Murtaza Ali Shah
Monday, September 03, 2012
From Print Edition
LONDON: For the first time in the history of the World Endurance Championship, a Pakistani endurance rider impressed the sports enthusiasts with his command over horses at the Euston Park of the Duke of Grafton.
Anzac Mehmood, 33, originally from Jhelum, represented Pakistan on his own at a match which was attended by 38 countries with 147 horse and rider combinations that took part in 160km race.
The horses are checked by qualified veterinarians and judges before, during and after the ride.
Riders normally have to maintain an average speed of 22 kph and it can take up to 12 hours or more to complete a race.
The race started at 7am and continued for 12 hours. Aznac rode Castlebar Lighting for Pakistan.
The horse for Pakistan was riding well, averaging 20.6kph.
Competing for 160km, it had completed five out of the six loops when at the vet check an issue with the heart rhythm of the horse was found. Consequently it failed to qualify for the final loop.
Anzac told ‘The News’ he was heartbroken that the horse failed to complete the race after initially showing so much promise. But he said his other horse Adara won the race for TeamGB at an average speed of 19.34kph.
“This is first ever in the history of world championship that Pakistan has been represented and I am honoured that I raised Pakistan’s flag. I have won three championships and my horses have finished with either silver or bronze medals.”
He complained that he had no support from Pakistan Equestrian Federation. “I just need their recommendation, I have my own horses but they don’t care. It doesn’t matter where horses come from. What’s important is that Pakistan should be represented but the military officials running the organisation are living in a bubble.”
He said Pakistan can do well in this sport as it has the grounds where horses can be trained. “I am planning to buy a farm in the UK where I will have my own horses for competition for World Championship and European Championships and I am happy to offer any help to raise Pakistan’s profile in this game.”
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