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    ​CNN speaks about the national sport of Azerbaijan - Сhovgan

    Karabakh horses are a symbol of national heritage and pride

    Baku. 11 June. REPORT.AZ/ CNN devoted a story for national sport of Azerbaijan - Chovgan. Report informs, the plot is shown under the rubric "On the Road" and is timed to the First European games Baku-2015, which will take place in Azerbaijan.

    It's the Azerbaijani national sport, recognized for its rich cultural significance and inextricably linked with the country's favorite animal -- but playing it is not for the faint-hearted.

    The authors stress that this kind of sports is ancient and its roots can be traced back to the middle of the first millennium, and it doesn't have any frills.

    Although the basic rules are pretty much the same as those of polo, there are no helmets or safety gear for players. Chovgan is a game of skill but, more than anything else, it is one of courage.

    But the key trait of Chovgan, those who know and play it say, is the sort of attitude and bravery that are needed to shine.

    "People who are a little bit afraid of some action in life cannot do this," Bahruz Nabiyev, the head of Azerbaijan's Equestrian Federation, says.

    Chovgan is related with the Karabakh horses, which are officially recognized by world heritage body UNESCO.

    Yashar Guluzade, who has been breeding the animals in the forested foothills of Sheki, told CNN that conflict and a difficult economic situation led to a decline.

    As Khandan Rajabli, the head of the Agriculture Ministry's breeding division, puts it: "The Karabakh horses are a symbol of national heritage and pride. It's an ancient, national breed that is inseparable from our national identity."

    The "On the Road" rubric is devoted to culture, heritage and customs of the countries.

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