Sunday, November 07, 2010

Malaysia: Wan MS Norhafizi wins Sultan’s Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge

Equestrian.com.my

Sunday 7 November 2010

Hard work, dedication and discipline paid off for Wan MS Norhafizi Wan MS Norzihan as he rode his way into first place in the fourth edition of the Sultan’s Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge.

“It was difficult preparing for the Sultan’s Cup,” said the 19-year-old rider from Malaysia representing the Tengku Mahkota Kelantan Endurance Team. “I started preparing my horse Nashaar early, and that was instrumental to my success. I am glad that my determination paid off“.

Wan MS Norhafizi and his Anglo Arab Gelding completed the endurance challenge with a time of 6 hours 20 minutes and 23 seconds. Ahmad Azura Abdul Ghani riding Idais Tobiha (Gelding) from the State of Terengganu Endurance Team came in second with a time of 6 hours 20 minutes and 41 seconds meanwhile Datuk Mohd Shuaib Ishak and Martika (Arab Mare) from the Ar- Raudhah completed the podium with a time of 6 hours 21 minutes and 8 seconds.

68 riders from 9 countries participated in this year’s challenge from 5 – 7 November at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) in Kuala Terengganu. 51 local riders from teams across Malaysia were also part of the 120km endurance challenge of undulating terrain.

His Majesty, Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, was among the riders competing in the challenge. Participating countries include Australia, Chile, USA, France, Indonesia, Uruguay, South Africa, Singapore and Thailand.

Malaysia will be represented by the Ar-Raudah Equine Centre, the Langkawi Endurance Stable, Masterscaff En¬¬durance Team, Tengku Mahkota Kelantan Endurance Team and the Perlis TSAB Stable among others. The winner will receive RM30,000 cash and an Amaswiss watch worth USD 10,000 while the first runner and second runner-up stand to win RM20,000 and RM15,000 respectively.

Endurance racing is a competition against the clock where the speed and endurance of a horse is put to test while the riders are challenged for their effective pacing and cross-country knowledge. Endurance, a test of horsemanship skills, has now matured into an international sport.

“Endurance riding is recognised by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), and we’re proud to host and organise this prestigious, world-class event,” said Dato Seri Hj Ahmad Said, Menteri Besar of Terengganu.

He added that international events such as the Sultan’s Cup not only profile Terengganu as a world-class sports venue, but also provide the opportunity for Terengganu to acquire the necessary experience and expertise to compete for other major sports to be held here.

“Since the advent of the Sultan’s Cup, equestrian sport is now cherished by the people of Terengganu, and it also provides a platform to develop their skills in related fields of the sport of endurance.”

Tuanku Mizan was instrumental in establishing the Sultan’s Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge as a pre-cursor to the 2008 FEI World Endurance Championship, held for the first time in Asia. The annual event has made it into the country’s equestrian and tourism calendar and now attracts riders and visitors from around the world.

“The annual Sultan’s Cup has spurred the development of the endurance sport and raised the level of awareness of equestrian sports among Malaysians,” noted Datuk Ahmad. “It has also contributed to building Terengganu as an equestrian hub in advancing the sport among Malaysian riders.”

The 2010 Sultan’s Cup was flagged off by Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah at TIEP at 5:30pm on 6 November. This year’s competition is jointly organised by the Terengganu State Government and the Royal Terengganu Endurance Stable.

The three-day event will also be celebrated with a fun-filled two-day carnival themed Karnival Kuda Bersongket with stage shows by local artistes, cultural and handicraft workshops, pony and carriage rides for children, and an outdoor cinema, held for the first time ever in Terengganu.

Sponsors of the Sultan’s Cup 2010 includes Lizziz, Amaswiss, Mitavite, Norlan United & Carriage Sdn Bhd, AI Agro Marketing, Sutera Beach Resort, Ketengah Holding Sdn Bhd, Kementerian Pelancongan Malaysia, Natural Nutrition, Terengganu Inc, Syarikat Air Terengganu Sdn Bhd, AIS Consultants, Pancuran Budi (M) Sdn Bhd, TM Malaysia and Bank Pertanian Malaysia Berhad.


About the Sultan’s Cup

The Sultan’s Cup 2010 is an CEI 2* endurance race run over 120km of undulating terrain with a time limit of 12 hours including holding time totalling 210 minutes at the first four vet gates. The first phase is 25 km, second phase is 30km, third phase is 20km, fourth is 25km and the fifth and final phase is 20km.

At the vet gates, horses’ heart rates will be checked and must be 64 beat per minute (bpm) within 20 minutes of recovery and at the final examination, the heart rate must be 64 bpm within 30 minutes of recovery. If the stipulated heart rates are not achieved the horse will be disqualified.

The minimum weight for riders is 75 kg.

The first 10 horses finishing within one hour of the first placed horse will be eligible for the Best Condition Horse Award.