Akre embraces first horse-riding festival

Chestnut-colored horses galloping across Akre’s pristine landscapes filled the area with energy and excitement.
author_image Kurmanj Nhili
Participants in first horse-riding festival in Akre, Duhok, Kurdistan Region. (Photo: Birayan horse riding group)
Participants in first horse-riding festival in Akre, Duhok, Kurdistan Region. (Photo: Birayan horse riding group)

Wearing traditional Kurdish clothes in the mountainous landscape of the Kurdistan Region, equestrians held a festival showcasing their horse-riding skills for the first time in Akre.

Dozens of equestrians gathered in the Bujil area of Akre district in Duhok province in what organizers called a horse-riding festival in autumn.

Chestnut-colored horses galloping across Akre’s pristine landscapes filled the area with energy and excitement.

Horse rider participating in the first horse-riding festival in Akre, Duhok, Kurdistan Region. (Photo: Birayan horse riding group)
Horse rider participating in the first horse-riding festival in Akre, Duhok, Kurdistan Region. (Photo: Birayan horse riding group)

Sherzad Rasul, one of the festival’s organizers, told Kurdistan24 that around 30 equestrians participated, including many from Erbil.

He praised the warm welcome they received Bujil which facilitated his group’s event and provided them with the space they needed. He also described it as the most beautiful performance he has been in so far.

Participants in the first horse-riding festival in Akre, Duhok, Kurdistan Region. (Photo: Birayan horse riding group)
Participants in the first horse-riding festival in Akre, Duhok, Kurdistan Region. (Photo: Birayan horse riding group)

Natively bred Kurdish horses, as well as Arabic and English ones, were part of the performance.

The organizers have plans for horse racing in Duhok. They hope to safeguard Kurdish bred horses, which have their unique traits.

Ayad Adnan, a fan of horse racing, pointed out that there are few events of this kind in Duhok. He hopes such initiatives could, in the long-term, lead to the rise of professional horse racing in the province.

Man and his dog in the first horse-riding festival in Akre, Duhok, Kurdistan Region. (Photo: Birayan horse riding group)
Man and his dog in the first horse-riding festival in Akre, Duhok, Kurdistan Region. (Photo: Birayan horse riding group)

Horse owners in the Kurdistan Region sometimes arrange such local races and performances among themselves. There has not yet been any official championship in the region to date.