Turkmenistan president falls off horse

Matthew Hendricks By Matthew Hendricks, 13th Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Sport

Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov narrowly escaped injuries after falling from a horse during a national horse racing event in May 2013.

Turkmenistan president falls off horse

According to straitstimes.com, state media in the isolated ex-Soviet state maintained a rigid silence on the incident.

Mister Berdymukhamedov suffered the fall seconds after he won a kilometre-long horse race in Ashgabat on his favourite mount Berkarar (The Powerful) at an annual horse festival.

Zeenews.india.com reports that the president remained lying still for several seconds on the race track before dozens of security guards rushed over to attend him.
He was eventually taken away in an ambulance car.

BBC News reports their correspondent says that there was a shocked silence in the stadium for about 30 minutes and no public announcements were made. Some spectators began to cry in expectation of bad news.

Foreign reporters trying to confirm that it really was the president who had taken a fall were asked by their minders not to make telephone calls, record video footage or report what was happening.

After about 40 minutes the president reappeared in traditional Turkmen dress to a large round of applause. He calmly waved at the crowd, apparently unharmed, and the event resumed as if nothing had happened.

Journalists were then assembled by officials and asked politely to erase all pictures and footage taken of the incident, which was described as a "sporting accident" of no interest to people at home or abroad.

The accident was a major embarrassment to aides more used to presenting their leader in the best possible light.

The president wields almost absolute power in the secretive Central Asian country, where dissent is not tolerated and free speech is non-existent.

Tags

Falling Off, Fell Off, Horse, President, Turkmenistan

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author avatar Matthew Hendricks
Matthew Hendricks has been writing on various topics for various websites for the past six years. His background includes media, web design, videography, video editing and consumer reviews.

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