The Horse Fair in the village of Novotyryshkino in Smolensk District has celebrated its 200th anniversary. The traditions of one of the oldest fairs of the Altai Krai were revived five years ago on “Siberian Farmstead”. Just like at the beginning of XIX century, these days this place gathers not only horsemen and breeders, but also artisans ready to offer customers everything from souvenirs with exquisite paintings on stone to forging and handmade harnesses.
“Fifteen or twenty years ago? No, even five years ago I would not believe that this was possible: we began to organize races of triples on Shrovetide in the open field just for amusement. Then we made a jackleg platform which later turned into a race track “Altai”. When it all began, no one thought about it” - one of the organizers and authors of the idea of revival of horse holidays in Smolensk district, businessman Sergei Merkulov said. A memorial stone appeared at “Siberian Farmstead” in honor of the 200th anniversary of horse traditions. It was brought from the quarries of Soloneshensky District, now it welcomes the guests of the farmstead.
The solemn opening ceremony was accompanied by a historical costume show of XIX century - ladies and gentlemen, hussars and young noblewomen were whirling in dances which were almost certainly familiar to the fair participants in 1814. “We do not only preserve the traditions, we multiply them: for example, we hold the holidays “The Bloom of Wild Rosemary” and “Ivan Kupala”, “AltaiFest” and Shrovetide, the forums “Altai. The Points of Growth” and of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. These and many other events are being held today at the “Siberian Farmstead”.
We celebrate the birthday of the fair by the races “The Gold of Altai” and the exhibition-auction of thoroughbred horses: British race horses, Russian trotters and Orlov trotters - French draught horses. This means that the traditions live and we are developing”- the deputy general director of CJSC “Belokuriha Resort” Sergei Kapran said at the opening of the memorial stone. The festival attracted dozens of horses, racing and working ones, from the countries of America, Europe, and regions of Russia to participate in the auction and the races – all in all, over 120 animals. The geographical coverage of participants expands every year – traditionally, it attracts riders from Krasnoyarsk, Khakassia, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, Moscow.
The riders are attracted by the most expensive prizes in Siberia and by powerful material and technical base, and the guests want a spectacle. So, over 10 thousand people from all over Siberia gathered here on Shrovetide in 2013.
Author: Anna Dorozhkina