National Stud Kabiuk
Internet: www.kabiuk.net (English)
The only surviving state stud of Bulgaria is the oldest and most famous stud of the country: Kabiuk National Stud. It was established in 1864 as a military stud for producing horses for the Turkish army. The stud is situated 13 km northeast of Shumen; the average altitude is 194 metres. Even in the first years of its operation, the number of horses reached about 1000. During the Russian-Turkish war 1877 - 1878 all the horses of the stud were exported to Anatolia, Turkey and the stud was closed.
The actual revival of its activities dates back to autumn 1894. The farm was called "Kabiuk State Stud and Stallion Depot". As early as it started operating, the farm had different supplementary departments: cattle farm, sheep farm, pig farm and poultry farm. When the Livestock Husbandry Act was adopted in 2004, the company was renamed into "State Enterprise Kabiuk". Under that act, it shall stay 100% property of the state, governed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Its key activities are horse breeding and state-funded preservation of indigenous cattle and sheep breeds in the genetic reserve existing in the company.
The farm owns 2832 hectares; 2067 hectares is arable land, the rest is meadows, pasture-grounds, constructions etc. The company is divided into the following departments: the stud, the reserve, the cattle farm, the pig farm and the field husbandry.
In the initial phase after Kabiuk stud resumed its operation in the autumn of 1894, the studs were formed by Arabian horses, Orlov Trotters, Arden heavy draft horses and some warmblood crossings. Most of them were imported from Russia, Poland, Austria-Hungary and Turkey. The foundations of two of the breeds that are still in Kabiuk's variety of breeds were laid in that period: the East Bulgarian Riding Horse and the Shagya-Arab. The Thoroughbred section was formed later, in 1954, and the Purebred Arabian section followed in 1977.
Over 400 horses live at Kabiuk. The stud is home to 18 sires and 130 mares. Every year, more than 100 foals are born and more than 90 horses of different training degrees are sold in Bulgaria and to foreign markets. The horses currently bred are Eastbulgarians, Shagya Arabs, Purebred Arabs and Thoroughbreds. Furthermore, the farm maintains small Shetland pony and Haflinger herds.
One of Kabiuk's greatest advantages is the availability of vast natural meadows where the horses are free to run in spring, summer and autumn. Parallel to the abundant natural grass that ensures nourishing and diversified feeding, the unlimited possibilities to move helps the young horses to develop a healthy locomotors system, strengthen their joints and tendons and build proportional strong muscles.
Today, Kabiuk stud is leader in the field of horse breeding activity with special attention to the development of the Bulgarian horse breeding in general. Many horses of the stud were and still are members of the Bulgarian equestrian sport teams. The flat race and classical horse riding practice is performed in the Shumen Hippodrome and Riding school.
The stud provides a large number of services for private breeders, including artificial insemination with the best sires world-wide, testing and licensing of the young horses, professional education, etc.
Kabiuk is a very attractive and popular location for people who love horses. Annually, over 15.000 tourists visit Kabiuk. Over 90% of them come from foreign countries. The visitors are lead with carriages around the broad ranges of the stud where they can observe the herds of horses. Apart from horses one can see the only horse museum of the Balkan countries, where the development of Bulgarian horse breeding from the time of the ancient Thracians until today is illustrated.