Tent pegging is the name given to a class of equestrian mounted games. The category includes:
Tent pegging (in which a mounted horseman uses a sword or lance while galloping to pierce, pick up, and carry away small objects);
Ring jousting (in which a galloping rider tries to pass the point of the weapon through a suspended ring);
Lemon sticking (in which the rider tries to stab or slice a lemon suspended from a cord or sitting on a platform);
Quintain tilting (in which the rider charges a mannequin mounted on a swivelling or rocking pedestal); and
Parthian (mounted archery).
Tent pegging has been practiced since at least the 4th centry B.C. and originated as a series of training exercises to develop a cavalier’s prowess with a sword and lance. Because the specific game of tent pegging is the most popular equestrian skill-at-arms game, the entire class of sports became known as tent pegging during the twilight of cavalry in the twentieth century.
The Olympic Council of Asia included tent pegging as an official sport in 1982, and the FEI recognized it as an official equestrian discipline in 2004. Tent pegging is one of 10 equestrian sports recognized by the FEI.
It’s a fantastic sport requiring skill, agility, tremendous balance, and an unerring eye, and it’s not as easy as it looks!