the local Turkmen refused to eat. At one point only 2,000 horses remained and export from the Soviet Union was banned. The government of Turkmenistan now uses the horses as diplomatic presents as well as auctioning a few to raise money for improved horse breeding progams.

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