November 08, 2008 17:17 PM
By Hilary Sebastian
SETIU, Nov 7 (Bernama) -- Hosts Malaysias hopes of creating history at the 12th FEI World Endurance Championship 2008 evaporated at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) when all four horses competing in the team event were eliminated due to various reasons.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidins horse Ibrahim Paschal Larzac was eliminated after the fifth loop while three other team members, Datuk Mohd Shuaib Isahak astride Blue Bronco lasted only until the 3rd loop, Mohd Faizal Ismail (Edenfels Zephyr) the 4th loopand Rosdam Mohd Noor (Janor Mamatembo) the 5th loop.
"I'm sad because my horse could not continue but I am happy that there were so many fans who came to watch the event," said Tuanku Mizan at the TIEP in Lembah Bidong here today.
The King who had to ride under extreme weather conditions caused by a heavy thunderstorm halfway through the race, was also happy that other riders in the Malaysian team emerged unscathed.
Apart from His Majesty and the three riders, six other riders who competed in the individual category were also eliminated, including former world number one Datuk Kamaruddin Abdul Ghani and his steed Navidad. Kamaruddin was the highest ranked Malaysian rider in the 160km race.
The other five, Datuk Abdullah Taib & Kerbalanen Armor, Muhammad Che Ahmad Yusri & Penn 3, Muhammad Firdaus Hamid & Ifra Des Jamets, Norlaily Bunyamin & Bremervale Jessie James, and Zainuddin Yusof & Texas, were unable to continue the race after various stages when their horses were eliminated for a number of reasons ranging from lameness, metabolic problems, time violation and retirement.
The two Malaysian riders who earned the honour of having completed the gruelling race were Md Azizie Ismail & Janor Fee and Abdul Halim Alihan & Brookkleigh Kentara, who finished in 34th and 39th places respectively.
A beaming Halim said though he had completed 160km races before, competing and finishing the FEI World Endurance Championship was a special feat that he would cherish.
"I only started endurance racing two years ago and earned a ticket to compete in the FEI World Endurance Championship on merit," said the Sarawakian who started as a groom and riding boy at the Royal Terengganu Stable Club in 2006.
The 27-year-old rider, who has competed in four 160km endurance competitions this year, is ranked 161st in the world and his best result was fifth placing at the Saera event in Australia in June.
The individual title was won by Spain's Maria Mercedes & Nobby who led the field of 126 riders from start to finish while the team title went to UAE.
Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/08/2008 04:02:00 PM
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