PM Modi gifts Turkmen president handcrafted horse saddle

Ashgabat: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday presented a specially handcrafted horse saddle to Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, known to be passionate about horses.

"President Berdimuhamedov is a keen horse rider and known for his passion for horse breeding, racing and equestrian," said an official statement.

PM Modi gifts Turkmen president handcrafted horse saddleIndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov during a signing ceremony following their meeting in Ashkhabad on July 11, 2015. Pic/AFP

In Turkmenistan, horse-riding is an important part of culture.

Berdymukhamedov has also written books about horses and was given the title of "national horse-breeder of Turkmenistan".

In May, Berdymukhamedov's love of horses was immortalised with a golden statue of himself on horseback in the Turkmen capital. The statue in Ashgabat sits atop a mountain of marble, towering some 69 feet above the city.

Berdymukhamedov, 58, a Turkmen dentist and politician, was earlier acting president.

He took over as president following the death of President Saparmurad Niyazov on December 21, 2006.

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