Wednesday, November 12, 2008

OF HORSES AND RIDERS

For the first time Malaysia, or to be more exact Terengganu, was the host of the FEI World Endurance Championship 2008.



We were all excited to be there, at Lembah Bidong Equestrian Centre. Just to be there to witness the great sporting event.



Squeezing my tight schedule, I drove up there after Maghrib Prayers. Reaching there at almost 11.00 we had to explore the entire facilities just to find a decent place to sit and watch the horses. The tiredness and the drizzling night made us somewhat lost bearing of the whereabouts of things.

I was looking for the Veterinarian centre, but just could not find it.

Finally, we did find a place. At least we were free from the drizzle. So the five of us, My wife, Amalia, Kak Long (my wife's niece) and were mesmerized by the magnificient horses and the riders too.

The Arabians were something else to see. They, with their concave face, slim body and beatifully raised tail walked or canter proudly as they left the starting point.



It was very close to the hub of the race - the starting and ending place.



It was already the end of the third loop when we arrived. We saw riders from UAE and Spain coming in. We also saw riders starting their fourth loop.

We waited for almost two hours, just to catch a glimpse of His Majesty Sultan Mizan riding his horse. According to the Policeman that joined us in the seating area, he was still resting.

Amalia was also excited with the horses. She kept on snapping pictures of the horses as they made their way (some seemed to have lost the desire to win) and also as they started the new loop.

My wife and I planned to wait it out till say 4 o'clock in the morning. But Amalia was sneezing continuously...perhaps the drizzle had triggered her rhinitis. Amirul was dozing on the empty seats.

So, we gave in. We left Lembah Bidong Equestrian Centre at around two in the morning.

We put up in Mahani's house for the night.

3 comments:

RoyalTLady said...

Doc,

So, you and family were there?

I was just watching on the air. I was held from going out since the night of the official opening which was so spectacular ... I did not mind being glued to my seat till the end of the show.

The next day, I was surprised, adamant and extremely proud to know Spain’s Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton, astride Nobby, overcame thunderstorm, darkness and her male challengers to win the FEI-World Endurance Championship 2008 individual title. Mercedes arrived so very early back to the finishing line.

It sent thrills down my spine to see this gorgeous rider, gallantly holding her country’s flag and getting down, walking tall and waving to the crowd. She did not look tired or fatigue at all.

I was feeling low too when our HRH King Tuanku Mizan reportedly saying
“ I am actually very disappointed….”

So was I. But I could imagine the rough and tough endurance with heavy torrential fall amidst storms through the event… That probably was not a hinder to any of them but the horses … we have not heard any complaints from any of the horses. Have you? Neither have I!

azahar said...

Yes, we were there.

Even our Amalia was amazed at how Maria Mercedes rode the horse. Even in the middle of the race I had the gut feeling that the women would win the race.

Endurance race requires riding skill of the highest calibre as well as physical and mental toughness, both of the horse and the rider.

From the body language of the horses, I was sure many of them complained!

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