The 139th edition of the Jorhat race, better known as the Jorhat derby, was flagged off on Friday at 12 noon at the the Jorhat Gymkhana Club by Jorhat Races president and Tea Board chairman PK Bezboruah.
On Friday, the horses competed 10 races vying to win different awards and cups.
The highlights of the three-day event, which will end on February 17, are a car rally, dog show and Race Ball live band and tennis, competing for the prestigious Governor’s Cup and screening of the documentary, ‘Daughters of the Polo God’ by Roopa Baruah in the evening at the club on the final day.
Jorhat races, one of the oldest sporting events in the region, started in 1877 under the first club secretary CI Showers. at the horse course.
The races began with the objective of displaying planters’ equestrian skills where all levels of workers involved in plantations could be thoroughly entertained.
However, after the British planters left the thoroughbreds were replaced by Mising ponies and horse, much shorter and sturdy these horses are ridden without stirrups and seat, making for a more exciting watch.
Supported by the tea industry, the Jorhat races are limping on a leaner budget and with. support from the Mising horse owners and riders.
Friday’s competitions included the ABITA Cup, J Thomas Cup, Jorehaut Tea Company Cup, Gattani Biscuits, and the Mohiddin Guni Ahmed Cup.
The first, second and third prizes in the ABITA cup went to Mahesh Mati, owned by Babai Pegu, Maina owned by Jubin Mili and Biswajit owned by Memul Taye.
In the J Thomas Cup, the first, second and third positions went to Rangoli ridden by Rupeswar Bora, Ronga owned by Badal Mili and Japan owned by Niranjan Panning.
The Jorehaut Tea Company race was won by Babu owned by Budheswar Mili, Babu owned by Ujal Doley and Pabitra owned by Khagen Bora, in the first, second and third positions, respectively.
The Gattani Biscuits race was won by Samiron owned by Anupam Bora, Punyam owned by Piklu Taye and Rijit owned by Manu Taye.
The Mohiddin Guni Ahmed race was won by Lorgum Poali ridden by Khabar Tanti, Ram Prasad ridden by Lakhi Kanta Kutum and Joyshankar by Tata Pegu.