Tuesday, November 04, 2008

[WEC Reports] Age No Barrier For 68 Year-Old American Rider Janice Worthington

November 04, 2008 19:04 PM

SETIU, Nov 4 (Bernama) -- At 68, Janice Worthington of the United States is the oldest competitor in the FEI World Endurance Championship at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) in Lembah Bidong here from Nov 6-9.

Worthington said age would not stand in the way of her pursuit of sporting fulfillment and glory due her deep passion for horse riding since 30 years ago.

In fact, this is her fifth attempt at the World Endurance Championship. The first was in Compiegne, France in the 2000 edition even though she never came close to winning.

"For me, the adage in endurance racing "that to finish is to win" still applies," she told reporters here today.

Worthington, who has four grandchildren, lives in Illinois where she has a 300-acre ranch complete with 65 horses which she breeds for sale. One of them is the eight-year-old "Golden Lightning", which she has brought here for the championship.

The plucky lady is every bit serious about gunning for the title and did a two-week training stint in Florida recently as the state's climate is almost similar to that of Malaysia.

"To acclimatise myself to the heat and humidity of Malaysia, Florida proved ideal. I think its is very important for the riders to acclimatise themselves especially when it involves hot and humid conditions," said Worthington.

Despite her age, she has chalked up well over 30,000 miles on the saddle and is not showing any signs of slowing down either.

Just a couple of months ago, she won a 100-mile all-night endurance race in the United States.

"Horse riding has been my first love and I am most happy on a horse. It's all in the mind and there is no such thing as too old to ride. As long as you are mentally fit, you can ride. More so in endurance racing," said Worthington, who is part of the six-member American team to the championship.

"I look forward to doing well here. That's why I have taken the trouble to train in Florida because I know I need to prepare the horse and myself to adapt to a different environment which is a challenging one," said Worthington.

The fact that she is in the team will serve as an inspiration to 133 riders from 32 countries who will taking part in the prestigious championship.

Posted By Steph Teeter to WEC Reports at 11/04/2008 04:36:00 PM

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