Horse of the Week
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Perchance to Dream

tent-pegging horseChance is a 5 year old bay Thoroughbred gelding owned by Akaash Maharaj of Uxbridge, Ontario. I photographed this horse at the Meadows Equestrian Centre in the summer of 2007. I had a glimpse of Chance's flamboyant personality when we released him in the paddock where we had planned the photo shoot. He promptly lapped the field 5 times at stunning speed, flying over the gully with every pass.

Akaash speaks of his horse:

"Chance came to me from the farms of June Schmid in the summer of this year, and he took little time to settle into the Meadows and into my life.

I am training Chance to compete in tent pegging, sometimes known as equestrian skill-at-arms. Though in Canada, it is perhaps the least celebrated of the FEI's ten recognized disciplines, tent pegging has a history stretching back millennia, and a substantial following in countries with established cavalry cultures. A sport of horse, lance, sword, and sabre, it is not a venture for the feint of heart.

Bred for the track, Chance has the raw muscle and the lust for speed of his pedigree, but it is his character that I believe will prove to be his greatest asset as a tent pegging horse.

Chance is almost unnaturally bold, fearing neither man nor beast, neither object nor place, and his physical courage is part of an unmistakable will to power, a thirst to discharge his strength and to dominate the territory around him. In another age, I suspect he would have been the consummate war horse. In this century, I know he will prove ideally suited to a sport that will demand him to be undaunted by edged weapons slashing overhead and thrusting underfoot, while he tears through a course strewn with all manner of smouldering and immovable obstacles.

The corollary of his bravery, however, is that he is undeniably a challenging horse for his rider, and Chance regularly compels me to prove my mettle before he will do my bidding. He can also be no less of a trial for his paddock-mates, and both he and they bear the battle scars to prove it.

In some ways, however, his very difficulties are an intrinsic part of his charm. It warms my heart to no end that whenever I appear in his paddock, Chance comes cantering over to me and lowers his head, eager to submit to the bridle. His trust and enthusiasm are all the more meaningful to me because I know these are sentiments he does not give away easily.

Every horseman knows the proverb that for every rider there is one horse, and for every horse one rider. When Chance whinnies cheerfully as he sees me, even as he attempts to mercilessly savage every other person and animal in his vicinity, I often think that he believes in that proverb too."

Chance loves to play with Thunder, our past Horse of the Week, and has a decided weakness for the fillies at the Meadows. Chance dislikes difficult humans, but enjoys biting them!

Congratulations to Chance for being our November 19th, 2007 Horse of the Week!

Tent Pegging Horse
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