Pg Mohd Nasir Pg Anak Ja'afar atop Platinum during the first leg of the Mediterranean Tour in Oliva, Spain two weeks ago. The second leg is set for this week. Courtesy of Pg Mohd Nasir Pg Anak Ja'afar
Pg Mohd Nasir Pg Anak Ja'afar is looking forward to another good day at the office when he checks in for the second leg of the Mediterranean Tour in Oliva, Spain today.
The country's most experienced equestrian is back on his horse after taking 2013 off to focus on his studies, and competing at the first leg of the Mediterranean Tour two weeks ago, finished in a highly respectable fourth place with his horse Platinum.
Pg Mohd Nasir jumped a double clear round (no poles down in both rounds) and was one of the only four contestants to do so - the rest were all the podium finishers - in the event.
Though Pg Mohd Nasir called it his "biggest achievement in Europe," he said that a trip to the podium in this week's second leg might be out of reach for the moment.
However, the first Bruneian equestrian to compete at the Asian Games (2010) and SEA Games (2007) is not counting anything out.
"In terms of placing, anything can happen," noted Pg Mohd Nasir, whose events only start on Friday.
"A fourth place would still be a realistic target, but again, it's all down to how I feel with Platinum on the day.
"We shall determine whether to push for more results or take a little pressure off depending on Platinum's condition.
"But knowing Platinum, he's always ready to fight in the ring," added the 24-year-old.
He might have started riding competitively in 2005, and made his European debut four years after that, but Pg Mohd Nasir feels that his partnership with his three horses - Rudolf Z and Arcadian the other two - is a continuous process.
Saying that he learns new things about them all the time, the rider knows he has to manage the trio as well as possible so as not to over-exert any one of them.
"At the moment Rudolf is still my best horse. I'm using Platinum now as my "main" horse to take some pressure off Rudolf," he said.
"It would be unfair on my horses to push them at every single show I compete in," he stressed.
A fresh graduate from London's Brunel University, where he obtained a degree in Business and Management, Pg Mohd Nasir said he has plans to pursue a Masters degree.
The short-term plan, though, is to dedicate as much time as possible to riding.
With the 2014 Incheon Asian Games in South Korea coming up in September, Pg Mohd Nasir - who was born in Seoul, just an hour's drive away from Incheon- is relishing the opportunity to revisit the country and compete at the regional sporting showpiece.
Results like his fourth place finish at the Mediterranean Tour's first leg will only help him in his road to the Asian Games.
Pg Mohd Nasir has every reason to call the result his "best achievement in Europe" considering he was competing in a Grand Prix event - the highlight of every Competition Showjumping International (CSI) tournament.
The rider explained that depending on strategy and horse of a rider, classes before the day of a Grand Prix could be used as warm up for the Grand Prix event - where the courses are built more technically and bigger with the intention of getting out even the smallest error from a rider.
"I was really happy with this fourth place result considering this is my first show back after one and a half years," he said.
"I didn't finish third as I knew I was going up against some really fast horses and riders.
"Platinum may be a really powerful horse with a big heart, but he's not very fast so we decided to go for the safe clear round which would still always lead to a decent result.
"I will be very active this year with my horses and will be training and competing more than ever before in preparations for this year's Asian Games."