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Kokpar in Kazakhstan.

Kazakh national games on horses.

“Fussy never win, fussiness is the place of the original loser, who has given up self-esteem. He who drinks water receives water, he who drinks wine receives wine.»

Maria Arbatova.

Kokpar national game of Kazakhs.

Kokpar is а goat's flaying. The national sporting game, where dexterity, strength, courage, and boldness of its participants are tested. At the еуе of kokpar zhigits of neighbouring auls get ready for the event.
In this game take a part some teams from two aul.
This is a struggle on horseback for a goat carcass. One of riders gallops off a head with the dead goat; then others of a team set off after him. To win, they need a swift horse to catch up the rider with the goat and they also must be a skilled, experienced horsemen so as not to be thrown off in the heat of the struggle.
This sport also demands the strength to be able to snatch away the carcass and the agility to slip away from the other competitors and be the first to gallop across the finishing line. The day of contest horse riders at the cornmand "go!" rush to а goat's carcass lying at the distance 50 - 60 steps away from them.
Kokpar (fighting for a billy-goat carcass) - the most popular game amongst the populace. It is based on an ancient custom, according to which one should sacrifice a billy-goat, in order to get rid of everything bad.
It happens, that up to one hundred horsemen take part in the game. It is played in the open steppe over an extended area. "Goals" are set up on opposite sides of a large field. A symbolic he-goat carcass should be thrown there; members of each team fight to possess that carcass. 
Anyone who enjoys gut wrenching, passionate sports will bе impressed bу this gripping struggle оп horseback for а goat carcass. One of the riders gallops off ahead with the dead goat; then anyone who wants (о take pаn in the competition sets off after him.
То win, you need а swift horse то catch up the rider with the goat, and you must also bе а skilled, experienced horseman so as not to bе thrown off in the heat of the struggle. The sport also demands the strength to bе аblе to snatch away the carcass and the agility го slip away from the other competitors and bе the first to galop cross the finishing line. 
The opponents attack dzhigit who first snatched the carcass from the earth, trying to overtake him and to grab away kokpar. Sometimes up to 20 - 30 persons participate in this battle. The contest continues rnidday to evening, and winner is he who either bу his strength ог dexterity mastered kokpar. 
As а rule, the winners brought kokpar to ап honored aksakal's yurta, and he, in his tum, gave them presents and food. Sometimes during kokpar there happen injuries, and емеп lethal outcomes. However, pride and ardor make contestants forget about the danger.
In the olden days experienced kokpar-players could drag their opponent away together with his horse. In the games of this kind take рап horse-riders who had the special training. Winners of 'kokpar' usually receive rich rewards.

"The Life and culture of Kazakh people" Kenzheahmetuly S. Almatykitap, 2006

Photos by:
 Alexander Petrov.