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What is dressage, where India won Equestrian gold after 41 years? - Explained

The Bridge explains the Equestrian Dressage team event where India won Asian Games gold medal after 41 years.

What is dressage, where India won Equestrian gold after 41 years? - Explained

India's Asian Games gold medal winning Equestrian Dressage team display their medals


Shourya Mehta

Updated: 26 Sep 2023 1:17 PM GMT

India won a stupendous gold medal in the equestrian's Dressage team event, ending the 41-year medal drought at the Asian Games on Tuesday.

The team of immensely mastered riders, Anush Agarwalla, Hriday Vipul Chheda, Divyakriti Singh, and Sudipti Hajela, named the historic medal to the country with 209.205 points, pipping favourites China and Hong Kong who completed the podium.

"It's unbelievable to have one gold (medal) here. It has not been an easy journey for any of us. To come here, we have worked hard for many, many years. Our families have sacrificed a lot. All of us shifted to the sport at a young age. It has been hard work of our coaches, families, and the whole team behind us," said Anush after achieving the magnificent feat.

But what exactly is the sport called Equestrian Dressage team event? The Bridge explains:

Dressage Team event- Explained

Dressage is a type of horse riding that is often practiced primarily for the sake of mastery. It is done in exhibitions and competitions. It is the skill of riding and training a horse in a way that fosters balance, flexibility, and obedience.

Affluence on the arena!

The event is organized in fields or arenas, and there are two specific sizes of arena - small and standard. In arenas, there are letters assigned to positions around the arena for dressage tests to specify where movements are to be performed. Cones with letters on them are positioned on the sidelines of the arena for reference as to where a movement is to be performed.

Winners deciders

Judges play crucial roles in the Dressage events. According to their experience and expertise, judges are registered through their national federation, with the most qualified being preferred for international competitions.

In International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) events, judges' final percentages are intended to be within 5% of one another. Judges are strictly monitored to achieve as consistent marking as possible within the bounds of subjectivity.

Point System

The scoring structure for the events is based on certain metrics based on the rhythm and regularity of the horse. Contact means how gently a rider handles his horse, and relaxation means the movement of the horse's body whether it is a too-loose body or maintaining the posture, the impulsion that shows how much force a horse is using for the movement.

The straightness checks the direction sense of the horse whether it is moving in a straight line or not. A rider can collect various points using his horse skills, like flying legs. A range of 1-10 marking is given for all the six metrics or the levels. In the marking range the best, that is 10 means excellent, then 9 means very good and the lowest are 0, 1, and 3 which states non-executed, very bad, and the bad respectively.

As per the FEI, Dressage is expressed as "the highest expression of horse training" where "horse and rider are expected to perform from memory a series of predetermined movements."

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