Each country has its own symbol. Of course, Russia is no exception. The symbol of the Russian spirit and the Russian people is the troika, drawn by a horse breed Orlov trotter.
This is without exaggeration a symbol not only of our country, but of our entire people. The same exuberant, majestic and beautiful, this horse forever entered the history of the Russian people. He is also linked by a fascinating and unusual history of formation, a loud peak of fame and some subsequent oblivion.This breed has existed for over 230 years and today still boasts its versatility and indispensability. As in those distant past years, when Count Orlov accompanied Empress Catherine the Great.
The Orlov trotter is not so much a hippodrome horse as a sled, for transport. It was precisely this idea that her thought about creating Count Orlov at the most critical hour for our country. Recall a bit of history. It was 1762, June, on the throne of the Russian Empire a certain Peter III ruled. But the coup day struck, on June 28, when the guardsmen were to swear allegiance to Empress Catherine II. Then, on this day, the Empress was accompanied by Count Orlov to leave Peterhof for Petersburg.
Earl ordered to lay in the crew of the best palace horses, and they set off. The distance was about a little more than 30 kilometers. But it was necessary to hurry and halfway through the foreign horses exhausted from strength and could not continue to carry the cart. Orlov went to the nearest village, collected all the local workhorses and thus delivered Catherine to Petersburg. It was then that Orlov had the thought and desire to create a real Russian transport horse.
It is important to note that the horse in the image of Orlov had to combine many necessary qualities. It should be beautiful and elegant for the crew and carriage, fast and hardy, adapted to the harsh Russian climate, unpretentious in feeding. Work on the creation of such a horse began in 1776, and after 30 years, Count Orlov saw his creation for the first time - a majestic and proud Oryol member.
Smetanka and his descendants
Count Alexei Orlov-Chesmensky was an ardent lover of horses. He traveled a lot around the world, recognized breeds, was interested in horse breeding. Therefore, when in 1775 he resigned, he immediately took up his beloved work. On his estate near Moscow Island, he had been breeding horses since the 60s, but he began his life business on the estate in the Voronezh region. The earth, together with the serfs, was presented to him by the empress in 1762.
The founder of the Orlov trotter is a beautiful gray Arabian stallion named Smetanka. For very big money, Count Orlov acquired him in 1774 from the Turkish sultan. At the same time, the best mares from local stud farms and 12 more trophy stallions were also delivered to the estate of the count. A long, painstaking selection work began. No matter how sad it sounds, Smetanka lived only a year in Russia and left one of the most valuable producers - the stallion Polkan.
In 1784, Polkan’s son, Bars, appeared at the Orlov stud farm. Today, it is considered to be the ancestor of the breed, as it introduced, in addition to strong bones and a beautiful exterior, a distinct rhythmic trot. Such a feature was made possible by crossing Arabian stallions with Friesian mares. A few years later, at the Khrenovsky factory of Orlov, there was no longer any horse that was not a descendant of Barca. Experts say that the Count Orlov himself rode on this horse.
After the death of Count Orlov, the Khrenov factory, as well as all of his horses, were inherited by his daughter. Since the count was engaged in tribal work with his groom Shishkin, he became the manager of the plant. He continued the work of breeding and creating trotters. All horses were tested for agility, passed a special selection and training.
The first thing that catches the eye at the sight of the Orlov trotter is that it is extraordinarily beautiful to become a horse, a swan neck and strong legs. Today, this breed belongs to the category of large horses, as the height at the withers reaches an average of 165-170 centimeters. But despite the growth and strength, these racers are harmoniously folded, have a small head, a dry body, a muscular back, and a high neck. They always have a proud posture, elegant high movements, graceful behavior.
Today, three breed types can be distinguished: massive, dry, and intermediate trotters. They differ not only in external data, but also in their sphere of use. For example, a view with a larger head and sturdy legs is used as a transport horse. But dry lungs on high legs horses are used in trotting sport.
Among orlovtsev the most popular suit is gray with different shades. It may be gray in apples, dark gray or red-gray. Less often there are bay and black horses.
Oryol horse today
Nowadays, this breed of horses still remains popular, although not so often already used for trot races. On the treadmills, they were gradually replaced by more frisky Russian, American and French trotters. However, the Orlov trotter remains indispensable for transport purposes. Today we can see this elegant horse in Russian troika, in carriages, as improvers of local breeds, under a saddle and in a harness.
If you look at the number of horses of this breed in our country, then it is far from being in the best condition. According to the latest data, about 700 purebred mares and a little more than fifty stallions were registered. Almost all of them make up the line of Square, Peony, Pilot and Catch. The leading stud farm for the breeding of orlovtsev still remains Khrenovskoy, as well as the Moscow, Perm, Altai and Chesmen stud farms.
Great and famous
Oryol horses are famous all over the world. For example, the Bedouin stallion is the ancestor of the French trotter. But about the horse named Fortress today lay down legends. The stallion is called the "horse of the century", as it brought glory to the breed to the whole world. At that time, except Fortress, no one could compare with the fast-running American trotters.
Interesting! Despite the agility of other trotters, the orlovets is today considered the quietest along the way. No other horse can compare with him in this quality. They seem to float above the path. They say that "If you put a glass of water on the horse's croup, then during the run the water will not spill."
Also known Oryol stallion is a peony. He at one time achieved the results of Krepysh and also firmly settled in the history of Russian horse breeding. Today, his line is leading in the breed, because besides sports, Peony was also an excellent manufacturer. The grandson of Peony - trotter Cowboy in 1991 set an absolute record at a distance of 1600 meters.
Memory and honor
Today, you can learn about the history and what the stallions-producers of Oryol trotter breed are in the Museum of Oryol breed. He is in Moscow.