A brief history of horseback archery, by region

The use of archery from chariots revolutionised warfare and hunting around the 2nd millennium BCE in Egypt, the Middle East and India. It is believed to be the precursor of horseback archery. Mounted archery required the selective breeding of larger stronger horses and greater horsemanship facilitated by the development of bronze bits (8th Century BCE). Central Asia There is evidence that horses were being domesticated and kept for milk from 4000-3000 BCE. The importance of horses and archery is demonstrated by excavation of horses, arrowheads and later bowcases from burial mounds (8th-5th Centuries BCE). The 13th-16th Centuries CE saw the Mongols’ campaigns extending their empire over a vast area. Their success in battle can be attributed to their training and organisation as well as the speed and manoeuvrability of their mounted archers, who travelled with several fresh mounts each. Middle East Hittite warhorse training is recorded on the Kikkuli clay tablets from ~1400 BCE and horseback archery is depicted on bronze belts and horse bits from the 10th-7th centuries BCE.The Assyrian King Ashurbanipal is depicted using horseback archery whilst hunting (7th Century BCE). Inscriptions state that King Darius of the Achaemenid dynasty (5th-3rd Centuries BCE) was “a good horseback rider …. a good archer, on foot or horseback” and Herodotus records that “arrow and horse are the partners of each Persian child”: Persians were required to teach their children archery, horse riding and truthfulness. The Parthians and Sassanids introduced new techniques of holding arrows and drawing the bow to improve […]

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The History of Horseback Archery in Britain

Britain has a long history of archery and of horses, both dating back thousands of years. Despite this, conventional wisdom was that the British never practised horseback archery and certainly proof of it is sparse. Here we present evidence that horseback archery was used in hunting and almost certainly used on occasion in warfare; not as a common tactic, but as required in certain circumstances. 500,000 BCE: Equid bones (found in Boxgrove, Sussex) 30,000 BCE: A carving of a horse (on a horse bone) Ice Age (maximum extent 20,000 BCE): Equids are believed to have been wiped out during the Ice Age. More came across the land bridge from Europe to repopulate the British Isles before sea level rose (6,500-6,000 BCE). 3,400 BCE: The ancient hillfort of Maiden Castle on the South Coast was destroyed by enemy attack. Archaeological finds include many arrowheads (one embedded in a skeleton’s spine) amongst burnt wooden structures. 2,500 BCE: Meare Heath and Ashcott bows – the earliest discovered bows in Britain, among the oldest in the world. 2,000 BCE: The richest grave at Stonehenge contained a man wearing a bone armguard and surrounded by arrowheads. 2,000 BCE:  Horses began being domesticated (rather than hunted) 1,000 BCE: The 110m long Uffington White Horse was carved into a chalk hillside ? BCE: In the Declaration of Arbroath (1320 CE) the Scottish lords claimed descent from the Scythians, one of the first and greatest tribes of Steppe horseback archers, to strengthen their claim against English rule. There

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IHAA World Grand Prix

The IHAA will be running the wGP again as a worldwide postal match for 2021 and the teams representing Great Britain are as follows: Senior GB Team Young Rider & Juniors GB Team GB iHBA Team This year the competition will be open for individual entries as well as the teams for each country. There are three stages running throughout the year and anyone can participate in one or all of them. An entry form can be found here, you will need to have entered and paid the fee at least a week before you intend to compete. A form to return your scores can be found here. We encourage as many members as possible to enter, below is a video of last year’s competition for some inspiration! Any questions, please get in touch.

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2021 Nationals

It was absolutely wonderful to get back to holding the National British horseback Archery Championships this year. We had an excellent 3 days of competition at New Leaf Triangle in Leicestershire. Congratulations to Senior Champion Ros Jones and Junior Champion Éowyn Barnes-Short. The full results are below: Senior Raid   Name Horse Points   Ros Jones Monkey 53.60   Emily Massey Sebastian 41.43   Troy Shaw Sauron 39.78   Alex Austin Champion 39.47   Dom Calton Monkey 38.70   Paul Naybour Flynn 38.66   Claire Sawyer Rocky 36.15   Kathryn Wakeman Leo 19.94   Bethany Martin Asil 8.48   Stephen Aiano Champion 7.95 Senior Tower   Name Horse Points   Ros Jones Monkey 40.845   Troy Shaw Sauron 38.760   Paul Naybour Flynn 33.310   Emily Massey Sebastian 30.505   Alex Austin Flynn 23.860   Claire Sawyer Rocky 22.390   Dom Calton Monkey 20.12   Stephen Aiano Champion 12.77   Bethany Martin Asil 6.325   Kathryn Wakeman Leo 1.000 Senior Skirmish   Name Horse Points   Emily Massey Sebastian 38.010   Paul Naybour Flynn 27.44   Alex Austin Flynn 23.86   Ros Jones Monkey 22.6   Troy Shaw Sauron 19.805   Dom Calton Monkey 16.010   Kathryn Wakeman Leo 15.38   Bethany Martin Asil 4.235   Stephen Aiano Champion 2.850   Claire Sawyer Rocky 1.290 Senior overall results   Name Horse Points   Ros Jones Monkey 117.045   Emily Massey Sebastian 109.945   Paul Naybour Flynn 99.410   Troy Shaw Sauron 98.345   Alex Austin Champion/Flynn 87.190   Dom Calton

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