Monday, April 25, 2011

India: Endurance race rides desi horse power, betters national record

Timesofindia.com

Parvesh sharma, TNN | Apr 25, 2011

PATIALA: To gauge the real horse power of our locally-bred horses, Fatehpur village of Patiala district was the place to be this Sunday. The mounts proved their worth in the first ever 30km endurance race in Punjab and, if the organizers are to be believed, they ran much faster than the ones in national races.

Members of Horse Sports and Breeder Society of Punjab (HSBSP) and the event organizers claimed that the steed which ran the fastest clocked the speed of 18.38km per hour, the next covered 18km per hour and the third 17.50km per hour. The national standard for endurance events is 16km per hour.

Bhola, the horse of Sahib Parminder Singh from Jalandhar district, won the first position and a cash prize of Rs 21,000. The second prize went to Kiranjit Singh's horse – a cash prize of Rs 11,000. "I love my horse as I would my
child. When I came to know about the event, I immediately called up the organizers as I didn't want to miss this opportunity. The government should also organize such events more often," said Sahib Parminder.

Some experts were surprised to see the pulse rate of all three leading horses as normal, that too even after running the first round of 15km. "Normally, the pulse increases after running such a long distance," said an expert. "But, the normal pulse rate points towards the power of Punjabi horses," he added. "We knew that our horses are the best... we have war horses. But the first ever event has now brought it on record that our horses are stronger than all others across the country, as they ran faster than those in the national standard of endurance of 16km per hour," said Kamalvir Singh Dhindsa, a member of HSBSP.

Although the organizers had received many requests, only 27 horses were allowed to participate. Out of these, eight were disqualified after the first round of 15km.

"The endurance levels, globally, are usually of 40, 60, 80 and 120km. But we chose 30 (km) because it was our first event and also because of the heat factor. The success of this maiden event has really encouraged us and we plan to organize another one this October. We just want due respect for our horses," said Dhindsa.

The event started early, around 5.30am, and concluded at 8.30am. However, it was watched by hundreds of enthusiastic villagers, who had started converging at site from 4am.