As usual, we decided to go to the FEI WEC at Lembah Bidong, Terengganu at the very last minute.
The race was flagged off at around five thirty in the evening of Friday 7 November 2008. I was still in the office at that time.
Amalia kept on sending sms asking me whethet I was going or not.
I told her to get ready as we were going there after Maghrib.
We arrived at Lembah Bidong Equestrian Centre, Setiu at 10.40, after dropping at Mahani's house in Seberang Takir for a simple dinner and a rest.
It was drizzling then. We went around the sprawling complex in search of a covered place to sit.
At first I thought of searching for fellow Vets just to say hello. I didn't find the veterinarian centre. We were also not allowed to enter the holding centre.
At last we found ourselves the common seating place. It was covered and there were still many vacant seats. At last we were free from the wet drizzle and as it was just next to the starting and ending horse route, we could see the horses and the riders.
Amalia was soon busy snapping pictures of the horses. She was so excited seeing so many horses at a time.
The Arabian horses, they were just mesmerizing. With their concave face, slim body and raised tail they walked or canter proudly as they made their way in front of us.
From the announcer, I knew that the riders had just completed their third loop.
After each loop (there were six loops in all) of around 26 km, the horses were evaluated by veterinarians to see thet they were still fit for the next loop. Things that were checked included the heart rate, the degree of dehydration, the physical well being, etc.
The women riders, in particular one from Spain named Mercedes, amazed us all. Later we were told that she won the championship!
We waited impatiently to see our beloved Sultan Mizan, but he was no where to be seen. A policeman told me that he was still in the resting area.
It was already almost two in the morning. Amalia was sneezing badly, perhaps the drizzle and the cool morning air had triggered her rhinitis. Amirul was dozing on the empty seats.
Finally at around 2.15 we called it a day. We drove back to Mahani's house and slept soundly till seven!