A stray dog doing march-past without prior practice, riders in perfect sync with their horses, the show at Equitation Tattoo, was high on energy
Dog may be a man’s best friend but horses make history... The sunny Wednesday afternoon saw the coordination between a man and his animal come alive. As the children led the parade on their horses, interestingly a dog (stray) decided not to miss his chance to earn a place in history and marched along at the beats the band, matching step to step.
What followed was a show that had show jumps, tent pegging and acrobatics on horses and more. At Equitation Tattoo, a part of the Military Literature Festival, at the Secretariat grounds, the audience in a very obliging mood cheered the riders, irrespective of the results. The flash of camera, with multitudes of mobiles joining, the horses had a slightly rough day as picture frenzy people left little space to gallop away.
This one time for sure, the animals were better behaved than its two-legged friends. They followed instructions and stayed put at their designated spaces. Post march was tent pegging. Quick, swift moves raising a dust storm. Cross peg tenting revving up the thrill.
Show jumping, while many did it with finesse, others had the bars come down. Collective sigh of the mothers went by complaining how the bars were set pretty high (literally) for their young riders. An acrobatic show had a zebra that won admiration. A close look that gave away the painted stripes. The horses stood still as riders performed PT on their backs, jumped through fire rings, over the bikes.
Nine-year-old Jaiveer Makkar was the youngest to participate in the show jump and managed his horse rather well despite his Royal Flame being in a funny mood. Lt Ritika Dahiya wowed those present by clearing obstacles astride a horse. A miss here or there did not lower the moral of the riders. We heard one exclaim ‘oh beta’ to his horse as the topmost bar fell off only to clear the next one amidst loud cheers. Among audience was Jigmet Wangdu from Ladakh totally mesmerised. Ekra Kadhari, buoyed by the adrenaline rush, decided to take up horse riding and her friend Katyani Gulati, a rider herself, to take up competitions. Those present were riders from Punjab Armed Forces – Jalandhar, Punjab Police Academy –Phillaur, Army Supply Corps of the Indian Army, 879 Animal Transport Company, Chandigarh Horse Riding Society, Pratap Stables and Western Command Triveni Riding School.
The show host Maj Biramjeet Kanwarpal before being mobbed by fans for selfies, mentioned having scripted a war saga, he is currently looking forward to don the director’s hat.
Taking up riding in her Class IX in Sonepat, Lt Ritika Dahiya considers horse riding as an addiction minus any ills. “Any sport gets to you, imagine when we are with intelligent animals, the bond is precious,” she shared stroking Napoleon, her horse for last three months!