PETALING JAYA: A Malaysian teenager has made his mark as one of the world’s top riders at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014, dubbed as the planet’s most prestigious international equestrian event.
Mohd T. Aseef Abdul Mutalib, 17, who is the youngest competitor among riders from 72 nations, successfully completed the Endurance category where he clinched 27th position in the Games held in Normandy, France.
The Games, which began on Aug 23 and ends today, attracted almost 1,000 of the world’s best riders and unite the world championships of seven disciplines governed by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) – Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.
It was a proud moment for the Malaysian team when Aseef, wearing his riding gear and helmet in Jalur Gemilang colours, waved the national flag from his horse, Eladina Kungfu after completing the 160km ride in just over 10 hours on Aug 23.
Aseef, who only took up riding four years ago, said he was very satisfied with his achievement in the Games.
“I am also very happy that I have achieved my goal of being World Junior Elite Rider,” Aseef told Sunday Star in a telephone interview from Normandy.
The Penang Free School student hopes to represent Malaysia in the coming SEA Games, the World Junior Endurance Challenge 2015 in Chile and the World Endurance Cup in Dubai next year.
Juggling his time between studying for his SPM, tuition and training, Aseef dreams of becoming one of the world’s top 10 riders.
He spends two hours horse riding in the evening three times a week and cycles to keep fit.
Aseef, who started playing golf from age seven, decided to switch to riding when he was 13 after seeing his father, Abdul Mutalib Ismail, actively participating in endurance rides locally and abroad.
Abdul Mutalib, 48, runs the Al-Khamsa Endurance Club at the Penang Youth Club.
Shortly after learning to ride, Aseef completed his first 40km competitive ride in Feb 2011 at the Terengganu International Endurance Park with his father and participated in the 2012 Malaysian Games (Sukma).
Following that, he began participating in international endurance rides, including the World Endurance Challenge for Junior & Young Riders 2013 in France and the The President of United Arab Emirates Endurance Cup 2014 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Abdul Mutalib, who is extremely proud of his only child, said he bought Eladina Kungfu in Spain for Aseef to compete in the FEI World Championship.