Two equestrian medals at the Jakarta Asian Games shows that Indian riders have improved significantly, said Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, who is hoping that the country will win medals in the sport at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Like in many other sports, Indian Army has played a pivotal role in the growth of equestrian in India.
Courtesy Fouaad Mirza, the country won its first equestrian individual event at the Asian Games in 36 years when he secured a silver in Jakarta earlier this year. India also won a team silver in the continental event.
“We have to look forward to getting more medals in Asian Games and Olympics. As of now we are yet to reach the Olympic level,” General Rawat said on the sidelines of Delhi Horse Show here Saturday.
“We are at level 1 and we need to reach level 3 but we are on the right track and we will get there.”
The Indian riders can’t train with the best of horses in the country due to complications over their import but the Army Chief said that the process of importing horses has finally begun.
“I don’t know the reason why we could not import them (in the last 10-15 years) but we have started the process of procuring them. Having a good horse is important but equally important is the chemistry between the ride and the horse and that takes time to develop.
“So, we are not looking at 2020 Olympics. If our boys can qualify, then it is great but our aim is to win medals at 2024 Olympics,” he said.
General Rawat also acknowledged the support provided by the government in Army’s sports program.