Young equestrian Moksh Kothari won the gold medal in the youth category at the recently concluded 2021 Federation Equestrian Internationale World Challenge. The equestrian emerged victorious with a score of 75.68, the top score in the category in India.
Moksh is an avid equestrian who started his competitive career in 2019 at the Amateur Riders Club, Mumbai. A passionate and dedicated horseman, Moksh goes by the belief that the “horse always comes first and then the rider”. Apart from training at the ARC, Moksh also trains at the Embassy International Riding School in Bengaluru.
At the Amateur Riders Club, Moksh has training with Monique Vanhaarst and also takes specialized Dressage training from Hriday Chhedda.
At the 2021 Federation Equestrian Internationale World Challenge tournament, Moksh rode on Vadim du savigny and Qurt de Monte plassir, winning on the horse Vadim.
Speaking to Sportskeeda, Moksh said he wasn’t expecting to win the gold medal in the championship. He said:
“I wasn’t expecting to win because I thought I had committed an error in the Dressage event. But, when I found out that I had won, I was ecstatic. It felt amazing to know that I had won the event.”
Horse is the supreme athlete in equestrian
Moksh shares a special bond with his horses and Vadim has a winning attitude. Elaborating on how he believes that the horse is the supreme athlete in the equestrian, Moksh said:
“With the horses, one has to feel and understand what they’re thinking and what they’re going through. Because at the end of the day, they are living animals and if they feel scared or anxious, they can take off differently. So, one just needs to understand them and where they’re coming from, and then try to work with them in tandem.”
Moksh makes sure to understand his horses well and points out to subtle understanding in their body language as one of the main parameters of understanding the horse. He elaborated:
“There are generally some like markers, like when you start riding more, you will be able to recognize it. For example, if their back feels tight, you can gently tell that they’re a little anxious or scared. And the ears are a big marker, so looking at it you can conclude that the horse might be angry, or say if they’re in a forward position, they are probably happy.”
Long-term equestrian goals
Moksh has his plans clearly chalked out. The equestrian wants to win the junior nationals later this year and then proceed to make a mark in the senior category soon after. As it is with many sportspeople, Moksh is no different when setting a long term goal – to represent India in equestrian at the Olympics.
“I want to win the junior nationals now and next year, I want to try in the senior category, the senior dressage and maybe a medium dressage test next year. And then in the long term, I would like to eventually go to the 2031 Olympics, which is my ultimate goal,” he said.
Speaking about his training stint at the Amateur Riders Club in Mumbai, Moksh said he was fortunate enough to get the best of equestrian facilities and training.
“ARC has been a big part of my journey up until now. The new facilities, the trainers and the learnings have been excellent. I was able to excel in equestrian because of the guidance of, not only the trainers, but even experienced members like Prakash and Sam Mehta. I have also learnt a lot about horses, how to take care of them during riding and much more. Another advantage is the proximity of the ARC to my home, it adds a lot of value to my training schedule and eventually it shows in my performances,” he signed off.
At the recently concluded Equestrian Premier League, held at the Embassy International Riding School in Bengaluru, Moksh finished joint-first in the Dressage and Show Jumping events in the junior category.
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