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Horse Breeds
First Posted: June 28, 2009
Feb 19, 2011

Tersk Horse Breed

Tersk Horse Breed


Bivuak: A gold medalist at 1867 Paris Exhibition
Tersk - No © on site.

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Country of Origin: Russia

Breed History

The Tersk was first developed in the 1920s and 1940s at the Tersk and Stavropol Studs in the Northern Caucasus mountains in Russia. Marshal S. M. Budyonny (who the Budyonny breed is named after) had great input on the breed.

The Tersk was formed mainly from the Strelets Arabians, bred at the Strelets stud in Ukraine and virtually extinct by the 1920s. The Strelets was produced by crossing pure Arabians with high-quality Orlov Trotters and Anglo-Arabians. A little Thoroughbred blood was also added. The resulting horse had an Arabian look, but was larger than the pure breds.

The remaining Strelets, including the two stallions Tsenitel and Tsilindr, were taken to the Tersk Stud in an attempt to increase their numbers. At the stud, the stallions were mated with Arabian, Don, Strelets, Kabarda, and various cross-bred mares, including Strelets x Kabardin and Arabian x Don.

Early crosses produced a successful Arabian-type horse. It was further improved by three Arabian stallions: Marosh, Nasim, and Koheilan. The Tersk has also been continually improved by Kabardin, Thoroughbred, Arabian, and Russian Don blood. By 1948, the breed was officially recognized.

The horses are known for their endurance, demonstrated when several horses were entered in a 192 mile ride and every Tersk finished in good time and shape, and so are good for endurance riding. The Tersk's graceful Arabian stride makes them good for dressage, and their bold nature and athleticism suits them for show jumping. They are also very fast, and frequently raced against Arabians.

Breed Characteristics

Although the Tersk looks fragile and has a very thin coat, they cope well in their harsh climate. They are very beautiful, and have great endurance. The horses have a calm temperament, and are intelligent and quick learners. The Tersk has a refined head, straight face, wide forehead and jaw, long poll, with large, expressive eyes, and medium-length ears. The neck is muscular and high set. The horses have sloped shoulders, a deep chest, strong back with muscular loins, and a flattish croup. The legs are fine with well defined tendons. The horses are light framed, and light in bone, although the breed standard calls for a measurement of 7.5 inches. Mares stand up to 14.3 hh, stallions up to 15 hh. The horses are almost always gray or "white" with a silvery sheen, although there is the occasional golden chestnut or bay. Tersk horses are fairly long-lived.

For More Information:

Oklahoma State University - Breeds of Livestock
International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds

Horse Breeds