A given tent pegging competition's rules specify the size and composition of the target;the number of consecutive targets placed on a course; the dimensions and weight of thesword, lance, or bow; the minimum time in which a course must be covered; and theextent to which a target must be struck, cut, or carried.
Tent-pegging is one of the most popular equestrian sports and was particularly popular inthe Indian sub-continent till the post war period. Although there is difference of opinionas to how and where it started, it is almost certain that tent-pegging is a sport of AsianOrigin. One source dates it back to the invasion of India by Alexander the Great in 326B.C. which lends credence to the belief that the sport originated in the North Western province of India and Afghanistan through where Alexander had entered India. Thecavalry soldiers of Alexander were believed to have used tent-pegging as a battle tacticsagainst the elephants in the army of the Indian King Porus, who fought bravely againstthe invaders, lost the battle, but by virtue of his heroic demeanour , charmed Alexander,who returned to Porus his kingdom and made him his friend. There is also a belief thatthe sport originated with the horse-mounted soldiers charging enemy camps at the crack of dawn removing the pegs which held the tents in place, with the tips of their sharpspears.But most equestrian authorities are of the opinion that tent-pegging originated in India inthe middle ages in the battle fields as a tactics used by the horsed cavalry against elephantmounted troops. The soldiers discovered that the best way to make the elephantsineffective was to attack them on their toe nails with sharp spears from the back of thegalloping horse. In order to perfect this technique, the cavalry started the practice of tent- pegging which eventually turned into the modern sport. Tent-pegging is now a popular equestrian sport in many countries around the world.These days the rider uses either a lance or a sword and charges in a full gallop across thearena which is specified in the rules and attempts to pick up the wooden / card board pegsstuck into the ground. This can be done individually or in a team.The sport got its first official recognition when the Olympic Council of Asia acceptedTent-pegging as an official event in the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games. Thereafter Indiaas well as other countries have been hosting International Tent-pegging events regularlywhich has seen participation of countries across different continents.The modern sport of Tent-pegging now comprises Normal events meant for championships and special events, the list of which is appended below. Normal CompetitionsLance – IndividualLance – TeamSword- Individual