'My heart was pounding ... yet I was sitting still! This was the most exciting moment in my life and the culmination of my boyhood dream. I was where thousands of eventing riders around the world had dreamt of being-the Olympics.'
This is the story of a young boy with an impossible dream - competing at the Olympics. From the age of four, Imtiaz Anees took to horse-riding like fish to water. It soon became a passion, one that continued through his life, beginning with his first competitive win at the age of six, eventually winning multiple equestrian events both nationally and internationally. Imtiaz is the only Indian rider to complete an equestrian three-day event at the Olympics, in Sydney in 2000, at the age of thirty, in an elite sport long associated with royalty and wealth and primarily the army in India.
In Riding Free, Imtiaz re-traces the major milestones of his riveting twenty-year-long journey. The stories he tells are heartfelt, emotional and inspirational for the next generation of dreamers-a way to 'give back', in small measure, the enormous goodwill and help he received from all kinds of people in his Olympics journey. Behind Imtiaz's success are also the struggles and setbacks that pushed him to work harder and achieve peak performance. In a sport where the result depends on both man and animal, the deep bond Imtiaz shares with his horses will leave animal lovers spellbound. Here is a story that will inspire every athlete to 'never give in'.‰Û÷The story of a true sportsman whoseheart beats for his country. The pulse and emotion of this book are totallyrelatable. A beautiful real-life story of struggle, relationships, dreams andhow Imtiaz overcame all hurdles to reach his goal.‰۪
Sania Mirza, Indian tennis player
‰Û÷A gentleman‰۪s gentleman, Imtiaz‰۪s cooland calm disposition hides the grit and determination‰ÛÓthe dedication anddiscipline that built the foundation for him to compete with the best at aninternational level.‰۪
Karan Johar, film director
‰Û÷It‰۪s one thing to have a dream. It‰۪sentirely another thing to follow your dream with passion and courage. Don‰۪tmiss this story of Imtiaz in his quest towards his Olympic dream.‰۪
Viren Rasquinha, former Indian hockeycaptain, Olympian, Arjuna awardee
‰Û÷Imtiaz‰۪s story is as heart-warming as itis inspiring. It‰۪s so much more than sports‰ÛÓit‰۪s about the power of dreams,self-belief, teamwork and perseverance. I must admit I have a soft spot for anystory with animals in it. The bond between man and horse makes this story trulyspecial.‰۪
Alia Bhatt, film actor