Downtown

OMR sisters gallop to glory

Horse riding energises Vaishali (left) and Pranaya. If they have to miss their practice for some reason, the sisters become restive.  

Two sisters from OMR have done themselves proud with their performance in the recent FEI World Challenge Dressage, organised in Bangalore.

The sisters Vaishali and Pranaya Vinayan Pillai, along with Isabelle Hasleder, their first coach, won two gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal at the event. The achievement is a vindication of their decision to take up horse riding five years ago. Even before getting onto a horse, they knew they would love the sport.

“While driving along Sholinganallur, we’d see the Chennai Equestrian Academy. One day, my sister and I decided to check it out. We were fascinated with the lush green campus and well-kept horses. We couldn’t wait to go on a horse ride,” says Vaishali, an automobile engineering student. Pranaya is in class IX. Vaishali says she has always turned her hand to things that most others are not even aware of. She has always wanted it that way. Dressage seemed to fit the bill for her.

“When I tell my friends that I specialise in Dressage, they don’t get it. I have to explain to them it is related to horse-riding,” says Pranaya. Dressage competitions consist of a series of individual tests with an increasing level of difficulty. The rider and the horse have to work as a team. It requires great concentration and stamina, explains Vaishali. And, of course, intense practice. Both girls are aware of this. “We are just learning and there is a long way to go. We ride for three days a week and as competitions near, we ride almost every day,” says Vaishali. Horse riding energises them. If they have to miss their practice for some reason, the sisters become restive. Pranaya once broke her arm following a bad fall and he this what she remembers about the period when she was hors de combat. “To watch my sister ride horses, while I was stuck at home was irritating,” says Pranaya. The sisters thank Kishore Futnani, the managing trustee of CEC and Brian Bullmore, the stable manager, who have constantly encouraged them to perform better.


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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 4:12:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/they-have-returned-with-a-bag-full-of-medals-from-the-recent-fei-world-challenge-dressage-event-in-bangalore/article6555256.ece

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