For those who love equestrian sports, the ongoing week promises to be quite an eventful one. The Raymond National & Junior National Equestrian Championships, organised by the Amateur Riders’ Club (ARC), will see participants from across the country competing in various categories within the sport.
Besides the thrilling Jumping competition, which judges the ability of the horse and the athlete in dealing with myriad obstacles, one can also watch Dressage, where participants are rated on how happy, free and unconstrained the horse’s trot is. The Tent Pegging contest will see competitors dashing in the field, vying to pick up wooden blocks with a sword or a lance and carry them to the opposite corner.
“Our main focus is to promote this sport among the youth. We are expecting around 70-80 kids to participate in various competitions. Over a hundred horses have been brought from across cities to compete at the championship. To maintain a high standard, we also imported international level obstacle for the competitions,” says Raj Shroff, president, ARC, adding, “The first’s day’s response has been phenomenal and we are looking forward to an enthusiastic participation.”
The week-long series of events, which promise to be a visual treat to equestrian enthusiasts, are also open for the public to attend.
“It’s a great opportunity for parents to come and watch the events with their kids. These days, despite most children choosing video games over outdoor activities, I’ve also known many who are passionate about riding and even owning horses,” he says.
ARC, which has been active for almost seventy years, currently has a membership base of 13,000, with almost 40 per cent of it comprising children.
“To promote the sport, we’ve also kept the membership fees substantially low as compared to other clubs,” informs Shroff.