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Cossack Fame, Speed and…Horsepower

06.05.2019

The blood of ancestors is excited in the veins of the Cossack when he sees a steed ready for military service. But there has come the time for the Don men to prefer a cool motorcycle-bike. Especially, as sometimes about a hundred or more horses “graze” in its cylinders. The National M.A.Sholokhov Museum-Reserve holding for the sixth time the literary ethnographic holiday “Steed is the Dearest for Cossack” (Cossack battle arts of Vyoshenskaya) managed to reconcile the horse rider and the motorized rider…

The holiday program began on Sunday morning, May 5, 2019, with traditional competitions on Cossack pentathlon: representatives of ten teams (including those from Novy Urengoy, Nadym, Millerovo and others) started to compete in speed and perfect saddling, bullet shooting, javelin and knife throwing, cutting rods and moving targets with a saber. The teams were rated by total, and each member was rated personally for his mastery. After the competitions the guests could show their skills.

The pentathlon winners were awarded cups and medals.

Young Cossacks liked the competitions “Keep Yourself in the Saddle”, “Russian Fun”, “Hit the Target”, “Lasso a Horse” and, of course, “Bold Cossack”.

Nearby, there was a field Cossack camp. Little Cossack sportsmen showed their performance, and the children folk ensembles entertained the viewers with their art of songs and dances.

The horse and Cossack have a long history of their relations and friendship. The Stables being a site of the holiday gave an opportunity for the guests to know about the stalls, paddock, manege and fodder room. The guide showed around and told interesting stories about it. In another tour “The World of Sholokhov Steppe” the visitors could learn about the unique nature of the Don country, about the plants, steppe and meadow herbs that are so lovingly described by the writer in his immortal books.

This time the Cossacks of Vyoshenskaya were visited by the members of the motorcycle club “Nochniye Volki” (Night Volves) from Rostov and Volgograd. They brought an exhibition “The Crimean Spring” telling about the events on the Crimean peninsula in March 2014, and about Russian bikers taking part in them.

“It’s easy to get to Vyoshenskaya from Rostov, – says biker Alexander Koshak”, – there are only 350 kilometers. Crimean events? No, I didn’t have a chance to take part in them, but I was at the opening ceremony of the Crimean Bridge. A grand construction! Here, in the picture I am standing with a Russian flag. I would like to drive a Russian motorcycle, but it is not produced… I have a “Yamaha”. The folks of Vyoshenskaya come up, get interested, ask to take photos. We do not refuse anyone, put children behind the rudder”.

The exhibition “The Victory Never Known by History” is placed at the entrance of the Stables. There are photos showing M.A.Sholokhov, a front correspondent during the war, episodes of filming the short story “The Fate of a Man”. Just here, at the exhibition, the Museum and the Vyoshenskaya department of “Post of Russia” organized an opportunity for the visitors to send original Victory Day greeting postcards to their families and friends. And they didn’t miss the chance.

Other two exhibitions – “The Don Palette” and “Oh, You, My Sleigh!” also had an open air run. The first one showed children’s works of the winners in the drawing competition “Our Sholokhov”, the second one showed horse-drawn “winter transport” often mentioned in the works of the writer.

And there it was time for the volunteers to compete in traditional and block archery and shooting from pneumatic version of a Makarov and Stechkin pistols, Mosin rifle, Kalashnikov assault rifle and Shpagin submachine gun. The winner was friendship, of course!

The children enjoyed merry attractions, together with their parents they tasted porridge from the field kitchen, and then they flew up and down in the wicker nest-swings.

The guests of the festival had a pleasure of riding on horses and ponies, in carriages and on horseback. They had a pleasure boating around the Tsaryov Pond, visited the “prerevolutionary” photo studio to have a photo taken for memory wearing old Cossack clothes.

An hour before noon, the audience crowded around the improvised stage to see an ethnographic performance “Thank God, We are Cossacks!” The program hosts, experienced Cossacks, answered the questions of young Cossacks telling them about the Don history, the heroes of the Don country, about the feats, devotion to the native land. The composition was accompanied by the performance of the ensemble “Pravoslavny Don”, amateur school groups, karate athletes, members of the public organizations, and others.

The festival opening ceremony was joined by A.M.Sholokhov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Culture of the RF State Duma, S.N.Bodryakov, Director of the Department for Cossack Affairs of the Rostov Region, O.A.Anistratenko, Director of the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov, and others. They greeted the audience and wished a success for the members and viewers of the festival.

Then, the Museum horsemen and representatives of the Millerovo equestrian squad and horse club named after General Baklanov showed once again that in capable hands even one horse power is quite a lot! They galloped in a drift, made reformations with flags, showed horse jumping, elements of trick riding, a ride standing on two horses, a “pyramid” on three horses, and others. Saying goodbye the horsemen at a gallop traditionally threw armfuls of lilacs to the audience.

Following this exciting performance the people moved closer to the airport to see figure motorcycle driving, stunt riding and power extreme. The stuntmen from Volgograd and Taganrog showed their virtuous wheel mastery. The motorcycles and quad bikes demonstrated drift, in-place rotation, riding on one wheel, standing on the saddle and so on.

The Don strong man Dmitry Nagorny, an international sports master in power extreme, again showed his performance. During a few seconds he managed to hold by special belts two motor cars moving in opposite directions trying “to break” the hands clasped on his chest.

At the end, the motorcyclists rode in front of the audience and were rewarded with a burst of applause. The bright, exciting and impressive festival “Steed is the Dearest for Cossack” was over for the guests to admire and remember the best festival moments during the year.

 

Alexey Kochetov