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In Memory - Murmansk (1999-2008)


Oasis Akhal-Tekes purchased this beautiful stallion from the Pontecorvo Trust. He was a grandson of the legendary Munir through his sire Mamuk, and therefore a member of one of the rarest sire lines in the breed, the Ak-Sakal line. He arrived here in North Carolina on March 25th 2008 and settled in quite easily. His phenomenal temperament allowed him to be turned out with geldings for company. We planned to breed all of our mares, both Akhal-Teke and Arabian to him beginning the first of May but it was not to be. On April 22, he suffered a testicular torsion further complicated by a loop of small intestine having become strangulated by the spermatic cord. He was rushed to the nearest surgical facility and underwent six hours of lifesaving surgery which lasted through the night and into the early hours of the morning.


He spent the next eighteen days in the hospital with the intravenous fluids that were being fed into his system to keep him hydrated backing up into his stomach and having to be drained out through a nasogastric tube while we waited for his small intestines to begin working again. The mood of his veterinarians swung back and forth from optimism to dispair sometimes several times a day during this difficult period. Since his digestive system wasn't working, there was no way to get any nourishment to his body so he lost a tremendous amount of weight and by the time of his release on May 10th, he looked like a refugee from a concentration camp.


We worked very hard after his release from the hospital to safely build up his strength and get his weight back up to normal. We had just received approval from the veterinarian to start him slowly back to work under saddle by the time of the SANA show in Lexington, KY so we were able to enter him in that national competition. Although he didn't win any championships there, we are thankful that we were able to take him because of the many wonderful photos that were taken of him by several talented photographers while he was there.


Early in October Murmansk, along with JBK Gulkusi, represented the breed in a local Parade of Breeds event the proceeds from which benefitted the USERL (US Equine Rescue League). He had almost fully recovered from his surgery and had received approval to begin breeding. Plans were again being made for the 2009 breeding season but once again, it was not to be. On October 25th, while playing in his turnout paddock as a Cross-country event went on around him, Murmansk fell, got to his feet but almost immediately fell again and this time was unable to rise. The show veterinarian was summoned and, upon examination, determined that the only option was euthanasia. A heart attack was the only possible explanation revealed by the subsequent necropsy.