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Duqm to host international tent pegging championship

27 Oct 2021 By ASHOK PUROHIT

Muscat – Dressed in mussar, dishdasha and pantaloon, with a hizaam wrapped around the waist, Omani riders galloping at top speed in traditional equestrian races in the sultanate are common sight.

Come this December, however, the Muscat-based International Tent Pegging Federation (ITPF) will launch the inaugural International Tent Pegging Traditional Championship, where Omani riders in their traditional attire will compete for medals and glory alongside competitors from 19 countries in their own traditional attire.

The championship, a unique way to promote the sport, was officially announced on Wednesday as the day also marked the International Day of Tent Pegging and to coincide with the formation of ITPF on October 27, 2013.

Adding to the novelty of the first championship of its kind in the world is ITPF’s decision to organise it in Duqm, from December 2 to 4. Giving further details, ITPF chairman Mohammed Issa al Fairuz said that the championship will also be a platform to promote sports tourism in the sultanate.
Organised in coordination with Oman Equestrian Federation, Fairuz told Muscat Daily that “such races are often held in traditional dress and the idea is to promote the sport among masses in various parts of the world”.

“ITPF believes that new venues should be explored to popularise the game extensively. In the past, we organised an all-women championship, a beach tent-pegging event, a tournament for riders from universities and a military championship.

“While travelling in different parts of the world, I witnessed that riders love to compete in their traditional gear, which also shows their love for their culture and tradition.

“In Oman, too, we have riders competing in dishdashas. So the ITPF board decided to organise a championship in traditional dress but with a common set of rules and regulations for all the 40 member nations.”

ITPF capitalised on Oman’s huge potential as a sports tourism destination by organising the international beach tent pegging championship in Masirah (2017), and the all-women international event in Musandam (2018) after successfully hosting the inaugural World Cup in Muscat in 2014.

Fairuz said, “Duqm is a city that is growing fast and it has a key role in Oman Vision 2040.”

“We will have two riders each from 20 countries, including Oman, competing on 40 horses to be arranged locally in cooperation with Royal Cavalry and other cavalry units.”
Salim al Balushi, assistant secretary general of ITPF, informed that a National Tent Pegging Traditional Championship with 12 teams will precede the event from November 30 to December 1.

The championship will feature lance, sword, ring and peg events for individuals, pairs and teams.

“The idea of holding a team event comprising four riders from different nationalities will help the riders build friendship and team spirit,” Fairuz said.

He also revealed that ITPF has invited a total of 500 youth, including 4×4 drivers, bikers and caravan owners, to the event with all cost of their travel and stay to be borne by it.

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