Saturday, October 18, 2008

Malaysia WEC: First WEC horses land safely in Malaysia

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Fifteen horses became the first batch of horses to arrive in Malaysia for the FEI World Endurance Championship to be held on 5th to 9th November at Lembah Bidong, Terengganu.

Four horses from Oman, six from Australia, one from New Zealand¸ and four horses for Malaysian riders arrived at the Sultan Mahmud Kuala Terengganu airport from Sydney and Dubai via the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on a MASKargo Airbus A300. It was the maiden landing for an Airbus at the recently upgraded airport.

The attention was focused on Taljari Moon Pharoah, the Arabian horse which will carry His Majesty, Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, in the 160km championship ride. It arrived on the flight from Sydney along with another of Tuanku Mizan’s second horse, Ibrahim Pascha Larzac. Tuanku Mizan is one of twelve Malaysian riders who qualified on merit and was selected to represent Malaysia in the 12th edition of the FEI World Endurance Championship.

The horses were unloaded from air-cargo horse pallets that are used to stable the horses in the aircraft and transferred on to a horse float where they were transported safely to stables at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP).

The welcoming party at the airport was headed by Terengganu Menteri Besar, Datuk Ahmad Said, Datuk Abdul Rahin Mohd Said, chairman of Terengganu State Committee for Youth and Sports and Malaysia Airport Berhad and MasKargo officials.

The horses will be separated by continent of origin into isolated stable wings, for health protocol reasons, at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) at Lembah Bidong, situated along the scenic coastline, 30km north of Kuala Terengganu

The FEI has rated the TIEP one of the top three endurance parks in the world. The venue has been tried and tested through several events, including the FEI WEC 2008 trial event, the CEI**** Sultan’s Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge 2007.

Another batch followed the inaugural batch of horses later in the afternoon. Two more planeloads of horses are scheduled for Saturday with 30 horses on a Boeing 747 in the afternoon, the anticipated big event of the day.

141 horses and riders from 33 countries have been entered by their countries for the FEI WEC 2008. One rider from Denmark, Inger Elisabeth Pitter Bertelsen, has pulled out from the much anticipated event after she was involved in an accident while riding her own Raouel Ox back home.

The World Endurance fraternity has been abuzz with anticipation that Terengganu could stage the best ever World Endurance Championship since its inauguration in Italy in 1986.

The event will be flagged off by Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tuanku Nur Zahira at 5:30 pm on Friday 7th November.

Source: Sultan Mizan Royal Foundation

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