Also Known By: Kushumskaya (Russian), West Kazakh Saddle-Draft
The Kushum breed was developed at Pytimarsk and Furman studs in Urals region of Kazakhstan from 1931 to 1976. The breed was developed largely from trotter, Thoroughbred, Don, Budyonny and Kazakh breeding.
Originally, the goal was to develop, on the basis of the native Kazakh horses, a good army mount suitable for keeping in taboons all the year round. Kazakh mares were crossed with Thoroughbreds and half breeds, as well as the trotters, to obtain larger size and to improve gaits.
To retain the Kazakhs' high adaptability to taboon management while maintaining and improving the size and action, the crossbreds were mated with Don stallions. The three-way crosses were subsequently bred inter se. As a result, a new breed was developed, characterized by high adaptability, large size and good versatile working qualities.
Its high adaptability to local conditions, reflected in increased weight gain in spring and autumn, renders the Kushum suitable for meat and milk production. Its large size and live weight guarantee a high yield of horse meat.
The characteristic features of the Kushum are a solid build of a saddle-harness horse type; the head is large but nor coarse; the neck is average in length and fleshy; the withers are pronounced; the back is long and flat; the croup is well muscled but, not long enough; the chest is broad and deep; the legs are properly set. The stallions' measurement (in cm) are: height at withers 159, oblique body length 161, chest girth 187, cannon bone girth 20.5. The live weight is 520-550 kg. The mares measure 154, 157, 182 and 19.2 respectively. The colors are bay and chestnut.
The Kushum is versatile and has high endurance. In all-day tests, the best results were 214 and 280 km. The record horse did 100 km in 4 hr and 11 min. In 20 km harness tests at the trot with a pull of 28 kg the best time was 5 min 54 sec; walking time for the same distance with a pull of 70 kg was 16 min 44 sec. The mares' average daily milk yield is 13-14 liters. One kilogram of live weight gain requires an average of 8 fodder units.
With taboon management the Kushum shows fertility and sound health. Eighty to 84 foals per 100 mares survive to one year of age.
The breed comprises three intra-breed types, the basic, the heavily muscled and the saddler. Six lines are being formed. The breed is mainly Pyatimarsk and Krasnodon studs. The outlook is for development through pure breeding.
Dmitriez, N.G. and Ernst, L.K. (1989) Animal Genetic Resources of the USSR. Animal Production and Health Paper Publ. by FAO, Rome, 517 pp.
Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.