KHUJAND, December 17, 2008, Asia-Plus  -- Some 300 riders from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are expected to gather in the Sughd province to participate in Buzkashi (goat grabbing) that will be held the Qistaqouz jamoat (community) of the Bobojonghafurov district on December 28.

According to the Sughd nature-lovers’ association, some 300 people play this team sport in the province and the Sughd buzkashi and horse race team now numbers 20 sportsmen.

Buzkashi (goat grabbing) is a traditional Central Asian team sport played on horseback. The steppes’ people were skilled riders who could grab a goat or calf from the ground while riding a horse at full gallop.  The goal of a player is to grab the carcass of a headless goat or calf and then get it clear of the other players and pitch it across a goal line or into a target circle or vat.

The game is known as Buzkashi in Tajikistan and Afghanistan and among Persian-speaking populations of Central Asia, while in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, the game is referred to as Kok-boru or Ulak Tartysh.