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A princess who loves the outdoors


Competitive spirit: Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana competing with her horse Prince Charming WPA during the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. — AFP

Competitive spirit: Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana competing with her horse Prince Charming WPA during the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. — AFP

RAWANG: Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana is not one to laze around in the comfort of her palace.

Instead, the 30-year-old is highly competitive in sports.

The Thai royal is competing in her eighth SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur and was one of the star attractions during the team dressage on the opening day at the 3Q Equestrian Centre in Rawang.

And the friendly princess did not disappoint. Riding on her horse Prince Charming WPA, she played her part in the Thai team, which went on to win its first silver medal.

Princess Sirivannavari was also a member of the badminton team that won a gold medal at the 2005 SEA Games in Manila.

“I switched from badminton to equestrian five years ago because I wanted to try something new,” said the princess, who has represented her country in every SEA Games since the 2005 Manila Games.

“I studied in France where I had friends who owned stables. I fell in love with the horses.

“I was much younger then and I was searching for something in my life.

“When I got home, I realised that I had lost interest in badminton and took up equestrian.”

Princess Sirivannavari admitted that she loved to be outdoors and the scorching sun did not bother her.

“Can you believe this is my eighth SEA Games? Yes, I’m that old.

“I have played in all conditions but I love every opportunity to represent my country Thailand,” she added.

On her next event, the individual dressage, she said: “Your country Malaysia has good riders. But I will try my best – some luck will be good.”

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