From time immemorial the horse has been an inseparable companion of man, and so is in the Alka of Sinj.
On the grassy expanses of fields near the river Cetina grooms would meet, bringing their fast horses to graze, and there they would be riding and racing. In the most parts of the gentle river Cetina strong, durable, lightweighted and fine oriental horses were bred. Just that fine, light type of horse is used for the needs of the Alka Tournament.
Here are fine, dry and noble heads, with long and straight crupper and soft, shiny, silky mane. Several breeds and types of horses are suitable for the Alka running. It is important that they can run from Biljeg (the starting point) to the alka in 13 seconds. The running course is 160m long from the starting point to the alka, and the rest is the stopping distance of 150m to the end of the course.
By the breed structure, so far, Arabian horses, English thoroughbred horses and Lipzzeners have been the most represented horses in the Alka tournaments. There have also been Holstein horses, treakehners, gidrans, budjonnies and other breeds either purebred or crossbred.
The most beautiful and the only horse that nobody rides is “Edek”. Its saddle is of Turkish origin, with silver and nacre inserted in wooden parts. A sabre, which is richly decorated and studded in silver, hangs from the saddle. Edek is in fact the Duke’s reserve horse, but folk legends have identified it with the captured horse and equipment of Serascher Mehmed-pasha, the Turkish army commander in 1715, and the archetype of the Alka itself can be seen in its stirrups.
In the past in the valley of the river Cetina horses were strong, light and noble oriental animals. The beauty of a horse is even more pointed out when it is adorned in ceremonious horse harness: then it becomes the horse warrior.