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Xinjiang herdsmen put on traditional ‘thousand steeds galloping’ shows

The herdsmen in Ili River Valley of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have put on a series of horse shows featuring the stunning scene of “a thousand steeds galloping through river and grassland” to keep this old nomadic tradition alive.

In Zhaosu County, home to the renowned breed of Ili’s “heavenly horses”, a number of horse-themed activities have been held to celebrate the centuries-old Kazak nomadic culture.

Enjoy the spectacular scene of herds of #horses galloping across Zhaosu Prairie in #Xinjiang, #China with familiar melody of theme song of "The Legend of Condor Heroes". Feeling the passion of being the heroes to ride the horses, bend bows and shoot the condors? #AmazingChina

— Ji Rong嵇蓉 (@JiRongMFA) July 17, 2022
On Saturday, some 300 herdsmen from a dozen villages and towns gathered in Zhaosu prairie and herded 10,000 Ili “heavenly horses” to gallop across the grasslands.

The stunning scene, dubbed as “thousands of horses galloping and thrilling”, showcased nomadic people’s exquisite skills to herd an army of sprinting horses.

The history of Ili horses dates back to the Western Han Dynasty about two millenniums ago, when the animal was mainly used for transportation.

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