Singapore riders riding to glory

Singapore riders riding to glory
CHECK UP: As a handler holds the horse, Dr Jan Yong, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority acting deputy director for the animal quarantine section, checks the horses’ health as they arrive at the Changi Airfreight Centre

Anxiously, Team Singapore rider Janine Khoo waited for her horse Snoopnose to arrive in Singapore late on Thursday evening.

The 17-year-old who is competing in the 28th South-east Asian (SEA) Games equestrian show jumping event today, was accompanied by agents, handlers and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) officials at the Changi Airfreight Centre.

Dr Jan Yong from the AVA was also there to check the horses' paperwork and health.

Snoopnose, which Miss Khoo affectionately calls Snoopy, was arriving from Germany after an 18-hour flight, which included stopovers in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the United Arab Emirates.

It also had to travel from Germany to Amsterdam, Holland, by land.

"I was a bit concerned because it was Snoopy's first plane trip, but she's tough," said Miss Khoo of the 10-year-old horse.

The German horse is based in Europe, where it travels as Miss Khoo participates in competitions. Her coach is based in Holland.

Relief washed over her and she broke into a big smile as she set eyes on her horse, which arrived in a truck at Changi Airfreight Centre at 11.30pm on Thursday.

Upon arrival, the horses, riders and Dr Yong's team travelled to the Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre, the designated quarantine area.

International horses are quarantined so that if they happen to be carrying any disease, the rest will not be affected, said an AVA spokesman.

Snoopnose was part of the last batch of six international horses to get here.

Four will be competing for Team Singapore and the other two will be representing other countries in the equestrian events at the Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre.

In February, Miss Khoo flew to a stable in Germany to train with Snoopnose for their first competition together.

Three months ago, Miss Khoo and Snoopnose competed in Spain for the Circuito Hipico del Sol, also known as the Sunshine Tour.

DETERMINED

Although she only started training and competing with Snoopnose this year, Miss Khoo said: "I know she is going to fight for me."

The SEA Games equestrian competition started on Saturday.

Miss Catherine Chew, 26, whose horse Coquira was also on the plane, will also be competing in the show jumping competition.

She said she was thankful that her horse was not a "bad traveller", referring to those that get agitated on planes and who end up hurting themselves.

Miss Chew and Miss Khoo are part of a team of eight riders competing in the SEA Games.

Four will be competing in dressage and four in jumping.

Miss Chew said that it was exciting to be competing on home ground.

"Home crowd is a good feeling," she said.

loteresa@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 8, 2015.
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