Dazzling ride in Bangalore

D. RAVI SHANKAR

IMPROVED facilities at the Army Services Corps Centre and College (ASCC&C) ground, Bangalore, prompted the Equestrian Federation of India to not look beyond it for the National Equestrian Championship, the fourth edition of which was held in late December along with the Junior National Equestrian Championship and the Bangalore Horse Show.

Shivaji Poonia with the best rider trophy. — Pic. G. P. SAMPATH KUMAR-

The ASCC & C commandant, Lt. Gen. S. K. Sahni, stated that the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. N. C. Vij, was impressed with the facilities and has decided to make the ground a permanent equestrian venue. The dirt surface of the past has been changed to turf and the dressage and show jumping arenas have been spruced up. The stands are ideally located giving spectators a good view — even the one-day cross-country event can be seen though the riders are at a distance.

The event in Bangalore was slated to include an international competition as well. But only two countries confirmed participation and the Army did not receive the clearance from the ministry concerned. The championship, originally slated from December 20 to January 2, therefore ended on December 28.

The national also served as one of the legs for the Asian Games trials. The first leg had been held in Kolkata. The next two legs will be at Delhi and Jaipur after which the Indian equestrian contingent for Doha 2006 will be shortlisted.

Sadly, promising youngster Arun Maribashetti had to miss the national because of his broken wrist. His father, S. G. Maribashetti, had to spearhead Karnataka Armed Reserve Police's challenge and he along with super horse CJ -15 lived up to the challenge.

The eight-day gala show produced plenty of exciting fare. The top score event was followed by the dressage and show jumping events. Riders such as Nadia Haridass, Hrishika Basappa, Ashray Butta, Aviva Bidappa and Abhishek Chopra impressed with their skills. Anant Rajpurohit posed a stiff challenge to the seniors in the tent-pegging event while siblings Vikram and Vijay from Lawrence School, Lovedale, also shone.

The army's top riders also held sway. Daffedar Shivaji Poonia, who was declared the best rider in the championship, excelled in his pet show jumping event. Major Ashok Singh Rathore annexed the gruelling cross-country event astride Smart. Rathore is an army veterinarian has treated Smart for the last ten months. Hosts ASCC & C took the top honours in the team cross country event with R. S. Yadav, R. K. Swain, K. D. S. Hooda and Ram Niwas contributing to the team's cause effectively.

S. G. Maribashetti (above )astride CJ -15 and J. P. Mashi riding Mast Maullah were declared the joint winners in the puissance event. — Pics. G. P. SAMPATH KUMAR-

The piece de resistance, however, was the puissance event on the final day in which the height of the wall was increased progressively. S. G. Maribashetti astride CJ -15 and J. P. Mashi riding Mast Maullah were declared joint winners clearing the wall at 1.70 metres. Both riders took a tilt at the national record of 1.97 metres set by Daffedar Sajjan Kumar (Fariyad) in Delhi recently. But, they did not succeed.

In the final event of the championship, teenager S. Vikram of Lawrence School outclassed champion riders Maribashetti and JP Mashi to win the six bar event.

The results (events and winners):

BHS and NEC Novice Top Score: Naib Risaldar Dinesh Kumar/Raaz; JNEC and BHS Sub-Junior Top Score: Nadia Haridass/Norfolking; JNEC & BHS Dressage: Ashray Butta/First Crush; JNEC & BHS Hacks Junior: Hrishika Basappa/Slash.

BHS Dressage Open: Risaldar Gulab Singh/Tie Up; JNEC Show Jumping Junior Normal: Hrishika Basappa/Zuchero; JNEC Dressage Junior: Abhishek Chopra/Pronto.

BHS Show Jumping Junior Normal: Hrishika Basappa/Zuchero; BHS Dressage: MS Rathore /Casanova.

NEC Show Jumping Novice Normal: Dfr. Shivaji Poonia/Moonflower; BHS Show Jumping Novice Normal: Shivaji Poonia/Moonflower; BHS Children Bare Back Pole Bending: Ashish Limaye/Mishamul.

BHS Children Pole Bending: Souvik/Kirloskar; JNEC Dressage Sub-Junior: Hitesh Ajmera; Show Jumping Asian Trials: JP Mashi/Mast Maullah; JNEC & BHS Show Jumping Sub-Junior Normal: S. Vijay/Sgt. Pepper; JNEC Tent Pegging: Cadet P Mishra/Tarzan; BHS Jalebi Bobbing: Ashish Limaye/ Mishamul.

JNEC Show Jumping Junior Top Score: S. Vikram/Sgt. Pepper; BHS Jumping Top Score Junior: Cadet Rawat/Badshah; NEC Show Jumping Grade III Top Score: Hitkaran Singh/Sahab Bahadur; BHS One-Day Event Novice: Maj. A. S. Rathore/Smart; BHS One Day Team: Army Service Corps Centre & College (R. S. Yadav/Tu, R. K. Swain/Napolean, K. D. S. Hooda/Maverick and Ram Niwas/Trishul); JNEC One-day Juniors: Cadet A. Sudan/Niyaz; JNEC Dressage Children II: Avni/Silver Streak; BHS Dressage Children II: Avni /Silver Streak; BHS Hacks Open: Nb. Sub. Sunil Kumar/ Ghalib; BHS Dressage Ladies Open: Nidhi Dev/Time for Change; JNEC Show Jumping Children: Adhiraj Neel Mukherji/Magic; BHS Show Jumping Children: Ashrya/First Crush; BHS Show Jumping Preliminary: Maj. K. D. S. Hooda/Tu; JNEC Hacks Sub-Juniors: Nadia Haridass/Slash; BHS Hacks Sub-Juniors: Nadia Haridass/Slash; JNEC Hacks Children: Anant Rajpurohit/Hans; BHS Hacks Children: Anant Rajpurohit/Hans.

BHS Tent Pegging: Sher Singh/Rajnigandha; NEC and BHS Show Jumping Grade III: Gulab Singh/Tie Up; JNEC Hacks Children II: Mishty/Maverick; JNEC & BHS Show Jumping Children II: Ashish Limaye/Time for Change; BHS Hacks Children II: Mishty/Maverick; BHS Preliminary Fault and Out: Jasvir Singh/Ryan King; Children Boot and Hay: Kingshuk/Tajmahal; Ball and Bucket: Rohit Dalal/Revlon; BHS Show Jumping Successive Relay preliminary: Dinesh Kumar/Raaz and R. Mali/Marcool.

BHS Tent Pegging team: Punjab Police (Youngbir Singh/Ashwamegh, R. K. Swain/Porus, Talwinder Singh/Makalu and Jagdish Singh/Jasmine); BHS Show Jumping Puissance: J. P. Mashi/Mast Maullah and S. G. Maribashetti/CJ 15; BHS Six Bar: S. Vikram/Sgt Pepper.

Best Riders:

Seniors: Shivaji Poonia; Juniors: Cadet Prateek Mishra; Sub-Juniors: Nadia Haridass.