International Traditional Reindeer Herding Championship kicks off in Yakutia
© RIA Novosti. Pavel L'vov

International Traditional Reindeer Herding Championship kicks off in Yakutia

Thirteen teams from reindeer-breeding regions in Russia, Mongolia, China, Greenland and Iceland arrived in Yakutia for the 1st International Traditional Reindeer Herding Championship. The championship takes place in the city of Neryungri and the village of Iyengra of the Neryungrinsky District of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

“We are happy that our republic has become a venue for a gathering of the world’s reindeer breeders and for promoting a dialogue between them. Apart from professional show competitions, this is a venue for exchanging experience between the world’s reindeer breeders. I am confident that the international championship will become an additional incentive for discussing topical issues related to the preservation of the reindeer breeding sector and its development, and that this will lay the foundation for the long-term development of this important sector in Russia,” Head of Yakutia Aisen Nikolayev wrote on his Telegram channel.

Those at the five-day event will compete in sled hurdling, lasso tossing and reindeer sled racing. The jury will also evaluate their Arctic competences, such as lighting campfires in the winter, cooking fish soup on the fire, setting up a reindeer corral, building a skin tent, fashioning reindeer breeder tools and harnesses, catching and harnessing a reindeer, and repairing and riding a snowmobile.

On the first day of the championship, Neryungri hosted an extraordinary meeting of the Reindeer Owners and Breeders Association Council. The participants decided to establish an eastern branch of the association due to the complicated international situation. The eastern branch will comprise 20 regions in the Russian Federation, as well as China and Mongolia. The remaining nine regions will set up the western branch. Both branches will work under the same  charter.