Thursday, November 06, 2008

[WEC Reports] Equestrian event opening does Malaysia proud

New Straits Times


KUALA TERENGGANU: It was an evening to remember for some 50,000 people who attended the opening ceremony of the FEI World Endurance Championship 2008 at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak on Wednesday night.

Not only was it a historic night as it was the first time the nation was hosting the prestigious equestrian competition, but the lavish ceremony, opened by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, had also impressed many.

There were cultural song and dance, an acrobatic horse show by Lorenzo, fireworks display and performances by popular artistes, including M. Nasir, Ramli Sarip, Jamal Abdillah, Ella and Mawi.

But not many would know the spectacular fanfare was put together in less than a week by event management company Dale Lokman Associates Sdn Bhd.

Its managing director, Datuk Mahadzir Lokman, said he was entrusted with the task late last month but the go-ahead for the programme and opening ceremony came only about a week ago. He said at such short notice, it was a wonder the show got off the ground. But the hard work and sleepless nights paid off as the event was a success, judging by the many congratulatory phone calls and messages received after the show.

Time, Mahadzir said, was the team's biggest constraint, but everything fell into place at the right time.

He said he did not know why the tournament organiser had waited that long to hire an event manager for the opening ceremony, but he decided to accept the challenge.

Event deputy director Morne Hashim said she believed it was a rescue job of sorts. However, for the love of the country and the sport, she accepted the challenge of putting up a production with a cast of almost 1,000.

She said an ideal period for such a job would be at least three months but with grit and determination, anything could be done and done well.

Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/07/2008 03:05:00 AM

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