Syquia wins PH’s 23rd gold, rules equestrian show jump
KUALA LUMPUR — A 46-year-old rider with “rockstar personality” thrilled the Southeast Asian Games equestrian show jump individual competition Monday after capturing the gold medal for Team Philippines in Rawang.
John Colin Syquia, riding for the Philippines for the first time, won via jump-off and shocked the field when he upstaged his Malaysian foes, riding four seconds faster than the second placer to rule the competition.
The horse dealer and professional equestrian rode with his mount Adventure L.
He finished tied with five other riders after two rounds and then in the jump-off clocked 37.63 seconds besting local riders Sharimini Cristina Ratnasingham (41.30) and Dato Seri Mahamad Fathil Qabil Ambak (41.66).
Ratnasingham on board Arcado, and Ambak on 3Q Qaliya, wound up second and third, respectively.
After two rounds, Syquia finished in a bunch of five riders who went to the jump-off along with the Malaysians, Brunei’s Mohd Nasir and Singapore’s Catherine Chew.
“He is a rock star here. We call him our secret weapon,” said team manager Daniella Virata.
Virata said Syquia has been competing in the Florida circuit where he is based. He grew up in New York City and began riding in Claremonth Academy.
“He is a cool guy. Good personality. He gave us six clear rounds, three in individual and three in team event,” said Virata.
Syquia was part of the team that won silver last Saturday along with Chiara Sophia Amor, Joker Arroyo and Marie Antoinette Leviste.