Col. (retd) Sarpartap Singh
Executive Committee & Chairman of Training and Development Panel Oman
I am a retired Army Officer, my father was a mounted Arty officer having served with the British Indian Army and then the Indian Army after partition 1947, my maternal grandfather was in Hudsons horse and we had horses at home.
The love for Tent Pegging came about watching The Nihang sikhs as child then trying out the sport on joining the Army, so I decided to help promote this sport.
I discussed this with the FEI a number of times, but there were not many takers at that time in 2006. During an FEI meeting at Kula Lumpur I met another like-minded person, the late Gen Samy and we decided to work together organising International Tent Pegging events. Around 2009 we formed the first International Tent Pegging federation in India with around 15 countries taking part.
This later went on to become the ITPF with the HQ in Oman and then we hosted the first world cup in Oman, followed by the second one in Egypt. The next competition is coming up during 2016, we have asked for bids for the same and as on today we have around 30 countries involved with the sport. Efforts are on to bring in more nations till we exceed the mandatory requirement of 36 to bid for a place in the Olympics, since this sport is quite a crowd puller as compared to other equestrian disciplines and the least expensive to organise.
The native cavalry and the cavalry units around the world used to indulge in some form of tent pegging to practice for war thus the new ITPF rules have taken the best from everyone to frame the rules and organise events.