ON DAY one of the Kila Raipur rural sports festival Thursday, horses replaced bullocks in cart races. More events featuring horses are slated during the four-day event. A team from Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) reached the stadium and will be present for the remainder of the tournament to keep a watch for any violations. AWBI member Dr Sandeep Jain said all animals featured in the event should be registered with AWBI, along with their riders and owners.
However, no such norm is being followed in any similar tournaments in Punjab. At the national livestock mela that concluded last month in Muktsar, polo matches had been organised after widespread publicity and even horse races had taken place. However, AWBI had not raised the issue of registration.
Sources said the AWBI team would keep a close watch on all the events in the rural sports festival and will submit a report accordingly. The organisers have reportedly planned dog races that are banned as per AWBI norms, but no issues had been raised at such events organised in many other villages of Punjab.
On Thursday, around 25 horses took part in a 350-metre race in which a horse owned by Lovely from Basti Gujjran won the first place by completing the distance in 15.40 seconds while second prize was won by horse owned by Lakhi (15.68 seconds) followed by Happy Doburji .