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Oleg A. Balakshin was born in July 1926 to the family of a shipmaster. After graduation from a VeterinaryCollege, he entered the Moscow Institute of Horse Breeding. After graduation from this Institute in 1948, he spent 10 years in the Northern Caucasus and Rostov region were he worked as zootechnician and selectionist in local stud farms.
From 1958 to 1965, O.A. Balakshin was on the staff of the All-Union Research Institute of Horse Breeding where he supervised the breeding of Arabian, Don, and Budennyi horses. In 1966, he became a Candidate of Agricultural Sciences (his dissertation dealt with the evolution of Arabian horses; this subject became his priority for the years to come).
From 1966 to 1986, O.A. Balakshin held supervisory positions in the USSR Ministry of Agriculture. After retirement, he became a lecturer and researcher at the TimiryazevAgriculturalAcademy (Department of Horse Breeding) where he worked till his death in 2004. In 1997, he became a Doctor of Agricultural Sciences and Professor. His doctoral dissertation was based on his vast and unique material concerning Arabian horses which he accumulated during all his life.
O.A. Balakshin made many business trips abroad (Egypt, Poland, Hungary, Syria, Qatar) for tracing the pedigrees of Russian Arabians, purchasing horses, participating in international conferences and as adviser on breeding and compiling studbooks. For many years running, he was an honorary member of the Jockey Club of Egypt and a member of the Executive Committee of the World Arabian Horse Organization (WAHO).
O.A. Balakshin compiled four volumes of Soviet/Russian Studbooks of Purebred Arabian horses. Owing largely to his persistency and hard work, Russian Arabians became recognized all over the world. The Soviet Arabian Studbook was officially approved at the WAHO Conference in Hamburg (1976). His monograph “Arabian Horses in the USSR” (and its revised version “Arabian Horses in Russia”) has become a handbook for many generations of experts and horse-lovers.
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