Philippine equestrian will introduce new faces in a show-jumping competition against Malaysia on September 29.
The inaugural Equestrian Philippines Riders Tour will feature the country’s top six riders at the Manila Polo Club opposite the Malaysian equestrian squad in a head-to-head Nation’s Cup competition at different height divisions.
“We need to expose our younger riders to compete as a team for our country, which requires an entirely different mindset from competing locally as individual riders,” said Equestrian Philippines President Carissa Coscolluela.
The team, coached by SEA Games gold medalist and national team veteran Joker Arroyo, is composed of Minxie Romualdez, Alex Villalon, Mohamed El Akkad, Nicole Camcam, Lara Zobel, and Paola Lorenzo. They will each jump at a different level against a counterpart Malaysian competitor.
To remove any advantage in this borrowed horse competition, the Philippine riders will not be riding their own horses, but will swap for other local mounts, and lending their horses to the visiting Malaysian team.
Ironically, equestrian has been scrapped from the calendar of the forthcoming 30th Southeast Asian Games, hosted by the Philippines.
“(But) they all aspire to compete in continental championships like the Asian Games, the SEA Games and even in the Olympics,” said Coscolluela.
“I’m excited about this inaugural event, and hope that it can contribute toward the comeback of exchange-borrowed horse competitions in the region, which were very much at the heart of our competitive foundations, 10, 20 years ago,” said Arroyo.
Arroyo is one of the country’s leading riders who won a gold medal in the team event during the 2005 SEA Games and a silver team medal in the 2011 edition of the Games in Palembang, Indonesia.
After this year’s inaugurals, Coscolluela said the team would seek out partners from other countries with the same competition format to provide more exposure for Filipino riders.
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