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Kyrgyz Team Beats Mongolia After Dispute Over Equipment In Equestrian Sport


The world championship in kokpar or kok-boru -- an ancient equestrian sport in which a goat carcass is traditionally used as a ball -- got off to a contentious start when organizers briefly barred the Kyrgyz team from playing in a dispute over horseshoes.

The organizing committee of the competition in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, initially ruled that Kyrgyzstan could not play its first-day match against Mongolia on August 21 because the Kyrgyz team refused to remove horseshoes from the hind legs of its mounts.

The Kyrgyz team said it had never heard of such a regulation in the sport, which is also known as gogboru and buzkashi. Victory was awarded to the Mongolian team.

But after the Kyrgyz team threatened to quit the competition in protest, the referees ruled that the game could go ahead after all, and that the Kyrgyz team could compete without removing the horseshoes.

Kyrgyzstan won 4-0.

National teams from 12 countries -- Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, the United States, and Uzbekistan -- are taking part in the championship.

An imitation goat carcass is being used at the tournament in Astana.

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