Baige - long-distance horse race
Baige is one of the most ancient and popular types of horse races among the Turkic nations. The baige is a natural byproduct of the nomadic lifestyle.
Racing horses were trained for long distances ranging between 50 and100 kilometers and sometimes even more. There was no standard distance for the race. The race was designed to test the endurance of the horses – an essential quality in the vast steppe. Therefore, the local breeds of horses are innately apt to run long distances. British thoroughbreds or Arabian horses are not used to long distances. For this reason, they are not allowed to such competitions.
Just being a good racer is not enough to win the baige. It is important to be impeccably honest and noble. Baige was held only on the main holidays celebrated by the people who had lived in the vast Central Asian steppes. These holidays had sacred meanings. Athletes were expected to enter the competitions with pure thoughts, displaying deep respect to the public and the occasion. This is a special kind of national sport that has come down to us from our wise ancestors.