In rural Punjab, bull race is one of the most anticipated events due to its thrilling and aggressive nature. The traditional competition attracts landlords and farmers from all around the province where the race is held, and they all bring their fastest and strongest bulls in hopes of gaining a reputation.
It also depicts the pride farmers have for their animals, the jockey does not ride but boards on a wooden board and is dragged by the bull.
The participants have to cover a 350 meter course and guide the bull through poles placed 10 meters apart.
Desi Kushtee (Traditional Wrestling)
Most countries have a traditional style of wrestling. In Pakistan, wrestling takes place in a clay or dirt pit called “Akhaara”. The soil is mixed with ghee and other things and is tended to before each practice.
In Punjab traditional wrestling isn’t just a sport – it’s an ancient subculture where wrestlers live and train together and follow strict rules on everything from what they can eat to what they can do in their spare time. Drinking, smoking and even sex are off limits. The focus is on living a pure life, building strength and honing their wrestling skills. Wrestlers are called pehlwan… Pehlwan bodies are naturally built with food and exercise no use of steroids is allowed. Champion is usally called “Rustum” major competitions is Rustam-e-Pakistan, Rustam-e-Punjab & Rustam-e-Lahore. Gujranwalla is commponly known to be a city of wrestlers and is famous for its food specialties which include a lot of food specific to pehlwans.
Tent pegging is a sport that originated in the Arabian Peninsula and evolved in Central Asia. Since the 4th Century BC, this cavalry sport has been spread throughout the world. The International Federation of Equestrian recognises tent pegging as one of the ten equestrian disciplines. The game was introduced as an official international sport in the Olympic Council of Asia in 1982.
A jockey, holding a lance or sword, rides a horse at a gallop across a straight course of 130-200 meters with the help of the lance or sword. The jockey picks up wooden or cardboard pegs, which are stuck on the ground. Each peg is placed 1-2.5 meters apart. According to different events, rules are implemented specifying the size and composition of the target, number of pegs put on a course, the proportion of the weapon, the time limit and the degree to which a peg must be struck. Also, the jockey is required to be at a particular speed while crossing the finishing line. The points are deducted if the time limit is not met or if the jockey has not completed the race.
In Pakistan Tent pegging is more commonly known as ‘Neza Bazi’. It’s mostly played in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and some parts of Sindh and Balochistan. There are many clubs where they distinguish themselves by wearing turbans in a different and unique style as well as wearing different waistcoats. Inter-club tournaments are organised frequently. Shows, such as National Horse and Cattle show, where tent pegging is a part of these events is arranged for many decades. It is usually at the end of February or first week of March in the Fortress Stadium, Lahore where various clubs take part in the sport.
Pakistan is one of the 28 members of the recognised international governing body of Tent pegging and organises many local tent pegging competitions in the country. The national tent pegging competition was held in March 2015 in Lahore, which was organised at Rangers headquarters Polo Ground, where Islamabad bagged the first position.