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Sponsors sustained my training: India's Oly bound horse rider Mirza

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New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) Olympic Games bound Indian horse rider Fouaad Mirza on Wednesday said without sponsors it wouldn’t have been possible for him to reach this far in a sport like equestrian.

“It is a very expensive sport. My expenses in the past two years were more than Rs.2 crores. Without having private sponsors, it wouldn’t have been possible for me to camp in Germany for more than two long years,” the 28-year-old said during an online media interaction on Wednesday.

Mirza, the first Indian to qualify for the Olympic Games in 20 years, completed the minimum eligibility requirement (MER) to compete in the next month’s Tokyo Olympic Games by competing at the Baborowko Equestrian Festival last week in Poland.

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Based out of Germany, Mirza said that it was an advantage to have two or more horses in training, though each rider is allowed to enter one horse for competition.

“I’ve Seigneur Medicott and Dajara 4. I would decide close to the Olympics which horse to compete with. It all depends which horse is in good form,” said the Arjuna award winner.

On the animal and human relation, Mirza said it is difficult to explain the bond in words.

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“It’s all about understanding. Over the years when you spend nearly 10 hours a day, training and grooming, the bond between the animal and the human grows. And, it is difficult to explain. You have to take the horses for training drills, feed them and at the end of the session do icing for recovery like elite athletes do,” he added.

According to Mirza, support from family during the pandemic has enabled him to stay focused.

“Friends and parents have been very supportive. They try to keep me in the best frame of mind that helps me focus on my training,” he added.

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–IANS

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