Buzkashi, ancestral competition

This article is also available in: Italiano

We present Buzkashi, one of the most loved sports in Central Asia still today and which, in a certain sense, tells its story. Ancient ancestor of polo, this game will open you up to a distant world that proudly stands the test of time.

The game of the Turks

The Buzkashi was brought to Central Asia by the various migrations of Turkish nomadic peoples who settled there. The name of the game literally means “catch the goat” and perfectly explains the purpose and method. In fact, this sport consists in dragging a goat carcass (preferably of veal due to the consistency of the meat) aboard horses, aiming either to sow rivals or to throw it in a defined area. All in 2 formations both composed of 5 cahapandoz, “knights”.


National sport of countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, it was banned in Afghanistan with the arrival of the Taliban but once ousted, the game immediately started to be played again.

Back to the basics

For a very long time the buzkashi did not enjoy a real regulation, causing the athletes to suffer serious and heavy injuries in many competitions. However, the situation has recently changed, providing this sport with a simple but clear regulation that has allowed the game to take the official leap into professionalism. Let me be clear: the carcass always remains, but the rules have greatly modernized it, making it clearer and safer.


Thanks to the latter, in fact, the buzkashi takes place in defined times (in Afghanistan 2 times of 45 minutes), it is no longer allowed to deliberately hit the opponents and the figure of the referee has been introduced. The game, however, remains one of the most beautiful representations of the times that were, jealously guarded in these areas of the world. With this sport it is possible to relive the ancestral magic of our ancestors, in love with their horse and the wind in their hair, joyful of the clash in all its forms.

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