Report: Rima Youssef
Translated by Aline Aoun
NNA - Equestrian or horse-riding is an ancient sport which goes back to the history of the first human civilization when man was able to tame the horse and use it as a mean of transportation, fishing and in the battlefields.
The horse was a fellow of senior dignitaries like kings and Sheikhs. Vienna in Austria is considered the empire of equestrian (Riding school) and it is the only institution in the world that has maintained the equestrian art since the era of renaissance to the present day.
While in Lebanon schools of equestrian have been recently established due to the link of this kind of sport to courage and nobility.
The first equestrian club in Lebanon was founded by the late MP Fawzi Abdel Fattah al-Hoss in the late fifties. He died at the age of 55 years after he fell off his horse.
Admiral Michel Hashem, retired marines Generale in the Lebanese Army had chosen after his retirement to open a club to teach equestrian in Batroun, because the Army and equestrian rules are related to courage.
He won many championships in equestrian from Lebanon and France.
Horses can live to 30 years and can practice race between the ages of 3 and 8 years.
Hashem's equestrian school trains individuals in a professional way where the trainees become knights in a short time.
Hashem said in an interview with "National News Agency" that the horse is a "pet creature" and he refused to classify the horse as an animal.
"It is known that the most beautiful girl in the universe is described as a 'horse' and a strong and a young man is called "he is like a horse," Hashem said.
"There are 250 members in the club 65% of whom are female, and the youngest member is 5 years and is trained on a Poney. Then at the age of 6 and a half years the 5 years will start training on a horse," he added.
Regarding the types of horses Hashem said: "There is the Arabic horse. It is famous of its beauty, and the most beautiful horse in the world, and is characterized by its speed."
He pointed that the Arabic horse is loved in the world, especially in America, where there are 400 000 Arabic horses, then in London in an organization called "WAHO ". This kind of horse is the only one in the world who is involved in carrying capacity and long-distance competitions up to 160 km in the world championship and enjoys a steadfast heart.
He said that he also have other kind of horses like the European, French, German and Dutch and others and all are specialized to jump over barriers, then dwarf horses like the Poney.
Hashem said that horse jumping competition is strongly present in Lebanon since a long time, and the long-distance race (100 km).
Several races with Arab States had happened and the Championship, Micha Hashem, his daughter had won at that time.
The race speed like the race that takes place in the Hippodrome in Beirut, and the most important race in the world is in Melbourne in Australia.
He continued "there is horse-taming, and training on competitions and dance, in addition to the vehicles activities where races happen in Romania and the horse of Arabic blood."
The American horse is in America since a long time ago and is excellent for long-distance and is called the Mustang.
The polo sport on a horse is practiced in all countries of the world, particularly in Argentina, which often takes the trophy, "this sport has been recently found in Lebanon."
Finally, he called on the people who own horses to treat them in diplomacy to have good horses, stressing that "the best knight in the world is the jockey who wins tournaments on his horse."