MANILA – Equestrian Philippines will continue to do its role in the development of the sport even if there is another national sports association recognized by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
In fact, EquestrianPH is paving the way for the discovery and proper training of upcoming riders in the mold of international champions Toni Leviste, Joker Arroyo and Colin Syquia.
EquestrianPH president Carissa Coscolluela said there are many young and talented riders capable of representing the country in the near future despite the controversy that hounded the sport a few years ago.
“We established EquestrianPH in 2018 because we want to continue the initiatives, we started so that the sport can continue to grow,” said Coscolluela during the recent 57th “Usapang Sports” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) at the National Press Club in Intramuros, Manila.
“Madami na din kaming initiatives na ginagawa (We are doing many initiatives) for the sport. Two years ago, Toni, Joker and I then decided to formalize out effort and put it under one umbrella which you all know now as EquestrianPH,” added Coscolluela in the weekly public service program supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, National Press Club, Pagcor, Community Basketball Association and HG Guyabano Tea Leaf Drinks.
Coscolluela admitted the leadership conflict affected the sport.
“For many years there was a conflict. Matagal pinag-awayan (They squabbled for some time). But we realized there’s no point in fighting with them. It’s not going to resolve anything. The reason we want to be part of the leadership of the NSA was to help make a difference. Now we’ll do it without being part of the NSA,” explained Coscolluela.
“That’s why we put this group together. Kalimutan na natin kung ano ang ginagawa nila at hindi nila ginagawa (Let’s forget what they have been doing and what they have not done). That’s not our problem. We want to give the (equestrian) community what the community deserves to have in terms of development program and competition,” she added.
Both Coscolluela and Joker Arroyo said organizing a lot of activities for the sport will attract more young riders and help develop them so “we can have more riders competing at international level.
“Right now, we only have only a handful of riders who can qualify to the regional championships, like the Asian Games and the SEA Games. Soon, mag-re-retire mga yan (they will retire). So there’s a need to develop feed riders in the training pool,” explained Coscolluela.
Arroyo said EquestrianPH organized a series of competitions last year and produced a lot of talented new riders.
“It’s the first time in the country in over a decade that we have a full-blown championship series wherein we invited riders from all over the country and they were able to compete in a series of competitions where they can get points towards championship titles. That’s really how you breed champions by encouraging them to start early and train early,” said Arroyo.
One of these talented young riders is Paola Lorenzo, a 20-year-old management engineering student of Ateneo de Manila, who emerged as overall champion in the EquestrianPH-organized showjumping competition aboard her 13-year-old Selel Francais chestnut gelding.
“Paola is an extremely talented athlete, and has proven on multiple occasions to be a reliable team member who always delivers. She is an excellent student, and it has been an honor and a pleasure to be a part of her development as a rider,” said Arroyo, who also served as coach of Lorenzo.
Coscolluela and Arroyo said the recent indoor championship series also produced outstanding champions as Lara Zobel, Nicole Camcam, Alex Ynares-Villalon, Minxie Romualdez, Nikki Aboitiz, and Anda Lagdameo.
Zobel on her new mount Lander van Bijsterveld and the 14-year-old Camcam on Aralea T shared the podium as category champions in the 1.10m class.
Camcam also took top honors in the 1.00m category on Con Amber.
Both Zobel and Camcam embarked on regular training jaunts abroad, with the former establishing a base in France, and the latter in the United States.
Ynares-Villalon on Un Chti du Banney, cool under pressure, took the 0.75m category, despite having to split her time between the competitions and the intense pressure of the college application process.
Romualdez, one of the youngest participants at age 12, emerged as the champion in the 0.65m category aboard her reliable and speedy Irish pony, Magic Mio. (iamigo/sovereignph.com)