Tito Pontecorvo’s Sportive Horses
William Askins: ……I found that the Akhalteke stallion Helm , 16 hands ,has a wonderful trot , a super canter , a fine walk, and best of all, a docile ,eager , pleasant personality that made work with him a pleasure. Long and lanky with good bone in the legs , a fine narrow head , a beautiful eye ,and the ability to gallop all day .In the beginning of the 3 year of training, Helm had matured into a very nice dressage mount. His physique has filled out , the neck has a nice topline ,the back is solid , and the hindquarters ripple with muscle . He knows his stuff, does the exercises for competing at St. Georges , and can be ridden with the subtlest of aids . He gives me exactly what I ask for , nothing more and nothing less .Rating him at any gait is easy ,and he does not vary the pace until asked . This , coupled with great endurance ,makes an excellent competition horse .
The training continues , with an eye towards teaching him one-time changes this winter , and perhaps starting piaffe and passage .If he shows the capacity for these difficult exercises , then I will eventually take him into Grand Prix events .Helm’s personality is a reflection of the character of the Akhalteke breed .It is quite different from the modern thoroughbred , or the European warmblood breeds ,and particularly more docile than the Arab . It makes for easy handling ,and easy training ,yet there is enough self-impulsion that the rider does not have to keep insisting as is necessary on many of the heavier breeds , such as the various warmbloods .
I have been quite impressed by the athletic ability of my stallion ,and have discovered that this is another trait of the Akhalteke .In summary , Helm has turned out to be a charming , sweet horse , , a pleasant ride ,and competitive in dressage competitions in the United States . He is easy to handle in the stall , quiet , docile ,but willing , and a fast ride if you ask him to go on ! An easy keeper , and tough as nails on helth issues , requires no babying around like so many competition horses .Bill Askins with Helm won the Prix St.Georges championship at the 2008 Fall San Antonio Dressage horse show and win in many other competitions .
QUOTATIONS OF SOME HIGH LEVEL PROFESSIONAL TRAINERS AND RIDERS ABOUT AKHALTEKES:
SUSAN HUTCHISON, one of the worlds top show jumping rider; won over 30 grand prix show jumping competitions. For several months I have had the pureblood Akhalteke stallion Kogan in training for Tito Pontecorvo .Although he is green ,he shows great characteristic , has a super spring off the ground when jumping and displays enough stride and scope to take him all the way . It is my opinion that in the middle of the 80-th we in America went too warmblood crazy .I had the privilege of going to Texas to see many of Tito’s pureblood Akhalteke horses and I feel this is a horse we need to pay attention to .It has stamina, the heart of the lion and many with nice conformation .In the jump shute they all appeared to be careful enough without the warmblood spook, more logical thoroughbred spook .
ELENA PETUSHKOVA ,Olimpic champion , world champion in dressage.
In few words one can say about Akhalteke horses that they are unusually intelligent , graceful and elegant like ballerinas .They exhibit a cat’s elasticity and an astonishing plasticity of movements .All this unique characteristics permitted Akhalteke horses to become champions in numerous competitions in jumping and dressage . Akhalteke horses are extremely hard working with persons whom they trust . T.P.-Elena Petushkova forgot to say about her famous Akhalteke stallion Abakan. They won the national championship and the Winter Championship in 1979 in USSR and silver in Europe championship in dressage.
VLADIMIR SHAMBORANT ,chief selectionist at the breeding stables- Komsomol in Ashgabad, Terski ,Dagestanski.
Akhalteke horses have a very tough conformation ,are unpretentious in their food habits ,are rarely ill ,the mares become pregnant with a high probability, are hardy ,rapidly restore after working ,the breed is ideal for long trips , they jump like cats .The Akhaltekes are not like thoroughbreds . They are very smart and intelligent animals .
DATO TOPURIA,master in dressage and jumping
My long time experience with Akhalteke horses has convinced me that they can be the best in various equestrian sport .Thus ,for example , in jumping they are capable of good calculation ,and exhibit long and ready jumps . An Akhalteke horse has talent and is good in dressage , they are horses with excellent movements . They are graceful ,extremely plastic and often beautiful colors .
FRANCINE ANDERSON, a well known professional jockey in North America, won in her career 1000 races
In the autumn of 2007 , I took 2 excellent Pontecorvo colts and I had of communicating with them . Although these 2 horses were diametrically different in type and temperament ,their common feature is their unique intelligence and ingenuity .
Having worked with race horses so many years ,I can say with certainly that Akhaltekes possess all the qualities required by a proficient steeplechaser. Their athleticism and staying power can carry them over the demanding courses . I definitely do not exclude the possibility of an Akhalteke steeple chase .