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Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman (left) during a practice riding session at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) in Lembah Bidong, Setiu. Pix by ADRIAN DAVID.

SETIU: Terengganu is destined to be the home for equestrian sports as the state’s most influential supporter is Sultan of Terengganu Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, said Terengganu youth, sports and human resources committee chairman Datuk Rozi Mamat.

Rozi pointed out that the Sultan’s interest and keen involvement has helped equestrian sports to gain popularity and develop rapidly in the region.

It is no secret that Sultan Mizan is an avid endurance rider, who has competed in prestigious endurance competitions globally.

He added that Sultan Mizan was very supportive in promoting equestrian sports in the state, leading to the establishment of the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) at Lembah Bidong. It is also the site of an international equestrian academy.

Tonight, TIEP will be the location for the Menteri Besar’s Cup Endurance Race, in conjunction with ‘Visit Beautiful Terengganu 2017’.

TIEP will also be the venue for equestrian sports in the upcoming 2017 Sea Games.

“We want to fully explore the potential available at TIEP, which is one of the best riding facilities managed in the country.

“By having an academy, more opportunities can be made available for enthusiasts, especially schoolchildren.

“Thus, it will augur well to organise more equestrian sports so that we can groom more youths to take part and eventually excel in it,” he said.

Rozi added that having an equestrian academy would also see the setting up of specialised veterinary clinic to treat and groom horses.

“We can develop TIEP further for this purpose as equestrian is fast gaining popularity in the country and has the potential to produce champions,” said Rozi.

He added that the state government would undertake tours to schools to give talks and encourage youths to be part of equestrian sports clubs run by established sportsmen and trainers.

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