Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 3 (PTI) Nida Anjum Chelat, a 21-year-old rider, became the first Indian to complete the gruelling Equestrian World Endurance Championship for juniors and young riders in Castelsagrat, France on Saturday.
Nida, astride Epsilonn Salou, completed four loops totalling 120km in seven hours and 29 minutes.
The goal of the championship is to cover the track without any harm coming to the horse.
Nida successfully completed all four stages, finishing 23rd in the first stage (28.6km), 26th in the second (29.2km), 24th in the third (33.8km) and 21st in the final stage (28.6km), maintaining an average speed of 16.7 km per hour, said a press statement on Sunday.
A total of 70 competitors from 25 countries took part in the championship and 33 of them could not complete the race.
UAE secured the individual gold and silver medals, while Bahrain and France emerged winners in the team category.
Riders from Italy, France, Germany, UAE, Bahrain, Argentina, China and Libya, among others, competed in the event.
Nida’s performance in one of the world’s most rapidly-growing equestrian events, held under the aegis of the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), has also paved the way for her to participate in the senior category.
“To qualify for the World Endurance Championship, a rider and their horse must complete a 120km distance at least twice within a two-year period. Nida has surpassed this requirement by completing the 120km distance four times with two different combinations,” said the statement.
“Nida has achieved the three-star rider status, becoming the first Indian woman to do so by successfully completing the 120km distance ride more than once,” the statement added.
Nida said she was proud to be the first Indian to have achieved the feat and would try to bring more laurels for the country.
Nida, whose parents hail from Kerala’s northern Malappuram district and reside in Dubai, developed a passion for horse riding at a very young age.
She gained entry into World Championships by winning the Gold Sword at the Abu Dhabi Endurance Championship.
She is being coached by renowned horse trainer and rider Ali Al Muhairi.
“Nida and her horse displayed exceptional endurance as they conquered each stage of the race, which featured hilly terrain, water bodies, and forest paths.
“Besides testing the riding skills and expertise of the rider, ensuring the welfare of the horse is also a paramount challenge for the rider,” said veterinary consultant Mohamed Shafi in the statement.
Source: PTI News