Earlier this week, when 13-year-old Chandigarh rider Jaiveer Makkar had the opportunity to take on his competitor Geetika Tikkeitty, whose horse got out of hand, the youngster was placed second at that time- the. If he had submitted an objection, he would have won gold in the show jumping (accumulator) event at the National Junior Equestrian Championship held in Mumbai.
While the young rider from Chandigarh had to fight for a silver medal in addition to a fourth place in the event, Makkar believes an objection would have undermined Geetika’s effort without it being her fault.
“I think it’s his bad luck that his horse got out of hand and broke the reins. I have always believed in the idea of fair competition, so I did not oppose it. I’m happy to have won the silver medal and my horse and I did our best. The silver medal and fourth place is the biggest reward for me at this year’s championship, ”Makkar said in conversation with The Indian Express.
The youngster, who started riding at the age of five at the insistence of his maternal grandfather, retired Colonel OP Dahiya, was practicing at the Chandigarh Riding School. He has won medals at the Chandigarh Horse Show and Delhi Horse Show, in addition to winning medals in various categories at the National Junior Equestrian Championships.
Last year he won three medals in the junior event. This year, the youngster won the team gold medal in the show jumping event in addition to a silver medal in the fault and clear round event in the U-14 category at the Delhi Horse. Show in April. He went on to win gold and bronze medals and a team silver medal in the show jumping event at the Jaipur Equestrian Championship in September.
In Mumbai, Makkar rode his horse, Democratic, and clocked a perfect run of 33.58 seconds with 65 points to win the silver medal. He later rode his horse, Victoria, with a time of 35.18 seconds to claim fourth place.
“Last year, during the lockdown and the following months, I kept busy at home playing soccer and basketball and spending time with my family as well as the horses. Later, when I started to train, the fitness exercises helped me to climb. The medals I won at the Delhi Horse Show and Jaipur boosted my confidence a lot before the junior championship. The main challenge here was to complete a course of ten jumps without dropping a pole in the shortest possible time. My two horses jumped well and I’m lucky to be able to handle them well, ”said Makkar, who is a class 8 student at Doon School, Dehradun.
The youngster plans to continue in the Group 1 category next year before competing in the senior events. He also plans to compete in FEI races and private cups once the Covid-19 situation improves and he can travel overseas.
Makkar is also motivated by the feat of Asian Games silver medalist Fouaad Mirza, who represented India at the Tokyo Olympics and became only the third Indian rider to do so. “Attending senior events in the years to come will boost my self-confidence. I also aim to participate in FEI events once the situation improves. What Fouaad monsieur achieved motivated all young people like me in the country. Now, with the right guidance and the right advice, we can also dream of competing in the Olympics someday, ”said Makkar.