These Chennai horse riders are making a mark in equestrian sports


Look These riders from Chennai are making their mark in the sport of horse riding

“No problem. Why are you so shocked,” Aditri Rajaram asks Knockout as she gently pats her horse. Aditri, who has been riding for eight years, is new to the world of tournaments. She has been riding since last year. However, she has already won a gold medal at the Senior Dressage Nationals in Puducherry.

Dressage is an Olympic sport where the horse and rider have to dance to music. Aditri is now proficient. She is aiming to achieve more glory with her horse this year, but many other young riders at OMR's Chennai Equitation Center (CEC) are doing the same. After success at the 2023 Junior Nationals (in Bengaluru) and Senior Nationals (in Puducherry), these riders are riding high.

Ananya Sajith, Aditri R, Kevin Gabriel, Samanna Evra, Miraya Dadhabhoy and Dixit KS at Chennai Equitation Centre.

Ananya Sajith, Aditri R, Kevin Gabriel, Samanna Evra, Miraya Dadabhoy and Dixit KS at Chennai Equitation Centre. Photo Courtesy: S Shiv Raj

Take the example of 14-year-old Miraya Dhadabhoy, who knows a thing or two about dressage, having won gold and silver medals with her horse FT. “It's almost like dancing,” she says, smiling, “We do a series of prescribed movements and we're given a score. I enjoy dressage because the difference between winning and losing is very small. It is also convenient because you realize where exactly you went wrong and work on it next time.”

Many people who are now winning medals in competitions, the urge to take up the sport stems from their attraction towards horses.

“This is Zaria, a mare who recently turned 12,” says Ananya Sajit, 13, as she introduces us to her horse whom she has been riding since August 2022. Ananya shares a close bond with Zaria. “It's because of the quality time I spend with him. When you travel to competitions, it is important for the horse to understand that she can trust you and that you will keep her safe.

Like Ananya, Samanna Evra also sees her horse Soulmate as her best friend. “I feel like he understands me and listens to my problems,” says Samanna.

actor karthi with riders

Actor Karthi with the riders. Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Apart from dressage, riders here also train for eventing and show jumping. When it comes to riders, CEC's Teen Futnani believes in 'catching them young'. “I check whether only the parents are interested, or the child is also interested. Once we see some kind of passion in children, we pursue it,” says Kishore, who has been actively involved in promoting the sport.

Awareness regarding this has also increased in recent times. Actor Karthi, who rode a horse in a Tamil film Ponniyin SelvanRecently met and talked to these riders.

Teens are thrilled to see the emergence of female riders, many of whom are making headlines on the national equestrian circuit. “For this sport, you need tremendous mental strength and excellent communication and multitasking skills. This is perhaps the only sport in the world in which there is no separate category for women. The game is here to stay and India will win at the Olympics in the years to come,” he says.

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