CHENNAI: In the wake of the farmers' protest in and around New Delhi, the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) has issued a letter for clubs and associations scheduled to take part in the national junior championship. The event is slated from December 20-31 at Delhi's Army Polo & Riding Centre (APRC). Around 150 riders and 200 horses are expected to be there.
Farmers have threatened to block all roads leading to the capital, raising fear among the participating clubs and centres over the movement of horses to the venue. Bengaluru-based Embassy International Riding School (EIRS) is among them.
"We have issued a letter to participants, who were facing difficulties in transporting horses to APRC. The letter requests authorities to allow smooth passage of the horse ambulance," Colonel Jaiveer Singh, EFI secretary-general, told The New Indian Express.
"Request you to please allow the horse ambulance to reach their destination without any problem as these horses are athletes competing in the Nationals," reads the EFI's letter. It also has vehicle registration numbers and expected dates of return.
"A total of 88 horses from Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata reached the venue by Monday morning. Some riders have also arrived to start preparations," added Singh.
EIRS confirmed it has received the federation's letter. "Yes, we have requested the EFI to provide us with a letter so that horses can be transported. Our 20 riders have already reached the venue boarding a flight," said Silva Storai, EIRS director.
Storai, however, admitted that despite possessing the letter, horse ambulances faced difficulties entering Delhi. "A total of 18 horses reached the venue on Monday morning. They had to take a huge detour because of the roadblock 200km before Delhi on the Jaipur highway. It was a scary experience for everyone," informed Storai.
"We showed them the EFI's letter but some of the cops were not impressed. Some responded well, while some were furious with our men. The point is that it's dangerous for anyone to be on the road till the roadblock is on," she signed off.