In the wake of the men’s endurance team winning a bronze medal on their debut at the SEA Games in August, the Cambodian Equestrian Federation is shifting its focus to developing one of the country’s most promising female riders, Alicia Khiem, as a leading contender in the regional show jumping scene.
The young rider will participate at an international junior show jumping competition at the Hannover Riding Center in Taiwan, beginning on Saturday.
After a two-week break, Khiem will compete in a similar event at the Royal Horse Guard in Bangkok.
These two International Equestrian Federation events at 100-110cm have been designed for young riders from 14 up to the age of 18.
Following her participation in the prestigious Mondial des Clubs in France early this summer, Khiem has been training regularly under the watchful eyes of Bertrand Minet at the new Phnom Penh Equestrian Center in Arey Ksat, situated on the other side of the Mekong River, a short ferry ride from the capital.
She has gained both confidence and strength in the saddle to jump 130cm on her grey mount Pixou, the jumping standard riders have to cope with in major regional and international events.
The PPEC, where Minet has been based for the past few months, has well-equipped stables with both covered and open arenas. It is still under construction and is likely to be open to the public at the beginning of next year.
“Alicia has been showing remarkable improvement and her trips to Taiwan and Bangkok for these two important junior events would be highly beneficial for her skillset.
“We do hope that if she keeps training well she could handle tough competitions in the future,” CEF President Mona Tep said.
Tep said equipment manufacturers Horseware have been playing a vital role in propping up the Cambodian equestrian scene. She said that apartfrom providing the national team with saddle clothes for the horses, the company has also been helping riders with their equipment.
Horseware has a factory in Sihanoukville where they produce their popular Rambo horse rugs.