City to host Southern Star Horse Show 2012

Headquarters Southern Command (HQSC) will organise the Southern Star Horse Show 2012 from December 13 to December 15 at the general parade ground, Race Course. The show will be inaugurated by National Defence Academy (NDA) Commandant Lt Gen Ashok Singh at 9am on December 13.

The three-day event, the first ever in the city, will witness 12 equestrian teams of the Army and six civilian teams.

About 80-100 riders, and 95 horses belonging to the Army, and 20 belonging to civilians are expected to take part in the event. Southern Army Commander Lt Gen A K Singh will be chief guest on December 15.

At a press conference, Maj Gen J S Deol, MG ASC and vice-chairman of the organising committee said, "This is the first time HQSC is organising this horse show. The whole idea is to revive and popularise the sport in India, including the city. The focal point will be the National Show Jumping Novice for the reason that the selection of Indian equestrian team for international competitions depends on performance of riders in national events."

Prominent among the Army teams would be from the NDA, OTA, Armoured Corps Centre and School, Artillery Centre, Northern command, and Eastern Command.

Officers who addressed the press conference said the sport is categorised into Introductory, Novice, Medium and Advanced. "The one we are holding is the Novice, wherein 35-45 horses are participating. The winner in each grade gets points and the rider with the highest points is chosen to represent India internationally," said colonel Sunil Shivdas.

Throwing light on status of the sport in India viz a viz the international arena, Colonel Anand Saini said, "The Army, with the maximum horses remains the biggest stakeholder in equestrian sport in India followed by paramilitary forces and the civilian fraternity. The introductory class has the largest number of riders and the number goes on reducing as one moves towards Novice and Advanced grades, where, in the entire country, there are only about 10-15 horses and an approximately equal number of riders. The main competition where India participates internationally with Indian horses is the Asian Games, where we have won gold in 1982 and three bronze medals in the subsequent games at Bangkok, Busan and Doha."

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