MOSCOW, June 11. /ITAR-TASS/. The 9th horse race competition for a prize instituted by the Russian president has been held at the Moscow racecourse.
The program of the tournament with an overall prize fund worth $1 million includes nine races in which Russian-raised horses of pure breed will compete. The presidential race is the most important event for horse breeders in this country. This year the horse breeders have brought 139 horses to the Moscow competition, including 33 that for different reasons were rejected.
The presidential horse race is not solely a sports event: it is an important political gathering. The Russian president had attended all the previous horse racing events, except the 2008, 2010 and 2012 events he missed. CIS leaders used to be guests of the Moscow horse show. It was at the Moscow racecourse that the Russian president met heads of Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and where an informal summit of the CIS was once held. Heads of government of the Forum of oil exporting countries used to meet in the framework of the Moscow horse race show.
The presidential prize was instituted in 2004. Several times since the horserace show was held at racecourses in Tatarstan and in the North Caucasus. The 2014 competition is the sixth horse race held in Moscow.
Similar competitions had been held in tsarist Russia since 1772 under the emperor's patronage and were known as the Emperor's Race.