International horse fest a hit

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  • Monday, 30 Nov 2015

Visitors having a fun time feeding horses at the stables during the Penang Turf Club’s International Horse Show 2015. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

EQUINE-themed fun and excitement enthralled visitors old and young alike at the Penang Turf Club's prestigious International Horse Show 2015.

The crowd took part in various activities, displays and competitions throughout the four-day event ending yesterday, themed An International Festival with Horses.

Many took the opportunity to hand feed horses and donkeys at the stables, and walked away with a newfound appreciation of the majestic creatures.

Some posed with horse sculptures to snap photos, while others experienced transportation the old-fashioned way - via the ever popular carriage rides around the grounds.

Children had the privilege of mounting little ponies as they trotted along a track in the company of parents and handlers.

The more adventurous adults took the Flying Phoenix challenge, trying their best but inevitably failing to stay atop the mechanical bucking horse.

Visitors taking photos on a horse replica at the event.
Visitors taking photos on a horse replica at the event.

Clowns roved around amusing the crowd with their funny antics and balloon sculpting prowess, while musicians, dancers and more provided non-stop on-stage entertainment.

And all around, there were bazaar stalls selling a multitude of equine-themed items - from beautiful ceramic sculptures to T-shirts and other merchandise.

At the official opening ceremony on Saturday, Penang Yang di-Pertua Negeri Haji Abdul Rahman Abbas was given a grand entrance via horse carriage, to two stands full of dignitaries and invited guests.

Following that was a Dances with Horses extravaganza and Parade of Traditional Costumes where riders eschewed regular attire for their iconic cultural garments.

In his speech, Penang Turf Club president Datuk Ong Eng Khuan said they had, since 2001, successfully organised no less than 10 horse shows at local, national and international levels.

"This horse show is a great promotion for equestrian sports, and also another contributor to Penang's tourism appeal, especially during the holiday season."

The event kicked off last Thursday with the Equestrian Competition featuring various categories of dressage and show jumping.

Riders from countries like Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, South Africa, Turkmenistan and Singapore were partnered with Malaysian riders to compete as teams.

Farriers from across the country and Japan battled each other in a red-hot and keenly contested International Farriery Competition.

Visitors were also wowed by the deadeye accuracy of Hungarian horseback archery maestro Kassai Lajos, and the Horse and Hound Showjumping Competition in the final day yesterday.

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