Oryol trotter: breed of horses
The Oryol trotter is a lightly harnessed breed of horses that has a hereditarily fixed ability to frisk trot. The universality of the Oryol trotters served as the basis for the proverb "The horse and in the cart, and under the governor."
In the photo: Orlov trotter
History of the Oryol trotter
Orlov trotters were taken out at the Khrenovsky stud farm (Russian Empire) in the 2nd half of the 18th century. For breeding used Arab, Dutch, Danish, Mecklenburg and other horses.
The breed owes its name to its creator - Count Alexei Orlov-Chesmensky, who devoted his life to breeding work. The goal was to combine in one horse the beauty, grace and dryness of Arabian horses with the power, massiveness and trotting qualities of the harness breeds of Western Europe. At the same time, the horses had to be universal (both under the saddle, and in the plow, and in harness) and hardy, withstand the harsh climate and terrible roads.
In the photo: Orlov trotter
The founder of the Oryol trotter breed is the Arabian stallion Smetanka, whom Orlov purchased from the Sultan of Turkey for huge money (60 thousand rubles). The valuable horse’s journey to the new home lasted about 2 years and ended in 1776.
For the Arabian horse, Smetanka was very large and elegant, and because of the 19th pair of ribs, instead of the standard 18 horses, its back was longer than usual. The stallion was obligated by the nickname with an almost pure white (or, if correctly speaking, light gray) color. Unfortunately, Smetanka did not live a year in the new house, but managed to leave 5 offspring. The skeleton of Smetanki was stored for a long time in the stud farm museum. It was the descendants of Smetanka that laid the foundation for the breeding of the Oryol trotters, namely, the son of Polkan I and the grandson of Bars.
Oryol trotter Smetanka
Then Orlov transferred the horses to the Voronezh province (the village of Khrenovoye), where he founded a stud farm.
All horses displayed at the Khrenovsky Zavod underwent agility tests: in the summer - in trembling, and in the winter - in the sleigh. The distances were both short and long (up to 22 km). For further breeding use, the most hardy and frisky lynxes were selected. It was Count Orlov who began to organize the Moscow Races, which soon became considerable entertainment for the inhabitants of Moscow.
In 1936, the stallion Bull-calf of the bay suit, born at the Khrenovsk stud farm, set a world record for agility - he ran a distance of 3200 m, keeping within 5 minutes 45 seconds.
Soon, Oryol trotters began to spread throughout the Russian Empire, and were also exported abroad. However, unfortunately, the conditions of detention and testing in the homeland of these horses in many cases were terrible, like training methods. Therefore, the results often turned out to be worse than they could be. Nevertheless, the Oryol trotters were widely used as working and traveling horses, and also improved the number of peasant horses.
By the end of the 19th century, standard-bred horses began to arrive in the Russian Empire - American trotters, who over and over again defeated the Oryol trotters on the run. They were not so beautiful and smart, but they got divorced more systematically and trained better. However, the Americans transferred not only horses, but also a training and testing system. The races began to "Americanize" - in particular, the distance changed (instead of 3 versts - 1 mile - 1609 m), and the horses began to be harnessed not in heavy drokji, but in two-wheeled light "Americans", later called "rocking chairs" (in the USA and Europe they were called "salki"). Horses began to be protected at least a little from injuries, although running is still very traumatic and, to put it mildly, an unpleasant kind of test for horses.
Many of the horse breeders abandoned the Oryol trotters and began to breed hybrids (American-Oryol). They were quicker than Orlov trotters, but still inferior to the Americans. The descendants of these mestizos were Russian trotters.
Only thanks to the Oryol trotter Krepysh, who set a speed record at a distance of 1600 m, interest in the breed revived. However, he left few foals, since he died relatively young (at the age of 13) during the Civil War, and to this day his line has not been preserved.
The Civil War significantly reduced the number of Oryol trotters, but in the USSR they again began to breed intensely. Since the 20s of the 20th century, blood flow to other breeds has not been allowed, that is, the breeding method has become purebred.
One of the main lines of the Oryol trotters is the line of the Square. This is a bay stallion, who became not only the champion on the exterior, but also showed outstanding agility. The square was erected with 2 bronze monuments - at VDNH and at the Moscow stud farm.
Another famous line is the line of Peony, a gray stallion in apples. He also had an outstanding exterior and set several speed records. And by the number of frisky descendants, no one was compared with him.
In the photo: Orlovsky trotter Square
However, the Oryol trotters, despite all efforts, continued to lose to the Russian trotters. A very small number of “Orlovites” could compete with the descendants of the “Americans” on the treadmill.
In the 90s of the 20th century, the number of Oryol trotters fell sharply, and in many households they simply starved to death or were sent to meat processing plants for the whole herd. A number of enthusiasts are trying to revive the breed, but it is still in danger of extinction.
Today, the Oryol trotter breed has 8 main lines, the leading among which is the Peony line.
Oryol trotters are bred at Khrenovsky, Chesmensky, Moscow, Perm and Altai stud farms (Russia), as well as at the Dubrovsky stud farm (Ukraine).
Description of the breed Oryol trotter
Oryol trotters are rather large horses (height at the withers - from 157 to 170 cm), harmoniously folded.
Oryol trotter gray in suit apples
Measurements of the Oryol trotters
Height at withers (medium)
Oblique body length (medium)
500 - 550 kg
Exterior types of the Oryol trotter
- Massive (or “thick”) - such horses resemble heavy trucks.
- Dry (or "prize") - lighter, graceful horses.
- Intermediate (or “medium”).
The main suits of the Oryol trotters
- Light gray ("white).
- Gray in apples.
- Red gray.
- Dark gray.
Orlov trotters of a roan and a red suit are less common.
Salt and Bulan Orlov trotters are a rarity, however, they are sometimes found.
The head of the Oryol trotter is small, dry, the neck is set high, the back is strong and muscular.
Proud posture, high movements, graceful.
The tail and mane are magnificent.
The character of the Oryol trotter
Oryol trotters are quite temperamental, but at the same time good-natured horses.
The use of Oryol trotters
Orlov trotter can be called a universal horse.
In addition to racing at the racetrack, Oryol trotters are used under the saddle as walking horses.
They participate in equestrian sports - show jumping and dressage.
Since the Oryol trotters look good in a team, they are sometimes used in driving.
In the photo: Oryol trotter harnessed to a rocking chair
The famous Oryol trotters
The Oryol trotter Krepysh at the beginning of the 20th century was called the "Horse of the Century" for outstanding agility. And the audience called him "Gray Giant." The featured film is dedicated to the famous stallion, which is called “Fortress” (1982).
In the photo: Orlov trotter Krepysh
The most famous Oryol trotter in sports is the light gray Balagur, which for a long time remained the first number in the Russian dressage rating. At the Olympics in Athens (2004), he took 25th place.
In the photo: Orlov trotter Balagur
Orlov trotter Flattery - the hero of the book P. Shiryaev "Grandson of Taglioni." The films “Lyubushka” (1961) and “Trotter” (2005) were shot based on this book.
German artist Rudolf Zurlandt depicted the representatives of the breed in the painting "Oryol trotters in a drawbar and a dog" (1861)
Orlov trotters were also depicted on postage stamps of Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Moldova, Russia, the USSR, Ukraine and Tanzania.