Galloping away: Tent pegging championship enthralls equestrian enthusiasts

125 teams comprising of 500 players took part in the competition


Our Correspondent March 02, 2018
A participant lifts a wooden peg during the competition. PHOTO: INP

LAHORE: Scores of horse lovers thronged to University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) to witness the four-day National Tent Pegging Championship that began at UAF on Thursday, a press release issued stated.

UAF Vice-Chancellor Dr Muhammad Iqbal Zafar and Deputy Commissioner Salman Ghani inaugurated the event. The event was arranged by the Equestrian Federation of Pakistan, in collaboration with UAF, and was held at the Tent Pegging Stadium. At least 125 teams comprising 500 tent peggers were taking part in the competition.

The day witnessed tent pegging by riders waving spears to collect the wooden peg amid clouds of dust rising from the grounds. The riders, hanging halfway down while galloping at high speed to lift the piece of wood with spears, were the main attraction for spectators.

While addressing the participants, UAF Vice-Chancellor Iqbal Zafar said that tent pegging was a traditional sport.  He added, “Mounted troops (cavalry) have been practicing tent pegging since 4th century BC.  The sport spread to various parts of the world through  Asian and later European empires.”

He said the event attracted the best tent peggers from across the country. “The riders use their skills to line up their lance with the peg and it provides an opportunity to the students to witness and take part in the sports activity.”

The VC maintained that tent pegging had become a permanent feature of UAF sports activities.  He said that UAF had set up a school to provide horse riding training.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Salman Ghani appreciated the National Tent Pegging Championship at UAF. He said the district government was making all out-efforts and tangible measures to promote sports and cultural activities.

He pointed out that state-of-the-art gymnasiums were being established in every tehsil.  “The activities will revive our cultural sports at a time when such things are fading away,” he said.

“Tent pegging is the historical game of the subcontinent.” He said that apart from Iqbal Stadium, three more sports arenas with floodlights were being set up.

Salman Ghani termed tent pegging as the most popular equestrian sport and said that after independence, tent pegging appeared as one of the prime sports and cultural activity. “It gained popularity among horse lovers and the rural folk kept the game alive,” the DC remarked. UAF Directorate of Farms Director Dr Farooq Ahmad said that tent pegging was being played at a national level in nineteen countries of the world.

Later, the officials visited the Lok Mela which was held at the directorate of farms.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2018.

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