November 01, 2000

Sleigh Revival

Sleighs have a well-deserved place in Russian history and folklore. Who doesn’t know the proverb: “Prepare your cart in winter and your sleigh, in summer”? Or the advisory: “Don’t sit in someone else’s sleigh” (“Ne v svoi sani ne sadis,” meaning “don’t bite off more than you can chew”)? And of course there is Nikolai Gogol’s oft-quoted reference to fast drivers: “What Russian doesn’t like fast riding?!”

So perhaps it is not surprising that sleighs are making a comeback. Sure, Russia’s newly-powerful and newly-rich still like their Mercedes 600-series sedans for getting about town. But a velvet-lined sleigh painted in traditional khokhloma colors is the ideal status symbol for zipping through snow-laden woods near your dacha.

The Moscow-based KSIOK factory is well placed to take advantage of this new trend. Founded 156 years ago to provide horse tackle for Prince Urusov, a famous horse breeder, it is today the top supplier of equine accessories in all Russia.

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