Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Naser Marzouqi From UAE Wins Sultan's Cup

Naser Marzouqi from United Arab Emirates edged Jack Begaud from France to win the Sultan's Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge 2007 at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP).

Naser astride "Hafiza Du Mas" finished the 160km race in 10 hours 31 minutes and 50 seconds while Begaud was a close 10 hours 33 minutes and 27 seconds behind.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, who also took part, finished in 23rd place after posting a time of 14 hours 20 minutes and 26 seconds. Tuanku Mizan, the patron of the championship, rode "Harmere Cairo".

Maria Vitoria Liberal Lins of Brazil was third in a time of 10 hours 39 minutes and 07 seconds.
A total of 41 rider from Brazil, Japan, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Australia, United State of America and Malaysia took part in the championship, which is part of the preparations for the FEI-World Endurance Championship 2008 to be held at the same venue next year.

Malaysia Confirmed to host World Endurance Championship

IT'S confirmed! Malaysia will get to host the 2008 World Endurance Championship after passing the final test set by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) in Lembah Bidong, Setiu, yesterday.

To qualify for the host job, at least 40 per cent of the foreign riders taking part in the Sultan's Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge at the Terengganu International Endurance Park, had to complete the 160km race.According to event manager Azrin Zuhdi, the foreign riders' completion rate was 67 per cent while the overall completion rate was 71 per cent, well above the international average of 46 per cent.

The race was full of surprises as non-ranking rider Naser Marzouqi of United Arab Emirates (UAE) emerged champion after shrugging off challenges from top ranking riders, including world number one Jack Begaud of France.

Naser crossed the finish line with his 12-year-old mare, Hafiza Du Mas, in 10 hours 31 minutes and 50 seconds, beating Begaud on 11-year-old gelding, Idais Tohiba, by one minute and 23 seconds.

Malaysian rider Faizal Ismail, astride 10-year-old Rayyan, sprang a surprise early on by finishing first in the first two rounds but squandered the lead in the next five rounds to finish 10th.

Third place went to another UAE rider, Khalid Al Shafar, who took 10:39:07s to finish the race with gelding Supreme Dream, a second faster than Brazillian Maria Vitoria Lins on gelding Filoteu Rach.

Yang di Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, riding 13-year-old gelding Harmere Cairo, completed the race in 14:20:26s to finish 23rd.

A total of 41 participants, including 20 riders from Spain, France, Qatar, Argentina, Brazil, the United States, Japan and Belgium, took part in the three-day event.

Friday, November 9, 2007

All systems go for Sultan’s Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge 2007

After months of planning, everything is ready to go for the Sultan’s Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge 2007 from 9th to 11th November 2007 at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) in Lembah Bidong, Terengganu.

Forty-one riders from 14 participating countries including Argentina, Brazil, United States, Japan, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Portugal, Qatar, UAE, South Africa, Australia and Malaysia together with their horses have been in Terengganu for the past three weeks training and acclimatising themselves to our hot and humid weather, and also familiarising themselves with the race route covering a multitude of terrains where they will do seven loops to cover a distance of 160km.

“The Organising Committee, the technical staff and everyone involved in the Sultan’s Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge 2007 has been working very hard to ensure that the event is successful. And I believe it will be, with all the preparation work that has put in to make this event happen,” said YBhg. Datuk Seri Dr. Salleh Mohd Nor, Vice Chairman of Yayasan DiRaja Sultan Mizan, the Organiser of the event.

The race itself will be flagged off on 10th November at 4.30pm by Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Seri Hj Idris Bin Jusoh, Menteri Besar of Terengganu at TIEP, and is expected to run through the night with the riders finishing the 160km challenge some 10 to 12 hours later, the next morning.

It will be an exciting and challenging race as the world’s top endurance riders will be competing in the competition together with our Supreme Ruler Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah.

Both the world’s No.1 and No. 2 ranked riders, Jack Begaud from France and Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton from Spain, are participating in this event.

Apart from the race proper, there will be plenty of other activities happening during the Sultan’s Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge 2007. There will be a carnival on the grounds of the TIEP from 9th to 11th November in-conjunction with the race that is open to the public. Visitors will be able to enjoy games, rides, entertainment and also concerts by local artistes.

“We hope everyone will come to TIEP for the event,” said YBhg Datuk Seri Dr. Salleh. “It’s not only an event for horse lovers but for all. We are sure they will have a good time at the Sultan’s Cup.”

This year’s Sultan’s Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge is also significant because it serves as the official trial event for the FEI World Endurance Championship 2008 which will be held at the same venue in Terengganu next year.