The Hucul Artery, as a unique product of tourism, has been being prepared since 2009. The initiator of this idea, as well as its executor is the Slovak Hucul Club (Slovenský hucul klub a Zbojská, s.r.o.). The National Park Administration Authority joined this project actively during its processing. The basis of this idea is to offer the visitors an opportunity to ride on a saddle of Hucul horses in the area of the National park Muránska planina – Čierny Hron.
The Hucul Artery is growing into a wider complex of goals and services in these days: from preservation of the Hucul horse breeding in the National park Muránska planina and conservation of the biodiversity within this area, over different forms of education programmes, to creation of a new cluster of products in tourism and development of sustainable tourism. However, the key issue remains building of a high-quality product called „Riding Over the Hucul Artery“.
Why horses, why Hucul horses?
The National Park Muránska planina and horse breeding have been linked together over many decades. Since 1950 half-wild horses - Huculs have been bred under the castle Muráň. Its initial aim was to preserve the Hucul horse breeding, but later on the breeding and production of horses utilized for forestry got into focus. There were some experiments with crossbreeding to create a new breed called ”Slovak Mountain horse“. Upon a time, we started to breed coldblooded Noriker of Muráň type and 1997 was the ranch proclaimed to be a gene reserve of Noriker of Muráň type and conserved breeding. Recently the overall number of horses bred is about 300. The interconnection of the area of Muránska planina and horses is largely contributed by the popular Rodeo Muráň, which is one of the most significant events of this type in Slovakia.
In the opposite corner of our region, in the village Sihla nad Čiernym Balogom, was in 1999 established a non-profit organisation The Slovak Hucul Club initiated by volunteers. Its prior aim is to save and preserve the Huculs as a unique breed. A herd of about 40 horses can be found in Sihla nowadays. Many other attractive and imposing events devoted to the horses are being organized each year – like ”The Hucul Parade“.
The third reason is the revived tradition of robbery in the saddle Zbojská between the hills Fabova hoľa and Klenovský Vepor, on the road connecting the town Brezno with Tisovec. Literal translation of the word Hucul from Romanian language is actually „forest robber“. In the project “Hucul Artery“ we would like to introduce the history and contemporary situation of the Hucul – forest robber – breeding in the area of Muránska planina – Čierny Hron in an authentic way, as well as the history of the robbery itself.