Three of Karnataka’s excellent show jumpers from Embassy International Riding School, Bangalore, will make their way to Incheon, Korea for the 17th Asian Games to be held from September 19 to October 4.
Ajai Appachu and Nadia Haridass will represent the country for the second time in the Asian Games, while Fouad Mirza will make his debut. In 2010, Ajai was selected for Asian Games, but did not make it due to technical issues.
Equestrian has featured in the Asian Games ever since it was first staged in New Delhi in 1982. To date, Japan leads in the number of accolades collected at the Asian Games followed by South Korea and India.
Appachu, Mirza and Haridass train at Bangalore’s premier horse riding school, Embassy International Riding School (EIRS). They have meticulously trained under reputed instructors.
Appachu has earned several accolades at events across the world. Recently, he stood second at the renowned Hopetoun Commonwealth Cup in Scotland.
At 22, Mirza has performed splendidly, having won over 50 regional and international championship medals. He stood fourth at the Hopetoun Commonwealth Cup.
Nadia, a dressage specialist, has been a consistent performer in the category and has gained recognition in equestrian circles by winning many laurels and representing the country at both national and international platforms.
“I think we stand a good chance of winning in South Korea as we have the best horses. In the run-up to the Asian Games, we have been training hard in Europe and also participating in tough competitions,” said Appachu. Nadia, who trains under Olympian Hubertus Schmidt in Dusseldorf, Germany, said: “Competing against the world’s best riders in the qualifying rounds of Asian Games has infused confidence in me ahead of the big event. Qatar has spent a huge amount of money to prepare for the race and they can be tough opponents.”
“I am optimistic about winning a medal in the team event. Overall, the championship will be tough as Korea, Japan and Qatar have invested heavily on buying a good breed of horses,” said Oxfordshire-based Fouad.
“Nowadays, more parents want their children to pursue the sport and I hope we have some good performances at Asian Games,” said EIRS director Silva Storai, who was a professional rider herself, not too long ago.
source: http://www.thenewindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Bangalore / by S.S. Shreekumar / July 29th, 2014