Harrowing Horse Games In Celebration of Independence from the Soviet Union

Posted by on January 3, 2014

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So I (ahem) may have mentioned this once or twice before, but one of my favorite things about holidays in Kyrgyzstan is that almost inevitably there will at some point be two teams of horsemen battling over a well-stuffed decapitated goat carcass. And man, is this stuff popular with the local crowd.

Independence Day Crowds

Game Day – Kyrgyz style.

Ulak Tyrtysh is, in concept, a pretty simple game. Two teams of dudes on horses form up around a goat carcass, and then chaos ensuses.


Ulak Tyrtysh in progress.

Eventually one team or the other brings the goat to the goal, and then the whole thing starts from the beginning.

Point for the Home Team


Its simple, its exciting, and its an amazing thing to watch. No wonder this game is so popular!

Kyrgyz Fan Zone

Kyrgyz Fan Zone.

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