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CNN Equestrian: Asian Championships

CNN Equestrian: Asian Championships

HONG KONG, Dec. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- While the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) hosted its first ever Asian competition in Thailand this year, equine tradition has existed in this tropical destination for over a century and with its world class young riders and facilities, the future of Thai equestrian looks promising. In CNN Equestrian: Asian Championships, Aly Vance visits the Southeast Asian kingdom playing host to this major international event where she meets the region's most promising young athletes and explores the country's own equestrian history.

CNN Equestrian: Asian Championships
CNN Equestrian: Asian Championships

Highlights of the 30-minute special include:

Thailand hosts first FEI Asian Championships

While it may be traditionally considered a European sport, the future of equestrian may come from Asia. This year, a major international equestrian event, the FEI Championships, made its Asian debut in Thailand where promising young riders from around the world competed across eventing, jumping and dressage. Aly Vance speaks to FEI official Jack Huang who explained why they felt Thailand was the best location to make their Asian debut. The inaugural event was graced with a royal touch, as Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya led the Thai Dressage team to gold as captain. CNN speaks to the Princess on the nation's big win and what it felt like to secure team gold.   

The rise of the Asian rider

Thailand's first FEI Asian Championships showcases its promising young local talent, and Weerapat Pitakanonda may be leading that pack. Considered one of the country's most successful Equestrian athletes – having claimed the most medals for his country in his discipline – the young rider has already secured a spot at the 2020 Olympic games. This year, he competed for gold alongside some of the region's best riders, including Japan's Taizo Sugitani, an Olympic veteran. Aly Vance speaks to the two riders and Thai coach Dominique Greeves about why the Asian Championships – full of promising young athletes from all across Asia -- feels stronger now than ever before. 

Horse hospital that promises equine healing

In equestrian sport, the pressure of competition is felt by both the athletes and the horses alike and ensuring their prime health and athletic ability is essential for success. Hosted at the Thai Polo & Equestrian club, riders and their hooved partners rely on the facility's on-site horse hospital for injury prevention, physiotherapy and general health check-ups. CNN speaks to manager Santigo Bachman, who gives us a tour of the venue, and Nunthinee Tanner, co-owner of the entire facility.

CNN Equestrian: Asian Championships trailer
CNN Equestrian: Asian Championships

Airtimes for 30-minute special:

Thursday, 19th December at 1630 HKT
Friday, 20th December at 0130 HKT
Monday, 23rd December at 1030 HKT

About CNN International 

CNN's portfolio of news and information services is available in seven different languages across all major TV, digital and mobile platforms reaching more than 475 million households around the globe. CNN International is the number one international TV news channel according to all major media surveys across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Asia Pacific region and Latin America and has a US presence which includes CNNgo. CNN Digital is a leading network for online news, mobile news and social media. CNN is at the forefront of digital innovation and continues to invest heavily in expanding its digital global footprint, with a suite of award-winning digital properties and a range of strategic content partnerships, commercialised through a strong data-driven understanding of audience behaviours. Over the years CNN has won multiple prestigious awards around the world for its journalism. Around 1,000 hours of long-form series, documentaries and specials are produced every year by CNNI's non-news programming division. CNN has 36 editorial offices and more than 1,100 affiliates worldwide through CNN Newsource. CNN International is a WarnerMedia company.

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