A Pakistani tent-pegging team is to take part in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant at Windsor Castle, UK to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years on the throne of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, said a press release issued by the organisers.
The pageant, to be held from May 9 to 13, combines the queen’s interest in horses and her visits to over 250 nations throughout her reign.
“It is a big honour for Pakistan to have been invited for the Diamond Jubilee Pageant,” said Adil Shah who is leading the six-member team, at a press conference at the Islamabad Polo Club on Monday.
He further said that the participation of the tent-pegging team in the celebration will improve Pakistan’s soft image abroad and boost equestrian sports in the country. The team will participate in the tent-pegging demonstration before the queen in traditional attire representative of the four provinces.
All five members on the team are expert tent-peggers who have extensively taken part in competitions in Pakistan. Adil is credited with laying the foundation of the national equine industry. For him, horses and equine sports are a passion, “love for horses is in my blood and it is the romance of my life,” he said.
Adil appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to give traditional tent-pegging the status of national sport. “The president has a passion for horses and his backing of the national equine industry is what is needed,” Adil said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2012.