Tent pegging is a cavalry sport that dates to the 4th century BC. It is one of ten equestrian disciplines officially recognised by the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI). The origins of tent pegging are much harder to determine as the introduction of the sport worldwide was brought on by Asian and European empires. It developed out of cavalry training, but it is unclear whether the training was used for specific combat purposes or simply to improve a cavalier’s skill level. To explain the game of tent pegging, a mounted horseman rides at a gallop and uses a lance or sword to pierce an object on the ground. The purpose is to pick the object up or collect a series of smaller objects placed on the ground.
According to the folklore, tent pegging originated in India specifically at a combat level where horsed cavalry would perform a dawn raid while the enemy slept in their tents. By dislodging the pegs, the tents would collapse and create chaos in the camp and bring fear on the troops. There is, however, no clear certainty that this is the origin of the modern sport of today. The International Tent Pegging Federation (ITPF) the highest sanctioning authority and world governing body for the sport. The federation is based in Muscat, Oman, and was established in October 2013 by 19 national member federations. ITPF now has nearly thirty national members and has the distinction of being the first international federation of its kind to have been established in the Arab world specifically for tent pegging.
With the blessing of FEI, the objective for ITPF is to continue to develop the sport worldwide and increase the membership in order to bring it closer to official recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for inclusion in the Olympic summer programs. The Olympic Council of Asia already includes tent pegging as an official sport. ITPF are also responsible for jury trainings, rider training courses and the setting of rules and regulations. ITFP organise and oversee competitions. The first world cup was held in Muscat in 2014, which was won by South Africa.