INCHEON – Malaysian equestrian rider Syed Omar Abu Bakar Al Mohdzar has withdrawn from the 17th Asian Games after his horse was unable to get clearance to come to South Korea.
Syed Omar, who arrived here with his team manager and groom to participate in the individual show-jumping event, was informed that his horse had to go through a mandatory 60-day movement record and one-week isolation.
An Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) statement said Syed Omar had appointed a veterinary doctor to handle the transportation of his horse from Belgium to Incheon through Amsterdam.
The transport company recommended by the Incheon Asian Games Organising Committee (IAGOC) was to have arranged for the necessary tests, but it was not mentioned that the horse had to undergo the Coggins test (for equine infectious anaemia) before leaving Belgium.
On Sept 22, Syed Omar received a call from Belgium that the Dutch veterinary ministry did not allow the horse to go to Amsterdam because it had not undergone the Coggins test.
The Korean Veterinary Department called the laboratory and confirmed that the Coggins test was not conducted on the animal.
Malaysian chef de mission Datuk Daniyal Balagopal Abdullah said in a statement Saturday that it was unfortunate that Syed Omar had to withdraw from the games.
“He had spent quite a big sum to prepare for the Asian Games. But his efforts have been in vain,” he said in a statement.
Syed Omar won a bronze in the team show-jumping event in the 2002 Busan Asian Games, along with Quizer Ambak and Syed Zain Syed Abu Bakar Al-Mohdzar. – BERNAMA