Text Anna Nikolaeva
After the Parisian Peace Platov accompanied Russian emperor Alexander 1 to London. The Kozak ataman got unbelievably popular in England. Oxford University presented him with Doctor of Law sciences certificate, his portrait decorated one of the ceremony halls of the Royal Palace and a new 80-cannon English ship was named after him.
Despite the European glory Platov returned on Don and dedicated himself to his homeland and its capital – Novocherkassk. New roads were built, new schools and hospitals were founded, postal service and wine business were developing. But his greatest love and care were given to the horse breeding. Other breeders on don also followed his example and were able to continue his deal when in 5 years Platov died.
Don horses appeared on the horse markets of Russia more and more frequently. Horses were bought for regular Russian cavalry and took the place of more expensive “traditional” military saddle horses. In a Pushkin’s fairy-tale at a paradise-like and very rich market the merchants were presenting “horses, each one a don stallion”. It was also a Don stallion that Evgeny Onegin was riding in the other Pushkin’s drama.
RECORDS. Many different horses influenced the Don breed: Persian, Karabakh, Turkmen, English and Arabian Thoroughred and others. The organized stud breeding replaced folk selection. The horses were trained in endurance, in combined stud training and tests. The fame of the “wonder horse” got far behind the Russian borders. Here are some numbers from the breed’s history.
In 1899 cornet Aseev with his Don mares Vlaga and Diana has covered the distance of 2.633 km from Poltava to Paris in 30 days. He made about 80 km each day and a 110 km distance the last day. At this time the All-World horse exhibition took place in Paris, and the cavalryman with his horses got in the centre of everybody’s attention at once. More Than 200 magazines have written amused articles about that long-distance run.
In the Soviet period Don horses were valued even higher than before and kept on suprising the breeders with new records.