Twenty-four young riders joined the first show jumping event of the year, hosted by the Cambodian Country Club (CCC) and the Cambodian Equestrian Federation (CEF) at the CCC grounds on Sunday.
The 24 riders, many of which are members of the Cambodian National Team, competed in three categories: 30cm, 60cm and 90cm.
The day opened with the 30cm competition in the morning and the 60cm and 90cm events followed in the afternoon.
Amrita Norodom once again demonstrated her horseback riding prowess by dominating in the 90cm category, considered to be the most difficult section of the event.
Riding on Benjamin, Amrita, who is a member of Cambodia’s Royal Family, took first place, followed by Menlong Rinda (also on Benjamin) and Makara Phat riding on Juanca.
Amrita, 12, is a regular participant in show jumping and related competitions in Cambodia. She also represented the Kingdom in more than a few equestrian competitions abroad.
Rattanak Kong, riding Caramel, showed the way and won the first spot in the 60cm category, followed by Dara Chhom on Chouchou and Kvan Ou Ratha on Caramel.
In the 30cm division, Chhem Ra Yuth, riding Chouchou, won first place. Second place went to Chimin So Bin on Moka, while the third spot was won by Srey Puch Ly, also on Caramel.
Mona Tep, president of the CEF, said the riders showed improvement since the last time they hosted a similar event. It was held in December last year with 21 riders competing.
“The riders showed a little more improvement. We have, however, higher expectations, which is for 30cm riders to be able to compete in 60cm and for 60cm riders to join the 90cm category,” she pointed out.
Tep said National Coaches Hoy Sopharith and Sat Savith have the mandate to push for this improvement.
A larger-than-normal crowd was there to watch the riders and their horses. “It was a day of happiness and excitement for all of us. We also found new fans and riders. These club competitions are very important to us,” she noted.
Tep then thanked various organizations and individuals that are supporting them, including FEI Solidarity, National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, Thailand Equestrian Federation, Asian Equestrian Federation, Horseware, Ministry of Education, Cambodia Pony Welfare Organisation and Royal Phnom Penh Hospital.
The CEF and partners alternately hold competitions and exhibitions to put the skills of riders to the test. These activities are either held at CCC, Phnom Penh Equestrian Club in Areyksat or at Kampong Chhnang province.