Turkey recently hosted its first international horseback archery (and Cirit competition) in the Anatolian city of Sivas.

Two members of the BHAA were invited and attended; they were joined by colleagues from Iran, Poland, Germany, Korea, Hungary and of course Turkey.

There will be a full write up of the event in the November issue of our newsletter The Parthian Shot. To subscribe please email us and add “Newsletter” to the subject line.

In short, the Turkish hosts used the opportunity to show case two new (yet old) styles of competition – 1) Qabaq and 2) a new style of course named the “Mamluk style”.

Qabaq is a very old horseback archery game with roots in Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Persia and India. Termed “gourd-shooting” in English is essentially involves galloping past a mast (around 6-8 metres high) and hitting a target. The picture of two Mamluk Faris below should give you an idea of what its about.



To view the scores of the competition please click > Qabaq Scores 2009

The Mamluk style competition was an new invention but based on old Mamluk furusiyya scripts which described the basic shots any Faris had to master in order to be classed as decent. Similar to the “Korean style” course however there was one target on the “wrong” side of the track (meaning the rider had to shoot over the horse’s head) plus the targets moved position after each run to properly test each riders’ archery skills.

To view the scores of the Mamluk competition click > Mamluk Scores 2009

The BHAA would like to extend its thanks to the organisers for their amazing hospitality. We hope to visit you again next year!




Some footage from the event up at Turk.net

Youtube.com > Qabaq champion Simone Fezer

Youtube.com > Turkish rider Gökmen Altınkulp

International Cirit Match > Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3




Check out TurkishArchery.info