Tentpegging


History

Today, it is difficult to tell when and where tentpegging actually originated. Via the great Asian and later European empires, the sport grew throughout the world. Presumably, however, it has existed at least since the fourth century. Possible places of origin are, depending on the source, India, Central Asia or the Middle East.

Even the idea behind the sport’s creation is disputed. According to one legend, tentpegging was used to train for attacks on enemy campsites. Mounted on horseback, soldiers were supposed to draw out the tent pegs at a fast gallop. The sudden break down of the tents was hoped to confuse the enemy. Thus, the name tentpegging was born.

Another narrative suggests that the sport is originally from India where it was also part of war tactics. Here, however, riders would not attack tents but war elephants. According to this interpretation, the idea was to hit the sensitive toe nails of the enemy’s elephants with a lance. Mad from pain, they would presumably throw off their mahouts and create chaos in the enemy lines.

None of these narratives can be proven today. The British Tent Pegging Association also presumes that tentpegging was just a general drill for the cavalry.

When the cavalry began to disappear in the twentieth century, tentpegging became an umbrella term for all armed competitions completed on horseback. Via the British Empire, the sport spread from its places of origin to the west where it has now been practised for at least a few hundred years as well.

The Olympic Council of Asia included tentpegging as an official, regional sport in 1982. International recognition by the FEI is still due as of yet. In Germany, the sport is still comparably young; here, it was introduced by Peter Kramer in 2013.

Tentpegging Germany
Waldschmidtstr. 19
60316 Frankfurt

christian.dietzel@tentpegging.de