New Straits Times
THE World Endurance Championships unofficially start today with the first horse inspection at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) in Setiu.
The inspection of horses is the most crucial part of the WEC as riders will be eliminated if their mounts fail the test. A total of 133 horses will be inspected by the Veterinary Commission and the Ground Jury at the Vet Gates.
Veterinary Commission Dr Hosain Abbara said previous world meets have witnessed mounts failing the first inspection.
"Affected riders will have to withdraw as they cannot replace their horses," said Hosain at the TIEP yesterday.
"However, most horses pass the first inspection. I cannot predict what will happen tomorrow (today), but from my own experience, there will likely be failures."
Today's inspection will include taking the horse's temperature, measuring its heartbeat rate, respiration rate and a full metobolic profile. The horses will also be trotted to confirm its soundness.
"If there is anything abnormal with a horse, the case will be referred to a special committe for a decision," added Hosain, who was president of the veterinary panel at the 2006 Doha Asian Games.
The 160km race is divided into seven loops or phases.
The horses are also inspected after completion of each loop and again after they have crossed the finish line. So the first horse across the finish line is not necessarily the winner.
Meanwhile, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) is predicting a 30 per cent completion rate at the WEC.
"It's going to be a difficult race, the toughest ever in a world meet. The humidity will take a toll on the riders and horses," said an FEI official.
Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/06/2008 04:21:00 AM
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