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Annual heritage pony race held Assam

Jorhat, Sun, 12 Feb 2012 ANI

Jorhat, Feb 12 (ANI): The annual heritage pony race was recently Assam's Jorhat District, which is also one of the oldest sporting events that witnesses record footfalls every year.


The race represented the preservation the age-old traditions prevalent in the state.


The annual Derby event has a very fascinating history, which dates back to the British era. The race was the brainchild of the British planters, who initially used these horses as a mode of transportation.


"We really liked it. It has been 132 years since this event began at the Gymkhana Club and we are very thankful to the club. So, we specially came to watch the event and I have come here with my family," said Manoj Borah, a visitor.


As time passed, these animals were replaced by breeds from so called 'missing villages', located along the banks of the Brahmaputra river.


These 'Mising riders' from various parts of Assam assemble at the race each year along with their own ponies.


In an attempt to keep the traditions intact, the organisers have purchased hybrid horses to keep the spirit of the event alive.


"If we run horses against these ponies, obviously the ponies will have no chance of winning. What we are thinking of doing next year is to have one race, where we pit the large horses against each other. This is probably the only race in the world, definitely the only one in India, where you have small ponies running against each other," said Prabhat Bezbaruah, Chairman, Organising Committee.


The event was discontinued from 2005 to 2007, but the organisers once again revived the sporting extravaganza in 2008.


According to media reports, the committee-in-charge of the event have decided to introduce several other frills, with a motive to raise the interest levels of the visitors.he Gymkhana authorities, along with the organisers of the races provide funds every year for the development of the 'Mising community.'


This year, more than 70 jockeys are participating in the grand event. All eyes are set on the trophies, which will be awarded to the winners on February 26. (ANI)


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