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regular-article-logo Monday, 15 April 2024

Kid who gallops to glory like a pro

Aadit Ghose was the youngest participant at the recently-concluded Netaji Subhash West Bengal State Equestrian Championship

Madhumita Ganguly Calcutta Published 27.05.22, 01:53 AM
Aadit Ghose

Aadit Ghose Sourced by The Telegraph

Aadit Ghose is all of 8 years and 5 months, but the pint-sized equestrian is already making strides in the right direction. Aadit was the youngest participant at the recently-concluded Netaji Subhas West Bengal State Equestrian Championship, organised by the West Bengal Equestrian Association under the aegis of Bengal Olympic Association.

He made a mark by bagging a gold and a silver in the dressage competition in his age-group category (6-12 years). His success is all the more commendable because this is the second competition that he has participated in.

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For the uninitiated, dressage is one of the three Olympic disciplines — the other two being cross-country and show jumping — which make up the event of eventing.

In dressage, a competitor needs to show off a horse’s training by performing a set of prescribed movements in front of a panel of judges.

In his first competition — the Anand Delhi Horse Show last month, a national competition in which over 300 contestants from all over India took part — he had finished with a gold and a bronze in hacks and show jumping, where he was again the youngest competitor.

Does not the height of an adult horse intimidate the four-feet-something youngster?

“Yes, initially it does,’’ was Aadit’s honest confession to The Telegraph.

“But after I’ve ridden the equine for a few days, I start getting comfortable and I’m no longer scared.”

Lt Colonel Faiz Siddiqui, an internationally certified coach, was instrumental in putting Aadit onto the saddle when he was just four-and-a-half.

Whenever Aadit would see his father, Major Agnish Ghose, ride, he would want to ride too and would throw tantrums till he got onto the saddle.

And while most kids of his age are still comfortable on a pony, the Class IV boy of La Martiniere graduated to an adult horse in 2019.

The pandemic and the subsequent closure of schools gave him time to train twice a day (at the Fort William Riding and Polo Institute) — early mornings (5.30am to be precise) and evenings. The reopening of schools meant his practice was restricted to only the mornings, but now with the schools again closed for summer vacation, he is back to training twice again.
“Aadit is not scared of heights, which is a big plus in this sport,” says Major Ghose. “But yes, after a fall or a failure, he tends to shrink into his comfort zone. Which is when he needs a little whack from me to return to practice again,” he laughs.

So what does young Aadit wish to become once he grows up?

“I wish to become a cavalry officer when I grow up and get into eventing, which means dressage, show jumping and cross country.”

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