Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Malaysian King to visit rural Qld horse event

ABC News Online

The King of Malaysia and some of the world's best horse riders are heading to Queensland's south Burnett for an international endurance event.

Nanango residents are preparing the small rural town for its first royal visit.

Atop the Blackbutt Range, Nanango has been battling drought and the loss of coal mining jobs.

A royal visit, and the influx of 1,000 people for an international endurance ride on the Queen's Birthday long weekend is a welcome distraction.

Barbara Timms from the Nanango Heritage Endurance Riders Association concedes a royal competitor has been something of a challenge.

"We've had all the embassies sending out their demands for what's required and that sort of thing," she said.

Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin has booked an entire motel, one of only four in the township.

Horse buyers are expected from the United Arab Emirates and there have been rumours of offers of $1 million for one noted Queensland-bred champion.
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