By Libya Herald reporter.
Misrata, 17 October 2015:
Horsemen and enthusiasts gathered this weekend on the outskirts of Misrata to participate in a . . .[restrict]show-jumping event which has attracted riders from across Libya and even from Zintan to compete.
Yesterday, Friday, hundreds of people crammed into the new purpose-built stadium in Karzaz to watch participants take on a series of challenging jumps. Even when the stands were packed, newcomers used ladders to try and reach upper seats that afforded superior views over the small arena while others climbed walls to ensure they would not miss the event.
“We are really surprised and happy because of the large number of people today,” said one of the organisers, Omar Elnaas. “There are more than 1,000 people here.” He added that the event had attracted so many participants that it had been extended to include more events on the second day.
At yesterday’s event, 49 horses competed and today, Saturday, was expected to attract almost the same number, all competing for cash prizes from a total prize money of LD 3,000. The majority of competitors have came from Tripoli and Janzour but there have been a few riders from Benghazi, and several from the mountain town of Zintan in western Libya, which has been in conflict with Misrata forces since summer 2014.
“I’m so happy to see that Libya’s traditional love of horses continues and can even bring people together at an event like this where differences can be put aside,” said one member of the audience. “It is very encouraging to see riders from Zintan and Misrata competing together today.”
Another enthusiast, Mohamed, who had driven to Misrata from Tripoli to watch the event said he was delighted that there were participants from the western town of Sorman. “Before the revolution Sorman was a big centre for horse-training and every September there was a big racing event and riders attended from all over the world,” he said. They were good times, and it’s great to see Sorman represented here today and to see everybody happy and united.”
The new arena is part of a privately-owned sports and recreation complex built by Misrata businessman Musbah Swyab which, when finished, will include a zoo and an indoor swimming pool.