International Horseback Archery Competition
Ukrainian, Turkish, and Moldovan horseback archers competed
The strings were taut and the arrows ready to strike their targets. Fifteen horseback archers from Ukraine and abroad came for The Scythians International Festival of Equestrian Martial Arts.
“Kyiv was an initial base, I would say the mother of horseback archery. That’s because the Scythians are our ancestors. The Scythians are the first people who tamed the horse and mastered archery simultaneously. Therefore, if we talk about the ancestral land of horseback archery, (we must say that) this is our Ukrainian land,” the President of Kyivan Rus Park, Yanchenko Volodymyr said.
In order to preserve these traditions, Volodymyr established the Horseback Archery Federation of Ukraine. And the Scythian festival is a way to honor that historical martial art.
Art Director of Kyivan Rus Park Natalia Koval came to the event to support her fellow nationals.
“In previous years our horseback archers came in first. And we hope that this year we will also be winners. But still, we have also guests from Turkey and from Moldova, who came here to Ukraine,” Koval said.
One of those was Ruslan Sandu, from Chisinau. He had his fingers crossed that his friend Dmitriy would win the competition. Due to a recent accident, Sandu couldn’t take part himself.
“Our club primarily develops traditional archery. But it also implies some kind of historical reenactment. The key staff of the club has kits for reenactment. And our club is a co-organizer of tournaments in Moldova,” Sandu said.
Vasyl Isupov is also fond of historic reenactments and has been participating in them for five years now. He rides a horse twice a week, but today’s competition seems to be challenging for him. The man says that, here, it is impossible to get used to one horse as the organizers constantly change them to keep participants on their toes.
“We are not just riding horses here. We are also studying our history. How our ancestors thought. I try to bring this into focus. Going forward, we must not forget all the good things there were at that time,” Isupov said.
The organizers of the “The Scythians” International Festival of Equestrian Martial Arts expect that their passion will draw participants and spectators for years to come.