The Cambodian Equestrian Federation’s relentless drive to build an endurance team of six riders and horses meeting SEA Games participation standards met with a measure of success last week when Ly Sovanchandara became the first rider to qualify in an international level competition at a pregames event in Malaysia.
Also making the grade, but at the national competition level, was Phay Visal, while Moeng Sochea, who has already qualified, could not complete his run as his leased horse returned with an injury after the first lap.
Competing in the International Federation for Equestrian Sports-approved 80km event at the Terengganu International Endurance Park in Kuala Lumpur, Sovanachandara, riding Ohara Armor, was ranked 12th in the pregames trial and qualified with an average speed of 14.038. He led the first lap at a speed of 19.327 but slowed down on the next two to conserve his leased horse.
Phay Visal pitched in at the national level in his second 80km trial to complete his novice qualification. He was ranked seventh on Pacifica Del Timote, with an average speed of 13.798.
Meanwhile, Moeng Sochea is still part of the national team heading to the SEA Games in August as he has already completed his novice qualification with two 40km and 80km trials in Cambodia.
“We need to build a team of six qualified riders and horses. We have three now and we continue our push on May 28 when our riders will compete in the President’s Cup in Thailand,” the president of the CEF, Mona Tep told The Post yesterday.
“The trip to Malaysia was a great experience for the CEF team, a good opportunity to test the potential of the horses we have leased and also build relations with the Malaysian stables.
“We could not have identified the horses without the help from the Malaysian Equestrian Federation and the continued support from the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia has kept our spirits high,” Tep said.