conformation straight head, deep chest, muscular
hindquarters, hard legs, high-set tail
colour predominantly grey, occasionally bay, chestnut
height 14.3-15.1 hands
uses racing, endurance, competition, circus
The Tersky bears a close resemblance to the Arab, on which the breed was founded inthe 19th century when a fine,speedy cavalry mount was developed using Arabs and Anglo- Arabs on Karabakh, Orlov, Persian and Turkmenian horses. The resulting equine was willing, gentle and intelligent, and became known as the Streletsky for the Ukrainian farm where he was established. Usually of a light silvery grey colour, his looks were as aristocratic as his pedigree.
Although never produced in vast numbers, the horse was popular with the army – which was to prove his undoing. Streletsky horses were virtually wiped out during the bloody civil war, but two breeding stallions survived: Tsenitel (born 1910) and Tsilindr (1911), both by the influential sire Tsenny. Although a few purebred mares were subsequently located, the gene pool was too small to resurrect the Streletsky, and Don, Kabardin and Arabian blood was introduced. The breeding progamme began in 1925 at the Tersk Stud, for which the new breed was named. In 1941, under threat of German invasion, the entire stock was evacuated to west Kazakhstan — a journey of 900 km (565 miles) that lasted 21 days. Four years lateiz the horses were brought back east, to Stavropol Farm in the northern Caucasus, where the breed remains to this day.
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