Tuesday, November 04, 2008

[WEC Reports] Uruguay Team Banks On Women Power in Endurance Riding C'ships

November 04, 2008 19:26 PM

SETIU, Nov 4 (Bernama) -- Apart from lining up their top most rider, Olascoaga Amaya, who is the world number two and highest ranked endurance rider in the FEI-World Endurance Championship (FEI-WEC) here from Nov 6-9, Uruguay are also fielding four women riders, including two sisters.

Uruguay coach Pio Olascoaga Silveira said their six riders, consist of two men riders, Olascoaga Amaya and Juan Cruz Caceres Aranda who form the backbone of the team, and four women riders, Adriana Basso Mac Gregor, Isadora Machkinnon and sisters Flavia Maria and Sofia Maria Fernandez Danvilla.

"All the women riders are very passionate about this toughest endurance race. They are well prepared to compete against the 142 riders from 32 countries," he said after a training session held at Pantai Merang, here, today.

Asked on Uruguay's target for the championship, Olascoaga said the team's ultimate aim was to win the team title.

He, however, acknowledged that they will face a strong challenge from defending champions France as well as Portugal, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

"In actual fact, we are not too worried about our competitors but rather the hot and humid weather conditions here that might affect our riders and the horses," he said.

Meanwhile, sisters, Flavia, 24, and Sofia, 22, said since they are not familiar with night riding, they are set to face a new challenge as the race starts at 5pm and goes on right through the night.

"In Uruguay, we seldom ride at night. However, to meet the requirement of this championship, we have trained several times at night and now have some knowledge and confidence of competing against the rest," said Flavia who rides Count Spot.

The FEI-WEC, a 160km endurance horse race held at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) in Lembah Bidong, is regarded as the toughest horse race in the world as the competition winds around paths along the beach, woods, several water crossings, village settlements, plantations, flat logistic roads and tarmac crossings.

Apart from Uruguay, riders from South Africa, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, France, Portugal, Qatar, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United States and Britain are competing.

Malaysia are represented by 12 riders and led by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

Posted By Steph Teeter to WEC Reports at 11/04/2008 04:33:00 PM

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