In continuation of its relentless efforts to promote Equestrian Sport in the country, The Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) organized National Equestrian Championship (NEC) for Eventing Discipline being held from 12 – 18 March 2021 at ASC Centre & College, Bengaluru.
Riders showing Equestrian prowess at National Equestrian Championship in Bengaluru
Col Jaiveer Singh, Secretary General, Equestrian Federation of India says, “During this tough sporting year (2020-21), the EFI has successfully conducted all National Championships for Dressage, Eventing, Show Jumping and Endurance. Being a NO CONTACT Sport helped the Sport to continue. EFI has promulgated a comprehensive COVID Protocol by incorporating guidelines issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Home Affairs, WHO, FEI for training and conduct of equestrian events.“
Aiming to promote the equestrian activities, Army Service Corps (ASC) has been extending all possible support. This time Army Service Corps (ASC) has volunteered to provide infrastructure, manpower, medical and veterinary teams for sake of resumption of the equestrian activities held up due to COVID challenges. This event will also be a good exposure to the Indian riders aiming to participate in approaching Asian Games.
Eventing is an equestrian event where a single horse and rider combination compete against other competitors in three phases consisting of each of the three disciplines of Dressage, Cross Country and show Jumping on three different days as an equestrian triathlon. Competitors accumulates penalty points in each phase and at the end of the event, the pair with the lowest score takes home top honours.
The tournament is held over four days with veterinary inspection on the first day, Dressage test on the second day, X-Country test on the third day and Show Jumping test on the last day.
Dressage test is held in an arena of 60×20 m with markers placed on the outside of the arena at fixed distance. The horse rider combination has to perform various movements like halt, walk, trot, canter etc as per the sequence given in the test. Each movement is marked out of 10 marks and the cumulative average of each judge is counted towards the final dressage score which is expressed in the form of percentage.
The next day, the X-country phase is conducted for the horse rider combination over a specified length of course with pre-determined obstacles within a fixed time limit. Any refusal accrues 20 penalties on the first occasion at an obstacle and 40 penalties for the second refusal at the same Jump. Third, refusal at the same obstacle leads to elimination. Fall of either rider or the rider/horse combination leads to elimination.
The last and final phase of the event is the Show Jumping which is conducted in a show Jumping arena of size 60×40 m. For each drop/refusal 04 penalties are awarded and on the third refusal the combination is eliminated.
It is indeed an honour for the NF to host a National event of such magnitude wherein approx 70 prominent riders and 70 horses are likely to participate and compete in a fierce contest for the podium. It will be an apt opportunity for ASC Centre & College to show case international standard equestrian infrastructure and facilities created as well as to gauge the performance of international and national class riders and horses in the competitions.
EFI is categorized as “Priority” sport by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MYAS) since Indian Team won an individual and team Silver in 2018 Asian Games. Eventing discipline has been traditionally the strength of India wherein maximum number of medals have been won in the past Asian Games.
The start of these EFI events in India is part of preparation towards 19th Asian Games to be held in China in 2022 where we will better our previous performance.