Video leaked of Turkmen president falling from horse

May 1, 2013 at 4:01 PM   |   Comments

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, May 1 (UPI) -- Security workers for the president of Turkmenistan forced spectators to delete footage of the official falling from a horse, but video was leaked to the media.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov won an $11 million prize when his horse came in first at an Ashgabat race attended by members of top international equestrian clubs April 28 and the horse stumbled shortly after crossing the finish line, throwing the president from its back, The Moscow Times reported Wednesday.

Berdymukhammedov, who appeared to be unconscious, was taken away in an ambulance and returned to the event about an hour later.

During the hour the president was gone, members of his security detail went through the crowd and forced spectators to delete footage of the incident from cellphones and other devices. Passengers flying out of Ashgabat airport reported law enforcement officers were seizing phones, tablets, laptops and other devices that could have held video of the president's fall.

However, video of the event was obtained by New York news website EurasiaNet.org, which did not reveal the origin of the video.

Berdymukhammedov's win was heralded by state media, which made no mention of the fall. The Chronicles of Turkmenistan, the independent news site that first reported the fall, is currently down due to a hacker attack.

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