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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 15, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Third Section The LetHbrtdge Herald August 1973 Pages 33 HORSE AND Once it ims responsible for building a great now it is an ancient symbol of national well-being ULAN Mongolia As Russia is the land of the bear and China the land of the so Mongolia is the land of the horse. It was the horse that gave the Mongols one of the greatest empires the world has ever and when the very memory of the empire seems faintly ludicrous to most it is still the horse that provides the basis of the national well-being. So natural- JOHN special to The Herald a visit 'M Mongolia is not complete without a journey onto the steppe to see the horse in its natural habitat. For a horse lover it is a jour- ney to the for stu- dies have shown that it was on the rolling grasslands of central that the horse originated. First tamed by no- mad tribes for use in hunting and it later migrated across a now vanished land badge to North and thence to where it evolved into the proud stallion that played so important a role in the history of the western from Thermopylae to Waterloo. While the migrant strain was developing along lines that gave the world the beauty of a Secre- the indigenous species evolved more slowlj. and re- mains today not much more than a pony a sturdv to be but one where growth emls before it has de- veloped the grace and haughti- ness of the western thorough- or its speed. stocky. with a shaggy mane and tail and a Roman nonetheless it is exceptionally and capable of withstanding the ex- tremes of weather on the steppe. For a host of travellers through the a journey out onto the steppe has been a romantic imbued with the aura of the Genghis and who led their Mongol horsemen on the great campaigns that gave them an empire that stretched from the Adriatic to the Yellow but for it was a more mundane accomplished in a Russian-built taxi that pick- ed us up at our hotel in Ulan Bator and deposited us back there three hours after a busman's safari onto the neigh- boring steppe. Our companions for the jour- ney were the inimitable Purev- the amiable rogue assigned to us as a travel and Tom a bald- ing retired Royal Air Force now serving as a Queen's we had met on the train from Pek- ing to Ulan Bator while Fran- a former stockbroker of some refinement who was serv- ing as Tom's companion cour- ier on the run to the Mongolian had withdrawn from the safari at the last after preparing himself for the experience by secreting an em- ergency roll of toilet paper in the crown of his best English trilby. After a quick stop at the city's main department where we deposited the mannerly we headed westwards out of the city along the road that leads to the new indus- trial city of Darkhan. 150 miles away to the northwest For the first few miles it was a dreary with the sprawling congregations of yurts to eith- er side of the road broken only by iihe occasional factory belch- ing black smoke into the but soon the suburbs fell leaving only the rim of the dis- tant hills to break the land- scape of the seppe. For half an hour or the only other humans we saw were bands of construction workers laying pipe beside the and truckloads of weary- jooking Mongolian soldiers head- ing into the perhaps from combat manoeuvres on the but just as we were beginning to think we might be the only living souls between our stretch of highway and we approached a level and there beside it a character we had been looking for since our first mo- ments in a crossing guard. Familiar a railwayman of any kind would not be high on our list of photographic but a Mongolian crossing guard is a class of his own. One of our first dis- coveries after entering the country aboard the train from he habitually performs his duties on sitting erect in the with a furled green flag held to one as the tram thunders by. We had and to get a good photograph of this pro- cedure from the window of the and so had bidden Purev to find us a guard willing to pose. Apparently such requests are a familiar routine for the chunkily-built for he had no sooner opened the door of the car than the a wea- thered-looking old man in a heavy sheepskin del came for- ward to offer his hand. Seemingly well aware of what he he motioned to his tied to a post beside the and grinned toothless- obviously happy to accom- modate the tourists' whim. In a moment he had unhitched the swung himself up into the and moved over be- side the where he flag and while we worked away with the cameras. See herd After bidding him farewell and giving him 10 tugriks for his we climbed back aboard the car and headed westwards across the low-lying band of hills rimming the plateau and down into another stretch of it too ringed by a band of hills and so it went for another half hour or until finally the driver pulled off the highway onto a rutted pathway leading to nothing the eye could save possibly the hills. After another 10 minutes or so now anxiously scan- ning the horizon from his seat beside the called a announced that he had a mile or two distant across the the object of our a herd of grazing freely on the open as they have done in these parts since time immemorial and might still be doing in North America had the White Man not put a stop to it with his affinity for parcelling out the land into pri- fenced-off reserves. Turning east and run- ning for a short distance along a dried-up river our driver finally brought up to the fringes of the largest herd of horses we had ever seen outside of a Hollywood western of we learned in every Continued on Page 36 Out of antiquity Herdsman Shagdar with lasso on long pole and herd of horses In background. AUGUST FUR EVENT FURS FOR FUN FURS FOR ELEGANCE Lush Canadian Mink Bordered Muskrat. Smartly fashioned Fox Lustrous Persian Lamb these just some of the fur looks you'll find in CANADIAN FURRIERS exciting collection specially priced for August From to OPEN A BUDGET ACCOUNT TODAYI CANADIAN FURRIERS will place your selection in cold Fur storage without charge until those wintry winds birt you should make your choice early for the best selection. CANADIAN FURRIERS A TRADITION OF PARAMOUNT THEATRE BLDG. 4th AVENUE SOUTH FIRST TO _ _ _. __ __ t __ __ ._ ._.. While Shopping at Centre Village be sure to enter in the BACK TO SCHOOL CONTEST 1st PRIZE--10 Speed Bicycle 2nd Centre Village Gift Certificate 3rd Centre Village Gift Certificate The above will drawn for at 5 p.m.r Sept. 1st. Plus PLUS 10 Gift Certificates drawn for at random from August 15th 31st. PLENTY OF FREE PARKING Fill in the coupon below or entry forms available at all Mall stores. Everyone is eligible to win. Yes It's time to go back to books and class- rooms. You'll need new clothes and school supplies. So tell Mom and Dad about the great buys they'll find at Centra Village Mall. r Centre Lethbridge Back-to-School Contest NAME I ADDRESS Centre Mall that Has it air PHONE.................. J ;