Mongolia Considers Racing Horse Import Ban
June 18, 2022
The Naadam festival in July will be held in person this year after being canceled last year due to COVID infections. As the Naadam approaches lawmakers considered temporarily banning the import of foreign race horses until 2025. 3,800 thoroughbred stallions each worth tens of thousands of dollars were imported recently.
Horse breeders called for an import ban on foreign stallions warning that Mongolian horses could disappear because of the popularity of crossbred racing horses, which tend to win most races during Naadam.
70 percent of racing horses at Naadam festivals are estimated to crossbreed as everyone wants to win at all costs. Rules and disqualification around Mongolian and crossbreed horses during races are nontransparent often followed by disputes.
Mongolian horse enthusiasts want to maintain native horses that are well known for being tough and sturdy surviving extreme weather conditions. Wider recognition of crossbreeds could be devastating impacting traditional breeding, they argue. Crossbreeds require extra care, shelter and feedstock.
Poorer herders are unable to keep up with wealthy breeders. Around MNT 100 billion is estimated to be the business of trading thoroughbreds and training crossbreeds.
Mongolian politicians and businessmen often use their fame as racing horse breeders to impress and influence rural voters.
About Amar Adiya
Amar Adiya is Editor-in-Chief of Mongolia Weekly, an English newsletter on political analysis and business intelligence every week. He is also a regional director at Washington-based strategic advisory firm BowerGroupAsia.