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FEI World Championships: Anush Agarwalla set to add new chapter in Indian equestrianism history

The Kolkata-born equestrian and compatriot Shruti Vora will represent India in dressage at the FEI World Championships 2022 in Herning, Denmark next month.

3 min By Utathya Nag
Equestrian generic_GettyImages-475730204
(Picture by Getty Images)

Indian equestrian Anush Agarwalla, along with compatriot Shruti Vora, are set to compete at the FEI World Championships 2022, which will be held at Herning, Denmark from August 6 to 14.

The Indian duo will thus become the first Indians to compete in the Dressage event at the world championships level.

Dressage is a form of horse riding where riders and their trained horse execute a series of precise movements. Riders use barely perceptible signals to direct their mounts during the event.

The 22-year-old Anush Agarwalla, who hails from Kolkata and trains in Germany, hopes that his world championships participation can carry forward the momentum Fouaad Mirza had given Indian equestrianism at the Tokyo Olympics.

Fouaad Mirza became the first Indian equestrian to qualify for the Olympics in over 20 years at Tokyo 2020.

“Fouaad Mirza qualifying for Tokyo was a great moment for the future of the sport in India. Equestrian sport is not very developed in India, especially dressage, but Foouad’s performance has introduced a lot of young Indians to this sport,” Anush Agarwalla told the FEI website.

“I hope that more and more people take up the sport in the future and that it is no longer a challenge to have a team across all disciplines,” Agarwalla added.

Anush Agarwalla, who shifted to Germany to train under coach Hubertus Schmidt in 2017, hopes that his participation at Herning 2022 can be a watershed for Indians who take part in this niche sport.

“This is the first time that India has qualified for a World Championship in dressage. This is a great moment for the future of sport in India as it paves the way for, hopefully, many more aspirants to take up this not-so-common sport in India,” Anush Agarwalla, a student at the University of Paderborn, stated.

“I am probably one of the youngest dressage athletes taking part this year (at Herning)... I just want to give my best and see where it takes me. I hope I am able to perform well and make my country, my family, and my trainer proud,” he added,

At the Herning world championships, Agarwalla will be riding Sir Caramello OLD, a 15-year-old Oldenburg who was formerly ridden by US Olympian Ashley Holzer.

“We acquired Sir Caramello as my Tokyo hopeful in the autumn of 2019 but missed out on the Tokyo Olympics by one spot,” Agarwalla said. “He is a 15-year-old dark chestnut gelding, with three amazing gaits and has a great character and personality.”

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