A traditional competition in goat dragging has been held in Russia’s Altai. The organizer of the competition, Chagat Almashev, has told TASS of the game’s peculiarities.
Despite the assimilation of the Soviet times, the Central Asian traditional sport of goat dragging has survived, and one of the oldest Turkic games is still practiced in the mountains of Altai.
The participants in the game, horse-mounted players, attempt to grab a goat carcass and place it in a goal. Originally, there were up to 100 people participating, and only one goal. The person that was the first to succeed in placing the goat in the goal was the winner.
With time, the rules have changed. Nowadays two teams are formed with four horsemen and two substitutes in each. Like in football, two goals are used.
Horses for the game are specially bred in the mountains. Only the sturdiest horses are picked for goat dragging.
In the old days, the goat was cooked and eaten by the participants after the competition. Some still do that today.
Goat dragging is also practiced in other Russian regions, as well as in other Central Asian countries. According to Almashev, six Altai teams participated in the competition this time, while it would be interesting to involve teams from other regions and countries.