Kok-Boru (Кyrgyz equestrian game)

  Kok-boru is a symbiosis of racing and games

Riders are fighting for the carcass of a goat — it is necessary not only to take possession of it, but also to keep it, and then throw it into the “Kazan” (gate) of the opposing team. The game in the people can be held under other rules. For example, you need to get the carcass to a specified place, for example, to your village, where opponents no longer have the right to fight for it. Today, the actions of horsemen are usually monitored by an equestrian panel of judges consisting of three experienced riders. The rules of Kok-Boru changed over time and became less violent. The goal of the game is to master the Ulak (goat carcass) and throw it into the enemy’s cauldron as many times as possible. Participants of the competition are allowed to lift the uhlak from any place inside the field, take it away from the opponent, transfer it or throw it to teammates, release it, take the carcass under their feet, hold it on the side or between the legs of the horse, help partners to ride with the carcass and throw it into the opponent’s goal. If a rider or horse falls, the game is stopped and resumed after the reason for the stop is eliminated. If players violate the sideline, they are called out.

Feature of game

According to the rules of Kok-Boru, only stallions and horses participate in the game, and the carcass of a goat is used as a game projectile. There were attempts to replace the carcass with a dummy, but eventually this idea was abandoned due to the inconvenience of playing with a dummy and inconsistency with ancient traditions. Kok-Boru is a tough sports game, it requires a lot of strength and skill from athletes, because the average age of participants in official competitions is about 20 years.

Tai-cauldrons are used as gates. They are very convenient for clearly fixing the goal-Ulak’s hit or miss in the Kazan Cup is clearly visible and this eliminates controversial situations. In addition, cauldrons are very convenient when playing in any conditions — on snow, in spring slush, on loose soil, etc. when it is almost impossible to make markings on the ground instead of cauldrons.

Traditionally, at the end of the game, the meat of the goat, which served as the main object of the game, is eaten by cooking it, for example, kuurdak. According to local beliefs, the meat of this goat has healing properties, helps with infertility. It is believed that among the thousands of hands that touched the carcass, could be the hand of a Holy man, which gives it magical qualities.