Remembering the Royal Pioneer of Tent Pegging



On the 6th of February, the global tent pegging community lost a legend, a mentor and an icon. The passing of Malik Ata Muhammad Khan of Pakistan, popularly known as Prince Malik Ata, has cleaved a void through the community.


Prince Malik Ata’s legacy in the sport of tent pegging cannot be underestimated. Born in 1941, he was a pioneer of tent pegging in his native Pakistan and was the long-time president of the Equestrian and Tent Pegging Association of Pakistan. He was one of the founding members of International Tent Pegging Federation and served as both Vice-President and Executive Committee Member for many years.


He will be greatly missed by the global tent pegging fraternity, and of course, the wider equestrian world. For decades his patronage lent the sport royal glamour, while his dedication, passion and mentorship, saw the sport rise from obscurity to become the FEI recognised global equestrian discipline it is today.


Out of the saddle, his personality was equally as remarkable, and those who spent time with him, continually noted his larger than life personality, infinite charm and indubitable style.

Attending the Tent Pegging World Cup in Abu Dhabi in 2018, the Show Hub was lucky enough to meet Prince Malik Ata. During our numerous discussions he proved both endlessly patient and always passionate when discussing his beloved sport.


A true super-star of the sport, Prince Malik Ata was a central figure throughout the event and competitors of every nationality joined his considerable entourage to spend time in his company.


Many highlighted his incredibly generous hospitality, noting they had joined Prince Malik Ata in Pakistan to develop their skills and immerse themselves in the culture of the sport.

While he continually strived to improve the skill of all competitors, regardless of nationality, it was his drive to act as cultural guide the sport’s deeply traditional and tribal roots to competitors from non-conventional tent pegging countries, for which he will be remembered.

Over the years, he welcomed many international riders to Pakistan, helping them hone their skills, and more importantly allowing access to tent pegging’s roots and traditions. Often staying months at a time, competitors spoke incredibly fondly of their experience and how it had deepened their love and ties to the sport.

Always a staunch competitor, it was Prince Malik Ata’s dedication to the elegance and style of tent pegging, which stood him apart. He was a passionate sportsman and equestrian from his early years, and he devoted his life to the promotion of tent pegging, both in Pakistan and around the world.


Between 1982 and 2013, Prince Malik represented the sport internationally via competitions and demonstrations travelling as far afield as England, France and Australia. In 1982, he captained the Pakistani spear throwing team and won his session during the ninth Asia Games held in Delhi India and for many years, he was winner of ‘the best horse rider’ in the annual Lahore Horse and Cattle Show.


Prince Malik was a Feudal Lord and Politician chief of Kot Fateh Khan in Attock District and had served as Member of Punjab Assembly between 1990 and 1993. He retired from politics in 1996, when responsibility for managing the family and estate fell to him after the death of his father.


Across his 78 years, his passion for tent pegging never wavered and he still travelled extensively with the national tent pegging team.

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