Strides of success
Rider Sanyogeeta Kada speaks to CE about her recent feat with her horse Abra Kadabra and her journey as an equestrian
Sanyogeetha Kada was 13 years old when she first went on overnight trails around forts in Pune as part of a summer camp activity, with Marwari horses. However, she started pursuing the sport seriously, when she met equestrian Col Gulam Mohammed Khan and started coaching under him at Col Khan’s Riding Academy in 2006. Since then, Kada has not looked back. Recently participating at the FEI (International Federation for Equestrian Sports) jumping world challenge that started on November 20 in Mumbai, Kada won the first round consisting of a chain of tops and turns in Category B.
Kada, who won the best rider of Open Category at the Equestrian Premier League in 2021, is also an instructor at Embassy International Riding School in Bengaluru. She is currently training over 15 riders who will be participating in the junior nationals at Amatuer Riders’ Club (ARC) in Mumbai next month.
For Kada, however, the initial days of equestrianism were challenging. From balancing academics and sports to handling the lack of opportunities at equestrian events, Kada had to face multiple odds. “In fact, after finishing my 10th standard board exams, my father used to pick me up from the exam hall and drive me straight to the stable for training. I also competed in an equestrian event that was two days ahead of my 12th standard board exam. I tried to balance both equally.
Although I started riding 15 years ago, I did not get enough opportunities to compete, because in the mid 2000s, there were hardly two-three shows a year,” says the 28-year-old who has now been training with Abra Kadabra, a seven-year-old Belgian Warmblood horse. “I usually take it one step at a time. I focus on one horse and set the goals for my upcoming tournaments. Since the last two years, Abra has grown a lot. I am seeing a lot of scope and potential in him,” adds Kada.
Interestingly, Ashish Limaye, an equestrian and Kada’s husband, also happens to coach her. Limaye and Kada, who moved out of Khan’s Riding School, started training and riding together. “Ashish is a very tough coach. We forget our relationship when we are on the field. Currently, he is training in Germany, and we often hold virtual calls where he guides me during my warm-ups. If I am struggling with the horse, I record a video and share it with him, after which he suggests a plan of action,” says Kada, who bagged an
all-India ranking of four at Fei Dressage Senior 1 in November 2021.
Currently participating at the ARC, Kada believes that the new arena gives a good footing to the horses. The floodlights too play a key role, facilitating night rides.
“I train Arba for 30-40 minutes a day and I also train with at least five to six horses every day. My goal is to participate in the Asian Games and represent India at the next Olympics. However, I will be taking up tournaments one step at a time,” she signs off.
- Dec 2018: National Equestrian Championship Preliminary category placed 2nd
- Mar 2019: National Equestrian Championship Novice category placed 2nd
- Mar 2019: National Equestrian Championship Third category placed 3rd
- Nov 2021: Equestrian Premiere League Best rider of Open Category
- Nov 2021: Fei Dressage Senior 1 category All India Fourth placing