MALAYSIA rode in to claim the first gold medal in the equestrian competition, emerging tops in the dressage team final at the Horseshoe Point and Thai Polo Club in Pattaya yesterday.
The team comprising Quzandria Nur Mahamad Fathil, Lee Cheng Ni, Putri Alia Soraya Ahmad Shuhaimi and Qabil Ambak scored an overall average of 64.830 points.
Indonesia and Thailand took the silver and bronze respectively with scores of 63.052 and 60.785.
Malaysia's top dressage rider Putri Alia, on Odurin, scored 66.756, which was also the highest individual score of the day.
The other three riders also fared well with Quzandria, on Lewes, posting 62.178; Cheng Ni, on Antschar, chalking up 60.622; and Qabil, on Dexter, scoring 65.556.
Putri Alia said: “Winning the gold medal feels really good. At the last 10 minutes before the start I was a bit nervous but I just told myself to get on with it and stay focused.
“The horse is of very good quality and I expected him to be a strong contender in the Games after I had a look at the other horses.
“It was a very positive ride for me today. But I did not expect to deliver the best score of the day, especially when I had made a mistake during my routine.”
Putri Alia is now looking forward to bagging the individual gold medal as well.
“The win today has put me in the right frame on mind for the individual competition. I am not just looking at performing well and winning at the Asean level but I also want to do well in the Asian and world level competitions,” she said.
All four riders will be back at the same venue today, competing for individual honours.