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Turkmenistan To Hold Beauty Contest For Prized Horse Breed

Ahal-Teke horses are said to be among the oldest breeds in the world.
Turkmenistan will host an annual contest to select the most beautiful horse among the country's prized Akhal-Teke breed, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reports.

The announcement was made by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, who arrived at a "green" campaign to plant trees in the capital on March 14 astride an Akhal-Teke horse.

Last fall, Berdymukhammedov released a large book on Turkmenistan's famous Akhal-Teke horses, which he said he authored and published in Germany in three languages.

Berdymukhammedov, a dentist by training, was not previously known to have special knowledge of horse breeds.

The president also announced that $300 million will be spent on a new racetrack in each of Turkmenistan's regions and will be built by Turkish, Russian, and Lebanese companies.