Sibi Mela

Historical Sibi Mela ( Horse Fair Sibi) or Sibi Horse Fair (Horse and cattle Show Sibi)

The first of these Fairs was held in January 1885, when a sum of Rs.2000 contributed from local funds in the Agency was disbursed in prizes. This fair was an experiment intended to open out the large market for horses afforded by Baluchistan. It was attended by Mr. Grainger, then officiating as Superintendent of Horse Breeding Operations in Bombay and pronounced by him to be a great success.

Horse Fair
Horse Fair

The second fair was held in February 1886 and to the expenses of this fair the Sibi and Quetta Municipalities contributed respectively Rs 2000 and 700.

Five hundred and ninety-four (594) horses competed for prizes in the various classes and the total amount disbursed on this account was Rs 1465. Sixty-seven (67) remounts were purchased for military purposes but their prices were not recorded.

Horse Show Sibi First held in 1885.
Horse Show Sibi First held in 1885.

The Government of Bombay in their Resolution N0.4794, dated 6th July 1886 in Revenue Department declared the results of this second horse show to be very satisfactory and observed that the horse show promised to become in future a good market for remounts.

In consequence of the continued success of this fair the Government of India was asked to sanction an annual money grant towards its expenses in future and though no grant could be made for the year under review a provisional sanction to the allotment of Rs. 1000 has been given for the fair of 1888.

Sibi Mela History
Sibi Mela History

The Fair of 1887 began on the 19th January continued till the 25th of the same month.

Brigadier General Luck C.B commanding in Sindh was President of the Judging Committee and Mr. Hellen, general Superintendent Horse Breeding Operations in India one of members.

The total number of horses brought to the show was computed to be 1400 of which no less than 1022 competed for prizes as against 594 in previous year.

Sibi Mela First held in 1885
Sibi Mela First held in 1885

The expenses of the fair were met by the same contributions from local funds as before Rs. 2000 from the Sibi and Rs. 700 from the Quetta Municipality. The total of sales effected at this s how was over 40, the Punjab Remount Committee purchasing 15 horses at an average price of Rs. 199 and the Bombay cavalry 19 at an average price of Rs. 177. One donkey stallion was purchased by the General Superintendent Horse-breeding Operations for stud purposes at Rs. 110.

Notwithstanding that the prizes at the present and previous shows were expressly arranged with a view to encourage the exhibition of geldings very few appeared this year. This is mainly accounted for by there having been no Government salutri available for castration operations in the year preceding the show but a competent salutri has since been entertained and it is hoped that next year there will be a considerable number of geldings for show and sale.

Sibi Mela 2018
Sibi Mela 2018

The breeders appear to have no objection to the castration of their colts and now that a large number of Government stallions are available at various places in the Agency, it is very desirable to prevent haphazard breeding. With this in view it is in contemplation to offer as many as twenty-five (25) prizes, amounting to Rs. 410 at the next show for geldings from 1 to 4 years of age.

Governor House Sibi
Governor House Sibi

There is no longer any doubt that Baluchistan affords a large and good the Agency will certainly produce a number of Horses admirably suited for native cavalry requirements.

The number of Government stallions in the Agency is now as follows: –

English Thorough breeds . . .. .    . .   ..   .   . . . ..     8

English Norfolk Trotters . . . . . .. . .  .. .  .. . . . . .  .    2

Arabs . . . . . . …………………. . ………………………… . . .   9

Donkeys  . . . . .  . .. .  ..  ..   ……    … . . . .  . . .. . . . .  . 4

Circuit House Sibi
Circuit House Sibi
The Jubilee

Her Majesty’s Jubilee was observed throughout the Agency on the 16th February at Sibi the Officiating Agent to the Governor- General held a Darbar at which a number of chiefs were present and at Quetta a Darbar was presided over by the Political Agent. At both a number of prisoners were released. His Highness the Khan celebrated the occasion at his winter capital of Bhag, where he founded a school in commemoration of the day. The Towns of Sibi, Quetta and Bhag were illuminated at night.

Bhagnari Bull in Sibi Mela Stadium
Bhagnari Bull in Sibi Mela Stadium
Fairs are celebrated everywhere in the world with great cultural and historical backgrounds, sometimes to commemorate a special event or seasonal change. This fair, held in the small but historic town of Sibi. Sibi lies 163 Kms-3 hrs drive to the south east of Quetta at the mouth of the famous “Bolan Pass” .

Bhagnari Bull
Bhagnari Bull

SIBI MELA, where tribesmen flock from all over Baluchistan, parts of Sind and Punjab with their animals. The salient features of this “Mela” are horse and cattle and cultural shows, tent pegging, camel races. Animal markets and exhibitions o handicrafts, tribal dresses and folk dances.Britishers quote in 1885 that a horse fair was first held at Sibi in the month of February, which was fully availed by them during the Afghan war. Whatever the hypothesis, the Sibi Mela provided a greater opportunity for people to get together and the increasing items of games and events aggrandized the interest of the common masses into the festivals of Sibi. The cooperation of the people of the adjoining areas in the sale and purchase of cattle’s was also vitally important in its organization.

Jirga hall Sibi
Jirga hall Sibi
Sibi wears a colourful cloak in February each year for the famous Sibi Mela. No one knows the genesis of the Sibi Mela as historians differ about its beginning. While the The British quote in 1885 that a horse fair was first held at Sibi in the month of February,  which was fully availed by them during the Afghan war, some link it with the remains of the barter system, when Sibi was the centre of business for the traders dealing.
Sibi Mela Stadium
Sibi Mela Stadium
The tribesmen had to spend their winters in the plains of Kachhi and Sindh, and return to Sarawan and Khurasan in the months of February and March. Before leaving Sibi for another season, they would make purchases on a large scale in return for livestock, which would be of great benefit for the traders. During the Mela, tribesmen flock from all over Balochistan, parts of Sind, and Punjab with their animals to trade. The salient features of this “Mela” are horse and cattle and cultural shows, tent pegging, camel races, animal markets, and exhibitions of handicrafts, tribal dresses, and folk dances.
Nawab Ghous Bakhash barozai and Governor Balochistan in Sibi mela
Nawab Ghous Bakhash barozai and Governor Balochistan in Sibi mela
Sibi Mela Musical Show
Sibi Mela Musical Show
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