The WEC Opening Ceremony last night was quite a show.Â The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah declared the WEC open with three bangs of a traditional Malay drum.Â Also present at the opening at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin stadium were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said, Federation Equestrian International director Ian Williams and Championship chief executive officer Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor.
There was a galaxy of Malaysian stars performing at the event, including Saleem, Mila AF5, Ameng Spring, Kelvin Lau, Kogee Haziq, M. Nasir, Ramli Sarip, Jamal Abdillah, Ella and Mawi.Â After the opening speeches, Kuda Kepang dancers led the teams our in a parade of nations.
As a horseman, I thought Lorenzo’s act the highlight of the evening.Â I was astounded by his horsemanship and control of his beautiful Andalusians.Â He controlled eight horses with ease, even though none were harnessed together, while standing on the back of two horses at all times.Â He could zig-zag them different ways, move them up to four abreast, jumped them over fences while he even faced backwards and even jumped three teams of two horses over different jumps at the same time.Â Lorenzo’s performance was one of the best equine acts I have ever seen.
The fireworks display went on for a good ten minutes to finish the show, then it was a race back to our bus because we had an early start the next day.Â The media is really well looked after. They had a media dinner for us on Tuesday night.Â Last night our bus had a special police escort to get us through the traffic jam around the stadium.Â Yes, there was actualy a jam in KT last night as 50,000 made their way to the stadium for the opening ceremony.
This morning we had the official Vet check.Â 133 horses passed the trot-up.Â Only one horse was eliminated, Italian rider Simona Di Battista’s Lara.Â Six were not presented.Â All the Malaysian horses made it through.Â Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin presented Taljari Moonlight Pharoah but is expected to switch to his second horse Ibrahim Pasha for the big ride tomorrow.
The Chef d’Equipes have to declare their nominated riders for the team this afternoon, so I’ll update this blogwith more news as we get it.