At Swan Farm, we love, breed, train, and seek to preserve the rare and ancient Akhal-Teke, the original athletic horse, living remnant of the legendary Golden Horses of ancient Greek and Persian history.
One of the rarest horse breeds, with fewer than 300 registered purebreds in North America.
A passionate, expressive, intelligent, and loving breed, naturally great at many sports including endurance racing, jumping, eventing, polo, and dressage. One of the few 'hot blooded' breeds, along with Thoroughbreds and Arabians. Perhaps best known for their unique metallic sheen, earning the label of "world's most beautiful horse".
The athletic foundation for most modern sport horse breeds, and in particular the foundation of the modern Thoroughbred, created in the 1700s by breeding Akhal-Teke stallions with local English mares. *
Akhal-Tekes have a special extra gait, known as the "Ahkal-Teke Glide," which is a smooth fast trot, with a slightly-shifted rhythm of footfalls giving reduced suspension. *
Originally from Turkmenistan, where they remain the national pride. The closed stud book has been held in Russia since 1932. First imported to United States in the 1970s.
The Akhal-Teke breed goes back around 4000 years. Known over time as Nisaean, Parthian, and Turkoman, the breed was discussed by Herodotus and other Roman historians, sought by Chinese emperors and Genghis Kahn.
The Akhal-Teke breed developed with the nomadic horse tribes of Central Asia to excel in desert conditions, making them an incredible endurance horse. In 1935, to demonstrate their prowess, a group of Turkmen riders rode 2500 miles in 84 days. The trip included a three-day, 235 mile crossing of the infamous Karakum Desert.
The most famous modern Akhal-Teke is the fabulous black stallion Absent, who won the Olympic gold medal in dressage at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, ridden for Russia by Sergei Filatov. Absent went again with Filatov to win the bronze individual and team medals in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, and won the Soviet team silver medal under Ivan Kalita at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. One Akhal-Teke horse, four Olympic medals, spanning three Olympic Games and two riders, medalling each time. *
Several of our Akhal-Teke horses at Swan Farm are direct descendants of Absent (including his great-granddaughter Sarka), with beautiful movement and great natural athletic talent.