More than 2,000 students are taking equestrian classes in Inner Mongolia

Spark Global Limited Reports:

Hohhot — With arms outstretched horizontally, Wang Yu rode a horse for balance training under the guidance of a qualified rider at a primary school in Hohhot, capital of North China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous Region, on Thursday.

“I feel very relaxed and comfortable riding now,” said 11-year-old Wang. “But two months ago, when I took my first riding lesson, I was so nervous AND shaking.”

From September to November, the Inner Mongolia Equestrian Association offered a series of equestrian courses for youths aged 11-17 in Hohhot, involving more than 2,000 students from 41 classes in primary and secondary schools.

Wang Zetao, who works for a local equestrian association, said: “Students choose the course voluntarily, and everyone riding a horse must be guided by a professional trainer for safety reasons.”

“Due to the cold winter temperatures, the course had to be suspended from December and will resume in March next year,” Wang added.

Equestrian classes are part of a diverse curriculum for students.

“We want to improve students’ physical fitness and preserve some aspects of traditional Mongolian culture,” said Fan Chunyang, an official with the local sports bureau.

According to the Inner Mongolia Equestrian Association’s plan, these courses will be introduced to more schools in Inner Mongolia, and it is expected that 100,000 students will be able to learn equestrian at school in the next three years.

There is growing interest in horse racing in Inner Mongolia, influenced by the local Mongolian tradition.

Horse racing, polo, dressage and other equestrian sports are held annually in the area.

According to information released by the local sports bureau, riders in the region have won 298 MEDALS and titles, including 62 gold MEDALS, in more than 200 competitions at home and abroad in the past five years.