Horse Riding in India
India has a wide following in various equestrian sports like showjumping, eventing, dressage, endurance and tent pegging. Supported by the Equestrian Federation of India, eventing is the most popular of the five, with teams representing the country at most Asian Games, winning a bronze medal in the 2002 and 2006 games. India has been represented in four Olympic Games by its equestrians in the years 1980 (Moscow), 1996 (Atlanta), 2000 (Sydney) and 2020 (Tokyo). The Equestrian Premier League aims to support the sport in the country.
Most civilians could not afford to own horses in the period following India's independence, and equestrian sports were primarily practiced by Indian Army officers. The Army re-established several major horse shows across the country that had been halted during World War II. In 1950s, the Army began seeking opportunities to send riders to compete at international events. However, all international competitions were conducted by the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) which required participating riders to be sent by national federations. As India did not have such a federation, the Army established the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) in 1967. General P.P. Kumaramangalam, Major General R.K.R. Balasubramanian, and several senior army officers are credited with setting up the EFI. The Federation held its first meeting on 14 March 1967 and officially proclaimed "the birth of the national Equestrian Federation of India" and defined its objectives. One of the EFI's urgent tasks was to "promote equine breeding and care and management of equines" as the Partition of India had resulted in the loss of West Punjab, the best horse breeding territory in British India, to Pakistan. The EFI became affiliated with FEI in 1971. The EFI played an important role in establishing the Asian Equestrian Federation in 1978. The EFI convinced both Indian government officials and FEI to introduce equestrian events at the 1982 Asian Games which were to be hosted in India. Keen to develop equestrian sports in the country, FEI Secretary General Fritz O. Widmer agreed to the request and asked the EFI to host Show Jumping, Eventing, and Dressage competitions at the 1982 Asian Games. The EFI agreed to hold the Show Jumping and Eventing competitions, but stated that it did not have enough experience to host the Dressage competition. Instead, the EFI proposed a new event called Tent Pegging and drafted rules for the competition which was approved by FEI. Equestrian sports (Show Jumping, Eventing and Tent Pegging) were included for the first time at the 1982 Asian Games.
Horse Racing in India
Horse racing in India is over 200 years old. The first racecourse in the country was set up in Madras in 1777. Today, India has a very well established racing and breeding industry, and the sport is conducted on nine racetracks by six racing authorities. Racing is restricted to Indian-bred racehorses and India has a well established breeding industry with stallions imported from all over the world. The Indian Stud Book maintains records of all thoroughbred breeding activity in India. India have main punters musugu Kiran Kumar and DN kempegowda rule the betting of horseracing. India has a mixture of both pool betting and traditional bookmakers.
India has five 'Classic' races which parallel the original British classic races. The Indian 1,000 Guineas & the Indian 2,000 Guineas are run in December. Only three-year-old fillies can run the 1,000 Guineas race, while both fillies and colts can run the 2,000 Guineas race. The Indian Oaks is run at the end of January. The Indian Derby is run on the first Sunday of February and carries a purse of over ₹ 30,000,000. Lastly, the Indian St. Leger is run in September. They are all run in the Mahalaxmi Racecourse, Mumbai, apart from the St. Leger which is run at Pune. The Invitation Weekend which rotates between the various turf authorities is held on the first weekend of March. This features a Group 1 race each for sprinters over 1200 metres, a race over a mile and a 3000-metre race for stayers. The best horses are invited from all over the country for these races. The showpiece event is open to Indian horses which are 4 years old and over, invited from all the turf authorities, and carries a winners prize of ₹ 10,000,000. The Bangalore Derby is held on the second Sunday of July in the Bangalore Turf Club,Bangalore every year. It was sponsored by Kingfisher until the 2020 season. The Invitation cup and associated races (i.e The Sprinters'Cup, The Stayers' Cup, The Super Mile Cup) are rotational between the various race courses spread across the country, is run over 2400 meters ,only the 4years old horses were eligible but from 2014 onwards it has been changed to elder horses also.