2006 Sultan's Cup Terengganu Endurance.Net

After the Vet Inspection

A little time to write, just a bit. We went out to the stable early this morning to try the horses out. Woke up to pouring rain (the kind that will deafen you if you're standing in a tin roof barn) but it soon stopped, and was already drying up by the time we went to breakfast. Sunny and gorgeous when we got there. I brought a saddle with me (the Gaston Mercier - which is very very light for travel and seems to fit most arabs reasonably well) and provides a degree of comfort and familiarity which is quite welcome when riding strange horses! My horse is 'Murphy' - nice horse, smooth gaits, a little young and playfully rambunctious, but I think he'll be a good ride. I'll just have to pay close attention during the first loop! We (Leo and Paul and I) rode out with Paul Brown and Sultan Mizan for a while, nice friendly conversation about Malaysia and Idaho and rides - maybe he'll come experience Idaho style Endurance some day! We put the horses through all of their gaits, nice horses - fresh from a day in the stalls and eager to work.

Afterwards we went to the seminar which was being hosted for the riders and Endurance folks. Halvard Somerseth DVM, Jim Bryant DVM and Dr. 'Bala' DVM gave talks on the vetgate and vet exam system with detailed discussions of the veterinary parameters, another talk on electrolyte loss in endurance horses, and another on ulcers in endurance horses. Sultan Mizan attended the talk, and the hotel had yellow (royal) carpet spread everywhere that he would be walking. The royalty here feels very different from the UAE royalty. Humble, smiling, friendly - and one has the impression that people really love their royalty. Sultan Mizan is a very 'normal' person, he seems to wear his title gently, without any air of superiority. It's very refreshing. Somerseth and Bryant are here to closely watch the ride, talk to the riders, they want to support Malaysia in its efforts and give them every chance possible to host the WEC. The 160km ride will be over 7 phases, with 50 minute holds after each phase. That's 5 hours of hold time! The theory is that more rest time will offer more opportunity to eat and drink and cool down. Their best shot and keeping the horses hydrated and working well.

It was a nice talk and such fun to see my Malaysian friends again! All the familiar faces from the Edaran rides, they are such a friendly smiling people. A few more foreigners arrived - Kevin James from New Zealand is here, and John Crandell showed up too! He's been travelling to Dubai and wanted to see what Endurance was like over here. He gave Paul Brown the offer to help on the ground during the ride, gratefully taken! Brook Sample is also supposed to be arriving to ride the 160km event. There are riders here from Bruneii and Indonesia, supposedly Qatar will have representatives here, and also the prince of Bahrain. Haven't seen them yet though.

After the seminar we had a nice lunch, traditional Malay musicians playing in the corner, high ceilings and fans spinning, quite comfortable and pleasant. We're headed back out to the village soon - technical breifing, trot out, course inspection. It just started raining... hopefully it won't last too long!



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