Riders Lodge annual event

Audrey Wu
The annual in-house horse riding competition at Riders Lodge from Feb 21 to 23 gave their students an opportunity to show off their riding skills while competing in a range of Show Class, Dressage, Show-Jumping and Gymkhana events. 
The weekend was filled with thrills and minor spills, a great deal of excitement as fears were overcome by sheer grit as well as the birth of friendship and sportsmanship among the riders.  With the professional training at Riders Lodge and the support of friends and parents, the riders displayed admirable poise and resilience in this competition.

The prestige of this annual event was elevated to new heights with the return of guest judge, Maria Milagros Belosfsky better known as Mitos Belosfsky, a Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) or the International Federation for Equestrian Sports show-jumping judge from Manila in the Philippines.
David Cox
Mitos, a FEI show-jumping judge since 1992, has travelled around the region to countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia for equestrian events and is keen to encourage youngsters to make a name for themselves in this sport.  Since coming to the event last year, she continued to be impressed by the riders’ enthusiasm, their parents’ support and how well the event was organised at Riders Lodge. 
Smartly dressed in jodhpurs, riding boots and helmets, the riders braved the tropical heat to ride beautifully under sunny skies and compete in the schedule of events.  After the serious events, the participants had some fun in dressing up both horse and rider in a creative theme for the Fancy Dress contest.  They paraded around the paddock and were judged on several criteria including their answers to a few questions from the judges. 
“We have an interesting mix of riders this year, ranging from the youngest child aged 8 to David Cox, a solicitor from the UK who works in Singapore,” said Show Director, Sennett Tzinberg, at the prize-giving ceremony held at the close of the 2-day competition.  “We are so proud of our riders because the scores in Dressage have set a new record at Riders Lodge,” added Tzinberg, who owns the resort with his Filipina wife, Agnes Tolentino.
Jolene Lee
The students attend riding lessons at Riders Lodge at least once a week and usually train more regularly if they were going to participate in a competition.  The students’ ages range from 8 to 21 and many of the young adults were trained at Riders Lodge since they were children.  Audrey Wu and Jolene Lee are among the participants who were trained at Riders Lodge from young and these young ladies love horses so much that they have taken up studies in Veterinary Science.
“The significant number of UK riders at our competition this year is made up of students from the new Malborough College in Nusajaya, Iskandar Malaysia,” said Agnes, who named the six participants, Olivia Ramsay King, Lucy and Charlotte McNamara, Jasmine and Abigail Waterfall and Phoebe Cox.            
Open in 1999, Riders Lodge is a family oriented leisure getaway for pleasure horse riding and training in professional riding courses.  Some of their popular courses are the 2-day Learn-to-Ride course and the 5-day holiday residential camps.  They also have a 3-day-2-night Riding Camp package for students to learn new skills in horse management in an itinerary with nature walks, learning to make local crafts and playing local games. 
Pheemie Herold and Kampung Boy won first prize as "The Dragon and Princess" in the Fancy Dress contest
Sisters, Charlotte [Left] and Lucy McNamara with Rocky, took second place as "Rainbow Hippies for Peace and Love"
in the Fancy Dress contest
Phoebe Cox [Left] and Amber Mae Champion with Texas Twilight came in third place in the Fancy Dress contest
as "Rebels with a Cause: Save the Endangered Species in Malaysia"
Top winners in the Riders Lodge annual in-house competition with the Show Director, Sennett Tzinberg [Standing
Far Left], Show Coordinator, Agnes Tolentino Tzinberg [Seated Far Left] and FEI show-jumping judge
Maria Milagros Belofsky or Mitos [Seated Far Right]
After the serious part of the competition, some of the participants had fun striking a pose;
Note the backdrop is the Riders Lodge manor house
The resort’s hallmarks of personalized service and great food in Agnes Café have kept regulars coming back, not just for riding on jungle trails and through palm oil plantations but as a retreat from the pressures of city life.  In 2006 and 2007, Riders Lodge received the Excellence Award for Best Child-Friendly Resort from Expatriate Lifestyle Magazine.  The Best of Malaysia Awards – Travel Awards – recognised Riders Lodge with an Excellence Award for the Best Family Holiday Resort in 2009.  Visit www.riderslodge.com.my for more info on the resort.
A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Streets Johor on 28 February 2014

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