| Fadhil Yunus |
Bruneian rider Pengiran Mohamed Nasir Pengiran Anak Ja’afar recorded sixth place out of 59 registered riders in the Silver Grand Prix at the Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort in Spain.
The country’s most consistent performer in his horse Niack De L’Abbaye clocked a jump-off time of 40.84s for another impressive finish at the European circuit.
The Bruneian was one out of only nine riders who produced a clean round with a double clear and no penalty in the competition.
The sixth place finish was considerable success for the Bruneian, given that the field was tougher than his previous races.
Pengiran Nasir’s active participation in the Oliva series serves him in good stead leading to the SEA Games this June, should the rider get the nod to represent his country.
Jenny Kainulainen of Finland in her horse Leopoldo won the event with a final time of 38.06s with France’s Harold Boisset and horse Clannad Future in second place with a time of 38.33s.
Pengiran Mohamed Nasir’s Belgian coach Lieven Devos on his horse Horion De Liebersart came in third with a time of 39.48s.
“The atmosphere this week has got a lot more competitive. A huge part has been down to management with the horses throughout the show. We have to keep them in tip-top condition throughout the tour. We do not want to overwork them and it is fundamental to keep myself mentally equipped.
“I have to keep myself prepared all the time”, added the CSI 2 Star International Event winner.
The big score put Brunei in the map with a majority of the competitors hailing from European nations such as Finland, France, Spain, Germany and Great Britain.
“I knew it was going to be a tough competition. I saw the start list and noticed quite a few big names that were going to compete in the Grand Prix. I’m really happy to have come this far,” said the rider.
“After the series, the plan is to give the horses a bit of break. We will train at home at the stables and towards the end of the month, we will be competing various CSI at Belgium,” continued Pengiran Mohamed Nasir.
With regards to the difficulty of Asian competitors of gaining success in the European circuit, Pengiran Mohamed Nasir believed that the European riders were far more developed.
“The reason is that we Asians are still developing and we have to catch up with them. This is why we train in Europe. We train amongst the best and compete amongst the best”.
Asked about his development as a rider, Pengiran Mohamed Nasir felt that he had come a long way and also revealed that he had shown more competitive edge compared to before.
The ambitious Belgium-based touring rider has also set his sights on qualifying for the Olympics in the long run.
“I wish to qualify for the Olympics. That will be difficult but you never know until you try”, concluded the rider.