News 2019

News end of 2018


Until a century and a half ago most Akhal-Teke stallions lived tethered outside their owner's yurt (the round felt tent of the Asiatic nomad), hand-fed alfalfa, barley and muttin fat, and rugged with felt against the steppe winds. Thanks to my neighbours Jude and Martin Williams for the photo opportunity and to Castle Yurts who provided the yurts.

Xanadu meets a piece of his history!

With "Turkoman" attendants Brooke and

Maddie Dickens



All dressed up and nowhere to go... Teddy's foray to the World Breeds class at the BPS Championships last week was frustrated by a Land Rover breakdown on the way. Nearly two hours into a long hot wait on a motorway access road made us just too late for the World Breeds class, which we missed by five minutes after flinging on his finery and cantering the the furthest ring. All that spit and polish, chalked legs etc to waste! He missed one dressage class but did manage to do two further tests, thanks to the flexibility of the show organisers - thank you, BPS, as well as for another most enjoyable and well-run show in all. He managed a couple of ribbons in the dressage!


Hard to believe that Zara is now three and ready for backing. Photo aged two, left, with Rosalie and middle with Jayne. Thanks also to Brooke Dickens for helping further her education.




Welcome to the latest addition to the family.  Kyzyl Doubloon (Baloo) is the first second-generation -bred foal here. By Kyzyl Double or Quits out of Ainur by Atamekan he is three-quarter-bred Akhal-Teke.  




Looking for a new young rider!

Rosalie and Djargalan schooling


Rosalie and Ainur, Cleobury Mortimer BE ODE

Jess and Ainur at Tack Farm

Looking for a second rider for successful Akhal-Teke sporthorses. First horse and jockey aiming BE-affiliated this year. Second horse about to make SJ debut (stud work permitting!). There will be youngsters in the middle to long term. We are looking for an ambitious, competent but sensitive young rider with a view to training and preparing to ride horse in competition, initially dressage, hopefully some showjumping and maybe XC, if horse and rider gel. 45m x 20m manège, outstanding Classical Dressage trainer. Commitment to a minimum of 3 visits a week, ideally two training and one ride out, to ride in competition.

Kyzyl horses have started/furthered the careers of two young riders to date – see above. (Both willing to discuss their experiences with prospective riders). We look forward to the next recruit!

Email (or use Contact Us) or phone 01600 890730 (usually anwserphone) or 07824 678044.





Teddy's first XC run of 2018: Sunday April 23rd at the Cotswold Vale Farmers' Hunt Hunter Trials at Tredington. Lovely clear round, but slow through the timed section, finishing around 12th out of a class of 45.





          Cirencester:first vet gate

              Out on a very wet second loop at Cirencester                                                        

Firyuza's 2017 season included two FEI 1* rides – Windsor and Euston, both completed – well done, Annette and Fizz! Among other outings was a very soggy Cirencester, where they did well to finish in the greasy mud, coming 6th.


TEDZHEN - first One-Day-Event:

the Ledbury event at Gadbury

A milestone, including clear and inside the time XC.


FIRYUZA's first Race Ride - and first win!


Annette writes, "Fizzy excelled herself...  We managed to win the 80km race at Hanslope - Fizzy's first ever race ride and the first one I've ridden in since 2009!!... She was brilliant all day, despite getting bored with being on her own for about 75 of the 80km, and had fantastic recovery rates. 




It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

UPSIDE: Sam (Kyzyl Double or Quits) was licensed in early November by the Anglo-European Studbook, a prestigious Sporthorse organisation, with dazzling speed, for which grateful thanks to Nikki Bloss and Jane Marson from, who publish the annual Competition Stallions guide, and to Steve Lamb from the AES. The possibility was raised on a Wednesday, Steve was contacted on Thursday, and by Friday Sam was accepted -  subject to vetting, which he breezed through. It was all so quick and easy that I should have been watching my back for the...

DOWNSIDE: Sam's trainer from Jan 2015 felt unable after all to prepare him for the British Stallion Event 2016 (which had been our target since June); for reasons known only to himself he kept this bad news quiet for three weeks, eventually dropping his bombshell just two weeks before Christmas and four before the Parade. That meant no yard, no trainer, no rider, no time to find them, a lot of money paid up front and Sam's most important event of his career so far heading down the pan.

