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Main \\ Outdoor Activities \\ Earth \\ Equestrian Sport \\ Breeds of Horses \\
  Don Horse

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don horse

The Don Horse, the oldest continuously bred Russian riding horse, traces its origins back over 200 years to the steppes of Southern Russia. The powerful Don River gave its name to the grassy, treeless plains that bordered and fed it, to the Cossacks who inhabited the area and to the remarkable breed of horse that developed from this symbiotic relationship between a people whose lives came to depend on horses and the horses who thrived in the harsh conditions of the arid steppes. In this semi-nomadic region, passing herds of horses left their genetic mark on already diverse local equine populations of the Nogai type. Preexisting breeds that most influenced the development of the Don breed included Karabakh, Persian and Turkmenic breeds, later Arabian horses (often introduced to the Don Cossacks' herds as war booty), and, lastly, the thoroughbred, then identified as "English pure bred."


The Don Horse presents a refined warmblood appearance, with a well chiseled head, a muscular chest and strong legs. Dominant colors include chestnut and bay, often with a gold cast.


Current measurements for stallions is 166 cm at the withers. Other current measurements are not available.


The Don Horse is currently bred for sport: recreational riding, equine tourism and sport competition; it excels in this last category.

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