Monday, September 10, 2007
Horse-riding to help stomp out unhealthy activities
KOTA BARU: Kelantan is one of the few states in the country with a horse-riding culture among the locals.
It is estimated that there are between 600 and 700 horses, mostly ponies and mixed-breeds, kept by owners in villages and towns.
The increasing popularity of horse riding in the state can partly be attributed to the hard work of cattle rearer-turned-horse breeder Adnan Derani, 48.
Adnan, who lives in Pasir Hor, a village near here, bought three ponies for RM1,500 in 1993 as a hobby.
His collection increased as he saw youths in the village were keen on riding. As they could not afford to buy horses, Adnan bought more and now owns 15 horses valued at RM100,000.
Adnan has also taken on the responsibility of training youths in not only riding but also horseball.
(Horseball is a game which began in France in the 1970s. It can be described as a cross between polo and basketball, with hoops hung at right angles to the ground. Players score points by throwing a ball through the hoops).
Training sessions were previously held in the evenings at a field near his house with up to 20 youths attending each session.
"I didn’t want them to loiter around and be dragged into immoral activities. They should do something beneficial during their spare time.
"They can pick up some skills through their involvement here and it might be useful to them later on," he said.
Adnan’s horseball team is one of only two in the country — the other being the Royal Malaysian Police — and has performed at many shows in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor, among others.
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