18 Under 18 Awards

South City International School's Mahee Singh is learning life lessons from horse riding

Subhadrika Sen
Subhadrika Sen
Posted on 08 Apr 2022
18:35 PM
Mahee Singh rides her horse VL at the Fort William.

Mahee Singh rides her horse VL at the Fort William. SOURCE: Mahee Singh

Mahee trains at the Royal Calcutta Turf Club and mainly participates in Dressage and Show jumping categories
The Class XII student is an active member of her school's MUN and Interact Clubs

Wake up at 4am and head for practice at the Royal Calcutta Turf Club, go to school and back to the club for more practice — Mahee Singh’s daily routine demands strict discipline and hard work. Horse riding, for this 16-year-old, is not just a sport but a teacher as well.

Compassion has been the greatest lesson for the young equestrian and one of the winners of Edugraph 18 Under 18 Awards.


Riding for 10 years

When Mahee and her parents shifted to Kolkata around 10 years ago, they wanted to take up a sport to help them settle in and chose riding. Her parents discontinued after a while but Mahee fell in love with the sport and the horses. Soon, riding became an integral part of her life.

What equestrian sport is all about

Equestrian or horse riding is basically a rider and a horse participating together in competitions. “The two main categories in India are dressage and show jumping. Dressage is where you and the horse have to go through a test showcasing your control over the horse and the horse’s responsiveness to you. Show jumping is where you have to take your horse over a set of obstacles laid out in a course. I participate in mainly these two events in India and abroad,” Mahee said.

Finding a coach

Mahee has been training with coach Revaz Martin at the Royal Calcutta Turf Club. “She has essentially taught me how to ride and been a part of my journey for as long as I have been associated with this sport. She is definitely more than a coach for me. She’s a mentor, guide and a second parent,” said the Class XII student of South City International School.

Support from school

South City International School has supported Mahee in following her passion. What has helped perhaps is that she is not only a sports enthusiast but is also equally interested in academics.

“Mahee is an all-rounder. She is an active member of the school’s MUN Club and Interact Club and actively participates in club activities. The school has always encouraged her talents, nominated her in various inter-school events where she got opportunities to showcase her skills with the guidance of teachers,” said John A. Bagul, principal, South City International School. “Her achievement at the Edugraph 18 Under 18 Awards is truly a matter of great pride for the school. We are extremely happy for Mahee and wish that she achieves bigger successes in life.”

Mahee Singh rides on the Tolly Club grounds.

Mahee Singh rides on the Tolly Club grounds. SOURCE: Mahee Singh

Laurels in India and abroad

Mahee participated in the international competition Haras De Bel Air in Tours, France in 2019. “There were hundreds of riders from all over the world. So, it was a diverse experience riding with so many different people. Despite the obvious language barrier, it was still culturally very enriching,” she recalled.

The equestrian wonder won the first spot in Confined Riding in West Bengal Equestrian Association’s State Level Championship 2019.

Confined riding is like dressage where you display your horse’s responsiveness to you and your coordination. This competition was indeed a major one. It was also my first competition after a horse of mine passed away. I had to get my horse checked by a vet. You have to lead your horse in front of a group of judges and they check if your horse is physically sound for the competition. Once done, you can go about with the competition,” Mahee said.

Talking about her experience of participating in the Teenage Confined category at the Royal Calcutta Turf Club Equestrian Meet 2019, Mahee said: “Equestrian as a sport is very diverse as it has no age restrictions. In a regular confined category, a child of three to four years can participate with someone who is 60-70 years old. Teenage confined is just restricted to teenagers. This category is much more competitive because you are riding essentially with those who are your friends, people you have been training with, people who you know very well. Even though it is competitive, it’s all in the spirit of fun and games.”

Lessons from riding

“Riding has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It instilled in me a very strict sense of discipline. I mean waking up at 4am to go to my first practice and going directly from school for my next practice,” Mahee said.

Riding has taught her the importance of hard work, not just in sport but in life as well. “It has taught me compassion because you spend time working with animals. During the lockdown, the stable staff did a phenomenal job of taking care of our horses. For them, we were able to ride as soon as the lockdown was lifted,” she said.

Tips for young riders

Mahee feels taking up riding will be the best decision that someone can take. “It is a very unique sport. The entire riding community, irrespective of your club, age, level, is very supportive and welcoming. We are a very open and loving community. The sport itself, like any other, will instil in you discipline, hard work, team work with your horses,” she said.

Winning the 18 Under 18 Award

For Mahee, the greatest reward was her school principal cheering her from the audience. “It really meant a lot to me when he (Bagul) was there in the audience when I received the award. This award has boosted my morale but also shown me that there were so many deserving students,” the champion said.

“I was honestly very honoured to be a part of the cohort of so many interesting young students. Just being considered for the award by my principal and by Edugraph was a great honour for me.”

John Bagul
Mahee is an all-rounder. Her achievement at the Edugraph 18 Under 18 Awards is truly a matter of great pride for the school. We are extremely happy for Mahee and wish that she achieves bigger successes in life.
- John Bagul, Principal, South City International School
Last updated on 08 Apr 2022
18:38 PM
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