Sunday, July 15, 2007

Malaysia: Edaran Endurance Classic moves to Terengganu


by Peter Ibrahim Abisheganaden. Photos by Natasha Mustapha.

The 5th Edaran Endurance Classic was launched today with an endurance horse and rider mounting up at Saffron Restaurant in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.

For the first time, the Edaran Endurance Classic will not be held at Ar-Raudhah Equine Centre, its home for the first four editions. In support of Malaysian endurance, the Edaran Endurance Classic will instead be held at the Terengganu International Endurance Park in Lembah Bidong, Setiu, Terengganu, the venue of next year's World Endurance Championships, from 26th to 29th July 2007.

In moving the event to the WEC course, it gives Malaysian and visiting riders a chance to familiarize themselves and prepare for next year’s World Championships. As a CEI 3-Star 160 km event, it provides riders with another opportunity to gain their first stage of the Certificate of Capability that is required for participation in the World Endurance Championships.

Malaysia currently has eight riders who have obtained the first stage of the CoC by completing a 3-Star event inside 13 hours 20 minutes at a speed of 12 km/h. They are Nik Sabaruddin, Dato’ Abdullah, Faizal Ismail, Zul Sha’ari, Hj. Shu’aib Ishak, Amir Abdul Ghani, Nadiah Tajuddin Ramli, and the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.

A field of 20 riders is expected for both the 160 km and 20 km rides. Both are FEI recognised 3-star events. The 120 km ride also serves as a Junior and Young Rider international event. There are also 80 km and 40 km rides. A total of 120 riders are expected to take part in the various categories.

Five foreign riders from Australia, Belgium and U.S.A. are expected at the event. In response to an Equestrian.Com.My question, we were told they would ride Ar-Raudhah owned horses.

“Foreign riders present real benefits to the sport of endurance riding in Malaysia through the sharing of knowledge and technical “know-how” and we re happy to welcome them to our rides,” said Dato’ Abdul Hamid Mustapha, the Joint-Chairman of the Organising Committee.

He also welcomed Dato’ Seri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor as the Joint-Chairman. Dato’ Seri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor represents Yayasan Di-Raja Sultan Mizan, who run the Terengganu International Endurance Park venue.

Dato’ Hamid Mustapha also said, “Winning the bid to host the WEC2008 did not come without effort and due credit must be given to His Majesty the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong for playing a key and major role in winning the bid. It is now the responsibility and duty of all of us to ensure that the WEC2008 is held successfully if Malaysia is to enjoy the benefits of hosting this World Class event.”

In the Question & Answer session, Equestrian.Com.My asked if there were any participants from Sabah, specifically Melinsung Ranch. The response from Competition Director Mohamad Din bin Mat was that whilst they had been invited, they were not expected to attend.

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