Somewhere in the middle of my meltdown, enter seasonal Fairy Godmothers waving magic wands. Sam carried his jinx to a first yard, where, after two days, staffing disasters made an extra horse completely impossible. Huge thanks to Patrick Johnson for finding him a place with International Event Rider Anthony Clark who, to my intense relief and almost gibbering gratitude, took him on two days before Christmas. This gave him 16 days to get to know as well as prepare a horse who had been through the unsettling exerience of 4 yards (counting my own) in a short time, and had missed vital weeks of his final preparations.


Anthony's first sit on him

Day 1 at Anthony's own yard

Anthony gave a performance of consummate skill and tact, producing what looked like a seasoned performance from a horse at his first appearance on the big stage - trade stands, large clapping audience, echoing tannoy and loud music included. They produced a relaxed three paces and jumped a small course – a tremendous achievement at Sam's first attempt. Thank you, Anthony, for putting it all together and doing such a fantastic job in such a short time; and for giving Sam the confidence to show himself off so well.

So what next... Watch this space.

NEXT UPSIDE: to be added in due course!



Firyuza has completed her first 80 km (50 m) ride. Annette writes, "she's gone from strength to strength. None of her rides have been races as she's not qualified for those yet. So all of them have been set speed. We have got a 64km ride up at Barbury Castle  near Marlborough next Sunday, and if she is successful in that then she will be able to upgrade to advanced if we want (and then do race rides). At the ride near Milton Keynes, she completed her first 80km ride at a speed of 13.4kph and finished with a grade 2, having a final heart rate of 50. We did go to the vet about 10 minutes after finishing as there was quite a cool breeze and I didn't want her to get stiff - we could have waited up to 30 minutes after finishing before vetting." 

Fizz' son Yoldash is looking for a home to loan with a view to possible sale in due course.


JULY '15

Saturday July 11th was a red-letter day for Atamekan's progeny.

Susi Sadler and Rudi completed the inaugural Cairngorm100 Endurance Ride, becoming one of only 5 horse and rider combinations so far to have been awarded a CG100 buckle, and winning Best Condition award.
     Meanwhile, at the BPS Gala Day at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern, three more of Atamekan's offspring won and were placed: Jenny Barnes' Linhay Lale were 1st and 2nd in SJ classes, Jess Hassell and Ainur were placed in one dressage and three showing classes, and Emma Jones with Djargalan were placed in Sport Horse In-Hand, qualifying for the Dilute Championship.
     Huge congratulations to all concerned! And what versatile horses we have!

Photos: Susi snatches lunch on the hoof (photo by Malcolm Riddell); the prized Cairngorm Buckle; Emma and Django take a rest (photo by Mary Panton-Kent); Aina takes fourth in a large dressage class.

Susi wrote:"Totally beyond all expectations, I really was thinking of just trying to get to 75 miles and calling it a day but he came into the 75 mile vetgate stronger than he left it and just felt great. He loved being in the hills, the tough going and being in company with the other horses and he was just incredible going over the last descent in the rain at night - so brave, he led the others nearly that whole section by the light of a headtorch, keeping everyone on track. By the end he was so full of energy I had to sit in the stable with him for an hour and half for him to calm down!!!
     "Winning the best condition was the icing on the cake. I thought I had no chance - we finished so late and the other horses looked so good to me but I guess the vets must have liked how he looked and his scores on his vet sheet were actually amazing, he just seemed so well all day. For a little horse who has only gone for 7 or 8 hours in one go to push on from such an early start for over 21 hours just blew me away, he's a star.
     "The ride is just amazing, great route, some really isolated areas, beautiful scenery, some tough going but also some really lovely bits with good going which make it very do-able. The group in charge are just fabulous and we felt like one big family by the end of the weekend. I feel to lucky that I will always be able to say, I was there for the very first one :)
     "How amazing to think this little idea we cooked up all those years ago to produce a homebred endurance horse with Scarlett and Kaan has worked out like this!"


JUNE 2016

Sam gives it some air

Sam (Kyzyl Double or Quits) is making up for lost time, thanks to Levi Hunt at Abbey Dressage. Here, with the choice of three schools, plus good surfaces and plenty of space, he has vastly improved his canter and jumping - including loose schooling - while learning to negotiate the perils of crossing the M5.




There is much to catch up on since the last news posting, just weeks before the onset of severe rheumatoid arthritis that cost Gill, and the Kyzyl horses, two years.

Not least, a brand-new website. 

