China gets record import of prized horses

BEIJING, June 17 (Xinhua) -- A record-breaking import of 42 Ferghana horses has confirmed China's love for one of the elite horse breeds.

The race horses were brought in from Russia this month, the Guangming Daily reported Tuesday.

China has long imported the prized breed, but this consignment was by far the biggest ever, the newspaper said.

After a five-day journey from their home in Russia, they entered China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on June 12 through a border between China and Kazakhstan.

The horses will be raised as studs, allowing China to breed its own, the newspaper said.

Since the breed first came to China more than 2,000 years ago, Chinese people's love for the purebred has never waned.

The breed, known as "heavenly horse," has been given as a state gift to China three times by Turkmenistan since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1992. The import of the horses carries a special timely meaning for the Chinese as 2014 is the year of the horse in the lunar calendar.