A bigger turnout marked the third edition of the endurance riding event organized by the Cambodia Equestrian Federation (CEF).
Kao Vannarin and Sou Thai won in their respective categories in the competition held over the week in Kampong Chhnang province.
With Pick as his mount, Mr Vannarin, a well-known and experienced rider, won in the 40kms category over nine other competitors.
The second place went to Cheam Kean riding on Rocky and third spot was won by Dun Sokhorn on Chamreon.
In the 20kms category, it was the turn of Mr Thai riding on Liza to shine. Second spot went to Rinda Menlong on Kropum, while So Ram riding on Sros bagged the third place.
There were 14 riders that joined the endurance riding event this time. Of the number, 14 competed in the 40kms category, while four joined in the 20kms division.
Many of the riders were from the national reserve and have participated in previous equestrian competitions organized by the CEF.
To avoid the heat and ensure the safety and welfare of the ponies, the competition started 4:00 AM of October 22 at the Rithysen Club in Kampong Chhnang, a province some 100kms from the capital city of Phnom Penh.
In an endurance riding competition, the winning tandem is the one the arrives at the finish line first after undergoing a series of veterinary checks along the way. When a horse gets injured or registers above-normal heartbeat, the tandem is disqualified from the race.
Mona Tep, president of the CEF, said they were happy with the turnout. “We were encouraged to see that there were more riders and ponies that joined in the 40kms endurance,” she stressed. “It means we are on the right track in our preparation to reach our 80kms goal.”
The previous endurance riding event that was held in September of this year attracted 12 riders.
According to Ms Tep, the event in Kampong Chhnang is part of a comprehensive program aimed at boosting the competitive spirit, and more specifically, to develop the riders and ponies for longer runs.
“The aim of the course is for them to reach 80kms, which is the minimum distance for the SEA Games,” she pointed out.
The equestrian federation president then went on to thank everyone who gave their support to the event. She mentioned coaches Hoy Sopharith, Sat Savith, veterinarian Rinda Nop, and some volunteer student vets.
The event was also supported by FEI Solidarity, Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MoEYS), National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), Asian Equestrian Federation (AEF), Thailand Equestrian Federation, B. Grimm, Cambodia Pony Welfare Organization (CPWO), and Horseware.
Ms Tep said they were also honored by the presence of Jack Huang, Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Representative for Group VIII.
“He came all the way here to support our team. I believe he was pleased with the event and the spirit of our riders,” she said.
The CEF is planning to hold another endurance event covering 60kms in mid-December. “We are very excited and look forward to reaching soon the 80kms goal with our riders,” Ms Tep concluded.