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King of Malaysia arrives in Uruguay for equestrian competition

Monday, April 20th 2009 - 07:31 UTC
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King Mizan Zainal Abidin during a horse resistance competition King Mizan Zainal Abidin during a horse resistance competition

The King of Malaysia is expected Monday in Uruguay to participate in a equestrian endurance competition scheduled for next Friday. An advance party of King Mizan Zainal Abidin, 46, is already in Uruguay selecting horses and addressing security issues for the monarch and his immediate collaborators.

The 120 kilometres endurance competition in different terrains and which is particularly demanding for the horse and rider is part of the Pan-American calendar of the discipline.

Contrary to a normal equestrian raid which follows established routes, the endurance competition is basically a cross country resistance race in different circuits and distances, with five stops for vets to check health conditions of the horses.

“Besides the excitement of the competition the most important factor in the health and running conditions of the horses that is why the checks”, said Diego Carrasco one of the organizers of this week’s event.

The Pan-American competition is disputed every two years, and Uruguay won the gold medal in 2005 and in the junior competition two years later in Argentina. In 2007 Uruguay obtained silver in Campinas, Sao Paulo state, Brazil.

Carrasco said that a good relation was established between Malaysian and Uruguayan riders last December when the world endurance competition took place in Malaysia.

“Malaysians were impressed with the Uruguayan horses resistance and adaptability and have since been buying horses in Uruguay”, said Carrasco who added that in the Arab Emirates there are also “Uruguayan horses and Uruguayan staff looking after them”.

Some Arab sheiks have also purchased land in Uruguay to train their horses.

“A good resistance horse like any long distance runner needs a lot of training, every day, meticulously to ensure he’s ready for the competition”, said Carrasco.

King Mizan Zainal Abidin will be participating with a group of seven riders, out of a total of 85 that have registered for the competition. Riders will be coming from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, United States, Uruguay, Belgium, Arab Emirates, Spain, Britain and Holland and will be running in Senior and Young categories, one star, 80 kilometres and two stars, 120 kilometres.

“The advance delegation of the King has already checked the circuit and love Uruguay because they can move freely and they are impressed by the landscape”, underlined Carrasco.

Mizan Zainal Abidin was sworn in the post as Malaysia 13th king in December 2006. In 1998 he succeeded his father Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah, as sultan of the state of Terengganu, one of the nine hereditary states that occupy the throne for five year periods. Malaysia is the only country in the world to have a rotating monarchy.

Mizan Zainal Abidin, was educated in Australia and Great Britain and is a well known sportsman including soccer, golf, diving, taekwondo and equestrian disciplines.

Categories: Politics, Uruguay.

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