Pakistanis seek world record in ancient sport of tent-pegging
TULAMBA, Pakistan, March 30, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Traditional drumbeats and
melodious shahnai flutes are drowned out by thundering hooves in the small
Pakistani city of Tulamba, as riders pound down a dusty track seeking world
record glory in the ancient sport of tent-pegging.
Riders in bright costumes drive their lances into the targets, wooden pegs
embedded in the dry ground, their aim sometimes obscured by the dust kicked
up by other competitors.
The cavalry sport requires a mounted horseman to pierce and pick up a peg
from the ground at a full gallop.
“This is the sport of young lions,” local politician Shaukat Hayat Bosan
told AFP. “For this sport not only a good horse but a good rider is also
This year’s event organised by the Muhammadiya Hyderia Sultania Awan Club
in Tulamba, held on Wednesday, aimed to be a little different: organisers
claim they used it to set six world records.
Admittedly, organiser Shahzada Sultan Muhammad Ali said, there had been no
mention of tent pegging in the Guinness Book of World Records previously.
But, he told the crowd, they established a record for 120 horses reaching
the finish line in 166 seconds, and for uprooting 90 tent pegs at once, among
They are awaiting final confirmation from Guinness officials.
Organisers hope the bid will draw much-needed international attention to
Popular for centuries on the sub-continent, tent-pegging has become a dying
pastime in Pakistan, mainly kept alive in wealthy Punjab province.
There it remains part of cultural celebrations in urban areas, where riders
dress up in traditional waistcoats and turbans of vibrant colors while horses
are fitted with shining saddles.
Muhammad Sohail, one of the participants in Tulamba, took the opportunity
to call for more support for the sport.
“We are promoting this sport on our own,” he said, calling on the Pakistani
government to help.
In 2018 Pakistan qualified for the first time in a decade to participate in
the tent-pegging World Cup held in the UAE. A total of 12 teams participated
in the event.