On September 26, 2023, the Indian Dressage Team made history by winning a gold medal at the Asian Games, marking the first time in 41 years that India has achieved this feat. The team, consisting of Sudipti Hajela, Divyakriti Singh, Hriday Chheda, and Anush Agarwalla, showcased exceptional skill and teamwork to secure the coveted gold medal. This victory is a significant milestone for India in the world of equestrian sports, particularly dressage, which is one of the most popular forms of horse riding in the country.
Asian Games, Day 3: Live
The triumphant win at the Asian Games 2023 is a testament to the progress made in Indian equestrian sports. It also marks India’s maiden podium finish in the event at the Asiads, further solidifying the country’s standing in the international equestrian community. This historic achievement is a source of immense pride for the nation and serves as an inspiration for future generations of Indian equestrians.
Here are the athletes that secured India’s maiden Asian Games gold in 41 years.
Born on 10 May, 2002 in Indore, Sudipti started her equestrian journey early in at age of six years as a summer hobby which soon turned into a career. Sudipti completed her schooling from Daly College, Indore which shaped her journey in Equestrian. Based out of Paris at the moment, Sudipti met her current trainers, who are part of the French Olympics team and French national teams.
The 23-year-old international dressage rider, was born in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Alumni of Mayo College Girls School, Divyakriti has represented the country at numerous international competitions in Europe and National competitions across the country.
A student of psychology in Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi, Divyakriti pursued her dream via the college programme. She was frequently training in Europe during school and university,( The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria) and has also trained in the Wellington-Florida, USA which is regarded as the equestrian capital of the world. Post university, she moved to Europe in 2020 for training in preparation for the forthcoming Asian Games and other international competitions. Since then, she has represented India in some of the most competitive.
Born in Kolkata on 23 November, 1999, Anush Agarwalla sat on a horse for the first time, when he was 3 years old. What started as a ritual weekend joy ride soon turned into a passion. When he was 8 years old, his mother enrolled him to get riding lessons, and he started competing in local events for children. At 11 years of age, he started going to New Delhi to pursue his equestrian dreams. He would study in school through the weekdays and then in the weekends, fly out to Delhi for training.
Born in Mumbai on 24 July, 1998, Hriday Chhheda started early just like Anush Agarwalla. He got on a horseback for the first time when he was 6 years old and continued training regularly at different parts of the country. Over the last 10 years he has trained and worked in different parts of Europe.
The sport of dressage holds a colonial past in Indian history, having been introduced by the British. Over time, it evolved into a royal sport, with Indian nobility and royalty participating in it. Today, dressage is both a leisurely activity and an adventurous game in India.