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Horse-breeding in the Tambov Area

Horse-breeding in the Tambov Area
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Historically Tambov area has been known as the territory of chanters. By the amount of private stud farms it challenged superiority of Voronezh, Oryol and Kursk areas. The development of horse breeding in many respects was promoted by two circumstances. First because of the flood plains, where the herds freely grazed (only in one Morshansk area today are left about 20 thousands hectares even after rash ploughing up of a large part of flood plains). Secondly, and it is also important, the deep pocket of the Tambov landowners. They had large and sometimes fabulous capitals. So, one of brothers Archarov’s, the holder of extensive lands in Rasskasovo area, bestowed him by Katherine П, handed the whole horse regiment to the Tambov national militia in 1812, by putting on the horses his own bonded recruits. He also gave regimentals, armed and supplied the regiment with provisions for three months. Nobody in Russia made such generous gift for army that time.

Count Stroganov, princess Golitsina, general Lanskoy (the second husband of Natalya Goncharova), Bashmakov - the Tambov millionaire and holder of gold mines beyond Urals, old-line noblemen the Naryshkin’s, the Arapov’s and many other had their own stud farms in Tambov area. The Lavrovsky stud farm, which nowadays has worldwide glory, was built in Tambov land by the landowner Voeykov.

The merchantry tried not to drop behind from the aristocracy. One of the Aseev’s brothers, the holder of Arzhenka cloth factory, has purchased the stud farm from a widow of the local broken landowner Kruchenkov. The example of Aseev, but without the raping, was followed also by other industrial aces from the districts of the region. It was considered very prestigiously.

We should remember that horse-breeding remained one of the few worthy commercial activities for the aristocrats. In 1840, when Chicherin, the relative of our future Minister for Foreign Affairs, has opened distillery in Lyada and the landowners Tulinov and Poltoratsky have purchased cloth factories, noble society has apprehended it as mauvais ton. But the pinces and dukes and members of the tsarist family very well descended to trading horses from theirs stud farms.

All reading Russia knew from the story by Turgenev about inveterate chanters from the district city of Tambov region with a beautiful name - Lebedyan. But only few know today, that the fans of equitation created there the first Russian association and issued first horseracing journal. Much earlier than in metropolis and Moscow, the prize-winning horserace of Oryol trotters were arranged in Lebedyan. Several years later the same association of equitation fans was also established in Tambov. This association built on share contributions the three-storey building for its club on former Dvortsovaya, nowadays Sovietskaya Street, one of first in the center of our city (now The Department of Communications). In this club the horse-breeders from all Tambov districts met at card tables and in the hall of extensive library.

The special page in a history of domestic horse-breeding were written by the life copers brothers Demin’s from Kozlov. They managed to get and turn over the blooded trotters even from Khrenov farm of count Aleksey Orlov. Although, only after his death. While alive the count strictly forbade selling his horses. Demin’s were in close friendship with former count’s adscript Vasiliy Ivanovich Shishkin, the manager of Khrenov farm. Shortly Shishkin opened his own stud farm.

The abundance of private stud farms in the region produced big horse fairs, beginning from Lebedyanskaya and finishing with Tokaryovskaya, one of cheapest in country. On Tambov fairs the merchants came a long way from European countries, and also from Persia and Turkey. Only in 1897 61 580 horses were exported from Russia. Each tenth of them was purchased in Tambov region. On fairs they sold not only separate horses, mainly it was the business of small copers, the owners of stud farms sold the young grossly, by so-called stakes after one famous stallion and different dams. Unblooded horses on Tambov fairs were bought up for meat merchants from Denmark. A kilo of horsemeat was equal in cost with a kilo of Danish butter. Vneshtorg knows the price that the danish horsemeat lovers, the horsemeat is the irreplaceable ingredient of top-grade sausage, are ready to pay us for horses for meat.

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