Tragically losing her entire family, she inherited a “masculine” business and bred the highest number of derby winners ever: Meet Ameeta Mehra

She doesn’t recall any moment in her life without the horses being around. Her father Major PK Mehra was an international polo player in the army and an avid breeder. She started her stint with horses at the age of two. By eight, she was a show jumper. Her life was always intertwined with horses.

But as grew up she lost her interest in horses and dreamt to become an educationist and study the Vedas. But her desire to build a university required funds. This led her to come to an agreement with her father who advised her to join the stud farm and produce an Indian Derby winner and then open a university. After being exposed to international stud farms, Mehra introduced those best practices back home. The young apprentice developed a liking for her current stint and soon brought in a fresh vigour to the process. Mehra was able to produce her first Derby winner within four to five years.

But everything came to a halt for her when she lost her family in a tragic accident. Mehra was lost but took the charge of the stud farm and executed her job well. She initially felt undervalued in the male-dominated industry. It was a few years later that after consistently producing results that she gradually gained acceptance. “They realised I was not a pushover,” she says. Mehra says Usha Stud Farm has been a champion producing stud farm every other year. No wonder it has bred and produced 13 Derby winners in India, the highest for any farm.

Mehra feels that her journey has been all about choosing right over easy. Through the ups and downs, she has remained calm and sought answers from the divine whenever she is in a fix. “I rely deeply on the fact that there is a higher power that can guide you to do the right thing,” she says.

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