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Young Achiever: Anush Agarwalla

EducationWorld March 2024 | Young Achiever
Somasekhar Mulugu (Hyderabad)

YA-AnushPaderborn (Germany)-based equestrian Anush Agarwalla (24) was among 26 sportspersons conferred the prestigious Arjuna Award, 2023 for outstanding performance in sports by President Murmu on January 9. Anush won a gold medal in the team event and a historic bronze — India’s first — in the individual equine dressage event at the Asian Games staged in Hangzhou last September.

With his businessman father Gautam Agarwalla and uncle having learnt to ride in their youth, Anush, who was raised in Kolkata and schooled in the top-ranked La Martiniere for Boys, was introduced to horses at age three by his parents at the city’s Tollygunge Club riding facility. Love of the sound of hoofbeats and equines gradually developed into a passion for horse riding.

“I used to ride ponies until I turned nine after which I became eligible for formal horse-riding lessons. But professional horse-riding training in India is still in its infancy. For six years (2011-2017), I attended weekend riding classes at a well-known riding school in Delhi, while a student at La Martiniere, Kolkata. I won two medals at the 2014 Delhi Horse Show. But my real training began in 2017 under Olympic champion Hubertus Schmidt in his Paderborn academy,” recalls Anush.

Professional horse riding requires extreme fitness, discipline and perseverance, asserts Anush. His typical day begins at the crack of dawn followed by an eight hours riding regimen on six different horses. At the end of each day, he spends time with the horses and takes them for a walk to strike up a friendship with them. “In between, I invest some time to study for my business management degree programme at the University of Paderborn,” says this determined young achiever.

Currently, his training regimen is intensifying as Anush has set his sights on becoming the first Indian to qualify for equestrian dressage at the Paris Olympics in August. “The Olympics are a much tougher test than the Asian Games. I will have to raise my game several notches higher. Nothing is impossible,” says Anush.

Pegasus wings!

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