Show jumping returns to Mumbai after 21 years!

Updated: Jan 02, 2019, 11:31 IST | Hemal Ashar | Mumbai

National Equestrian Championships for show jumping come to Mumbai after 21 years

The show jumping championships will see at least 100 horses come from all over India.  Representation pic
The show jumping championships will see at least 100 horses come from all over India. Representation pic

It is the beginning of the year adrenalin and excitement in equestrian circles in the city, as Mumbai gears up to host the National Equestrian Championships (NEC) for Show Jumping, by the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI).

The big-ticket competition gallops into the Mahalaxmi racecourse after 21 years. The prestigious annual event will be held at the Amateur Riders Club (ARC) at Mahalaxmi race course from February 23 to March 3 this year. ARC president Shyam Mehta said, "We expect to have an unprecedented turnout with the best show jumpers in the country."

Shyam Mehta, ARC president
Shyam Mehta, ARC president

Mehta added, "At least 100 horses will be coming to Mahalaxmi from all over India. Some of these animals can cost approximately Rs 1 crore each. India has reached the big league when it comes to buying horses; buyers are travelling to Europe, paying big bucks for their horses. As a sport, we have done well in the equestrian events at the Asian Games level."

Hoove housefull
Mehta said, "The Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), has promised us support. A 'camp' will be set up, where temporary stables will be made for these horses. I think we will be able to put on a spectacular show." Organisers say that for riders, civilian and army, Mahalaxmi is literally the hostess with the mostest. "They are looking forward to coming to Mumbai – city of big dreams," finished Mehta. Khushroo Dhunjibhoy, chairman RWITC said, "It is very exciting to have the Championships back in Mumbai. The ARC will have to make temporary stables. We will have a lot of horses at that time, the Mumbai racing season will be petering out."

Rewind ride
Adil Gandhy, former ARC president, said Mumbai hosted the National Championships at Mahalaxmi years earlier. "It was a lot of hard work, I took 1.5 months off work and spent days and occasionally late nights at the ARC office. I recall the generosity of the sponsors, the Piramals, who sponsored a farewell bash for some key organisers and others at a restaurant. The visitors were thrilled."

Ashwin Mehta, former ARC president, "We have the infrastructure to host this. Mumbai is considered as premier polo venue, this should put us on the equestrian calendar when it comes to show jumping too. Hopefully this is just the start of bigger things to come at the ARC."

Venue wise
The Amateur Riders' Club (ARC) was established in the year 1942, and is one of the oldest and largest private civilian riding clubs in India, located at the Royal Western Turf Club Race Course, Mahalaxmi. The annual horse show and polo tournaments take place in March. Various events are held during the show like polo, dressage, jumping, individual and team tent pegging when riders from all over the country participate.

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