April 02, 2007 00:10 AM
From Rozaini Ahmad
PARIS, April 1 (Bernama) -- Malaysia will host the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Endurance Championship (WEC) next year, the first tropical country to do so.
The right to organise the 2008 edition of the championship was awarded to Malaysia here today with the signing of a tripartite agreement between FEI, the Yayasan Diraja Sultan Mizan (YDSM) and the Equestrian Association of Malaysia (EAM).
YDSM was represented by its deputy chairman, Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor, FEI by its vice president, Sven Holmberg, and EAM by its secretary-general Lau Choo Seng. The event was witnessed by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, who is also EAM president.
As a symbolic gesture of the award, a flag handing-over ceremony was held soon after the signing.
Speaking to Bernama after the ceremony, Salleh said YDSM was very proud to have been given the responsibility to spearhead Malaysia's effort in organising the championship.
"We are very proud to organise the championship and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin himself, as the patron of this championship, will ensure that the event will be organised successfully," he said.
He said that prior to the championship, which is to be held in November 2008, a trial championship would be held in November this year, at which riders would get the chance to collect points to qualify for the FEI-WEC 2008.
Jamaluddin said the federal government would give its full support to YDSM in its effort to organise the championship.
"The event, which will be treated as a major event, is expected to draw a number of world class endurance riders to the country. The federal government will support this event and we will help the state government of Terengganu and YDSM to organise it," he said.
The FEI-WEC is to be held from Nov 8 to 10 next year at Terengganu's International Equestrian Park in Lembah Bidong, Merang, Setiu. The championship is held once in four years, the last one having been held in Germany.
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