Military police personnel perform a motorcycle stunt on the opening day of the National Horse and Cattle Show at Fortress Stadium. — White Star / M Arif
Military police personnel perform a motorcycle stunt on the opening day of the National Horse and Cattle Show at Fortress Stadium. — White Star / M Arif

LAHORE: President Dr Arif Alvi along with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar inaugurated the National Horse and Cattle Show here at Fortress Stadium on Thursday.

The three-day mega show, which resumed after a gap of six years, has brought a series of events and a variety of segments reflecting the culture of all the provinces and other colourful recreational activities for the public.

“It is really wonderful and pleasant to see various colourful activities here. The government must hold such events annually on a regular basis,” Taimur, a visitor, said while talking to Dawn.

The show, organised by the Punjab government’s Local Government & Community Development Department, in collaboration with various public and private sector organisations and the army, started after President Alvi entered the venue along with CM Buzdar in a horse-driven carriage (Bagghi).

Alvi, Buzdar inaugurate the event

The show’s second major event was the march of sports teams (each comprising 85 sportspersons) of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Punjab. While passing in front of the spectators sitting in various enclosures, the marchers hoisted the country’s flags.

As soon as this segment closed, another started having cavalcades of various species of horses and mares. The horse species belonging to the army and other public and private organisations included Arabian, Thoroughbred, Percheron, Suffolk, Highland Ponies and Mule Mountain.

The livestock’s cavalcade was also unique in terms of species, areas, beauty and breeding. These included buffalos and cows of Nili-Ravi, Red Gold, Dhani, Lohai, Rotan and Datal representing various parts of the country.

“The event is disseminating useful information among the people of all ages regarding animals of various species. I have also learnt about names of various animals,” Arsalan, a spectator, said.

The catwalks of goats and sheep made the people aware of a number of species representing various parts across the country. The goats’ species included Mukri, Beetal, Spotted Brown, Barbari, Teddy, Katli, Lohi, Tali, Khadali, Mundri, Salt Range, Buchi, Sipli, Damani, Balkhi and Naachi.

While the horse and camel dance performances attracted a great appreciation from the participants, the tent pegging segment created a thrill as some women were also among those riding fast-running horses for tent pegging. The segment was followed by the drills by Pakistan Rangers, cultural march and dance by the men and women of all provinces and the Gilgit Baltistan, Kailash Valley and other areas, horse jumping and other segments.

Earlier the President Alvi, after around an hour of his arrival, left the event in hurry and rushed to attend an urgent meeting. However, CM Buzdar remained in the event for some more time after the departure of the President.

Since the show could not be held in the last six years, its revival is one of the accelerated initiatives of the Punjab government, aimed at promoting agriculture, livestock, sports, industries, handicrafts and culture, etc.

The show started in 1952 as a hunt show in the Race Course Club Ground in Lahore. The Punjab government has allocated Rs677m for the show that would continue till Saturday (tomorrow).

Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2022

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