ASHGABAT, April 28 (RIA Novosti) – Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has won the first round of the horse racing, earning more than $11 million, the Turkmen television has reported.
Seven horsemen took part in the first round on Sunday, as Turkmenistan celebrated its annual horse racing day. The Turkmen leader’s horse Berkarar (Powerful) ran the distance within 21.2 seconds, while his closest rival, who came second, finished in 21.9 seconds.
Berdymukhamedov, who takes a personal interest in horse breeding, said he will use the sum he received from the race to support the country’s ailing horse industry.
Local media reported last week, workers in Turkmenistan were forced to visit racecourses in anticipation of the nation's horse racing day, celebrated every last Sunday in April.
The mandatory race-going started from early April. Public institutions sent their employees to the turf on Sundays to watch races. Those who failed to attend could face punishments including dismissal from work, the report said.
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