Mumbai: India has a rich heritage of equestrian sport and the 25-year-old, Hriday Chheda is all set to make his country proud at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Hriday, nurtured by the Amateur Riders’ Club, is one of only four riders qualified to represent India in the dressage discipline.
Starting at the young age of 6, he spent the better part of his life on horseback. Since then he has trained all over the globe and has evolved into one of the leading dressage riders of the country.
Apart from his training and participating in various competitions at ARC, over the last 10 years, Hriday has also trained and worked in Europe with trainers such as Hannes Baumgart, and was also based with British Olympian Emile Faurie during his time in England. More recently in 2022 he trained with Leonie Bramall and is now based at Pamfou dressage, France.
Hriday will be competing at the Asian Games on his horse Emerald. He also competed on the selection trials with Emerald. He has Emerald for less than one year now but has managed an excellent relationship with him to manage this feat in such a short time.
Hriday currently has one of the best performance records among Indian riders in all three dressage tests that will be part of the Asian Games.
“Representing India on the international stage has been my lifelong dream, and I’m hoping to win and make the country proud given this opportunity,” said Hriday.
Shyam Mehta, President, Amateur Riders’ Club, commenting on Hriday’s journey, states, “Hriday Chheda exemplifies the incredible potential within our young athletes. His passion, dedication, and early success bode well for India’s equestrian future.”
“We at ARC, Mumbai’s only horse riding club believe that his triumph in the sport will uplift our young equestrians spirit and inspire others equestrian.”
Milan Luthria, Equestrian Chairman at Amateur Riders’ Club, said, “Hard work, dedication and perseverance have helped Hriday reach where he is. Team ARC is proud of him and we wish him well.”
India’s last medal in the equestrian dressage category at the Asian Games might be a distant memory, but with Hriday’s talent, hopes are high for a triumphant return to the podium.