PENANG: The proposed RM375mil Penang International Equestrian Centre in Batu Kawan, Seberang Prai, has the makings of a world-standard horse carriage centre.
Malaysian Equine Council executive secretary Malik Jeremiah said the projects 120ha site was ideal for the sport as the land was undulating and not densely forested.
The sites surroundings comprising oil palm and rubber estates can provide suitable tracks for the carriage drivers to train and practise, Malik said in an interview at the Penang Turf Club Equestrian Centre Annual Horse Show 2003.
The sport requires between 4km and 22km of tracks for both training and competition.
He said there were now carriage driving centres at the Selangor Turf Club, Royal Malaysian Armys Sungai Buluh base, Perak Turf Club and Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort, adding that one would soon be set up by Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur.
Work on the Equestrian Centre, which includes a state-of-the-art racecourse, is expected to start this year and ex-pected to be ready by 2008, replacing the 64-year-old Penang Turf Clubs racecourse at Jalan Batu Gantong here.
Earlier, State Executive Councillor Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan, who opened the horse show, arrived at the stage area in a horse-drawn carriage.
In his speech, Dr Teng said some 100 children from five primary and secondary schools had benefited from the clubs Riding in Schools Programme.