Sym­bol of In­ner Mon­go­lia gal­lops in wealth cre­ation

Daily News - - NEWS -

HOHHOT: “We, the Mon­go­lians, could never live with­out our horses.” That is how a horse­man named Al­tanochir al­ways re­sponds when asked about his na­tion and his horse. His an­swer is the same as many other Mon­go­lians.

The well-known horse­man, liv­ing on Xilin­gol prairie in In­ner Mon­go­lian Au­tonomous Re­gion, talks about the horses he rides with his eyes filled with ten­der­ness. He learned how to breed horses like his an­ces­tors and has led a well-off life ever since. He earns an an­nual house­hold in­come of more than $148 000 (R1.9 mil­lion) with the 400 or so horses that he owns.

His rev­enue mainly comes from hold­ing horse races, do­mes­ti­cat­ing horses, and mod­i­fy­ing breeds. Al­tanochir also turned his farm into a tourist des­ti­na­tion and his fam­ily built a two-storey villa in 2015, dec­o­rated with Mon­go­lian pat­terns.

Al­tanochir’s fam­ily were tra­di­tional herds­man un­til Al­tanochir’s fa­ther Baatar traded a camel and a horse for a sec­ond-hand motor bike in 1989. Five years later, he sold six horses and used the money to buy a new mo­tor­bike. With the money from this up­grad­ing of ve­hi­cles, Bataar bought the fam­ily’s first four-wheel ve­hi­cle.

Now, this fam­ily of nine owns five cars.

How­ever, the value of th­ese horses de­creased from $2.39 mil­lion to less than $700 000 from 1975 to 2007, which shocked the gov­ern­ment and the lo­cal peo­ple. Try­ing to pre­serve the Mon­go­lian horse cul­ture and boost the lo­cal econ­omy, the gov­ern­ment has in­vested $2.5m to breed some 2 000 Mon­go­lian horses each year since 2011.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion also or­gan­ised var­i­ous events in­volv­ing sport, cul­ture and tourism, build­ing the horse as the sym­bol of In­ner Mon­go­lia.

In 2006, Al­tanochir traded 10 Mon­go­lian horses for a fer­ghana horse.

Rais­ing a mixed-blood horse has be­come a way of be­com­ing wealthy, as they in­herit ge­netic ad­van­tages.

Al­tanochir’s story is a com­mon among In­ner Mon­go­lians. In Xilin­gol League, horse races and beau­ti­ful prairies have be­come a fa­mous ex­otic des­ti­na­tion for tourists.

Over the past 10 years, thanks to ef­forts of the gov­ern­ment and peo­ple, horse num­bers have in­creased by 18 000, along­side a rise in liv­ing stan­dards. – Xin­hua.

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