In preparation for Cambodia’s hosting of the SEA Games 2023, Cambodian Equestrian Federation (CEF) has already started training riders who will be representing the kingdom in the international competition.
Tep Mona, president of CEF, said the organisation is trying to promote horse riding as a good sport for all Khmers. Mona added that they have developing talented riders to compete at regional and international levels, preparing them to unleash their highest potentials for the upcoming SEA Games.
“We have to train people and also the horses to jump. It is a duo sport, combining the skills of the rider and the animal. There are only very few sports that combine animals and humans. In horse riding, you have to have a connection with the horse so it will follow your movements.”
Last week, some riders at CEF showed off their horse riding skills at Svay Chhrum commune, Akreiy Ksatr village in Kandal.
Undersecretary of Ministry of Education, Bou Chumserey, said during the event that he was really excited to see how Cambodian equestrians have improved over the years, considering that the sport is not as popular as football in the kingdom.
Mr Chumserey added that the MoEYS has allocated budget for the sport.
Amrita, an 11-year-old girl, is the youngest equestrian at CEF. She said that she has always wanted to be part of the sport and dreams of competing at SEA Games.
“I’ve been riding horses for almost five years now. I am training real hard because I have a goal. I want to join SEA Games. Riding horses helps me reduce my stress. It’s not easy, but I am enjoying every bit of it,” the young equestrian shared.
CEF was founded in 2007 and has sent Cambodians to competitions in Myanmar, Singapore and Malaysia since 2011. In 2017, the national equestrian team brought home a bronze medal from SEA Games Malaysia. Another rider also got bronze medal at the Asia Junior Jumping Championship in Hong Kong two years ago.