Thursday, April 21, 2011

India: First ever 30km race to test Punjab horses

Timesofindia.com

April 22 2011

CHANDIGARH: In what is being seen as a revival of old times when horse riding was a passion in Punjab, horse lovers and breeders in the state have got together to organize, for the first time, a 30 km endurance race of indigenous and thoroughbred horses in Fatehpur village in Patiala district on Sunday.

Punjab bloodline horses are being encouraged and riders from across the country are expected. "Horse keeping comes naturally to the people of Punjab and has been for centuries, a way of life. The sport of horse riding is deemed to be a natural attraction and deserves to be given a new meaning in the modern day context," said Kamalbir Singh Dhindsa, a prominent horse breeder and equestrian promoter. Promoters of the event, who have got together under the banner of Horse Sports and Breeder Society of Punjab and are not supported by any ernment organization, have pooled in about Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh each to organize the endurance race. Col Sarpartap Singh, equestrian judge at international events and a prominent horse breeder in Punjab said, "Endurance rides are races over a trail of distance. We have chosen a varied and challenging terrain."

Sumrinder Singh Sira, a horse breeder and also faculty in department of business management, Punjabi University said, "This endurance meet will help breeders to improve their stock and encourage them. That is why we have not kept any entry fee, boarding and lodging is free for participants." About 60 riders from across the region will exhibit the strength of their horses besides riding skills. The distance of 30 kms will be extended to 40 kms, 60 kms and 80 kms in second endurance meet that Horse Sport and Breeders Society is mulling of organizing in October.