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Monday April 26, 2010

Equestrian race attracts 130 riders from various nations

MALACCA: Endurance riding is becoming increasingly popular not just elsewhere in the world but also in Malaysia, and this was evident when some 130 riders took part in the recent Malacca Grand Invitational Endurance Ride (MGIER) 2010.

It is an athletic event that combines the skill of rider and endurance of horse over a distance of up to 160km.

Held for the third year, the three-day event was organised by the Malacca Government and sanctioned by the Federation Equestrian International (FEI) and Malaysian Endurance Riding Society.

Besides riders from Australia, Chile, France, Germany, Indonesia, New Zealand and Singapore, riders from a host of Malaysia-based riding and equestrian clubs and academies were also in the fray.

In the pen: Competing horse hold up in their respective pens.

A notable absentee was the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, who had graced two previous rides. He finished third in the 80km event last year.

Event technical director Hamdan Mohd said Tuanku Mizan could not compete for a third consecutive year as he had a knee injury and was receiving treatment.

For the uninitiated, endurance riding is an equestrian event with a course over rugged terrain that include hills, rivers and wooded areas.

Besides making the best time under a pre-determined maximum time, the welfare of the horse is also an important determining factor.

MGIER 2010 started from Stadium Hang Jebat and took riders through the surrounding area.

TMKN Endurance Team of Kelan­tan took top honours in the 120km event with riders Mohd Azizie Ismail, Dr Hj Nik Isahak Wan Abdullah and Rosdan Mohd Nor leading the way in an overall time of 17 hours, 19 minutes and 33 seconds.

Majestic: Vetenarians checking on a horse.

Selangor’s Team Step One comprising Wan Mohd Kamaluddin Wan Yusuff, Yusnar Yussof, Amir Ghani Ahmad and Iskandar Abu turned in a time of 17 hours 53 minutes to clinch second position.

In third rung stood Team Royal Terengganu Endurance Stable. Riders Muhammad Zaini Saad, Azrin Zuhdi, Amir Ghani Ahmad and Iskandar Abu posted a combined time of 19 hours, 33 minutes and nine seconds.

In the 80km event, the Terengganu Sukma Team crossed the finishing line comfortably well ahead of their nearest challengers. The riding outfit comprising Shahruddin Dato Abdullah, Abdul Rahman Mohd, Muhammad Alif Sabidi and Adip Syaswan registered a combined time of 16:37:46.

Singapore’s Team Presco Endu­rance comprising Mohd Halim Abdul Rahim, Muhammad Azizi Ismail, Tan Choon Heng and El Rozavy finished second, clocking 18:10:57.

Debutant 16-year-old Vincente Parra from Chile’s Cape Cavallho Riding Club captured top spot astride New Era in the 40km event with a time of 2:35:20.

It is the first outing in South-East Asia for Vincente, who ranks 16th in the current FEI standings and is a regular in the South American endurance circuit.

German Yasmin Fabini, on Blue Boy and wearing Bukit Kiara Equesterian & Country Club colours, came in second 2:40:33.

Che Abdul Aziz Che Abdullah, representing Din’s Stable in Selangor, occupied third spot among a field of 43 finishers, with a time of three hours 35 seconds.

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