Meet the man from Odisha popularizing equestrian sports

Bhubaneswar: Col Rajendra Kumar Swain who hails from Odisha is a proud man. The retired defence personnel is the General Secretary of Equestrian Federation of India (EFI), which recently won Fédération Equestre Internationale’s (FEI) Solidarity Award 2017 among 134 member countries in which four countries namely India, UK, Ireland and Canada were nominated.

The EFI won the award for the inaugural Retraining of Racehorses project in Assam.

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In a YouTube video celebrating the award, Swain says the project is all about retraining race horses. “India is involved with horses from time immemorial. Some parts of our country don’t have equestrian population required for the sports. But there are more than eight race courses in India. The race horses, which retire after 3 to 4 years, need to be utilized somewhere. The project was conceived keeping them in mind. It is also good for the race horses, who get a second home after retiring from the racing arena,” he said.

The video concludes with Swain saying, “It is only because of FEI’s solidarity department, developing nations are able to contribute to equestrian sports. The flag of nations being supported by FEI solidarity will one day be among the winners at Olympics. We are really proud to be the winner of Solidarity Award 2017.”

In September, the FEI had opened public voting for all shortlisted nominees. It was for the first time since creation of the awards in 2009 that public could cast a vote for their heroes.

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