Kyrgyz Breed




For some 2000 years before the birth of Christ, the Kyrgyz and their forebears were already raising horses on the steppes of Central Asia and Siberia. The Kyrgyz horse is characterized by its endurance and adaptation to mountain climates and regions. Horse races (At Chabysh) were an important part of any celebration – weddings, funerals, festivals or as part of the ceremonies for meeting important or distinguished visitors.


In the Soviet period the imposition of a settled way of life, mechanization and urbanization put an end to the epoch of the horse. Furthermore, in 1956 the decision of specialists from the Moscow regime to import foreign breeds in order to crossbreed with the Kyrgyz horse so as to improve meat production and introduce the breed to European style racing, led to further dilution of the surviving stock. The Kyrgyz horse looked doomed to disappear – and with it the Kyrgyz traditions that were closely intertwined with it, (for more details see the site


The “At Chabysh” festival is an annual event and was estalished in 2005 with the aim of supporting the revival of the Kyrgyz breed. Within the festival were organized long distance races across rugged mountain terrain, combining tradition with the modern standards of “endurance marathon” racing. The races at the festival enable the selection of a national “endurance marathon” team. 


Apart from the horse races, the festival program includes numerous public cultural events: conferences and round tables, performances of folklore groups, exhibitions of craft products, and offers the opportunity to taste of the dishes and drinks of the traditional national cuisine, and many other things.



The Celestial Mountains Tour Company is happy to offer you its services in organizing a visit to the festival – either as a special visit – or as part of a longer tour to Kyrgyzstan. Our staff can advise on and arrange accommodation, transport, guide services and take care of all your needs so that all you have to do is admire the powerful and graceful animals, and the beauty of the majestic mountainous setting.