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"I admire the bravery of horseback archers"

Since 2017, Olesya Senkevich has been a chief secretary and  judge of most big competitions of the Russian Federation of the Horseback Archery. 

​In the new kind of equestrian sport, she was attracted by the bravery of people who ride with a thrown rein: their ability to trust the horse, to be confident in their abilities to cope with unforeseen situations, to abandon what is happening and concentrate on the shot.

Author: Maya KOWAL

I don't remember when I first got on a horse. They say, I was about three years old... But I remember well when I first got on a horse consciously and purposefully. At the age of nine, I climbed on a hobbled horse tied to a stake. My accomplice joyfully began to urge it on, and the horse, jumping in a circle, almost escaped from the leash with me on its back...

There is only one answer to the question why I climbed then, and why I continued to climb on a horses many many times — addiction! Everyone has their own addiction. Mine is horses. 

That's why I'm in equestrian sports — because of horses. Because of their structure, size, soft noses, big eyes...

I love equestrian sports for the ability to negotiate with a huge animal, for the ability to easily control it, for the feeling of flying on its back, for warmth and softness when touched. And for overcoming yourself when difficult situations arise.


I love mass events, sports tournaments, love to participate and to organize it! I like to watch athletes, celebrate their successes throughout their sports activities. I like to solve emerging problems that make me more experienced and pragmatic.

​I love the feeling of concentration, which is replaced by relaxation and a feeling of total satisfaction at the end. 

Even getting up early, being extremely attentive all day, because the outcome of the competition depends on it — it's cool! Plus, what kind of "calm judging" can we talk about? Nature has rewarded man with emotions. They definitely need to be experienced: both positive and negative, otherwise there will be no development and there will be no awareness of what needs to be corrected in order to self-progress...

​​If the competitions were ordinary, I would have had enough for a long time. But our events are always funny and positive. Because there are people here that you want to see and communicate with more often.

Pleasant moments always overlap difficulties and inconveniences, and scary and dangerous happens very rarely.

This is very important, because the ideal event for me as a judge is when all the athletes effectively completed their tries, no falls, and all the riders and horses remained intact.

How did I started judging of horseback archery competitions?.. I read the clumsily translated rules of the Hungarian and Korean routes (now Tower and Raid tracks, — ed.) and at first didn't understand much.

Then, in discussions with the President of FHAR, understanding began to come, a certain truth was established. Then I came to the field, picked up a stopwatch and... Sportsmen, please welcome to the start!


Horseback archery
This new type of equestrian sport had oficially began in Russia  in 2017. It's HQ was based in equestrian club "Pegasus", where I was worked for a several years already, so I learned about horseback archery from there.

This unusual sport and a wonderful team, passionate about their ideas, created an interest for me. I followed it and did not regret!

​Horseback archery differs from other types of equestrian sports... in everything! There are no analogues! From training to competitions. The conditions of athletes performance, the tasks they solve to achieve the desired results — everything is different.

Dynamism, instant undeniable result through technology, the absence of a human factor... I really like it all!

The minuse, paradoxically, only the weather. The result of a horseback archer depends on weather conditions (wind, rain, scorching sun, cold) very much...

But the athletes of this sport are strikingly different from other equestrians in their behavior at competitions — for the better. Most likely, this is due to the common idea that unites them — to revive the ancient martial art... Or maybe horseback archery is too new direction, and the arrogance in interpersonal relations has not appeared there yet.

In this sport, everyone tries to help each other, does not condemn bad results and supports failures in a friendly way. In other disciplines of equestrian sports, especially Olympic, relations develop in a different way.

What I would like to add to horseback archery is more participation and support from our state. Then many issues would be solved easier. For now only a few dozen people are pulling on with the sport. But fortunately, now FHAR is intensively works on it, creating institute of trainers, stewards and judges, cooperating with educational structures. 


Affirmations of Olesya Senkevich

  • Positive is born inside a human

  • A human can do everything

  • Everything that happens is only for the best

  • I believe in kindness!

The prospects
It happened long time ago: I also tried to shoot a boy from a horse, and I clearly understand, what is it! But if I will engage with it only sporadically, then there will not be the desired result for me. For horseback archery, as for any complex coordination sport, regular training is vital. Which requires a lot of time. And I don't have free time, respectively, the results will upset me...

But as a judge, I am ready to go anywhere: I am up for any rumble with our horseback archers! I like sports tournaments, the hustle and bustle and the emotions they bring.

I am interested in the implementation of the task the development of horseback archery in Russia! And the joint efforts of our large, friendly team will definitely bring the desired result!

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