Thursday, October 16, 2008

Malasia-WEC: TIEP set to stage best-ever championships

The New Straits Times Online
by Ajitpal Singh

THE Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) is set to host the best-ever World Endurance Championships on Nov 6-9 with its world class facilities.

According to WEC technical advisor Derek Liebenberg, the TIEP has the best facilities if taken as a package.

"It has the best stables, complex and track. TIEP comes with a complete package, unlike in previous editions where something was always lacking," said Liebenberg at TIEP in Lembah Bidong, Setiu yesterday.

"The venue has been certified 100 per cent ready by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) to stage the event.

"I guarantee that people will be talking about the event for many years to come."
Meanwhile, Liebenberg said certain sections of the 160-km course have been modified to overcome the expected wet conditions during the race.

"We have lifted the soil by 30 centimetres and also installed a proper drainage system at a few sections to avoid flooding."

A total of 34 countries, comprising 142 riders will be competing in the WEC.

Liebenberg believes the race will be slower, unlike previous editions, and the winning time would be around nine hours.

"It will be a slow race because of the tough track and weather conditions. Less horses will fail the veterinarian's checks and I predict a completion rate of 45 per cent.
"Previous editions recorded an average completion rate of 33 per cent. Then the race was much faster and it led to many horses failing the checks."

Meanwhile, the Airbus A300 and C130 Hercules bringing the first batch of horses, will arrive today.

The Airbus A300 will be transporting 16 horse including the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin's horse Taljari Moonlight Pharoah from Australia.

The C130 will carry 12 horses from Argentina and Uruguay.

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