National riders Ly Sovanachandara and Lon Sopheaktra, who had performed creditably at the Selangor Turf Club horse show in Malaysia last month, dominated the 80cm Open class in the Cambodian Country Club’s Show Jumping competition on Sunday.
This being the last domestic trial before December’s SEA Games in Myanmar, the Cambodian medal hopes were more eager than ever to perform their jumping drills to perfection. After a stirring duel, Sovanachandara pegged back Sopheaktra as the two slotted into the top two places.
Behind this leading pair was Cambodian-Russian Alicia Khiem, a promising 14-year-old who is quickly finding her riding range and scope.
“Alicia is very devoted to riding. She would ride any horse and has a great spirit. [She] takes any challenge with a smile,” national coach Kathy Lovatt told the Post.
The 50cm Senior division was claimed by Louise Gilbert ahead of a fast emerging talent in Srey Om, who is in her early teens and comes from Maddox, an NGO working for the welfare of the under-privileged.
Tep Mona showed yet again that it is the zest for riding that counts and not age by finishing a notable third. “I am doing it out of sheer spirit,” said Mona, who is also the secretary-general of the Cambodian Equestrian Federation.
“The point to note is that organisations like Maddox and PSE are replenishing our stocks with young talent all along,” she added.
Lena Britzkat proved too skilful and strong in the 50cm junior section with Ester Gilbert filing in second. Cambodian-Belgian rider Gabriel Gossens took third place, strengthening hopes that the youngster could soon turn rich promise into achievement at higher levels.
The Cross Poles event saw Fauve de Lange emerge as the winner, with Rosa Than taking the runner-up spot in front of Mathilde Tilly Sandstrom Gregory.