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Budenny - Horse Breed & Info



Characteristics of the Budenny


Budenny Horse Article and Photos Copyrighted - see credits below

The Budenny horse was developed in Russia and by 1948 the breed was fully developed and recognized and is used for riding, sport, transport, harness, farm work international dressage and jumping and steeplechasing. Budonny horses have covered mile in one minute, 14 seconds and 5 miles in 11 minutes, 30 seconds. Another covered 192 miles under saddle in 24 hours, ridden for 20 hours out of 24. During the 1920's Russian began a serious effort to create new breeds, a process that involved complex experiments in cross breeding. Originally intended as a cavalry horse of endurance, the Budenny is a success as an international riding horse.  The stallions have also been, in their turn, extremely valuable in developing and improving other Russian breeds, such as the Kaakh, Kirgiz and Don.

Don and Thoroughbreds were crossed with local steppe horses, especially the Kazakh and Kirgiz, to produce the Budenny, named after the great Soviet cavalry leader of the Civil War). Early days in the formation of the breed saw Don and Kazakh crosses, though hardy, being prone to certain faults in the legs, and the low set neck and insufficient withers made them uncomfortable to ride. Crosses of the Kazakh with Thoroughbreds, on the other hand, moved freely and gracefully but were not sufficiently hardy or fertile. The key was crossing Don with Thoroughbred.

Over 600 mares were used in the original experiments. Over half of the mares were Anglo-Don, a Thoroughbred cross. Others were an Anglo-Don and Chernomor cross or simply Anglo-Chernomor. The first stallions used were Anglo-Don stallions and these are now regarded as the breed's foundation.  When Thoroughbred characteristics were no sufficiently pronounced in mares, they were re-crossed with Thoroughbred stallions.

The successful progeny were raised carefully on a generous diet and performance tested at 2 and again at 4 years of age. The Budenny is rigorously tested on the racetrack and over longs distances.

The Budenny horses have a strong constitution, well developed muscles, a rather heavy body but lightly built with the appearance of a true riding horse, and an energetic but calm temperament. The head is medium sized and dry, with a straight or slightly concave profile, handsome and showing the Thoroughbred influence.  The neck is long, set on high, and often curved. The withers are high, the back straight, relatively short, wide and flat. The loins are wide, long, and muscular. The croup is long; the shoulder long and slanting, but not as long as the Thoroughbred, with the ribs long and rounded. The legs are dry with good bone and clearly outlined tendons. The pasterns are medium long, usually properly slanted. The hoof is medium large, regularly formed, with study good bone. The essential measurements aimed for are length of barrel 5 feet, 4 inches (163cm); the girth 6 feet, 3 inches (190cm); and bone below the knee an optimistic 8 inches.

Chestnut is the most prevalent color, but brown, bay and black are also common while grey almost never occur. Height runs  from 15.2 to 16 hands. The breed shows good, productive regular movement in all paces and jumps well.

The name of the breed has been spelled Budenny, Bodenny, Budyonny, Budennii, or Budennoysky, and in Russian Семён Михайлович Будённый  but is basically pronounced "bood-YAW-knee".

Also on this site, the section on the Warmblood horse and Sport Horse provides further information.

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Photo at the top of the page of Kinaja, © Karina Rapp Zalatoy Ranch.

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