Equine Canada’s former CEO Akaash Maharaj is representing the country at this week’s Asian Tent Pegging Championships in New Delhi.
Akaash Maharaj, from Almonte, Ontario, earned Canada’s first gold medals in the sport’s International Championships. He will once again ride for Canada in partnership with UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund.
In addition to teams from across Asia, the 2012 Asian Championships ( March 23-27) will include a team from each of the other continental regions: Great Britain for Europe; South Africa for Africa; and Canada for the New World.
A 2500 year-old cavalry sport, tent pegging was created to develop and to test the skills of mounted warriors, and is now an FEI Regional Discipline.
This week the Olympic Council of Asia made tent pegging part of the biennial Asian Beach Games.
Maharajs Equerry Colonel the Honourable Henry NR Jackman, OC, OOnt said: “We feel deeply privileged to carry the flag for Canada, in competition with some of the finest combat riders in the world. We will do our utmost to represent our country with honour.”
Maharaj, who stepped down as Equne Canada’s boss in January after four years in the job, arrived in India in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
“At the Delhi airport, the fact that I was traipsing about with a rifle case raised a few eyebrows, but security waived me on with alarming indifference when I told them that the case merely contained a sword and dagger,” he said on his website.
He described the sport of tent pegging as “an ancient sport, and some two-and-a-half millennia of history shroud its origins. It was undoubtedly created to equip cavaliers with the skills necessary to wage war from the saddle; it was probably used as battle drill to prepare horse-mounted cavalry to fell elephant-mounted opponents. It is not for the faint of heart; it is perhaps for the soft of head.”
Maharaj said he that he has had little time in recent years to train because of his professional obligations.