Where to start...??

AINUR completed her last season eventing with Rosalie Shepherd, before Roz went away to pursue her Chemistry PhD. Unfortunately the monsoon summer of 2012 saw most of their events cancelled. They went show jumping instead, winning a number of classes up to 3'3", before finally squeezing in a couple of ODEs at the end of September. They finished their partnership with a two-stage Horse Trial (SJ + XC) at Hilltop, where they finished 6th.

The following year Aina went on loan to Kirsti Procter, newly back from Qatar, where she had been setting up a Centre of Excellence for riding. Initially they established a very good partnership. But it wasn't meant to be, for Kirsti's long-term grumbling back trouble escalated rapidly with daily riding, and she had to give up the saddle for a completely new career in engineering.

Roz and Aina raising the bar at Allensmore (above)

...and groping through autumn fog at W. Wilts ODE



In 2014, Aina was lucky to find a new jockey in Jessica Hassell, a sensitive and experienced rider newly down from university, where she had captained the riding team. They were fortunate to be taken on by the exceptional trainer Jo Challens – Gill's trainer of forty years before. Their competitions so far have been mostly show jumping, and they have won unaffiliated classes several times, as well as being placed in the Senior Unaffiliated Championships of GB at the David Broome Centre, and competing in the Cricklands Derby. They also competed in a two-stage Horse Trial at Hilltop to finish second.


GULARA, after a six-year gap without breeding, was inseminated to Kambarbay, but lost her foal prematurely with placentitis. Inseminated again, she conceived twins; one was stopped, but she appears to have retained the other embryo. Watch this space!

KYZYL DOUBLE or QUITS is working beautifully, with the beginning of collection, some simple leg-yielding, and a lot of grid work with a few small jumps. He has an enormous canter and a huge, scopey jump, and is quite the most exciting young horse we have seen. Plans are under way to place him in a professional yard where he can become accustomed to a busy environment, prepare for a stallion grading – and, in due course, begin his competitive career.

It was a great thrill when XANADU was chosen by Equestrian Artist Lisa Miller as the subject for her painting to exhibit in the National Horse Racing Museum at Newmarket. "The Golden Horses of Turkmenistan" was dedicated to the Akhal-Teke, and showed the work of artists from around the world. Lisa and her husband (also an artist, specialising in fish) came to see Xan in April, taking over a thousand photographs. Xan adored the attention and posed like a model for the camera; it was hard to know whether to be proud of him for being such a pro, or ashamed of him for being such a tart!

"Glint of Gold" © Lisa Miller 2014


Jayne Lapping showed DJARGALAN in Rare Breed and Colour classes last year, mainly to get him out and about. On the Gala Day of the British Palomino Society National Championships he came 3rd in the Rare Breeds and 4th in Sporthorse Breeding, drawing the comment from photographer Steve Wall, "I've been photographing horses for thirty years, and I've never seen a colour like that. You couldn't Photoshop that…"

Together with TEDZHEN, and in the company of Roz, Emma Jones and Liz Williams, he has done a number of pleasure rides.

FIRYUZA has had a successful Endurance season with her owners Jackie Richardson and Annette Hanson. She has completed 8 rides and was placed 2nd Novice in the Wessex Area awards for the 2014 Novice Trophy. She was also placed 19th in the EGB Novice Trophy countrywide.



Sending recent news of KAZAN, Karen Barker writes, "We had a go at Trec last month, and he did really well. He's been out hacking and amazing me with his adaptability... He's already proved he can jump nicely when we've been out on the trail. 

photo courtesy of Karen Barker


Finally, two offspring of Atamekan from outside mares have made the news. Former international endurance rider Susi Sadler bred RUDI from her international ride Scarlett o'Hara, and upgraded him from Novice to Advanced Endurance in a single season, placing third in their first race ride (80 km) at The College. They won the Team Teke GB Performance Points Competition in 2012.

Leading palomino breeder David Webb bred MIDOAK MAGIC IKON out of the part-bred Arab mare Shulay Silver Fascination. In the hands of his new owner Beth Dee, Monty breezed his first show season with a number of wins, including three 1st at the British Palomino Society Annual Show, standing reserve in the Equilibra Ridden Championships of the Year. He also won the Team Teke GB Performance Points Competition in 2013.  

FIRYUZA Piddle EGB Ride, Dorset

RUDI  The College EGB Ride