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October 23, 2017

Tent Pegging … a cavalry sport that a traces its origins to Warfare.


Tent Pegging
Definition: tent peg + -ing
A sport originating in India of riding a horse at a charging pace and endeavoring to uproot on the point of a lance a tent peg in the ground.
Tent pegging (sometimes spelled “tentpegging” or “tent-pegging) is a cavalry sport that a traces its origins to Warfare.
There are several variations to add more challenges for the riders.  For example, used narrowly, the riders must spear ground targets.   Used broadly, the riders of sword-wielding spear suspended rings or slicing hanging fruits before taking a peg from the ground, which is why this refers to the entire class of mounted cavalry games. The riders have a sharp edged weapon they use in the game, which is how the term “equestrian skill-at-arms” started.
tpmain1
Origins
Tent pegging was founded in 1908 but most equestrian authorities recorded by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) believe tent-pegging dates back to the Middle Ages, and was originated in India.  The cavaliers learned this technique to use for generic skills or in the battlefields.  The cavaliers would go into the enemies’ camps at dawn and remove the pegs that held the tents up which created chaos.  However, the most believable story is that the cavaliers would go on the battlefield against the mounted elephants spearing them behind the toenail where the flesh is highly sensitive causing the elephant to rear up, lose the mounted rider and run free, which can cause trampling of the infantries.  Today, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) officially recognizes this sport as one of the ten equestrian discipline sports.
Rules for Tent pegging
The mounted equestrian rides a gallop at a designated speed using a sharp edged weapon to pierce, pickup, and carry away a small ground target, which is symbolic to a tent peg.  If the rider goes over the allotted time, half a penalty point is taken away for each second their over.  The riders run a straight course of 130-200 meters.  The pegs are placed 1 meter or 2.5 meters apart depending on the specific events.  Riders earn points for carrying the pegs.  When using a cardboard peg the rider earns 6 points if they carry it at least 10 meters and with a wooden peg, the riders have to carry it 15 meters.  Four points is earned if the rider removes a peg but does not carry it the full distance.   Two points is earned if the rider strikes a peg on the face but not dislodging it from the ground.
Equipment
The riders use a Lance or a Sword to pick up the pegs.
tpmaon
Modern Sport
Tent pegging is now a popular equestrian cavalry sport in many countries of the world.  Today, it is more popular is India, Australia, Israel, Pakistan, South Africa and the United Kingdom.  New and emerging national tent pegging associations have helped spread the sport worldwide.
The United States of America entered this sport in 2009 and the United States Association holds national championships and demonstrations in their respective countries.  In Pakistan tent pegging is called Neza Bazi.  During the competition, riders wear different Turbans and Waistcoats to identify their club as well as decorating their horses.
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Written by; Lisa Ullman Jones

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