Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) hosted the Johor International Horse Show 2011, one of the first higher learning institutions to organise such an event in this region.

“This is a world-class championship with recognition from the International Equestrian Federation (IEF) and Equestrian Association of Malaysia (EAM),” said Vice-Chancellor of UTM, Prof. Dato Ir. Dr. Zaini Ujang.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Johor International Horse Show 2011 at the UTM Johor Bahru Equin Center on March 12.

Also present at the opening ceremony were Pro Chancellors Tan Sri Dato Seri Dr. Abdullah Ayub, Dato Dr. Muhammad Ridzuan Mohd. Salleh, Tan Sri Dr. Haji Salleh Mohd Nor, and Chairman of the University Board of Directors, Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali.

UTM is the first public university to introduce the riding sports in 1995 through the establishment of the UTM equestrian club with the aim to promote this sport among its students and the local community.

“So far, UTM has managed to produce students who are active in the sport and had won several prominent national competitions such as the Penang Horse Show”, he added.

For this occasion, 22 show jumping events were contested along with 13 dressage and three categories of endurance race for the 20 km, 40 km and 80 km to win the final contest of Sultan Ibrahim and Mahkota Cup.

The tournament also saw a display of several side events such as horse-drawn carriage, horse riding, pet’s corner, photography and painting competition, vespa exhibition and magical performances.

“In addition, to provide benefits to the students, we also organised this sport for the purpose of promoting this sports and attracting tourists through ecotourism activities which are rapidly being developed by UTM,” he said.

This competition was organised by UTM for the third time after the International Horse Show in 2000 and 2002 that witnessed the participation of Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Dipertuan Agong, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin and Tengku Mahkota Kelantan then who is currently known as Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Muhammad Faris Petra, the Sultan of Kelantan.

A total of 70 participants participated in various events from within and outside the country in this prestigious event. Among the foreign participants were Chris Ledbrook from New Zealand and also Yasmen Fabiny and Hamzah Hensen from The Netherlands. The event was officiated by Yang Amat Mulia Tunku Abdul Rahman Ibni Sultan Ibrahim.