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Historic Jorhat Races to start from Feb 19

By Correspondent
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JORHAT, Feb 15 � Carrying forward the more-than-a century old British legacy, the Jorhat Gymkhana Club (JGC) in the southern part of this otherwise sleepy tea city is all set to showcase the equestrian skills of the Mising riders during the 135th Jorhat Races from February 19 to 22.

It may perhaps not be out of place to mention here that the historic Jorhat Races had been started by the British planters way back in 1877 in the vast open greenery of the sprawling club.

The annual event, which is equated with festivals like �Octoberfest of Bavaria� and �La Tomatina of Spain� by the State�s tea planters, will start at the JGC premises with a car rally in the morning of February19. The curtains will come down on the four-day annual event on February 22 with a race for the prestigious Governor�s Cup.

The equestrian events at the Jorhat Races are different from other such events as participation is open only to the local ponies which are reared by the Mising people for a month with the sole intention of participation in the annual races, following which they are set free to lead a near-total ferral life in the riverside grasslands on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra in Jorhat district.

�Over 120 ponies will vie for the honours in a total of 16 races from February 20 and 22. The ponies will be grouped into five categories on the basis of their physical strength,� said Hardeep Singh, an organiser. Each caretaker of the ponies are provided food and accommodation in the club premises, besides rewarding the jockeys and owners of the winning ponies in the events.

The organisers informed that the owners of the successful ponies will be awarded with silver coins while the jockeys will be given cash awards.

With an intention to promote the ethnic food and attire of the pony-rearing Mising people, Jorhat Gymkhana Club is organising exhibitions on traditional Mising food and clothes at the four-day programme, which will be attended by foreign delegates too.

As an international trade fair is scheduled to be held at the Jorhat District Sports Association playground during the said period, the organisers of the historic Jorhat Races said they had to reschedule their programme so as to coincide with the trade fair.

�We are expecting many foreign delegates this year. The district administration has promised us of all possible help for transportation of the foreign guests,�said Singh.

Besides the horse race, dog-show by Assam Rifles Dog Training Centre and screening of a documentary on the horse-rearing Mising people named Riders of the Mist, besides musical chair competition for the jockeys and some of the other interesting events which have been included in the agenda.

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Historic Jorhat Races to start from Feb 19

JORHAT, Feb 15 � Carrying forward the more-than-a century old British legacy, the Jorhat Gymkhana Club (JGC) in the southern part of this otherwise sleepy tea city is all set to showcase the equestrian skills of the Mising riders during the 135th Jorhat Races from February 19 to 22.

It may perhaps not be out of place to mention here that the historic Jorhat Races had been started by the British planters way back in 1877 in the vast open greenery of the sprawling club.

The annual event, which is equated with festivals like �Octoberfest of Bavaria� and �La Tomatina of Spain� by the State�s tea planters, will start at the JGC premises with a car rally in the morning of February19. The curtains will come down on the four-day annual event on February 22 with a race for the prestigious Governor�s Cup.

The equestrian events at the Jorhat Races are different from other such events as participation is open only to the local ponies which are reared by the Mising people for a month with the sole intention of participation in the annual races, following which they are set free to lead a near-total ferral life in the riverside grasslands on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra in Jorhat district.

�Over 120 ponies will vie for the honours in a total of 16 races from February 20 and 22. The ponies will be grouped into five categories on the basis of their physical strength,� said Hardeep Singh, an organiser. Each caretaker of the ponies are provided food and accommodation in the club premises, besides rewarding the jockeys and owners of the winning ponies in the events.

The organisers informed that the owners of the successful ponies will be awarded with silver coins while the jockeys will be given cash awards.

With an intention to promote the ethnic food and attire of the pony-rearing Mising people, Jorhat Gymkhana Club is organising exhibitions on traditional Mising food and clothes at the four-day programme, which will be attended by foreign delegates too.

As an international trade fair is scheduled to be held at the Jorhat District Sports Association playground during the said period, the organisers of the historic Jorhat Races said they had to reschedule their programme so as to coincide with the trade fair.

�We are expecting many foreign delegates this year. The district administration has promised us of all possible help for transportation of the foreign guests,�said Singh.

Besides the horse race, dog-show by Assam Rifles Dog Training Centre and screening of a documentary on the horse-rearing Mising people named Riders of the Mist, besides musical chair competition for the jockeys and some of the other interesting events which have been included in the agenda.