Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Malaysia: Participants from 36 countries expected

Thestar.com.my

Tuesday September 16, 2008

By JAYAGANDI JAYARAJ

MALAYSIA is ready to host the International Equestrian Fede-ration (FEI) to host the FEI World Endurance Championship at the Terengganu International Endu-rance Park in Kuala Terengganu from Nov 6-9.

Malaysia is the first tropical country to host the endurance race covering 160km.

The event is organised by the Yayasan di-Raja Sultan Mizan (YDSM) and participants are from 36 countries.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin will lead the Malaysian team in the four-day championship.

YDSM vice-chairman Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor said preparations for the Fei World Endurance championship started in 2006.

“We had organised two trial events since 2006. One was for Malaysians while the other was the Sultan’s Cup for invited foreign participants.

“The trials gave us the opportunity to test all necessary aspects which are required to stage the prestigious event,” said Salleh.

The greatest challenge, he added, in organising the event was the climate-imposed hurdles as the foreign horses were not accustomed to the local climate.

“However, during the trial runs, we discovered that the hurdles can be handled.

“During both trial runs, the horses handled the heat and humidity well as we had 63% completion which is very good,” he said.

For the purpose, most of the rides will be done at night and coloured LED guide lights will be used as markers on the trails.

The first batch of horses, from the seven pick-up zones around the world, will arrive in Terengganu on Oct 13 while the riders are scheduled to arrive from Oct 29.

The horses from the different zones will be placed at different stables to ensure that they are free of diseases.

The championship has attracted top teams from France, Spain, United States, Germany, New Zealand and Australia.

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