Monday, October 31, 2011

Junagadh Saurashtra – Kathiyavadi Ghoda na conservation Vishe

Genetists at Anand Agricultural University are helping the Government of Gujarat promote breeding of the State's indigenous “Kathiyavadi” horse among private horse owners.

As per Professor D.N. Rank Interviews, who is Professor of Animal Genetics at the Veterinary College at Anand Agricultural University, “Any indigenous breed is declared by the Central government to be endangered if its numbers fall below 10,000; and the Kathiyavadi horse from Gujarat falls in this category.”

“Horses are becoming quite a craze among the neo rich who are now visiting animal fairs like the annual one at Pushkar.”

The wealthy, who own farmhouses, now come from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Maharashtra to attend animal fairs in the western region looking for horses to buy, he said.

Fifty years ago, the horse was used as a utility animal. Ownership of horses was also a tradition among the princely families, and a good many of the horses owned were Kathiyavadi.

Currently, the demand among the newly rich is for thoroughbreds (the kind used as race horses) and not indigenous breeds like the Kathiyavadi or Marwari which are not that tall.

“We are trying to popularize ownership of the Kathiyavadi to encourage conservation of the breed. We cannot force people to keep them, but we can only create awareness,” said Prof. Rank. The objective is to get the Kathiyavadi to exist in good numbers across the region so that the breed can be preserved, he said.

Earlier this year, there was an indigenous horse fair conducted by the Anand Agricultural University which fetched a fairly good response, with 400 Kathiawari and Marwari horses being part of the show, said Prof. Rank. Some of the horses owned by the Gujarat police department are of the indigenous variety too, he said. The Kathiawari horse costs between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh, while a pure stallion fetches as much as Rs 5 lakh.

In Gujarat, there are three horse shows supported by the State Government. The Animal Husbandry Department has three horse breeding farms — at Junagadh, Kodinar and Inaj — where the Kathiawari is bred and stallions made available, said Prof Rank.

The Government encourages owners of Kathiawari mares to bring them to the farms to get them impregnated.

Private owners of Kathiawari stallions are charging as much as Rs 25,000 for successful impregnation of a mare, said Prof. Rank.

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